Events & Happenings

Welcome to our Events & Happening page. Here, you can find information about events which happen from time to time during the year in the Virtual Valley (online). For information about events which are presented as part of our Summer Workshops, please visit our Events in the Valley page.

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A Weekend Intensive with Janet Fitch

January 22-24, 2021

Pablo Neruda once said, “Two things make a story. The net and the air that falls through the net.”

If the net is plot, character, scene and story, the air is language, what happens inside the sentence. In this weekend intensive workshop, we’ll look at the possibilities of prose: sentence structure, diction and point of view, the poetics of rhythm, sound, image. We’ll explore the sentences of the great prose stylists, see how they produced their effects, and use their examples as jumping off points to experiment with new ways of handling prose. This workshop will get you out of habitual patterns and heighten your awareness of the possibilities of prose style, not for its own sake, but so that you can write more powerfully, more beautifully, with control and understanding, and develop awareness of style in literary fiction.

The Art of the Sentence is led by bestselling novelist, Janet Fitch.

The format combines lecture and generative exercises, in-class discussion and experiential assignments. Suitable for fiction writers, memoirists, poets and anyone ready to reconnect with their artistic potential.

More Details & Register

Announcing two mid-winter Micro Workshops on Ecopoetics in the Virtual Valley:

This January and February, the Poetry Program of the Community of Writers is delighted to offer two micro workshops on Ecopoetics led by Brenda Hillman.

Join us in the Virtual Valley for two separate workshops in which we will explore the way nature and ecopoetics manifest in your poems. The workshop will focus on exploration of new work by participants.

Session I: Monday, January 25, 2021
Session II: Monday, February 8, 2021

This program is only open to alums of the Poetry Workshop of the Community of Writers.

More Details & Register

2020 Poem First Aid

Private Consultations about a poem-in-progress.

Camille DungyGregory Pardlo •  Matthew Zapruder

Friday, December 11, 2020

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick ten-minute consultations will be offered in the Virtual Valley (though Zoom) with two of our staff poets, Camille Dungy,  Gregory Pardlo, Matthew Zapruder.We ask that you limit yourself to one specific question about your poem-in-progress. Your poem or poem excerpt should be less than one-page long, and will be read during the appointment. (Zoom’s share screen function.)

A Poetry Elf will be on hand to help with all things technical, and as a time-keeper.

Private 10-Minute Appointments: $18.

This program is only open to alums of the Poetry Workshop of the Community of Writers.

More Details & Register

Join us for private consultations: Fiction and Memoir First Aid!

Saturday, December 5, 2020.

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $30

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our wonderful writer-teachers, including Alex Espinoza, Janet Fitch, Sands Hall, and Dana Johnson.

Come with a question. Or come with a page (limit 250 words). Having a thorny problem with a story? Worried about the end of your novel? Do you have issues about the writing life? This is the place to get fresh insight. The focus of your session is up to you.

More Details & to Register

Join us for private consultations: Fiction and Memoir First Aid!
November 20, 2020, between 10 am and 5 p.m (Pacific)

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $30

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our wonderful writer-teachers, including Natalie Baszile, Janet Fitch, Glen David Gold, and Michael Jaime Becerra.

More Details and to Register

 

 


Join us for private consultations: 2020 Poem First Aid

Private Consultations about a poem-in-progress.

Blas FalconerBrenda Hillman

Friday, November 13, 2020

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.
Quick ten-minute consultations will be offered in the Virtual Valley (though Zoom) with two of our staff poets, Blas Falconer and Brenda Hillman.  We ask that you limit yourself to one specific question about your poem-in-progress. Your poem or poem excerpt should be less than one-page long, and will be read during the appointment. (Zoom’s share screen function.)
More Details and to Register

Join us for private consultations: Fiction and Memoir First Aid!
October 23, 2020, between 10 am and 5 p.m (Pacific)

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $25

First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our wonderful writer-teachers, including Janet Fitch, Vanessa Hua, Dylan Landis, and Tom Lutz  Come with a question. Or come with a page. Having a thorny problem with a story? Worried about the end of your novel? Do you have issues about the writing life? This is the place to get fresh insight. The focus of your session is up to you.

Sign up for a consultation today. You will be paired with one of these generous and talented writer-teachers. (You may request your top two choices of staff member, subject to availability. ) If there is a time of day (between 10 AM – 3 PM Pacific) that doesn’t work for you, please let us know.

Come with a question: Issues about dialogue, prose style, characterization? Come to the session prepared with a question or more than one! The time is yours.

Or come with a page: Need help with dialogue or prose style? Submit one page, double spaced (limit 250 words), and a staff member will respond to what’s on the page and beyond.

To read a bio, click on the image below, or view them all as a list.

Registration open now, and closes Friday, July 25 at 8:00 AM (Pacific).

REGISTER

Once you register, we will be in touch with your appointment details.

Please make sure you’ve downloaded and installed the most recent version of Zoom and have good audio and video available.

(Cancellations for full refunds, to be considered, must be requested before 8 am on Friday.)

*Thanks to Sharon Olds who originally coined this term for the Poetry Workshop’s “Poem First Aid.”


2020 Alumni Reading Series

Each summer, recently published alumni are invited to return to the Valley to read from their books and talk about their journey from unpublished writers to published authors. This year we’ve decided to hold the reading online in the Virtual Valley! 

The Community of Writers is delighted to celebrate the success of these writers and to present them to the participants, staff, and the public.

Please join us! The event is free and will be presented on Zoom.

2020 Alumni Readers

Click on the portraits to learn about these authors and their work.  View as a List

 

Our Emcee for the evening is Jimin Han.

 

 

 

Alumni who have been part of this reading series include Anita Amirrezvani, Eddy Ancinas, Michael AndreasonRamona Ausubel, David Bajo, Aimee Bender, Mauro Cardenas, Jade ChangDavid Corbett, Charmaine Craig, Frances Dinkelspiel, Heather Donahue, Laurie Ann DoyleCai Emmons, Alex Espinoza, Carole Firstman,  Joshua Ferris, Amy Franklin-Willis, Jamie Ford, Vicki Forman, Alison Singh Gee, Tanya Egan Gibson, Alan Grostephan, Glen David Gold, Jimin HanJudith Hendricks, Susan Henderson, Sara J. Henry, Vanessa HuaRhoda Huffey, Michael Jaime-Becerra, Alma Katsu, Stephanie KeganMary KurylaKrys Lee, Paulette Livers, Regina Louise, Michael David Lukas, Peyton Marshall, Marisa Matarazzo, Mark Maynard, Christina Meldrum, Nayomi Munaweera, Janis Cooke Newman, Jessica O’Dwyer, Aline Ohanesian, Marian Palaia, Victoria Patterson, Ismet Prcic, Frederick Reiken, Andrew Roe, Robin Romm, Brian Rogers,  Elizabeth Rosner, Adrienne Sharp, Alice Sebold, Julia Flynn Siler, Jordan Fisher Smith, Scott Sparling, Ellen Sussman, Kimball TaylorLisa Tucker,  Juan Alvarado Valdivia, Brenda Rickman Vantrease, Mary Volmer, Dora Calott Wang, M.D., Heather Young, Andrew Winer, Alia Yunis, and Désirée Zamorano among others.

Buys books from these authors on Bookshop.org.

Reserve Ticket Now

(You will be eventually be asked to register for this event at Zoom.)

 Writing from the Senses: A Weekend Intensive with Janet Fitch

Oct. 9-11, 2020, five two-hour sessions

 

The weekend intensive class combines lecture and generative exercises, in-class discussion and experiential assignments. Suitable for fiction writers, memoirists, poets and anyone ready to reconnect with the artistic potential of sensual reality. This class is led by bestselling novelist, Janet Fitch and will be held entirely on Zoom.

Discounted tuition ($280) before October 1. After that, the Regular tuition is $330.

This program is open to alums of the Community of Writers as well as members of the public. 

More Details

 

 

 


Recent Events:

Fiction (and Memoir) First Aid: Private Consultations by Appointment:

September 25, 2020, between 10 am and 5 p.m (Pacific)


First-come first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our wonderful writer-teachers, including Janet FitchSands HallKrys Lee, and Margaret Wilkson Sexton  Come with a question. Or come with a page! Having a thorny problem with a story? Worried about the end of your novel? Do you have issues about the writing life? This is the place to get fresh insight. The focus of your session is up to you. Sands Hall will work with Memoir and Fiction.

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $25

This program is open to alums of the Community of Writers as well as members of the public. 

More Details

 

Please join us for these Public Events at the Community of Writers during Memoir Week in the Virtual Valley. These events are on Zoom and are free. (Please consider a donation.)

 

Monday, 8/3, 4:00 PM (Pacific): “Effective Strategies for Memoir & Nonfiction,” featuring:
Debra Gwartney • Elizabeth Rosner • Grace Talusan
moderated by Sands Hall

Tuesday, 8/4, 4:00 PM: “Who Am I This Time? Revisioning Memoir,” featuring:
Alex Espinoza • Christine Hemp • Sands Hall • Amy Tan
moderated by Debra Gwartney

RESERVE TICKET

Ticket reservations will close one hour before the event. Reserve early


Our Memoir staff talk about and read from their memoirs:

Tuesday, 8/4, 5:30 PM:
Debra Gwartney • Sands Hall •  Grace Talusan

Thursday 8/6, 5:30 PM:
Alex Espinoza • Christine Hemp • Elizabeth Rosner

RESERVE TICKET

Ticket reservations will close one hour before the event. Reserve early


Join us for private consultations: Fiction First Aid*

July 31, 2020, between 10 am and 5 p.m (Pacific)

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our finest writer-teachers, including Alex Espinoza, Janet Fitch, Glen David Gold, Sands Hall, Dylan Landis and Krys Lee. Come with a question. Or come with a page! Having a thorny problem with a story? Worried about the end of your novel? Do you have issues about the writing life? This is the place to get fresh insight. The focus of your session is up to you.

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $25

First-come first-served: appointments are limited. Sign up before 5:00 PM on Thursday, 7/30.

View as a list

♦   This session offered only to alums of the Writers Workshops ♦

Below are the Times When the Writers Are Scheduled
(Subject to availability)

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
Alex Espinoza
Janet Fitch

1:00 – 3:00 PM
Glen David Gold
Sands Hall

3:00 – 5:00 PM
Dylan Landis
Krys Lee

Come with a question: Issues about dialogue, prose style, characterization? Come to the session prepared with a question or more than one! The time is yours.

Or come with a page: Need help with dialogue or prose style? Submit one page, double spaced (limit 250 words), and a staff member will respond to what’s on the page and beyond.

Sign Ups open  12:00 Noon Monday, July 27,
and close 5:00 Noon on Thursday, July 30. (Pacific)

SIGN UP

You may request time range and staff members. Appointments subject to availability. Once you register, we will be in touch with your appointment details.

(Cancellations for full refunds, to be considered, must be requested before 5 pm on Thursday, July 30.)

*Thanks to Sharon Olds who originally coined this term for the Poetry Workshop’s “Poem First Aid.”


The Community of Writers is made possible with substantial support of these organizations. Thank you !

 

 

 

 


Recents Events:

The Community of Writers Fiction Workshop in the Virtual Valley is proud to present

“Short Takes” Fiction Readings

These readings are presented to the public as part of our first-ever Fiction workshop held entirely online.
These readings are free to attend. Donations needed and welcome.

Tuesday, July 21st • 5:30 PM Pacific

Tom BarbashDevi S. LaskarKrys Lee •  Kirstin Valdez QuadeGregory Spatz
Emcee: Tom Lutz

Thursday, July 23rd • 5:30 PM Pacific

Janet FitchMichael Jaime-Becerra • Dana JohnsonTom LutzMargaret Wilkerson Sexton
Emcee: Oscar Villalon

Register Now!

An Extraordinary Evening of Poetry

Click on the author portraits to learn about these poets and their work. Or view their bios as a list here.

Camille Dungy  •  Robert Hass  •  Brenda Hillman
Major Jackson  •  Ada Limón •  Matthew Zapruder

This year we are pleased to welcome six extraordinary poets including one Pulitzer Prize winner, a recipient of the Griffin International Prize, a former U.S. Poet Laureate, two National Book Critics Circle Award winners, and a recipient of the Pushcart Prize.

Thursday, June 25, 2020 via Zoom
5:30 p.m. Pacific Time

Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Reserve your space today!

This gathering of the community—all staff poets from this year’s Community of Writers’ Summer Poetry Workshop in Squaw Valley—will raise money for our scholarship fund, and we are delighted to announce that a portion of the proceeds raised during the reading will also benefit our friends at Cave Canem and their scholarship program. Books by the poets will be available for purchase online before and after the reading. 

Community of Writers beloved and longtime poetry staff member Sharon Olds will welcome the audience to the event, and Community of Writers Poetry Workshop alum Diannely Antigua will emcee.


A 50th Anniversary Event:
An Evening at Bo’s in Manhattan with #YeahYouWrite

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Unfortunately, as concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic have grown, we are increasingly aware of the importance of limiting gatherings. We believe it’s critical that we are cautious and consider the possible risks. Thus, we are postponing the #YeahYouWrite event. 

 

#YeahYouWrite, a standout-out reading series in Manhattan, will partner with Community of Writers for an inaugural event, the first of many across the country, to celebrate our 50th Anniversary!

The evening will feature the CW alum authors Dylan Landis, Shobha Rao, Lev Grossman, Cynthia Robinson, as well as C.W.’s own Sands Hall, who, following the readings, will host a mini-version of a COW tradition—a “Follies” talent show. #YYW Follies! All are welcome. Think five minutes. Perform flamenco, sing a song, tell a joke—anything goes!

More information about #YeahYouWrite.


A 50th Anniversary Event:
The Best of the West: The Community of Writers comes to the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Join Us on April 16, 2020 at The Annenberg Community Beach House for an evening of readings to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Community of Writers.
For fifty years the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley has assembled in the California Sierra Nevada led by writers, agents, and publishers and has encouraged the careers of hundreds of writers of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.  In this 50th anniversary celebration, local So Cal writers read on behalf of this legendary experiment in collaboration and sustenance of the art and craft of writing and the imagination.
Our extraordinary readers this evening once attended the Community of Writers as participants.
Click on the photo to view bio. Or view as a List
Poet and novelist Kazim Ali
Novelist and short story writer Aimee Bender
Novelist and short story writer Dylan Landis
Poet and memoirist Marcello Castillo Hernandez
         
Emcees:  Dana Johnson and Janet Fitch
FREE (More on tickets coming soon.)
6:30 – 8 PM

After-Party:
Alums and staff: we hope you will also join us for a private fundraiser/reunion after this public event.
We will all walk down the beach to Back on the Beach for a festive reunion.
The after-party will run from about 8 – 9:30 pm.

TO VIEW OUR PAST PUBLIC EVENTS