Thank You For A Remarkable Summer!

Thank you to all who helped make the 2018 summer of workshops happen!

Jack Norman, Lindsey Gordon, Hunter Jones, Eva Melas, and Livia Keene setting up the bookstore.

As they have done for 48 years, the Summer Workshops came together with the tireless participation of many friends and colleagues.It always strikes me as a minor miracle when the workshops all come together. But of course it is the enmeshing of hundreds of kindred spirits, learning about and from each other and their work, that makes it so. Without all of you it just wouldn’t be possible.

We are grateful to and astounded by our generous teaching staff members in PoetryFiction and Nonfiction who make the summer workshops an unforgettable and productive experience. And in particular I want to thank our program directors: Lisa AlvarezMichael CarlisleRobert HassDiana Fuller, and Louis B. Jones.

Thanks also to Patricia K. Meyer who joined us in the valley to teach her special class on the Alchemy of Adaptation. A big thank you to Diana who founded and shepherded this program from a full screenwriting program to an adaptation program for fiction and nonfiction writers. Thanks to Christopher Upham as well for photography and general technical support.

Robin Radin speaks at the dedication of the Paul Radin Memorial Dream Wagon.

Heaps of gratitude again to Andrew Tonkovich, who was essential every step of the way: from the management of all the manuscripts during registration, to moderating panels, he was central to it all. Many thanks to Eva Melas and Livia Keene, who both managed our pop-up bookstore in the Dream Wagon. Thanks also to Lindsey Gordon and Tracy Hall for documenting the goings-on with their cameras (including the photos here). And thanks to Tracy and Jim Chumbley, Hunter Jones and Lindsey Gordon, for creating a bit of home in our humble snack bar. Our Elves (and all-around helpers) were Christian AguilarJesse BedaynHannah Casey, Lindsey Gordon, Jesse Israel, Hunter Jones, Eva Melas, Jack Norman, Livia Keene, Audrey Rawson, and Louis Tonkovich. With high energy and good spirits, they all made things happen seamlessly.

Jim Seely surveys his work.

Hunter helped us record events and will soon be putting them on our website as podcasts. Eva Melas organized the Poetry Picnic this year at Meeks Bay along with the help of Lindsey Gordon, Hunter Jones, and Jack Norman. Indispensable also at the Poetry Picnic was Ethan Andrews who barbecued with confidence. A big thank you to all of our work waivers Daniel Duffy, Anuradha Bhowmik, Lily Jamaludin, and Katherine Noble for their help all week. And thanks to Sands Hall for the inimitable Follies and for hosting Poetry’s final dinner. Liz Thiem and Storey Rafter graced our Poetry party with delicious food and good humor.

Participants in the Poetry Softball Game including staff poets Sharon Olds and Mónica de la Torre

The Paul Radin Memorial Dream Wagon: On Saturday, during the Writers week, the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley memorialized one of its longtime friends, the late Paul Radin, during the dedication of the Paul Radin Memorial Dream Wagon. The commemoration ceremony preceded the Writers Workshop’s annual Follies, with remarks by Louis B. Jones and Robin RadinDavid and Robin Radin, along with members of Paul Radin’s extended family, were there to represent the family. The Radin family donated seed money to the Community dedicated to the purchase of a portable “tiny house” on wheels to be used as an office and bookstore onsite during the conference weeks in Squaw Valley. Also honored that night was the builder of this tiny house on wheels project, Jim Seely, who was given a standing ovation. We have many other donors to thank for helping make the Dream Wagon real, please stay posted.

We would like to acknowledge our friends who have been tremendously generous with their time and local support over the years: Eddy & Osvaldo AncinasMimi & Burnett Miller and Amy Tan & Lou Demattei. And thanks for years of advice and excellent legal care David Riegels who has been our generous pro-bono attorney for decades.  We say a loving goodbye to him as he starts his retirement. Thanks also to alum and friend Bob Austin for his ADA compliance advice. Special thanks also to Capital Public Radio’s Beth Ruyak, who impressed us all as she emceed a panel of memoir-writing fiction writers, and more.

The Benefit Poetry Reading took place in Nevada City in June and many thanks are in order, especially to Molly Fisk who emceed the event, as well as the six participating poets: Kazim AliMónica de la Torre, Robert Hass, Sharon Olds, Evie Shockley, and Dean Young.

Special thanks to the Event Coordinator Elizabeth Kelley Gillogly who, with the able help of Rachel Howard at YubaLit, made this one of the best-attended  Benefit

Gary Short, Louis B. Jones, and Andrew Tonkovich

events we’ve done. Thanks so much to our sponsors Caseywood Corporation, Joan Baranow and David Watts, The Entrekin FoundationYubaLit, and Nevada County Arts Council. Thanks to Copper Canyon PressCounterpoint Press, and Wesleyan University Press for donating books.Thanks to our enthusiastic volunteers: Catherine Bilheimer, Cathy Chappell, Eva Melas, Michael & Emily MalsamLydia & Jim Seely, Tom Taylor, and Mary Vogt.

Many thanks to the Board of Directors: a person in my position couldn’t ask for a more responsive, generous and wise Board, especially president Jim Naify.  I am grateful to our Events Committee (Carlin Naify, Nancy Teichert & Ruth Blank) who made great things happen during the programs. Special thanks this year to my comrades Michael Carlisle and Michelle Latiolais who are always there with advice, support and friendship. This year we welcomed two new Board Members: Reagan Arthur and Dana Johnson.

Edan Lepucki, Lisa Alvarez, and Reagan Arthur

Our Donors: What a community this is! Your support is essential to this thing we do.

With love and gratitude,


-Brett Hall Jones
Executive Director