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July Words about Town






Literary goings on in and around Nevada County this month:†

Words

Word Jam

Sunday, July 14, 7:00 pm–8:00 pm
Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

10009 W River Street
Truckee, Calif. 96161

Open mic story performances. For more information, call 530-386-3901.

Storytelling

Sierra Storytelling Festival

Friday, July 19–Sunday, July 21
North Columbia Schoolhouse Educational Center
17894 Tyler Foote Road
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

Award-winning nationally recognized storytellers bring their best to this must-attend event for all storytellers and spoken word performers. Tickets available at sierrastorytellingfestival.org or by calling (530) 265-2826.

Short Stories

Tim O’Connor’s Readers Theater

Sunday, July 28, 4:00 pm–6:00 pm
Miner’s Foundry
325 Spring Street
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

Story time for grown-ups featuring selected short stories from the 1930s read by local actors. $10

Going to any events? Let us know!
Have more writerly announcements to share? Please do!

June Words about Town






Literary goings on in and around Nevada County this month:†

Words

Tell Tailors Guild

Saturday, June 15, 10:00 am–12:00 pm
Madelyn Helling Library amphitheater
980 Helling Way
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

Narrative games and a gathering of writers and storytellers — outside at the amphitheater at Madelyn Helling library.

Poetry

Word of Mouth

Sunday, June 2, 6:00–9:00 pm
The Stone House
107 Sacramento Street
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

Poetry and spoken word open mic night.

Poetry Benefit Reading

Friday, June 21, 7:00–9:00 pm
St. Joseph’s Cultural Center
410 S. Church St.
Grass Valley, Calif. 95945

Poetry Crashers: “It’s Our Fault”

Wednesday, June 12, 7:00 pm
Truckee Philosophy
10412 Donner Pass Rd.
Truckee, Calif. 96161

Nevada County Poet Laureate Chris Olander and The Poetry Crashers team up in Truckee for a tangled twist on traditional poetry.

Kate Haight’s Sketchy Ladies!

Thursday, June 13, 7:00 pm
Wild Eye Pub
535 Mill St.
Grass Valley, Calif. 95945

Wild Eye Pub’s monthly comedy night serves up sketches, improv, and stand-up. $12–$15.

Going to any events? Let us know!
Have more writerly announcements to share? Please do!

May Words about Town






Literary goings on in and around Nevada County this month:†

Poetry

Word of Mouth

Sunday, May 5, 6:00–9:00 pm
The Stone House
107 Sacramento Street
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

Poetry and spoken word open mic night.

It Started with the Wild Horses

Saturday, May 18, 4:00–5:30 pm
The Open Book
671 Maltman Drive
Grass Valley, Calif. 95945

Join poet Ingrid Keriotis for a reading and book launch of her poetry.

Storywalk

Dreamers

Through Monday, May 6
Harmony Books
130 Main Street
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

Read Yuyi Morales’ picture book Dreamers as you stroll through downtown Nevada City. Begin at Harmony Books and follow the cues to find where to read next.

Workshops

Drop-in Creative Writing

Wednesdays, 3:00–4:00 pm
ej gallery
408 Broad Street
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

Local poet and literary editor Iven Lourie hosts creative writing sessions inspired by art.

Boot Camp for Writers

Sunday, May 5–Tuesday, May 8
Reiki Kitchen Event Center
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

Join C. S. Lakin and Catharine Bramkamp for an intensive 3-day scene mastery writing workshop. $360.

Riding the Dragon

May 10–June 28
Fridays, 10:00 am–12:00 pm
Inner Path
200 Commercial Street
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

Teens and adults are invited to dive into this 8-week poetry writing course designed to get the ink flowing, expand your skills, and deepen your appreciation. $360.

Going to any events? Let us know!
Have more writerly announcements to share? Please do!

Organizing Chaos

Mess. Madness. Disorder.
Where do I begin? How do I start? What do I prioritize? Help!

Sometimes the question is not How do I start? it’s How do I finish what I’ve started?

Writing is that magical moment of lovemaking with the muse. Sure! But I can’t just lie around waiting to be seduced. I have to show up for the muse in order for the muse to show up for me. The moment a wonderful burst of creativity transforms from an idea into a project, I’m committing to more than just some good times with the muse. I’m committing to a relationship beyond the honeymoon.

So, when it’s time to get serious, get organized. The more you can get to know your own writing process, the more you get to know yourself as a writer and what you are capable of, not just in terms of output, but in terms of productivity and of setting realistic goals.

Show up.
As with all actions in life, it begins with intention. Start by committing to paper what you want to do. Octavia Butler’s personal list is one of my all time favorites.

handwritten note from Octavia Butler papers
handwritten note from Octavia Butler papers, Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Copyright, Estate of Octavia E. Butler.

Break it down.
The journey begins with the first step. Start with a map! Specifically, create a writing schedule.

I took an intensive screenwriting course in which we committed to writing five screenplays in three years. With a 10-hour week writing commitment, I found it possible to write the first draft of a 90-125 page script in six weeks’ time.

No, you don’t have to quit your day job to write your novel or memoir or essay collection. You just need a schedule. Look at the calendar. Be honest. Ask, How much time can I commit to every day? 30 minutes? 2 hours? Every week 10 hours?

Commit to a weekly schedule on paper. “I will write 8 hours a week, Mon-Thurs 7-8:30am, Sunday 10-12pm.”

Define it.
Rather than say, “I’m going to write a novel,” get granular and be specific. Identify which elements of your idea you can start to shape over the next several weeks. Perhaps it’s about identifying the big picture ideas, like story outline, themes, or cast of characters. Or perhaps it’s looking at an individual chapter in which you’re establishing the narrative voice.

Commit your writing goal on paper. “I will develop my idea into a new story; including an outline, characters, theme, plot, main problem/resolution.”

Log it.
Put the commitment to practice and monitor your progress. “Week 1: I wrote 8 hours, sketched general outline, sketched three scenes with main character.”

Repeat for 6 weeks.
At the end of six weeks, re-evaluate. Ask, How well am I sticking to my time commitment? More? Less? Am I being realistic?

List your achievements.
Review what you accomplished in this time, on paper: “I wrote X number of pages/scenes/chapters. I developed X elements of my story.”

Reset, start again.
Re-commit to a new 6-week writing plan on paper. Create goals to make them reachable. Small successes add up psychologically as well as materially.

Write away.
So, how do we keep allowing ourselves to get messy in the midst of all this organization? I like to encourage the Path of Least Resistance: That which gets the ink flowing. Whatever comes to mind in a given day that I already know about my story and my characters. It’s not only OK to write out of order, it’s necessary. Does a scene toward the end pop out clearly in the mind? Write it! It’s OK if you change it later. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that I can count on just about everything changing after the first draft.

Let the mess begin! So be it! See to it!

February Words about Town






Literary goings on in and around Nevada County this month:

Storytelling

Nevada County Reads & Writes 2019

Friday, February 8, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Nevada County Community Library
Gene Albaugh Community Room, Madelyn Helling Library
980 Helling Way
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

StoryCorps’ Listening Is an Act of Love features six stories from 10 years of the innovative oral history project.
Local memoir writers Mary Street and Judie Rae share their stories.

Saturday February 9, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Nevada County Community Library
Gene Albaugh Community Room, Madelyn Helling Library
980 Helling Way
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

Foothills Storytelling Guild launches Nevada County Reads & Writes 2019. Come hear live storytelling performance and ways to make your own stories even better.

February 18 – March 1
Nevada County Community Library
Gene Albaugh Community Room, Madelyn Helling Library
980 Helling Way
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

Application submissions accepted for StoryCorps interviewers and interviewees online or at local library branches.

Poetry

Poets Quartet

Saturday, February 9, 2:00 pm
ej gallery
408 Broad Street (In the New York Hotel mall)
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

The Poets Quartet performs “Poetry and Wild Nature” featuring poems by Mary Oliver, Gary Snyder, Wendell Berry, Robinson Jeffers, Joanne Kyger, H.D., and others.

Winter Poetry Hour with Molly Fisk

Wednesday, February 13, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Flour Garden Bakery, 999 Sutton Way, Grass Valley
Come talk poetry with Nevada County’s Poet Laureate

Spoken Word

Open Mic Night

Wednesday, February 27, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Word After Word Bookshop
10118 Donner Pass Rd. #2, Truckee, Calif. 96161

Workshops

Creative Writing

Wednesdays, February 6, 13, 20, 27, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
ej gallery
408 Broad Street (In the New York Hotel mall)
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

Local poet and literary editor Iven Lourie hosts creative writing sessions inspired by art.

Going to any events? Let us know!
Have more writerly announcements to share? Please do!

January Words about Town






Literary goings on in and around Nevada County this month:

Spoken Word

What’s Your Nugget?

Friday, January 18, 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Saturday, January 19, 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Thursday, January 24, 8:00 – 9:00 pm
Friday, January 25, 9:30 – 10:30 pm
246 S. Church Street
Grass Valley, CA 95945

Five minutes to tell your true story based on a topic you pull out of a hat.

Workshops

The Joy of Writing

Saturday, January 12
9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Diane Covington-Carter
530-802-4224

Drop-in workshop with Rachel Howard

Friday, January 11
Noon – 2pm
For details and other classes: Yuba Writers Workshops

Sierra Writers Conference 2019

Saturday, January 26
Sierra College, Grass Valley Campus
250 Sierra College Drive
Grass Valley, CA 95945

Storytelling

The 4th annual Auburn Winter Storytelling Festival

Saturday, January 26
General Gomez Art Center
808 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA 95603

An all-day event of storytelling stand-up, workshops, liar’s contest, children’s stories, poetry, and performance.

Going to any events? Let us know!
Have more writerly announcements to share? Please do!

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