Who says August is a quiet month? T'ain't so at the Mechanics' Institute! | Mechanics' Institute

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Who says August is a quiet month? T'ain't so at the Mechanics' Institute!

This August I want you to do more than lie in the sun. Now before you tell me that August is the foggiest month in the city, let me ask you something personal: are you ready to get serious about your writing career? You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t, right?  So let’s get to it.

Jane Friedman is coming to speak about How to Become a Competitive Creative: Building a Full-Time Career as a Writer in the Digital Age. This all day seminar will train you to build a career and platform that uniquely befits your strengths and long-term career goals. The themes she will present dovetail nicely with her new book that's already in our collection The Business of Being a Writer. I recommend you check this book out to see if you like her style. If you're blown away by page 10, reserve your ticket and see her in person on August 10.

Understanding your reader (and their brains!) is a crucial step to a successful writing career. Mechanics' members have been invited to take part in the Intellectual Semi-Circle; a private group led by Ted Gioia on August 16 @ 6:30. The theme of the discussion is THE BRAIN & THE INTERNET and will feature 2 speakers: Neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf (author of Reader, Come Home ) who will discuss the evolution of the reading brain in the digital age; and forensic psychiatrist Amar Mehta will present about social media algorithms changing the brain's hardware limitations. This is a private event with separate ticketing so please see this link to register. No walk ups will be allowed.

The 3rd Friday of the month will bring us the Writers Lunch – this time the Women’s National Book Association San Francisco Chapter will be presenting speakers who have authored highly successful historical novels. Learn what role research plays and how to make your scenes, settings, and characters realistic and compulsively readable. Bring your lunch and we'll provide the coffee and dessert. How can you resist learning how to be COMPULSIVELY readable? See you @ Noon!

For those of you with non-fiction projects, Litquake is offering Writing Non-Fiction Like a Novel with two-time Pulitzer winner T.J. Stiles. I took this class a few years ago and it was a stunner. Wine and apps after with Mr. Stiles will put what you learned in perspective and take the edge off enough so you can ask him what you really want to know about writing.

And if you're ready to start blogging Linda Lee is back with her popular WordPress double header. Enjoy a lecture on the fundamentals of Author Websites in the morning followed by an intensive hands-on workshop demonstrating the power of WordPress as a blogging platform. By the end of the day you will be ready to embark on your blogging journey. These classes sell out quickly so reserve your seats early.

While we're speaking candidly - do you struggle to depict scenes of violence, gunfire and general mayhem? Me too but we are in luck! The Sisters in Crime (and their brothers) are hosting a potluck and "Firearms Briefing" on Saturday, September 1. This is a free event but bring a treat to share because as you might know, good writing and the scent of gunpowder whets the appetite.

Last but not least, the San Francisco Writers Conference is for the 10th year hosting the Writing For Change mini-conference on Saturday, September 8. There you will discover how what you write can change the world. The theme this year is “Writing to Make a Difference,” with topics ranging from spirituality, politics, technology, social issues, the environment, the law, and much more. The keynote speaker will be award winning author Daniel Ellsberg - an activist on the dangers of the nuclear era and the urgent need for patriotic whistleblowing. He is the author of The Doomsday Machine:Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.  I can smell the change already!

Lastly, I am so proud of our member writers especially those with new books, awards, public appearances and instances of being awesome @ MI - Helen, Jeanne, Lyzette, Lee, David, Rick, Randy, Monika, and Michael I'm looking at you!


Taryn and the team at the Mechanics' Institute






Posted on Jul. 25, 2018 by Taryn Edwards