In partnership with the Womens' National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter and moderated by President Brenda Knight.
What are the secrets to success for novels? At least one of them is structure -- our speakers will share the approaches that have garnered them bestseller status, awards and rave reviews. Learn what role planning and research play and how to make your scenes, settings, and characters realistic and compulsively readable from beginning to end. There will be Q&A followed by book signings; bring your lunch, a notebook and plenty of questions! Coffee, tea and dessert will be provided.
Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte is an Oakland multidisciplinary writer whose works artfully succeed in getting across deeper meanings about life and the politics of race and economics without breaking out of the narrative, with Oakland often serving as the backdrop for her touching and often hilarious works. Her first book, A Dollar Five-Stories From A Baby Boomer's Ongoing Journey (2014) has been described as "rich in vivid imagery", and "incredible." Her second book, All That and More's Wedding (2016), a collection of fictional mystery/crime short stories, is praised as "imaginative with colorful and likeable characters that draw you in to each story and leave you wanting more." Her latest book, Running for the 2:10 (2017), a follow-on to A Dollar Five, delves deeper into her coming of age in Oakland and the embedded issues of race and skin color with one reviewer calling it "... a great contribution to literature." Her fictional story, "Uncle Martin" will be published by Medusa's Laugh Press Summer 2019. She currently has a novel in progress titled Betrayal on the Bayou, slated for publication in early 2020. She is also a contributor to award winning author Kate Farrell's upcoming book Story Power, an anthology on how writers build and create their stories. It has been said that Sheryl "brings down the house" with presentations of her stories (both true and fictional) and poetry. Her poems "Cutty Sark and Milk (She Said, She Said)" and "Childthink" were winners in the 2019 San Lorenzo Library Literary Contest. She is still often asked to read "The Last Collard Green," one of her most popular fiction stories, published by Synchronized Chaos Magazine in 2017.
Mary Mackey is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels, including The Earthsong Series—four novels which describe how the peaceful Goddess-worshiping people of Prehistoric Europe fought off patriarchal nomad invaders (The Village of Bones, The Year The Horses Came, The Horses at the Gate, and The Fires of Spring). Mary's novels have been praised by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Pat Conroy, Thomas Moore, Marija Gimbutas, Maxine Hong Kingston, Marge Piercy, and Theodore Roszak for their historical accuracy, inventiveness, literary grace, vividness, and storytelling magic. They have made The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller Lists, been translated into twelve foreign languages and sold over a million and a half copies. Mary has also written seven collections of poetry including Sugar Zone, winner of the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award. This September Marsh Hawk Press will publish a collection of her new and selected poems entitled The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams. At marymackey.com, you can get the latest news about Mary's books and public appearances, sample her work, sign up for her newsletter, and get writing advice. You can also find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @MMackeyAuthor.
Martha Conway’s latest novel, The Underground River, was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. She is also the author of Thieving Forest, which won the North American Book Award in Historical Fiction, and Sugarland, which was named one of Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2016. Martha’s short fiction has appeared in the Iowa Review, Mississippi Review, The Quarterly, Carolina Quarterly, and other publications. She has reviewed fiction for the San Francisco Chronicle and the Iowa Review, and is a recipient of a California Arts Council fellowship in Creative Writing. In addition to writing, Martha is an instructor of creative writing at Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program and UC Berkeley Extension. She received her BA from Vassar College in History and English, and her MA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Born and raised in Ohio, she now lives in San Francisco with her family, where the fog reminds her of lake-effect cloud cover in Cleveland. Martha tweets ten-minute prompts every weekday on twitter (#10minprompt) via @marthamconway.