Logo for Print

3rd Annual Sierra Writers Conference - Voices and Vision

  • Share
    • Email
Jan 20, 8:15 AM - 4:30 PM
NCC Campus N12 (Multipurpose Center)
250 Sierra College Dr., Grass Valley, CA 95945
$65 early bird and $85 after Jan. 10th (full-day general admission) and $15 for students early or at the door
Lynette Vrooman, lvrooman@sierracollege.edu

Event Details

An event at Sierra CollegeNovelists. Poets. Essayists. Non-fiction writers.
Memoirists. Travel writers. Short story writers.
Beginners. Award-winners. Dreamers. Best sellers.
Writers all … join us for a day of learning, sharing, growing and being inspired to craft your words into the stories, articles and books that only you can write. Also, get the information you need to market yourself and your work. Why? Because the world needs your words and your stories … and it will be FUN!!!

Mark your calendar now … registration opens soon … go to http://www.sierrawritersconference.com/ to find out more.

Schedule of Events:

  • 8:15 –Registration opens - Opening remarks, Emcee Grace Totherow
  • 9:00-10:00 –Keynote Speaker, Gary Noy speaking about The Elegant Utility of Formalized Curiosity, or, The Importance of Research in Writing
  • 10:00-10:20 – Break and refreshments
  • 10:30-11:30 – Breakout Session #1, Creativity

• Performance and Poetry: Chris Olander
• Fiction/YA: Dimitri Keriotis
• Nonfiction: Patricia Dove Miller

  • 11:40-12:00 – Performance interlude
  • 12:10-1:10 – Lunch (bag lunches available with registration)
  • 1:20-2:20 –Breakout Session #2, Revision and Critique

• Performance/Poetry: Grace Totherow
• Fiction/YA: Sands Hall
• Nonfiction: Rachel Howard

  • 2:30-3:30 – Breakout Session #3, Publishing

• Performance/Poetry: Shawn Odyssey
• Fiction/YA: Kim Culbertson
• Nonfiction: Besty Fasbinder

  • 3:30-3:50 – Break and refreshments
  • 4:00-4:30 – Closing performance, Grace Totherow


Gary Noy: Gary Noy has taught history at Sierra Community College from 1987 to the present. The son and grandson of Cornish hardrock gold miners, Gary was born in Grass Valley. In 2006, the Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA), a national historical society, selected Gary as “Educator of the Year.” Gary is the author of Distant Horizon: Documents from the 19th Century American West (1999); co-editor, with Rick Heide, of The Illuminated Landscape: A Sierra Nevada Anthology (2010); Sierra Stories: Tales of Dreamers, Schemers, Bigots and Rogue (2014); and Gold Rush Stories: 49 Tales of Seekers, Scoundrels, Loss and Luck (2017).

Grace Totherow: Since graduating with a BA in Dance in 2001 from Hollins University, Grace Totherow has been immersed in the the performing arts. She was a creative writing mentor to teens and children in Nevada County, CA, traveled in a gypsy wagon playing music throughout the Pacific Northwest, and directed dance theater projects in rural Utah. She created her first one-woman show "Star and Stone" in 2013. Grace recently graduated from a Sign Language Interpreting Program and looks forward to digging into a long, steady journey as an ASL/English interpreter. She currently lives in Portland, OR.

Chris Olander: Chris Olander, Poet/Teacher with Calif. Poets in Schools (Cal-Poets) since 1984, has taught poetry writing and competitive recitation in elementary and high schools, colleges, institutions, festivals, conferences, and privately throughout N. Cal. Washington, Hawaii and beyond. He has published 4 chapbooks; 4 CD's of his spoken poetry; 4 CD's with musical accompaniment with various musicians, and "River Light" a book of of poetry, 2017. He blends performance techniques with spoken word to create an action art poetry: musical image phrasing to dramatize relative experiences--a poetry arising from oral and bardic traditions: a sound poet exploring feelings, ideas, and meanings in rhythm patterns.

Dimitri Keriotis: Dimitri Keriotis’s debut collection of short stories, The Quiet Time, was released by SFA Press. His stories have appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, Georgetown Review, Evening Street Review, Flyway, BorderSenses, and elsewhere. Raised in Northern California, he was educated at UC Santa Cruz, University of Nevada, Reno, CSU Chico, and CSU Stanislaus and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zaire and Bolivia. Keriotis is a college counselor and teaches English at Modesto Junior College. He also teaches creative writing at San Francisco State’s Sierra Field Campus. He and his family live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

Patricia Dove Miller: Patricia Dove Miller has been leading creative writing classes in Nevada County for the past fourteen years. She has attended writing workshops with Natalie Goldberg in Taos, and is an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. She co-led the Women's Writing Salon for seven years. Pat holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College. Her memoir, Bamboo Secrets: One Woman’s Quest Through the Shadows of Japan, was published in 2016, and was recognized as one of the Top Five Finalists in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for 2017.

Sands Hall: Sands is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and holds a second MFA in Theatre Arts. Her experience as director, actor, and playwright gives her a unique perspective on the writing process. She is the author of the novel, Catching Heaven a Random House Reader’s Circle selection; and a book of writing essays and exercises, Tools of the Writer’s Craft. Her short fiction has appeared in such journals as New England Review, Iowa Review and Green Mountains Review. Her produced plays include an adaptation of Alcott’s Little Women and the comic/drama Fair Use. Her memoir, Flunk. Start, is forthcoming in March from Counterpoint Press.

Rachel Howard: Rachel Howard is the author of The Lost Night, a memoir about her father’s unsolved murder, described as “enthralling” by the New York Times. Her forthcoming novel is titled Finalizing. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared in the New Yorker Online, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, ZYZZYVA, Gulf Coast, and other journals. She frequently teaches online courses for Stanford Continuing Studies, and has served as Joan Beebe Fellow and Interim Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing at Warren Wilson College, and as Distinguished Visiting Writer in the MFA program of St. Mary’s College of California. www.rachelhoward.com

Shawn Odyssey: Shawn Thomas Odyssey has lived in Nevada County for ten years and is the Edgar and Agatha Award nominated author of the critically acclaimed Oona Crate Mystery Series. In 2011 he was a top twenty “New Voices” pick from the American Booksellers Association, and his works have been translated into multiple languages. An accomplished composer and musician, Shawn has composed musical scores for film and TV, including HBO’s Deadwood. His eight years working in professional theatre left him with an affinity for the dramatic, while his passion for poetry has pushed him to the page for more than twenty-five years.

Kim Culbertson: Kim is the award-winning author of the YA novels Songs for a Teenage Nomad (Sourcebooks 2010), Instructions for a Broken Heart (Sourcebooks 2011), Catch a Falling Star (Scholastic 2014), The Possibility of Now (Scholastic 2016), and The Wonder of Us (Scholastic 2017). Much of her inspiration comes from the work she’s done as a high school teacher since 1997. In 2012, Kim wrote her eBook novella The Liberation of Max McTrue for her students, who, over the years, have taught her far more than she has taught them. She is a member of SCBWI, Sierra Writers, and the National Writing Project Writers Council. She currently lives in Nevada City, CA, with her husband and daughter.

Betsy Fasbinder: Betsy Graziani Fasbinder is focused on writing and coaching. Her debut novel is Fire & Water published in 2013 by She Writes Press. Fire & Water was honored with the silver medal in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards and has received Honorable Mentions in the Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco Book Festivals. In 2017 she published the memoir, Filling Her Shoes: A Memoir of an Inherited Family (also She Writes Press) and is working on a non-fiction help book for writers, Public Speaking for Writers and Other Introverts.

Related Events

Sierra Writer's Conference

Jan 26, 9:15 AM - 4:15 PM

Latest Update
Featured Video