Writers' retreat set for foothills

Sun-Star correspondentAugust 23, 2012 

If you find yourself scribbling bits of conversations and first impressions on disposable napkins, old shopping lists or any scrap of paper, chances are you're a writer.

If your idea of relaxation is composing letters, poetic verses or stories to make the imagination soar, you're probably a writer.

If you find it easier to put your thoughts on paper than to speak what's on your mind ...

If a stack of books sits by your bedside or your favorite chair ...

If old notebooks and journals are filled with lengthy descriptions, humorous anecdotes, narratives or memoirs, either from your imagination or real life experiences, a writers retreat just might interest you.

The Sonora Writers Group is hosting its first writers retreat next month, September 28-30. In the historic Gold Rush town of Columbia, authors from the area will teach workshops and mingle with participants, share writing tips, autograph copies of their books and answer questions.

Charity Maness, author, columnist and founder of the Copper Gazette, an online newspaper in Copperopolis, will be the guest speaker at the retreat. Her published works include a memoir of motherhood, several romantic novels, plus collections of stories and letters from military veterans.

She was instrumental in forming the VFW in Copperopolis and is working toward establishing the first annual Veteran's Day Parade.

Alexander Chow-Stuart, screenwriter and author, is also on the program, as well as Madison Seamans, DVM, and Wendy Brown-Barry, both cowboy poets. The Devil Mountain Boys will provide musical entertainment.

Workshops cover the following subjects: A Novelist's Journey, Fantasy Isn't Just for Bedtime Anymore, Creating Your Ebook, The Taste of Poetry, How to Do a Who-Done-It, Writing and Illustrating for Children, Self-Publishing Pros and Cons, and the Essence of Humor Writing.

For retreat information, class schedules and registration, visit www.sonorawriters.org. Some of the weekend's events are free and open to the public. Pre-registration for workshops and meals is due by Aug. 31, and a discount is available for those registering early. Contact Jill Klajic-Ryan at (209) 743-8097 or mjkay@yahoo.com.

Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. She can be reached at composed@tds.net.

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