Debbie Croft: Opportunities for those who write

December 28, 2012 


On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant, instituting the preservation of American lands as a national interest. The first national park created by this act was Yosemite.

The 150th anniversary of this landmark event will be held on June 30, 2014. Already National Park Service staff and employees are planning and organizing special activities to commemorate the occasion.

In addition to activities held in the park and in gateway communities, a book will be published. Short stories up to 1,000 words are being sought, describing the experiences and memories of visitors to Yosemite. Once in print, the book will be available for purchase.

Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher recently stated, "One of my passions is hearing from park visitors how Yosemite has impacted their lives in a positive way. This book is a great way to record those experiences ..."

Professional and amateur writers are encouraged to submit their written reflections for consideration. Only 150 submissions will be selected. Submit stories electronically at, or by mail to Kassandra Hardy, Yosemite National Park,

P.O. Box 577, Yosemite 95389.

Feb. 1 is the deadline. Email for more information.

In Sonora on the first Friday of each month, it's Open Mic Night for poets, writers, storytellers and playwrights. Sonora Joe's Coffee Shoppe has invited The Word Project to use its space for a relaxing evening of great coffee, snacks and friendship.

The next meeting will be on Jan. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sonora Joe's, 140 S. Washington St. Those interested in participating should come early to sign up. For details, email

Stories enable a reader to see the world through a pair of eyes other than his or her own.

Beginning in January, the Mariposa County Arts Council will offer a workshop specifically for those desiring to learn more about writing short stories. Charles B. Mosher, published author and columnist, will instruct this six-week course.

Four writers who attended past workshops are now published.

Mosher has traveled extensively around the world. From these memorable experiences come the ideas for his stories: walking drenched in jungle rain, tasting L.A. smog, breathing in the thick fragrance of summer jasmine, and swinging through crisp mountain air.

His column, Public Health Notes, appears periodically in the Mariposa Gazette.

Besides learning artistry and techniques, and developing writing skills, participants gain much through feedback and interaction with other writers.

Mosher says, "In the class students learn over a dozen specific skills that will be applied to their writing ... with the goal of being published."

Mosher occasionally reads his stories on National Public Radio.

Samples of Mosher's writing can be read at his website,

The workshop will be held at MCAC's Treetop Gallery on Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m., beginning Jan. 9 and continuing through

Feb. 13. Registration is $50, and is due no later than Jan. 7. For registration or details, call (209) 966-3155 or email The gallery is located at 5009 Highway 140 at the south end of Mariposa.

Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. She can be reached at

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