Friday, February 11, 2011

The International Women's Writing Guild Presents The California Conference

The International Women's Writing Guild


The California Conference:

The Alchemy of Language: Turning Simple Words into Shimmering Works

Friday, March 18 to Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bosch Bahái School, 500 Comstock Lane, Santa Cruz, California

Setting: The California Conference, in its 28th year, takes place at Bosch Bahai School, a 67 acre retreat center situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains among the Redwood Trees.

Program: How do we transform our simple thoughts into works that will transfix the reader? Can we become borrowers, using the information and form the great masters; nature's images, and our own poetic lines? The alchemy of language stems from being open to inspiration wherever we find it. Come join us in finding robust nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs to make our writing shimmer.


Imitation to Originality - Modeling Our Work on the Masters': Richelle McClain

Nature as Thesaurus - Culling Vibrant Images from the Pages of Nature: Mary Reynolds Thompson

Poetry as Springboard - Start with a Poem; Finish with a Flourish: Rachel de Baere

Workshop Directors:

Richelle McClain, Mary Reynolds Thoompson, and Rachel de Baere (see website for bios)

Conference Fees:


Weekend guests inclusive of entire program, two nights room and all meals: $375

Weekend commuters inclusive of program, exclusive of room and meals: $160

Day attendees - Saturday Only: $125

Day attendees - Sunday Only: $55


Weekend guests inclusive of entire program, two nights room and all meals: $395

Weekend commuters inclusive of program, exclusive of room and meals: $180

Day attendees - Saturday Only: $150

Day attendees - Sunday Only - $70

Registration Deposit (will be applied to the registration fee): $60

Meals: Breakfast ($9), Lunch ($12), Dinner ($13)

IWWG Annual Membership: $55

Payment: Payment may be made by credit card at Click on Events/Calandar. Or send a check made out to IWWG and mail it to: IWWG, P.O. Box 810, New York, NY 10028.

Regional IWWG Representatives:

Northern California: Rachel de Baere (415) 456-4574,

IWWG Headquarters: Hannelore Hahn (212) 737-7536,

Online Class: Introduction to The Art of Journal Writing

Teleseminar: Introduction to the Art of Journal Writing
March 2, 9 and 16, 2011 8:30-9:30pm
Host: Gizelle Alexander

This three week online series is designed to introduce individuals to the concept, history, uses and benefits of keeping a journal. We will also explore ways of staying focused after the initial impetus, and I will provide you with useful writing prompts to get your ideas flowing. Whether you have kept a journal in the past and would like to reinvigorate that passion, or the thought of hiding away of secret book intrigues you, this three week series is guaranteed to educate and inspire!

Sign up now. Early Bird pricing applies!

Please note, once you have reserved your spot for this unique series, you will be e-mailed materials on what phone number and PIN # you will be using to get in on the call. I'll also provide registered individuals with a link so that you may join us online where you'll have the option of typing questions and comments during the call.



Gizelle Alexander is a distinguished member of Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Communications and Literature from The City College of New York. She has over 20 years writing experience and has been published in the following genres: poetry, fiction, inspirational and creative non-fiction. She is a regional representative of The International Women's Writing Guild, serves as a moderator for a fiction book club in her community and is a board member of Church Street Ministries, an organization that serves at risk youth and their families in The Greater Waterbury Area of Connecticut. Gizelle has served as a substitute teacher for middle school children, and has done motivation coaching and tutoring for that particular demographic.  She is expanding her role as facilitator in the areas of creativity and empowerment through her writing projects, workshops and life coaching sessions.

Write From the Start: Workshop and Q&A

Write From the Start: Workshop and Q&A

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Danbury Public Library

The HVCA Writers Forum presents the Write From the Start interactive workshop with writer and editor Adele Annesi.

Write From the Start is an interactive workshop for fiction and nonfiction writers of all levels that examines the first paragraphs of a story to reveal the problems most likely to recur throughout. Participants receive constructive feedback, from an editor's perspective, on how to spot and fix difficulties with word order, tone, voice, narrative, structure, dialogue, theme and plot. For optimal results, bring the first two pages of a current writing project. This two-hour workshop includes Q&A, handouts (with bibliography) and a hot-linked list of the latest literary markets and resources. The cost is $10 for HVCA members and $15 for nonmembers.

Space is limited and registration is required. For registration or more information, contact Lisa Scails.

Housatonic Valley Cultural Alliance
Writers Forum
Danbury Public Library
170 Main Street, Danbury , CT 06810

HVCA P.203.798.0760

Library P.203-797-4505

Contact Lisa Scails:

Westport Writers Workshop - upcoming events

Fortunately, all those snow cancellations left us with plenty of quiet time to get more writing done. Right?

If you're like most of us, your answer is Wrong! Because the simple truth is, most of us need a deadline - a workshop, an editor, a book contract - to get us writing. Not to mention all those school cancellations that practically forced many of us to take up home schooling.

So if you're berating yourself for getting not much done, go easy on yourself. Here's a great quote by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love:

"As for discipline - it's important, but sort of over-rated. The more important virtue for a writer, I believe, is self-forgiveness. Because your writing will always disappoint you. Your laziness will always disappoint you. You will make vows: 'I'm going to write for an hour every day,' and then you won't do it. You will think: 'I suck, I'm such a failure. I'm washed-up.' Continuing to write after that heartache of disappointment doesn't take only discipline, but also self-forgiveness."

If you would like more encouragement - or a boost to to get your writing engine re-started - we invite you to  the following:

"Blocked? How To Get Unstuck"
March 5, 9 a.m. to noon in Westport

Registration is limited at both to make sure that there is time for focus on each writer's issues and writing goals.

For more information call (203) 227-3250 or email us at



Please sign up to share your work with us at our rescheduled Open Mic Nights. Read a selection of your work to an audience of your peers and other interested listeners. Or just come to listen and be inspired.

Fiction/Nonfiction Open Mic Night:
Thursday, March 10, 7:30 to 9:30 pm

Poetry Open Mic Night:
Thursday, March 24, 7:30 to 9:30 pm

Each reader will be allotted a maximum of 10 minutes. Please sign-up in advance by calling (203) 227-3250 to receive a time slot. Priority will be given to those who registered for our January Open Mic nights that were canceled due to weather. But we must hear from you to re-reserve your spot.

Admission is $10, or free for Westport Writers' Workshop members or those currently registered in an 8-week or 6-week workshop. Or if you register and pay to read your work, bring your friends and supporters at no charge.

This will be a relaxed and social evening. Coffee/tea, cookies and camaraderie are on the house.


This month, a contribution from WWW Founder/Director Jessica Bram:

I can't tell you how tired I am of hearing that 'all the good memoirs have been written.' Memoirs by celebrities, or tabloid-style writing about dramatic events: Maybe so. But there is always something deliciously new and intimate about being invited into even the most ordinary person's life in a well-written memoir.

I have recently been enjoying J.R. Moehringer's The Tender Bar (Hyperion, 2005), the story of how a fatherless boy found guidance and solace, along with the much-desired company of men, in a corner tavern.

Writers will be particularly interested in this bit of wisdom Moehringer receives from a priest he meets on a train:

"Can I tell you something?" the priest asked. "Do you know why God invented writers? Because He loves a good story. And He doesn't give a damn about words. Words are the curtain we've hung between Him and our true selves. Try not to think about the words. Don't strain for the perfect sentence. There's no such thing. Writing is guesswork. Every sentence is an educated guess, the reader's as much as yours. Think about that the next time you curl a piece of paper into your typewriter."

Do you have a book rave or writing wisdom to share? Send it to:


Writers' Retreat 2011

Registrations will soon begin for our retreat scheduled for May 12-16, 2011 at a gorgeous oceanside location in Watch Hill, RI, when seven writers will gather with retreat leaders Suzanne Hoover and Jessica Bram for four luxurious days of quiet writing and evening workshops

Call (203) 227-3250 to let us know if you would like to be added to a list for priority registration. Or stand by for announcement.

Explore healing to the root ... and free your creativity!

In honor of Black History Month . . . I am pleased to announce a new post on my blog, PoliPsych, which delves into the roots of prejudice and bigotry in each of us . . . and the vast healing of prejudice that is possible!

To read this article, Why Do We Have To Do This Over And Over? Exploring The Roots of Prejudice, please visit


Recently a bill, redefining rape, was proposed before Congress. As it was proposed, this bill could have an enormous impact on the lives of women.

H.R.3, The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act was, in truth, a war on women's power, a war on women's protection, a war on women's access to help . . . a war against women!

In response I have written a post on my blog, PoliPsych, exploring the roots of this bill in specific, and of any act in the war currently being waged against women in our hearts, our country, and our world.

To read this post, please visit

Depth psychotherapist Judith Barr, author of Power Abused, Power Healed invites her sister writers and IWWG members to explore the many ways we can heal to the root!

In private practice for over 30 years, and offering her healing expertise in an array of formats, Judith’s unique and innovative work helps people make a connection between their inner world, their own individual relationships and experiences, and the state of our nation and our world. She works with people in the creative arts on the roots of both what is blocking their creative flow and what is trying to birth itself to be healed through their artistic expression.

In her monthly newsletter, Judith teaches about how healing to the root can help heal not only ourselves . . . but our whole world.

To sign up to receive Judith’s free newsletter and announcements of upcoming events, articles, blog posts and more, please visit

If you feel called to explore working with Judith, please email her at