Special features: * Supporting Our Troops Through Writing * Community Events * New Critique Group
April 2013

Spring 2013
Support Our Troops the Write Way
By Jan Westmore As neighborhoods began to light up with Christmas sparkle, and carols filled the radio waves, an ―Adopt a Soldier‖ website landed on my iPAD screen. I immediately filed for approval. My new friend and I began exchanging emails, and I mailed an occasional giftbox. That’s when I learned the obvious. Soldiers yearn for a material communication, be it a parcel, a postcard or a hand-written letter. Many of us remember as kids being at summer camp during mail call. What a thrill to hear our names and run up to retrieve our letters and packages. Imagine how important it is when you are thousands of miles from home in a foreign land under the stress of warfare. Some of my local friends help box goodies and other care package fare on a regular basis for our troops deployed overseas, but I have never jumped in to help. Then, I watched a friend approach a complete stranger at the airport offering him a hug and words of gratitude. The soldier hugged her and said, ―Thank you‖. I finally got it. We can give back to our troops so easily with a word or a hug, a note or package. As a writer, what could be more natural than sharing a few words? My new history book Images of America: Colfax came out in January 2013. Initially, I got totally wrapped up in my radio interviews, presentations and signings. Even though I have a publicist, my initiative and personal contacts escalated the coveted sales. Somehow in the process, a mental collision occurred between my desire to support my country, and its soldiers, and the promotion of my book. I had already sent a copy to my adopted soldier, after she voiced her interest in reading it. What about other soldiers? Could I find a way to send copies to U. S. military actually from the Colfax area now stationed overseas? Such a gift might help them to feel appreciated and more connected to home. I uncovered Placer County’s ―Touch of Home‖ program. Like many such efforts in other communities, this team packages boxes for the troops. Although, the volunteers cannot divulge the identity of the recipients, the program director welcomed my book contributions for local soldiers on their list. I include a note of appreciation and support that greets each soldier as he, or she, flips open the cover. Joy surged through me as I handed over the first copy to a volunteer. What can you do? We write for the love of words, to see
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Inside this issue:
Support Our 1 Troops the Write Way President’s Message New Critique Group Resources Board Contacts Calendar/ Meetings Community Events/ Announcements 3 5 6

7 8-10

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Support Our Troops (cont.)
our words and names in print and to share compelling stories, whether fact or fiction. Let’s all help our soldiers overseas by conveying the gift of gratitude – the gift of home – our letters and our work. Adopt a soldier. Send copies of your books or magazine articles. It matters not what your political bent or your position on foreign policy. Few sacrifice more for us, for our country, than those in our armed forces, especially the ones in war zones overseas. Find a way to Support Our Troops the Write Way. Adopt a Soldier: Touch Of Home Placer County: MAIL: Touch Of Home P.O. Box 8173 Auburn, CA 95604 EMAIL:

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. ~ Ben Franklin

“We write for the
love of words, to see our words and names in print and to share compelling stories, whether fact or fiction. Let’s all help our soldiers overseas by conveying the gift of gratitude – the gift of home – our letters and our work. Adopt a soldier. ”

Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the byproduct of other activities. ~ Aldous Huxley

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President’s Message
A warm welcome to all of the new members you’ve joined us over the last few months. Many of these members have visited our Open Reads (held in March, and again in October), and I’ve seen them in the smallgroup critiques. Ron Cherry’s group, held every-other-Tuesday was bursting at the seams a few weeks’ back, as was Jan Westmore’s nonfiction group. Tracy Deliman’s ―Nonfiction,etc.‖ group has seen some real growth, although she is open to welcoming new members. Please see the website for further information if you are interested in getting valuable feedback on your writing. I’m really proud of all the ways Sierra Writers tries to reach out to and assist the writers in our Foothills community. Besides the Open Reads, we’ve helped members (and nonmembers) establish websites to get their names and writing out into the cyberworld, launching and maintaining that all-important ―author platform.‖ For anyone who missed those meetings in December and January, get in touch with me about how you can jump on the author website bandwagon. In February, author Jan Westmore shared her latest published effort, Images of America: Colfax. Jan continues to give talks in the area on the research she completed for the book; visit her website for details Our April 10 meeting welcomes well-known director Sandra Rockman, offering a workshop entitled Let Them Speak! Using Dialogue to Power Your Writing. In this hands-on class, Sandra will show how to strengthen your writing through dialogue, using examples from novels and plays. Participants are encouraged to bring a short one-page narrative section of their work for an exercise in adding dialogue to narration for a more powerful ―show‖ rather than ―tell.‖ Meetings are always the second Wednesday at the Madelyn Helling Community Room, 980 Helling Way, Nevada City. For more information, log on to or call 205-5068. April 1 marked final submissions for the 13th Annual Lee Roddy Young Writers’ Contest. Local Teenagers with winning stories of 2,000 words will win cash prizes of $300, $200, and $100 respectively. Look for an announcement regarding the winners, then join us in May as they share their stories. As happened last year, winners’ stories will be published in the Lake Wildwood Literary Review with help from Mike Lambert. Do you have questions about our organization and how to get information out there? Feel free to ask. I am always open, by e-mail or phone. Babette Donaldson is our Webmaster, and can help get announcements out if you are interested in getting a group started or promoting an event that would benefit Sierra Writers. If you need help with a membership question, Joanne Brown is the person to contact at She does an excellent job of recapping our meetings and warmly welcoming new members, as well as updating our membership roster. Marty Austin, Treasurer, makes sure dues and monies from our raffles are all accounted for, and Susan Mone generously gives her time as Newsletter Editor. Please contact Susan with announcements, writing tips, and events to give our quarterly Newsletter substance of benefit to the group. Publicity is now being deftly handled by our new Publicity and Marketing Coordinator, Shirley DicKard. If you’ve learned about our events through the Prospector, Shirley is the one to thank. I’m so thankful, this year, for time and help given by Loydyne Lane and Joan Naszady on the Young Writer’s Contest. They assisted in getting the word out to schools and other organizations, and Loydyne secured additional prizes for the contest winners. Lucinda Porter also sent out a ―fax blast,‖ reminding schools of our organization’s ongoing support of the youth of our community.
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Spring 2013

President’s Message (cont.)
schools of our organization’s ongoing support of the youth of our community. Remember, Sierra Writers is a member-run organization. There are many ways you can help keep Sierra Writers strong:  Pay dues  Attend the monthly meetings  Promote Sierra Writers’ monthly events and special events verbally or through advertisement at your place of business (ask how!)  Get ―physically‖ involved. We are all busy with our daily lives. It is easy to stay in the shadows and just assume an organization will keep running on its own. Ask yourself: if Sierra Writers went away tomorrow, would it be missed by you or by someone in the community? For some, SW is the only connection with writing they have, so it is important. Ask me how YOU can be involved. If you would like to see a specific program sponsored by the group, let me know. We are open to all ideas, as long as it promotes the writing activities in our area. Currently, our June meeting is open for suggestions. Happy writing, Susan Gabrielle 205-5068

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About Our Members

Susan Gabrielle’s short poem was selected for Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga, published by Dos Gatos Press. ~ Other News Need some feedback on your writing? New Critique Group Seeks Members Tracy Deliman has recently started a new critique group called "Nonfiction, etc." Tracy is mostly a nonfiction writer, but also writes screenplays and poetry, so is open to including these genres in the critique group, as well as other forms of writing. She looks for the opportunity to give and receive meaningful critique for the writing, but also to develop a sense of camaraderie among fellow writers. The next meeting for this group will be held at Tracy's home in Alta Sierra. Please contact Tracy at or 510.725.5454 if you’re interested in joining. ~

Promotional Opportunity – Book Signings There are many good writers in our Sierra Writers community, but some are having difficulty getting the exposure to the reading public they deserve. Some of them are published by smaller houses that provide no publicity and some are independently published. As part of the promotional activities Sierra Writers offers to its members, we are looking at other ways to help our local writers. One way to do that is by arranging book signings at one or more of our local bookstores, spreading the word about the successes our group has experienced in the publishing industry. We have no definite date at the moment, but would like to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in the project. If you are interested, please contact Susan Gabrielle –

Welcome to our new members. Please let us know something about you. Send us your bio information for our website and/or an article about yourself for our newsletter (email: Babette Donaldson It’s good practice for self-promotion.

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Get involved with Sierra Writers Resources
Sierra Writers Sierra Writers in looking for Board members and volunteers to help with publicity, programs, and a variety of other opportunities. The publicity position is a great well to strengthen your PR skills as well as to help our organization grow. All of our board and volunteer positions are rewarding and without a huge time commitment. Members may have their own web pages, which they may use in a variety of ways. Members may use their page to introduce themselves, to link users to information on how to purchase their books, or to link back to their own website. A new feature of the Sierra Writers website is a page listing links to our members’ blogs. To add your info, contact Babette Donaldson,

A good article on a writer’s experience with self-publishing. Have you visited any great websites for writers? Found must-have software, applications, or tools? Share what works for you.

Note: Critique and writing support groups are open only to members of Sierra Writers Poetry Critique Group Contact Susan Gabrielle ~ Fiction critique group For information, contact Ron Cherry (530) 478-5616; This group is actively seeking new members. Critique includes editing comments as well as structural and narrative suggestions. We hope you’ll join us! ~ Nonfiction critique group For information, contact Jan Westmore (530) 265-0718; ~ Nonfiction etc. critique group For information contact Tracy Deliman at or (510) 725-5454. ~ If you want help starting a critique group, or want to be in touch with members with similar genres, information may be found at:


Our Board
President, Susan Gabrielle, Treasurer, Marty Austin, Membership Coordinator, Joanne Brown, Publicity, Shirley DicKard, Webmaster, Babette Donaldson, Program Coordinator, Open Young Writers Contest, Open

Newsletter Staff
Please send all newsletter submissions to Susan Mone, Susan Mone, Susan Gabrielle,

Summer Issue Pub. July 1st, Deadline – June 1st Theme: Travel writing, Periodical/Internet writing, Non-fiction. (Theme is suggestion only at this time.)
Submission guidelines can be found at

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Unless noted otherwise, all meetings are held at the Madelyn Helling Library Community Room 980 Helling Way, Nevada City at 6:30 PM

If you have ideas for events you’d like to see sponsored by Sierra Writers, please contact s_gabrielle@sbcglobal .net

Upcoming Meetings April 10, 2013— Program to be announced ~ May 08, 2013—Program to be announced ~ June 12, 2013—Program to be announced

*If you have ideas for events you’d like to see sponsored by Sierra Writers, please contact * ~
Sierra Writers offers speaker meetings, critique groups, a newsletter, a membership directory, the young writer contest, and our everexpanding website. Sierra Writers supports the Nevada County library and other community activities. Membership in Sierra Writers provides peer support and a venue for all of us to grow as writers.

Wanted: Gently-used or new books for raffle. All the proceeds go to our Young Writers Contest. Bring books you’d like to donate to any meeting or email

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Community Events
Details on each event are listed on our website at

~ Let Them Speak! Using Dialogue to Power Your Writing. Sierra Writers hosts a free workshop for writers with Director Sandra Rockman on Wednesday, April 10, 6:30 pm in the Madelyn Helling Library Community Room. In this hands-on class, Sandra will show how to strengthen your writing through dialogue, using examples from novels and plays. Participants are encouraged to bring a short one-page narrative section of their work for an exercise in adding dialogue to narration for a more powerful ―show‖ rather than ―tell.‖ Sandra moved to Nevada County in 1978 and joined the nascent Foothill Theatre Company, first as an actress, then director, and finally Artistic Director until 1992. She has acted in or directed more than 30 productions, including the 2012 Sierra Stages' "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," for which she received an Elly nomination for Best Director of a Musical. She currently teaches workshops in acting, improvisation and playwriting. Sandra’s articles, stories and essays have also been published in newspapers, journals and anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul II.

Coming Tuesday evenings in April: Speechcraft: A 4-Week Course in Public Speaking Led by Sharon Delgado Authors are frequently called upon to speak publicly about their writings. Members of Sierra Writers are invited to sign up for a 4-week public speaking course called Speechcraft, which is an Introductory program of Toastmasters International. The course is being sponsored by the local ExcelOrators Toastmasters club, and will be led by Sharon Delgado, a member of Sierra Writers and current Area Governor of the five local Toastmasters clubs. The series will be held on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on April 16, 23, 30, and May 2 at the Nevada City United Methodist Church, 433 Broad Street in Nevada City. There will be a small fee for materials, a sliding scale of $10 to $25 for the series. This series will help you overcome your fear of public speaking; give you assistance, practice, and feedback on your speeches; and help you become familiar with local Toastmaster members and clubs. For more information or to sign up contact Sharon Delgado at or 265-5976. To find out more about the Toastmasters Speechcraft program, go to

Events Cont. pg 9

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NFWC 2013 - Save the Date! The Nonfiction Writers Conference returns May 8 - 10, 2013. Once again we will have 15 educational presentations over three days, presented by industry experts. And there will be some surprises thrown into the mix! Speakers will be announced soon, but due to popular demand, early bird registration is now open! Save 50% off with this discount code: NFWC50. Register here. New NFWC Website The conference website has been redesigned and migrated over to Wordpress. Check it out!
~ Nevada City, CA - Nevada County Arts and the Magic Lantern Film Society present “Pages to Reel” a unique experience that combines the appeal of a book club with the opportunity to be a film critic. Many of the greatest films of all time were adapted from great works of literature, for example, Casablanca, A Room With a View, The Great Gatsby, No Country for Old Men, Brokeback Mountain, and The English Patient, to name just a few. On Friday, April 5th, Pages to Reel kicks off with "On the Road" starring Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart (Twilight series), and Amy Adams, directed by Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, at the Magic Theatre, an intimate 60-seat Art House Theatre in the 7-Hills Business District in Nevada City. After the film, attendees are encouraged to stay and take part in discussion on the many themes Kerouac touched on in the novel including religion and spirituality, masculinity and patriarchy, travel and self-discovery, among others, lead by renowned local poet Chris Olander. He will speak about the social and political backdrop of the novel and the novel's influence on American culture. Copies of the book On the Road can be purchased at Harmony Books and The Book Seller. KNOW & GO What: Nevada County Arts and The Magic Lantern Film Society present Pages to Reel: On the Road When: Friday, April 5, 2013 Where: Magic Theatre, 107 Argall Way, Nevada City, 95959 Doors 630pm, Film 7pm, Discussion 9pm Tickets: $9/GA, $7/Student and Senior, Discount to NCArts and Magic Lantern Film Society Members Seating limited to 60 More info: or

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Nevada County’s Women’s Writing Salon - Spring 2013 Who? The featured writers for this Salon are:  Shirley DicKard  Jan Fischler  Sands Hall  Eleanore MacDonald  Patricia Dove Miller  Jean Varda What? The Women’s Writing Salon is an event that has grown in popularity over its seven years in existence and a terrific way to have a just-before-supper gathering with friends and fellow word lovers. The Salon occurs 3-4 times a year and each event features six different local and regional women writers, each reading selections of poetry and prose. Men are enthusiastically welcomed to attend! When? Saturday, April 27th at 4 p.m. We invite you to come early, grab a cuppa and a nosh, and settle in. Where? Tomes/Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters, 671 Maltman Drive, Grass Valley, 530-477-5282. Why? The Salon is a short respite from our busy lives and allows us to sit back and relax, letting the wordsmiths take us from our world to theirs and back again. From tragedy to comedy, sensuality to inspiration, the Salon readers always serve up some surprises. Treat yourself! Special note: For this and future Salons we have a suggested donation of $5 to offset the costs involved. Students or those for whom this cost is prohibitive may enjoy a free and guiltless entry. For more information about the Salon please feel free to contact its co-producers: Patricia Dove Miller, Betsy Graziani Fasbinder,

Sierra Writers members may use this newsletter or the website to promote their book, classes, or other workshops. Organizations that serve the writing community of Nevada County may submit announcements to upcoming events. Send information to Susan Mone,

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Any healthy man can go without food for two days - but not without poetry. ~ Charles Baudelaire

Support the Newsletter
We’re on the web.

Consider submitting your writing for the quarterly Newsletter. Perhaps you attended a notable workshop or class and it helped your writing blossom. Maybe some feedback on your own writing will help other writers. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to have a regular quarterly column offering tips from your favorite writers. Submissions do not have to be long. Small ―sidebars,‖ tips, publication notes, or snippets from your current work-in-progress are always considered.

If you want to join our members-only Yahoo group, visit http:// group/sierrawriters and click on the button, ―Join this Group.‖

Is there a Newsletter to which you subscribe that you eagerly await each month? Sierra Writers would like its Newsletter to be of benefit to the members, opened each quarter with the understanding that it will contain information valuable in the writing journey. Will you help?