Literary Salon: Members’ Open Mic for National Poetry Month with Marin Poet Laureate Rebecca Foust: Prose and Poetry Writers Welcome! đź—“

Literary Salon:  Members’ Open Mic for National Poetry Month with Marin Poet Laureate Rebecca Foust: Prose and Poetry Writers Welcome!

Rebecca Foust

Monday, April 1st, 2019 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera ||

Poetry, prose—who cares, so long as the writing is good? LCW Founder Linda Watanabe McFerrin finds poetry in the best prose, and LCW member and bestselling novelist Jasmin Darznik says that “genre is the fiction.” Contemporary literature seems to agree. Let’s celebrate both at an open mic in honor of National Poetry month.

Please come with two pieces of work, each 500 words or fewer. Prosers—find the poetry hot spots in your work, polish up a flash piece, excerpt your favorite passage from something you are working on now. Poets, bring poems. Haiku, prose poetry, formal poetry, narrative poems—we want to hear it all! We’ll try to make time for everyone to read at least one piece, and a second if possible, and for this reason time limits will be strictly enforced. A sign-up sheet will be available at the beginning of the event.

The evening will be hosted by LCW member and Marin Poet Laureate Rebecca Foust, who will be scouting this event for possible features for her Poetry Sunday column for Women’s Voices for Change.

Special Guest: Nationally acclaimed poet and translator Cole Swensen earned her BA and MA  from SF State (more…)

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Ferry Plaza Book Party: Linda Watanabe McFerrin in Conversation with David Downie, Author of The Gardener of Eden đź—“

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK EVENT: Linda Watanabe McFerrin in Conversation with David Downie, Author of The Gardener of Eden

David Downie

Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Monday, March 11th, 2019 || 6pm Book Passage || Ferry Building, San Francisco ||

A mysterious beachcomber appears one day on the coastal bluffs near the small town of Carverville, a place whose best days are long behind it. Who is he, and why has he returned after nearly forty years? Carverville’s prodigal son, James, serendipitously finds work at a gentrified motel, but his homecoming soon takes a sinister turn when he and a local teenager make a gruesome discovery on the beach. It forces him to reckon with the ghosts of his past—and the dangers of the present. Rumors, distrust, and conspiracies spread among the townsfolk, all of them seemingly trapped in their claustrophobic and isolated world. But is there something more sinister at work here than the mere fear of outsiders? In The Gardener of Eden, David Downie weaves an intricate and compelling narrative of redemption, revenge, justice, love, and the price of secrecy—as a community grapples with its tortured past and frightening future.Come and hear LCW founder Linda Watanabe McFerrin in conversation with David Downie, author of the critically acclaimed A Taste of Paris, as well as the newly released The Gardener of Eden. Below are a few snippets about The Gardener of Eden.

“Original, lively, engaging, unexpected, sharp, and poetic. Downie is a master of the eerie and bizarre.”
— Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen

“A mystery pitch-perfect for the time and place. Compelling and more than a little ominous.”
—Patricia Bracewell, best-selling author of the Emma of Normandy Trilogy

“Downie’s poetic, evocative, lyrical style sweeps you up and his characters live on long after you’ve finished reading.”
—Ellen Crosby, author of Harvest of Secrets

David Downie has called Paris and the Marais home since 1986. He has written for over 50 publications worldwide (more…)

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Book Launch: The Sky Turned Green and the Grass Turned Blue by Diana Kelley đź—“

BOOK LAUNCH: The Sky Turned Green and the Grass Turned Blue: Diane’s Story

Diana Kelley

Saturday, March 9th, 2019 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.comn

This will be an other-worldly evening, we’re sure, and we hope you decide to explore it with memoirist Diana Kelley author of The Sky Turned Green & The Grass Turned Blue. 

When Diane’s lover and friend, Jack, comes out seven years into their relationship expressing his well-kept secret desire to transition from male to female, Diane’s world turns upside down.  With little information to help answer the question “do I stay or do I go,” she searches for direction on her own. Navigating the murky waters of the unknown that accompany the challenges of Jack’s changing persona, Diane is guided by love, loyalty, and a willingness to sacrifice. Sharing her observations and reactions in this true story, Diane explores the underground world of BDSM, bondage/submission and sadomasochism, as well as, provides an intimate view into gay and lesbian lifestyles in her attempt to gauge what impact Jack’s changes might have to their relationship and to her own authentic self.

“… a very well-written book about the author’s true experiences, though it reads like a good novel; interesting characterizations, good dialogue, and a skillfully-crafted tension that draws the reader from one chapter to the next. This true story took place at a time, back in the 1990s and early 21st Century, when not much was known about transsexualism and it is very relevant today as not much has been written from the viewpoint of a person (more…)

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Literary Salon: Mystery Writers Panel đź—“

Literary Salon:  Mystery Writers Panel with Linda Watanabe McFerrin (moderator), mystery writer Nicola Trwst, agent Laurie Fox and mystery writer Penny Warner

Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Nicola Trwst

Laurie Fox

Penny Warner

Monday, March 4th, 2019 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera ||

Please join us for an evening dedicated to uncovering the secrets of what makes a great mystery. Panelists Linda Watanabe McFerrin (moderator); Penny Warner, author of The Code Busters Club series among others; Nicola Trwst, author of the Briana Kaleigh mystery series; and Agent Laurie Fox, partner at the Linda Chester Literary Agency, will discuss Mystery Writing and what to do to make sure your are filling your work with thrills, chills and plenty of suspense. They’ll address a series of questions about creating a sense of mystery in literature. Then they will open it up for questions from the assembled writers and guests.

Here are a few of the questions they’ll be addressing:
  • How and why does a writer begin wrestling with the mysterious?
  • What are the most effective techniques in creating a sense of mystery?
  • Who are some of the best mystery writers working today and why?
  • Is there change in the genre? Why? Why not? Where do you see it going?


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Ferry Plaza Book Party: The Devil’s Pipeline by Michael J. Fitzgerald đź—“

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK EVENT: The Devil’s Pipeline by Michael J. Fitzgerald

Michael J. Fitzgerald

Monday, February 11th, 2019 || 6pm Book Passage || Ferry Building, San Francisco ||

Join the San Francisco celebration for journalist and columnist Michael J. Fitzgerald’s novel,The Devil’s Pipeline, the newest installment in his anti-fracking series, .

The Devil’s Pipeline is the third eco-thriller novel in the series. It follows The Fracking War (2014) and Fracking Justice (2015). In the novel, a mega-energy conglomerate collides with a pacifist farm community in a quiet corner of Iowa where the community’s founder and his family have been seeking solitude and tranquility since witnessing the famous Kent State University massacre in 1970. As the company pushes a huge pipeline directly through their farm, the pacifists eventually push back. A tragic skirmish kicks off a rollercoaster of explosive confrontations at the farm, in courtrooms and across a wide political and industrial landscape from Washington D.C. to California. Chronicling the tragedy and misdeeds is Jack Stafford, editor of The Clarion Newspaper Syndicate and his staff of ardent environmentalists with a long history of uncovering misdeeds by energy companies, secrets it want to keep hidden from the public. Eventually the investigative journalists discover the pipeline is not what it seems, opening the door on a closet of nasty secrets buried for decades by the CEO of the energy corporation. (more…)

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Book Launch: A Sleuth in The Summer of Love đź—“

BOOK LAUNCH: A Sleuth in The Summer of Love by Carol Sheldon

A Sleuth in the Summer of LoveSaturday, February 9th, 2019 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera ||

As we approach Valentine’s Day, it’s all about LOVE. Well, in this case, The Summer of Love.

Please join us in a book party and launch celebration for Carol Sheldon and her new book, A Sleuth in The Summer of Love. Carol calls them exciting times involving folks like Janis Joplin, Peter Coyote, and believe it or not, the Hells Angels. “Peace and love were their mantras,” says Carol, “but murder and kidnapping happened too.” In her new book, Carol takes you to the darker side of the sunny sixties.

So put on your go-go boots, your extra short frock or your bell-bottom jeans and join us for the rewind. We will, of course, be serving wine and snacks, and Carol will be serving up a deliciously dark slice of sixties. It should be fun—a flashback and a whodunnit? all in one!

Carol Sheldon teaches Poetry, the Novel, and Memoir in her home, her church, Osher’s Lifelong Learning Institute (more…)

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Literary Salon: How Writers Get the Word Out with Ann Steiner, Ph.D đź—“

Literary Salon:  How Writers Get the Word Out, Linda Watanabe McFerrin in Conversation with Author Ann Steiner, Ph.D

Monday, February 4th, 2019 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera ||

Members, please join us for an evening of conversation and discussion about Writers Spreading the Word.

Poet, Novelist, Workshop Leader and LCW Founder Linda Watanabe McFerrin and Author, Certified Group Psychotherapist and Professional Speaker Ann Steiner, Ph.D., MFT, will be in conversation about Communicating with a Larger Community: How Writers Get the Word Out.

They’ll be chatting about questions that eventually come up for most writers:

  • What exactly is a platform and do writers need one? Why?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to getting your message out?
  • What is most helpful?
  • When do you start?
  • How do you stay in touch with your community?
  • How do you know when it is enough?
We know many of you have a lot to contribute on this topic, so please join us for the discussion!


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Book Reading: And Then They Were Gone with Judy Bebelaar and Ron Cabral đź—“

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK EVENT: And Then They Were Gone: Teenagers of Peoples Temple from High School to Jonestown by Judy Bebelaar and Ron Cabral

Judy BebelaarSaturday, January, 12th, 2018 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera ||

In 1976, Jim Jones enrolled all church teenagers at Opportunity High. Within a year, most had been sent to the Temple’s agricultural mission. The minister had drawn a picture of Jonestown as a tropical paradise, where the young people would help create a model society. But by the time most of the Opportunity students had arrived, Jonestown was a jungle prison camp with hard labor and harsh punishments.

 On November 18, 1978, 918 people—one third of them under eighteen, half in their twenties or younger—perished in the murder/suicides.           

 Part I introduces the 15 Temple students the teachers knew best: those in Cabral’s classes and on the Cobras baseball team, made possible by Temple athletes; and in classes Bebelaar taught, including Creative Writing. Student writing appears throughout the book, including stories by Stephan, Jones’s son, who describes vividly his experiences in his family and in Jonestown.

Part II follows the students to Guyana and draws from research and interviews (many stories told for the first time). Specific incidents illustrate the young people’s resilience and their ability to resist Jonestown’s cruel strictures. The book ends with the final days—both in Jonestown and in Georgetown, Guyana, where the basketball team (including members of the Cobras) plays in a tournament with the Guyanese National Team. Excerpts from the recording of the final night are followed by excerpts of student poems appearing in the first chapters. “Aftermath” describes, much of the telling in their own words, the effect of the tragedy on survivors.

Judy Bebelaar taught English and creative writing in San Francisco public high schools for 37 years. She has received national recognition for her success in helping students find joy in writing their lives. Her poetry has been published widely. Her chapbook, Walking Across the Pacific, was published in 2014 by Finishing Line Press. Her poems appear in three anthologies: Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down (Scarlet Tanager Press, 2012); The Widows’ Handbook (Kent State U. Press 2014); and in River of Earth and Sky (Blue Light Press, 2015). And Then They Were Gone: Teenagers of Peoples Temple from High School to Jonestown, is available on Amazon.

Ron Cabral entered teaching in the San Francisco Unified School District in1965 and became a Middle School principal in 1992. He retired in 2002. He and Judy Bebelaar met at Opportunity High, where they came to know the teenagers of Peoples Temple. His book about his friendship with rock star Joe McDonald, Country Joe and Me, was published in 2003 by AuthorHouse and is available on Amazon


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Literary Salon: Sivani Babu and Sabine Bergmann đź—“ đź—ş

LEFT COAST WRITERS LITERARY SALON: Sivani Babu and Sabine Bergmann, founders of Hidden Compass

Sabine Bergmann and Sivani Babu

Monday, January 7th, 2018 || 7pm
Book Passage-Corte Madera || 51 Tamal Vista Dr.

Don’t miss the first salon of 2019 with the fantastic founders of Hidden Compass, a locally-run award-winning online magazine, publishing house, and workshop-leading organization.
Sivani Babu is the co-founder and Creative Director of Hidden Compass. She is an award-winning writer and photographer who has contributed work to such organizations and publications as BBC Travel, CNN, Backpacker, Outdoor Photographer, Nature Photographer, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Expressions — the North American Nature Photography Association’s annual showcase of the best nature photos. Sivani is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and served as a Teach for America corps member before becoming an attorney. Ultimately, her love of adventure and storytelling took her away from a career as a federal public defender and sent her sailing to Antarctica, chasing storms through Tornado Alley, road tripping across the United States with a former teacher of hers from high school, and crossing Scotland on foot with her Hidden Compass co-founder Sabine Bergmann.
Sabine Bergmann is the co-founder and Editorial Director of Hidden Compass. As an award-winning travel, science and nature writer, she contributes stories to publications such as Sierra Magazine, Bay Nature Magazine, California Magazine, WIRED, Geographic Expeditions, Ethical Traveler, The Best Travel Writing series and others. Sabine is a Stanford University-trained environmental researcher and community coordinator who has worked on conservation projects from the Amazon Basin to the Great Barrier Reef. She has battled dengue in the tropics, mountain biked from the Andes to the Amazon, and inadvertently partnered with cocaine-smuggling fishermen in the Caribbean. As an editor, she has shaped more than 200,000 words of creative nonfiction for publication. Sabine is currently at work on her first book, Jaded Altruism: How Persistence, Not Perfection, Will Create a Better World.








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Ferry Plaza Book Party: Wandering in Cuba: Revolution and Beyond đź—“

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK EVENT: Wandering in Cuba: Revolution and Beyond

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 || 6pm Book Passage || San Francisco 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco ||

Wanderland Writers introduces WANDERING IN CUBA: Revolution and Beyond … the 6th anthology in the prize-winning Wandering series …

Once again workshop leaders Linda Watanabe McFerrin and Joanna Biggar take Wanderland Writers and head south to explore—this time to Cuba, an island country that has paid a high price for self-determination:  revolution, isolation and hardship. But somehow this nation and its amazing people continue to reinvent themselves and fascinate visitors with their marvelous creativity and vitality.

Contributors include Tania Romanov Amochaev, Adrienne Amundsen, Christine Berardo, Joanna Biggar, Sandra Bracken, Cyndi, Goddard, Douglas Hale, Thomas Harrell, Donna Hemmila, Linda Jue, Carol J. Kelly, Laurie McAndish King, Robert Markowitz, Linda Watanabe McFerrin, Mary Jean Pramik, Anne Sigmon, Jonathan A. Taylor and Anne Woods.

Wander with the contributors from city to countryside, enjoying the history, the rhythms, the tastes, the sights, and the soul of this intriguing island nation. Everywhere, of course, they encountered its Revolution and recorded their understanding of its triumphs and failures. They met and wrote about traditional Cuba: its heroes—José Martí, Fidel, Che, Hemingway—and its enduring culture as found in food, music and its African-based religion, Santería. But they also experienced Cuba in its present reality, beyond the Revolution. They found poets, artists, filmmakers and a whole generation of young people who embrace and are shaping Cuba’s future.

“I hope that, as you read the stories in this collection, a sense of that infinite potential inspires you to make that very short flight to our very misunderstood neighbor. You’ll find nothing intimidating (except, maybe, some of the salsa dancers) and much that is pure magic.

—Jeff Greenwald, Author of The Size of the World and Snake Lake

Linda Watanabe McFerrin and Joanna Biggar have floated down the Canal du Midi in France, danced in the sunlight of southern Greece, toasted the best of times in Ireland, devoured the culture and countryside of southern (more…)

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