Salon Series

2015 Events for WoM Members

WoM 2015 Holiday Party

Sunday, December 13, 2015 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Our WoM annual holiday party this year was at Mary Hill’s lovely home in Berkeley. We wrote from 2:00 to 3:30 pm and then celebrated the season with festive food and drink. We toasted our accomplishments and shared our aspirations for the year ahead and enjoyed the company of two new members.

Ellen Sussman

Sunday, November 15, 2015 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Mill Valley Library (Open for anyone to come at 4:00 pm)
375 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

We are extremely excited to welcome bestselling author Ellen Sussman who will be joining us in conversation with Mary Allison Tierney. We will, of course, be writing as usual from 2:00pm to 3:30pm, and then we’ll have announcements and chat for 30 minutes before Ellen and Mary commence at 4pm. We will end at approximately 4:45pm for book signings and questions.

Ellen, nationally bestselling author of French Lessons, delivers a feast for the senses in A Wedding in Provence, a moving novel of love, forgiveness, and trust, set among the beaches and vineyards of southern France. She was named a San Francisco Library Laureate in 2004 and in 2009 and has taught at Pepperdine, UCLA and Rutgers University. Ellen now teaches through Stanford Continuing Studies and in private classes out of her home. She has two daughters and lives with her husband in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

WoM NaNoWriMo Writing Retreats

Sunday, November 8, 2015 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Oakland/Marin/San Francisco

Because our normal monthly Salon moved to the third Sunday this month to accommodate Ellen Sussman’s schedule, we organized writing retreats across the Bay Area in WoM members’ homes for our normal second Sunday. It was a great opportunity to schedule some writing and perhaps get caught up on NaNoWriMo words.

Marianne Lonsdale hosted in her beautiful Oakland home, Natalie Bitton in her lovely old farmhouse in Mill Valley (with a large backyard and plenty of parking) and Li Miao Lovett offered her brand new house and deck just south of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. A productive and fun time was had by all!

Write on Mamas at LitCrawl

Saturday, October 17, 2015 – 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Samovar
411 Valencia St., San Francisco

Litcrawl 2015 marked the fourth consecutive year Write on Mamas took the stage, err…coffee shop, taqueria, clothing store in the Mission. This year, seven WoMS read their essays on the theme, I Was Told There Would Be No Math. Nobody said life was fair, but we were hoping that brains, good looks, and hard work would prepare us for at least some of life’s unexpecteds. The event was emceed by Claire Hennessy.

Get Ready For NaNoWriMo with Rebecca Jackson Stern

Sunday, October 11, 2015 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Mill Valley Library (Open for anyone to come at 4:00 pm)
375 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

Learn how to write a book-length work of fiction in 30 days. National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo is in November, when novice and veteran writers from around the world join together online and in person to write, write, write 50,000 words in 30 days! Rebecca Stern, NaNoWriMo’s Director of Programs gave us a preview of the event. We also got a head start…writing from 2:00pm to 3:30pm, had announcements and chatted for 30 minutes before our guest speaker began.

Rebecca Jackson Stern was an elementary and middle school teacher for a decade, after which she was a Senior Digital Editor at Pearson Education, where she worked on a tablet-based curriculum. Rebecca co-edited an anthology of essays by notable authors for kids called Breakfast on Mars. Rebecca has experienced NaNoWriMo from every angle: her fifth and sixth grade students participated in the Young Writers Program, she did a victory dance in the 50K winner’s circle, served on the Associate Board, and now is the organization’s Director of Programs.

Janis Cooke Newman

Sunday, September 13, 2015 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Mill Valley Library (Open for anyone to come at 4:00 pm)
375 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

We were thrilled, honored and more than a little excited to announce a very special speaker for our September Salon – Janis Cooke Newman spoke in conversation with our very own Marianne Lonsdale! As usual, we wrote from 2:00pm to 3:30pm, had announcements and discussion for 30 minutes before we settled down for a delightful hour with Marianne and Janis.

Janis is the author of the recently released Knopf novel, A Master Plan for Rescue. She is the founder of the Lit Camp writers conference. She also wrote the novel: Mary: Mrs. A Lincoln. Set in 1942 New York and Berlin, A Master Plan for Rescue is a magical novel about the life-giving powers of storytelling, and the heroism that can be inspired by love.

WoM Panel

Sunday, August 9, 2015 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Mill Valley Library (Open for anyone to come at 4:00 pm)
375 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

Marianne Lonsdale moderated a panel of Write on Mama members who dished on AWP, Lit Camp, the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, Mendocino Writers Conference, Mineral School Arts Residency and more. Panel members included Vicki DeArmon, Janine Kovac, and Dorothy O’Donnell. They discussed writing retreats, conferences and residencies and the value of taking the time to apply whether you are accepted or not.

Writing Retreat

Sunday, July 12, 2015 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Mill Valley Library
375 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

At our July Salon we offered a three hour writing retreat. A few of us enjoyed the peace and quiet to write and catch up, whilst taking in the beautiful view of redwoods. Heaven.

Christine Carter

Sunday, June 7, 2015 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Mill Valley Library (Open for anyone to come at 4:00 pm)
375 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

At our June Salon we were extremely lucky to have two powerhouses of the local literary scene: Nancy Davis Kho (Midlife Mixtape) in conversation with Dr. Christine Carter. Christine talked about her latest book The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Work and Home (January 2015) and the latest research on positivity, productivity, and elite performance. It was an excellent hour of interesting ideas and helpful hints on how to get more done in your day by doing less, accommpanied by a lot of laughter. We would like to thank our bookseller for the event, Book Passage, who did a great job of dealing with the rush to buy Christine’s books afterwards.

Listen To Your Mother

Saturday May 9, 2015 – 7:30 pm
Brava Theater, San Francisco

Our team of Write on Mamas organized an awesome show for the San Francisco Listen To Your Mother. Two of our Write on Mamas performed at the 4th annual show at the Brava Theater, alongside an extremely talented, hand-picked selection of writers. It was moving, it was funny and a few of us cried. A fabulous evening showcasing some of the best writing about motherhood (and fatherhood) in the Bay Area.LTYM brings live shows to 39 cities in the United States in the two weeks up to and including Mother’s Day.

Vendela Vida

Sunday May 3, 2015 – 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Mill Valley Library (Open for anyone to come at 3:30 pm)
375 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

Because of Mother’s Day, we moved our May Salon to May 3rd and were beyond excited that Vendela Vida came to talk to us. This free event was open to the public and a good crowd attended. Janine Kovac and Vendela chatted about her upcoming book, her previous books and exactly what an Ice Hotel is, before opening up the floor for questions.Vendela Vida, award-winning author of five books and founding editor of Believer magazine discusses writing and her upcoming novel The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty. Pre-order your copy here and get 20% off and a signed bookplate from Vendela!

WoM Write-in

Sunday, April 25, 2015 – 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
O’Hanlon Center for the Arts
616 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

A few of us got together for three hours of writing time. No family, no Facebook, just our laptop or notebook, and the deer. This was a free event for members only.

Keija Parssinen

Sunday, April 12, 2015 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Mill Valley Library (Open for anyone to come at 4:00 pm)
375 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

Write on Mamas was delighted to host Keija Parssinen at the Mill Valley Library. Missouri-resident (and Saudi-born) Keija is the author of The Unraveling of Mercy Louis and The Ruins of Us, which received a Michener-Copernicus award. Keija was in conversation with our own Mary Allison Tierney discussing her new book The Unraveling of Mercy Louis. From keijaparsinnen.com: Evocative and unsettling, The Unraveling of Mercy Louis charts the downfall of one town’s golden girl while exploring the brutality and anxieties of girlhood in America.

Mount Madonna Writing Retreat

March 27-29 – Mount Madonna Writing Retreat
Write on Mamas Spring Redux: Flex-write

Our winter retreat was so successful, we did it again in March! As in past retreats, there was no charge for the writing portion of the retreat, only for the accommodations. The weekend was unstructured. Hiking, writing, massages, napping, rinse and repeat. mountmadonna.org. Check out Dorothy O’Donnell’s comprehensive post on our winter retreat to get a feel for this unique and sacred spot.

Open Mic Mamas

Sunday, March 8, 2015 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Mill Valley Library
375 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

We had a wonderful afternoon of writing and then a few of our members stood in front of the mic and read their 5-6 minute pieces. They were all really interesting, some were emotional and others hilarious, but it was noticeable how much we have all improved as performers over the last 3 years. It was a great opportunity to practice speaking out loud in front of a safe and supportive audience.

Planning the Future

Sunday, February 8, 2015 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Mill Valley Library
375 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

In early 2012, a dozen of us met in a cafe to discuss what we wanted in a writing group. Now three years later, we’ve got a home, a book, a 501c3 non-profit status, and over 40 members throughout the Bay Area and beyond (including Canada!). We’re not a toddler anymore! At our February meeting, after our normal writing time from 2 – 4pm, we discussed new goals and programs, from weekly writing prompts and feedback groups to member-mentors and more. We had a wonderful time and had a lot of very useful feedback, which we will work on this year.

Online Workshop with Kate Hopper

January 11 – February 21

Kate hosted a 6 week workshop of readings and exercises plus gave general thoughts on FOUR of our drafts. We each chose one of these drafts to revise and got another round of feedback on our revision. At the end of the six weeks we each had a polished 800-1200 word essay and three other great starts. It was a really intense but powerful workshop and we all managed to participate in most of the weeks’ exercises. It was really great to have such a safe and supportive environment in which to share our thoughts and our writing. Kate, as usual, was generous in her time and thoughtful and intelligent in her editing and comments.

WoM Write-in

Sunday, January 31, 2015 – 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
O’Hanlon Center for the Arts
616 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

A few of us got together for three hours of writing time. No family, no Facebook, just our laptop or notebook, and the deer. This was a free event for members only (and happened to coincide with the deadline for Lit Camp–midnight Jan 31st).

Minnesota WoMs Writing Retreat

Sunday, January 31, 2015 – 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The Loft Literary Center

We planned a Minnesota WoMs members-only writing retreat for Saturday afternoon at the Loft Literary Center.The structure was informal and we provided light snacks and thoughtful prompts. A great opportunity for our Minnesota WoMs to get together in person and connect, while writing.

There is no charge for the writing portion of the retreat, only for the accommodations. The retreat itself is unstructured although in years past, some of us have written silently side-by-side. Mount Madonna is beautiful and there is also a wellness massage practice and yoga classes. (It’s a full on yoga commune with Hanuman Temple and whole 9 yards.) Choose from cozy cabins or hotel-like rooms, shared bath or private. All meals are included. Stay one night! Stay both nights! Stay a whole week and make the rest of us jealous!Book your own accommodations at mountmadonna.org.

Mount Madonna Writing Retreat

January 23 – 25, 2015 – Mount Madonna Writing Retreat
Write on Mamas Spring Redux: Flex-write

Grant Faulkner

Sunday, January 11, 2015 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Mill Valley Library (Open for anyone at 4:00 pm)
375 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley

Are you a writer? Grant Faulkner thinks so. As executive director of National Novel Writing Month (write 50,000 words in 30 days!) and co-founder of 100 Word Story, Grant is the master of “writing with abandon” in long form and crafting flash fiction in short form. And he knows you have a story inside you waiting to come to life. Jump start your writing in 2015 with this very special inspirational guest speaker.

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