I'm just worried about you and the long, hot summer ahead

Russian Gulch Waterfall
I wish I could count how many times I've been asked, 'what on earth made you move here?' This question comes as a first-time visitor tumbles out of their rental car at the end of the 4 hour drive from San Francisco, or Sacramento, or Oakland. We are equal distance from all of those cities, but it's the curvy, rolling, twisting, two-lane drive that either enthralls or makes them wish they'd never hung a left off the highway 101.

Honestly, I moved here so this Florida native would never be hot again as long as I live. Summer highs are in the high 60s, if the fog's not in, and the nights are in the 50s.

That really is the reason. Mendocino is cute, and the scenery is as breathtaking as it gets, but it's the climate that set the hook. Since then this place has grown on me like a partner in a marriage of convenience. I've fallen in love.

Over the last 21 years, I've done volunteer work for the local Audubon Society, the botanical gardens, College of the Redwoods, and other local non-profits, but there are just three that have had my complete devotion for the last 16 years: Teresa Sholars' Natural History class, Point Cabrillo Light Station

the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference.


The Mendocino Coast Writers Conference will take place July 26-28 at the College of the Redwoods campus in Fort Bragg. The three-day conference features a stellar line-up of agents, editors, and writers in all genres, teaching the craft of writing at beginning and advanced levels, as well as the encouragement of a community of writers in a relaxed and friendly setting. Registrants will participate in an intensive writing workshop with the same teacher for three consecutive mornings, allowing ample time for writing and review in a small group environment. Afternoons will consist of lecture/discussion sessions on various topics from authors, editors and agents, including “You’ve Written the Essay – Now What?,” “Inviting Surprise in Poetry,” and “The Successful Ingredients of Teen Fiction,” with young adult authors Ginny Rorby, Jody Gehrman and Stacey Jay.  

Keynote speaker Robin Hemley, author of eight books of nonfiction and fiction and winner of numerous awards, will lead the morning Master Class in Memoir. Hemley has been widely anthologized and his popular craft book, Turning Life Into Fiction, has sold over 60,000 copies.
Liquid Fusion Kayaks

Kim Addonizio, author of five poetry collections, novels, short stories and Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within, will lead the morning poetry workshop. “I believe that a rigorous attention to craft is the best way to achieve your vision in language - but that wildness is essential, as well.” 

Victoria Zackheim has edited five anthologies of personal essays, written for documentary films (Tracing Thalidomide, Where Birds Never Sang), and authored The Bone Weaver.  She will teach the morning nonfiction workshop, focusing on personal essay. Zackheim teaches essay in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and is a 2010 San Francisco Library Laureate.

David Corbett, author of four novels including Done for a Dime and Blood of Paradise, has been anthologized in Best American Mystery Stories (2009 and 2011) and nominated for an Edgar. He will lead the morning workshop in novel, emphasizing character development. An experienced teacher at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and Book Passage in Corte Madera, he is a mainstay at its annual Mystery Writers’Conference.

Steve Almond, whose short story collections include My Life in Heavy Metal and God Bless America, will teach the morning workshop in short story. Almond has published a novel and two non-fiction books, been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, and appeared in GQ, The Believer, and Tin House.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is
the only oceanfront botanical garden in the country

Elizabeth Rosner, novelist, poet and essayist, will teach the morning workshop for emerging writers. Her first novel, The Speed of Light, was translated into nine languages and won awards in the US and Europe. Rosner, the daughter of Jewish holocaust survivors, has explored the impact of her parents’ experiences on her own life in “emotionally autobiographical” work. She has taught college-level creative writing for thirty years and been published in the journal Poetry and the New York Times Magazine.

Attention Mendocino County Students & Teachers,

Scholarship is open to any High School Student in Mendocino County: public school, private school, homeschool, alternative ed. Applications are due by May 1.
Please pass this on to all young writers 9th - 12th grade. Countywide. Thank you!
For more information on registration, schedule of workshops and lectures, contest entry rules and deadlines, and presenter bios, please visit the conference Website at www.mcwc.org
or contact staff by phone and leave a message at 707-937-9983.

As long as I'm doing a little self-promoting...