Posts Tagged ‘Contra Costa County’

Revision Techniques for Students!

December 23, 2013

Winter Wordplay: Revision Results
4:30-6:00 p.m. at The Storyteller Bookstore, Lafayette, CA
Ages 9-up

Submit up to a 10- page story (double-spaced, 12 pt. font) or stand-alone chapter by January 11.

Students will receive a portfolio with copies of each of the stories to discuss and edit. We will focus on various elements of the revision process and work toward sculpting a story into a final draft.

$30/each class or $75/series

January 18: Shaping Characters

February 1: Developing Themes

February 8: Refining Language

Questions and help with registration: wordplayworkshop@hotmail.com

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Summer Writing Groups

June 23, 2012

Summer is a great time to write! 

Writing groups at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center (Contra Costa County, CA) will continue throughout the summer, providing lots of chances for support, feedback and inspiration from other writers.  They now have three active groups:

 10 Page Feedback Group

Meets twice on month on Tuesday night.   

Writers of fiction, non-fiction, memoir, history and more.

Up to 10 pages is submitted in advance, read and then discussed. 

Get info or join:  gloria.awritersplace@gmail.com.

Children and YA Authors Group

Meets once a month on Sunday afternoon. 

Submit work in advance, read and then discuss

Get info or join:  shelleykoon@comcast.net

Teen Writers

Meets once a month on Saturday afternoon. 

Supportive and welcoming atmosphere

Bring paper, pencil, ideas and enthusiasm

Get info or join: marisachow@gmail.com

Teen Writing Group Meets at Lafayette, CA Library

May 6, 2012
CALLING ALL TEEN WRITERS!  

Break out your pens again! We’re having another teen writing group, and we would love for you to join us. 

Writing can be a solitary pursuit… but it doesn’t have to be! Want to meet other enthusiastic teen writers? Come to a teen writing group at the Lafayette Library! We’ll chat, share ideas and experiences about our writing, and — of course — write alongside each other with prompts. We aim to create a fun, welcoming teen community of writers that encourages and supports its members. 

This is an open and free group (8th-12th grade preferred). Just bring paper, your favorite writing tool, and enthusiasm! 🙂 

Saturday, May 19th
1:30-3:00 PM
In the Willow Room 
(behind the information desk )

Lafayette Library 
3491 Mount Diablo Boulevard
Lafayette, CA 94549

Please reply to marisalchow@gmail.com if you can make our next meeting. We hope you can join us. If you have any teen writer friends who may be interested in our group, please forward them this announcement. We’re always looking to expand our group! 

Author Suspenseful Imagery and Character Depth

December 15, 2011

It is rare to read a suspenseful novel where words and sentences hold imagery, mystery and character depth.   But Ron Hansen creates this power.  When I read Atticus, I knew I had read a literary master.  After loaning this book out, and never receiving it back, I realized someone else felt the same way!  (Yes, I got another copy.  Some books are meant to be owned.)

Contra Costa County is very fortunate to have the Lafayette Library host Sweet Thursdays, and even more fortunate to have Ron Hansen speaking on Thursday, January 5, 2012, at  7:30 p.m.

Author of
A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion,
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,
Mariette in Ecstasy
and
Atticus
 
 
The Friends of the Lafayette Library welcome Ron Hansen, the critically acclaimed author of over ten books and the Gerard Manley Hopkins Professor at Santa Clara University.
 
Hansen will discuss his work, his writing process and the themes that pervade his writing–faith, redemption, and love. From his latest novel, A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion, a fictional take on a true-crime story about a woman who convinces her lover to get rid of her husband, to Mariette in Ecstasy, a study of faith  and the unexplainable, Hansen’s books always take on surprising new subjects but thematically, they stay close to the human condition. 
 
Born in Nebraska, Hansen earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and held a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship at Stanford University. 
He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as a nomination for the National Book Award. 

 SWEET THURSDAYS
is a program run by The Friends of the Lafayette Library.

The RON HANSEN event will be held at the Lafayette Library.

Lafayette Library
3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA 94549
925-385-2280

Ice Cream For Breakfast! Harry Potter, Wacky Doodles and More!

June 1, 2011
JULY 7   8:00am – 9:00am

Ice cream for breakfast!  

Treat yourself one morning this summer and start the day off with vanilla or chocolate! 

 

   
JULY 14   8:00pm

  

HARRY POTTER  

MOVIE NIGHT!

Come watch Harry Potter #7 part 1 before you go to a midnight screening of part 2!

Harry Potter trivia and prizes! Costumes optional. 

 

   
JULY 19   3:00pm – 4:00pm
Fancy Nancy Afternoon Tea
dress in your fanciest clothes and have fancy cookies, fancy tea, and learn the fanciest manners, dahling!

 

   
July 26   2:00pm – 3:00pm

Wacky Doodles!

Create all sorts of kooky characters in this super-fun doodle workshop!

*With artist Michael Slack!*

   
August 1   5:00pm – 6:00pm

Pet Parade!

Bring your pet and meet others–prizes for best dressed pet, largest pet, smallest pet, and many more categories!

 

   
August ??
SECRET FIRE ENGINE VISIT
CALL THE STORYTELLER BETWEEN JUL 29-AUG 5 TO FIND OUT WHEN THE FIRE ENGINE WILL ARRIVE! 

 

   
August 16   7:00pm – 8:00pm
Karaoke for Kids!
Come rock out with us.

 

   
August 25   4:00pm – 5:00pm
YOUNG ADULT
BOOK EXCHANGE
Bring a book you’d recommend (or two, or three…) and leave with something new (or two, or three…)! 

 

 
 
 
The Storyteller | 925 284 3480 | 30 Lafayette Circle | Lafayette | CA | 94549

 

Writing Prompts:

1.  You have a very funny pet.  What is it?  Create the most unique pet in the world.  Describe it.  What does it do, that no other pet in the world can do?  Take it to the Peculiar Pet Parade!  What other pets march and perform?   Be wacky and wild!

2.  Use the characters in Harry Potter to write a new chapter of your own.

3.  Create Wacky Doodle art!

4.  The fire alarm just rang.  Write a story from the 

a.  fire’s point of view  

b. the fire engine’s point of view   

c.  a person trapped in the fire  

d.  a rescuer going into the fire

Young Writers

May 25, 2011

On Saturday,  May 21, the California Writers Club, Mt. Diablo Branch held it’s annual Young Writers Contest Banquet at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant in Pleasant Hill.  The twenty-seven award-winning students along with their teachers, family and friends were invited to eat the delicious banquet Tony and his efficient staff prepared, receive their cash, and their lovely awards created by Joanne Brown.

Guest speaker editorial agent and former Tricycle editor Abigail Samoun spoke about actually being an editor.  To the threatening sounds of  the music known from JAWS, we saw on the screen before us an actual room filled with slush pile manuscripts. (Yes, we WERE frightened!  We could have gotten smothered by those stacks of large manilla envelopes!)  The young writers discovered that slush refers to  manuscripts sent to the publisher without an agent.    The audience learned how busy editors really are, and found out it can take years for a manuscript to turn into an actual book and appear on bookstore or library shelves.

Congratulations to all of the winners of this contest, and to everyone who took the big step and risk of putting pen to paper and writing.  Each time you bare your soul on paper, it is a risk.  You are brave!   Congratulations to everyone who entered the contest.  Each time you do something brave like this, you learn and grow.  We hope if you are a Contra Costa middle school student next fall, you will enter your short stories, poems, and personal narratives again.  It doesn’t cost anything but the postage.  And you can start writing this summer!  Hope to see you at our FREE July 27 writing workshop at the Clayton Public Library!

_____________

On Tuesday, May 24, I visited Mrs. Laird’s fourth grade classroom and the students impressed me with their intelligent questions, comments and ease at writing.  The moment Mrs. Laird turned on classical music, the kids’ pens hit their paper and didn’t stop moving until the music came to an end. 

Wow!  Very cool!  Most classrooms I visit today don’t have time for writing, and when I ask them to pick up their pen to write, kids are plain stumped.  “How shall I begin?”  they may ask.  “What if I spell something wrong?”  They don’t realize that first drafts are the place to make spelling mistakes!  It’s okay!  It’s fine to be messy or to make a punctuation error.  In a first draft, you just want to WRITE! 

I was very proud of how well this class wrote, and how eager they were to share their writing.  It was wonderful how they included their personal thoughts and feelings in their words. 

At one point in my talk, I mention an author I interviewed for my book, The ABCs of Writing for ChildrenJane Yolen likes to say BIC is the most important rule for being a writer.  I agree!  What did the kids think BIC stood for?  They talked with partners and came up with some possibilities:

Brain in classroom

Butt in conversation         (Hmm.  This could be a funny story, but I’d hate to assign it . . .)

Butt idea chair

And finally, one group got the answer Jane came up with:  Butt in chair! 

How can you be a writer?  Sit down and write!  Turn off all of the distractions in your life and pay attention to the sounds in your head!  Write your thoughts, feelings, senses, and memories.  Create characters, stories, poems and combine them with art if you can.  Let your imagination run wild!  But you can’t do that if you don’t take time. Sit. Let you mind wander and pick up a pen.   

As one student told Mrs. Laird, “Now that Liz came to our school, I know what to write:  moments from our lives.” 

They don’t have to be big moments.  Some of the best writing can be a small detail that makes all the difference in your world.

Writing Prompts:

1.  Write about one small (or big) thing that happened today to make you smile.

2.  Take out the last story or piece that you wrote.  Now add a sensory description.  Is there a sight, sound, taste, touch, or smell you can add that will give your piece more depth and make the reader feel like he or she was really there?  Can you add more than one?

3.  Recently, I posted a photo of a gopher that my husband took onto an online sharing site. I thought a couple of people might think it was cute.  Twenty-five people began a discussion about it! Who knew so many people could talk so much about a little gopher?  Something so un-important became a heated discussion!  Write a conversation where you say one little thing and suddenly people react in ways you’d never imagine!

4.  Keep a diary/journal for one week.  You don’t have to write everything that happens to you.  Just choose one thing each day that you want to write about. What will you choose?  Whatever you choose, make the reader feel like he or she is right with you by writing your thoughts, feelings, and a sensory description.  You can even put in some dialogue!

5.  Write about an animal you have met or known.  Make that animal come alive!  Describe it.  Make it move.  How did it make you feel?

Workshop for Visual Artists – Free

May 27, 2009

A Rare Opportunity for Visual Artists

Visual artists, are you ready to take the next step toward becoming an arts professional? Do you understand strategic business planning, personal branding, marketing, strategic partnerships, and goal setting (to name just a few of the topics covered)?

AC5 is partnering with G-TAC Management Consultants to offer ArtsEdge, a business management workshop tailored specifically to professional visual artists. The workshop will be offered twice, once in Pinole and once in Lafayette. Each workshop spans two days. Led by senior consultants from G-TAC, the focus will be on best practices for building, enhancing and growing a professional business. Thanks to a generous grant, there is no charge to qualifying participants.

ARTS EDGE – WORKSHOP DATES AND LOCATIONS

Please choose to attend in either Lafayette or Pinole; no “mixing and matching”:

Saturday and Sunday, June 13 & 14 from 1 to 5 PM at the Lafayette Studio, 3506A Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA (Thank you, Lamorinda Arts Alliance!)

Saturday and Sunday, June 20 & 21 from 1 to 5 PM at the Pinole Art Center, 2221 Pear Street in Old Town Pinole (Thank you, Pinole Artisans!)
For more details, including how to sign up, go to http://www.ac5.org