The Writer’s Life Conference — April 2, 2017

conference flyer | registration | volunteer signup | agent pitch signup | presenter bios ]


Join us for a daylong conference covering fiction and nonfiction writing, with three literary agents available for five-minute pitches. Morning coffee and rolls are included, along with a bag lunch, in the registration. Vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available.




To register, you must complete the registration form and provide the payment.  You may fill out the form below or download the registration form and mail with a check (payable to CWC-Marin) to: Diane Vickers, 124 Tiburon Blvd., San Rafael, CA 94901. You may also pay by credit card or PayPal via the PayPal button. (Cancellation policy: Requests for refunds must be made 14 days before the conference.)

Pay with PayPal or credit card



We’re seeking volunteers to help set up the room, distribute materials, as well as snacks, and meals, and stay until at least 5 pm for final clean-up. In exchange for half-off admission to the Writer’s Life conference, volunteers must agree to arrive at 830 am on April 2, 2017, and stay until at least 5 pm for final clean-up. Fill the form out below and/or contact Susanna Solomon.

Presenter Biographies

haleCONSTANCE HALE is a San Francisco–based journalist and the author of three books on language and literary style, including Sin and Syntax. She has been called “Marion the Librarian on a Harley, or E. B. White on acid.” Her profiles, essays, and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, Afar, and Honolulu. In 2016, she published a book on the evolution of hula, The Natives Are Restless, and a children’s book, ‘Iwalani‘s Tree.

The Seven Stages of Manuscript Grief

Constance Hale reveals the arduous process she goes through with each manuscript, and how she manages to push through to the final draft. In a talk that is funny, honest, inspiring, and also practical, she also shares tips on how to keep going and how to keep making your writing better.

mcferrinLINDA WATANABE MCFERRIN is a widely published poet, travel writer, and novelist. She is the author of two poetry collections and a winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. Her novel, Namako:  Sea Cucumber, was named Best Book for the Teen-Age by the New York Public Library. In addition to that novel, she has written the short-story collection The Hand of Buddha, co-edited twelve anthologies, and written a zombie novel, Dead Love, which was a 2009 Bram Stoker Award Finalist for Superior Achievement in a Novel. In addition to editing nine books on travel, Linda has judged the San Francisco Literary Awards, the Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence, and the Kiriyama Prize. She is the founder of Left Coast Writers® and has led workshops in Japan, Indonesia, Greece, France, Italy, England, Ireland, Central America, Spain as well as the United States.

Writing about Places Real and Imagined

Ever wonder how to write that first travel story, set your novel in the perfect location, create a world from scratch?  In this introductory workshop you’ll find out how to write about places, real and imagined, in a way that will take your reader there. Whether it’s the professional travel essay or long or short fiction, you’ll learn how to quickly transport people to your chosen realms, and you’ll leave with a formula for capturing them in a way that will captivate editors and readers and maybe even win a few awards.

lagosKRISSA LAGOS began her publishing career at Seal Press, a feminist nonfiction press based in Berkeley, CA. She then moved on to freelance editing, where she truly found her calling. Specializing in developmental editing, she has worked on every type of book under the sun, including fiction, memoir, business, spirituality, self-help, and more. She has also worked with the hybrid press She Writes Press as an editor since its founding in 2012. She lives in San Francisco.


MARY C. MOORE has been a literary agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates since 2013. She represents both adult and young adult fiction. She prefers clients who are online savvy and who have more than one full-length book project in their drawer. For more information on what she represents visit her site, and the agency site,


TANYA EGAN GIBSON is the author of the novel How to Buy a Love of Reading (Dutton, 2009) as well as a freelance editor and writing consultant. Her articles about writing and editing have appeared in Writer’s Digest and The Writer.




carrEditor DAVID COLIN CARR has been freelancing fiction and nonfiction since 1988 with writers as far flung as Sydney, Sofia, Beijing, and Johannesburg, as well as writers and academics around the US. He works collaboratively with clients to bring forward their passion – with clarity and coherence, while preserving and amplifying their distinctive voice. David values outlining to develop logical structure; strives for lively, efficient language; and guides writers in sharpening their craft. He works in many genres, but is especially dedicated to projects that reflect the beauty of this planet and the mystery of our hearts – offering compassion, counseling skills, humor, and creativity to bring forth the brilliance of both the writing and the collaborative relationship.


PETER BEREN is a former Publisher of  Sierra Club Books, VIA Books; V.P. for Publishing at the Palace Press Group; an Acquisition Editor for Jeremy Tarcher; a literary agent at The Peter Beren Agency, and a publishing consultant with more than 40 years experience in Book Publishing.

A member of AAR, his is also the author of seven published works, including The Writers Legal Companion (with Brad Bunnin) and California the Beautiful (with the late photographer, Galen Rowell). His best-known Agency clients include photographer Art Wolfe (The Earth Is My Witness), graphic novelist Jack Katz (The First Kingdom), and Chakra expert Anodea Judith (Eastern Body, Western Mind). A founding staff member of The Boston Phoenix, he has published articles for a variety of magazines including Mother Jones, Berkeley Monthly and Tufts Magazine.


ROBERT PIMM is the president of the California Lawyers in the Arts.






LeYungWriting Coach TERESA LEYUNG-RYAN says: “I can help you identity your themes – to make rewriting your first draft and building your writer’s platform joyful tasks. Make your name stand for something—to attract target consumers who are likely to buy what you have to sell.”