The International Women's Writing Guild

California Dreaming 2018

  • Saturday, January 27, 2018
  • 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM (PST)
  • Antioch University Los Angeles, 400 Corporate Pointe, Culver City, CA 90230





8:30 a.m.     Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m.     Welcome & Opening

9:30 a.m.     Session I Workshops

  Amy Friedman – The Landscape of Memoir

  Dorothy Randall Gray – The Power and Poetry of Place

11:45 a.m.   Instructors Q&A / Brown Bag Lunch (café on campus)

1:00 p.m.     Session II Workshops

  Tamar Halpern – Writing for Independent Cinema: A Changing State 

  Traci Kato-Kiriyama – Creating Wellness for Survival

3:00 p.m.     Book Fair / Wine & Cheese

3:45 p.m.     Open Readings

4:45 p.m.     Closing

Printable conference flyer

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Workshop Descriptions & Instructor Bios

The Landscape of Memoir

This workshop will help deepen your understanding of memoir writing, addressing these craft points: recognizing truth from lies (your own), structure,memory, and reader expectations. With selected samples and opportunity to write and read aloud short prompts, we will dive deep into such elements as scene setting, reflection, flashback, and narrative summary, guiding you to hone the elements you love best and to feel a firmer handle on those that make you uneasy. Please come prepared with questions that have haunted you and samples of sentences and paragraphs you love.

Amy Friedman is an author, editor, and ghostwriter who has published three memoirs of her own, most recently Desperado’s Wife, and ten ghost-written or co-authored memoirs, including One Soufflé at a Time with Anne Willan. She has taught memoir for over twenty years, at UCLA Extension, Skirball Cultural Center, and Idyllwild School of the Arts, and in private workshops. Amy co-founded and is Executive Director of POPS the Club, a nonprofit providing community support and voice to teenagers with loved ones in prison. Amy is editor and publisher of the annual POPS the Club Anthologies; the 4th, Cracked Masks, was published in May 2017; the 5th will be published this May.

The Power & Poetry of Place

Have you ever moved whether you wanted to or not? Where have your travels taken you, what did you witness along the way, and what did you leave behind? Discover the ways inner and outer travels can inspire your poetry. Explore the power of external and internal landscapes, sensate settings, immigration, and imagination. We’ll write, share, and visit the works of Mary Gordon, Audre Lorde, Sandra María Esteves, Nikky Finney, Barbara Kingsolver, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, and others. Bring an item you found on your travels, or one that found you.

Dorothy Randall Gray is the author of the bestsellinSoul Between the Lines: Freeing Your Creative Spirit. She is a prize-winning artist and global activist who has shared the dais with the Dalai Lama, served as a UNESCO delegate, and been a featured poet in Reykyavík, Iceland. Her published works include Muse Blues, Woman, Fierce with Reality, Family, The Passion Collection, A Taste of Tamarinda, and Sharing the Same Sky. She has provided creative services for Columbia University, National Public Radio, the Department of Cultural Affairs, juvenile detention facilities, and Skid Row organizations, as well as for post-graduate students and professional authors. A former NYU faculty member, Dorothy is presently an IWWG board member and the executive director of Women Writers & Artists Matrix. During her travels, she has danced with tribal boys in India and boogeyed with James Baldwin in New York City.

Writing for Independent Cinema: A Changing State

The independent cinema landscape has shifted radically, leaving fewer opportunities for good scripts to be made into films. We will examine ways that writers can have their work read and—with some luck, timing, and know-how—possibly get made. Although we will focus primarily on documentary filmmaking, the principles we will cover hold true across all genres.

Tamar Halpern is a writer and director living in Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Working primarily as a screenwriter, she has adapted three books and two life stories. Her TV series about forgotten civil rights figure Clyde Kennard, Ezzy Fish, was on the Black List, a Nicholl’s semi-finalist, a IFP/NY Top Ten finalist, and a Slamdance Finalist, and was accepted into Film Independent’s Producer and Director Labs. Her sixth feature, the human trafficking thriller Missing in Europe, was shot in Belgrade, Serbia, in 2017. On stage, she directs for One Axe Plays and writes and directs for Hero Theatre.

Creating Wellness for Survival

How do we balance stress and honor our healing with all the work that needs to be done in the world? And how does our writing speak through all of this? Sometimes we need the space and time to reflect on the creative process of surviving and thriving through life. We will do so here, in community. Come prepared to write, talk story, and laugh and cry unapologetically.

Traci Kato-Kiriyama is a multidisciplinary artist, writer/author, actor, arts educator, and community organizer. She is one-half of the award-winning PULLproject Ensemble with actor/aerial artist Kennedy Kabasares. She is the Co-Founder and Director of Tuesday Night Project, presenter of the Tuesday Night Café Series, the longest-running Asian American mic series in the country (LA Weeklys “Best Downtown Free Performance Series”). She has also authored a book of poetry, signaling (The Undeniables Press, 2010). Traci speaks and teaches courses on the relationship between wellness, creativity, and community engagement.

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