The International
Women's Writing Guild

4th Annual California Dreaming

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



Registration is closed


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

Kaila York – Writing for Independent Cinema: A Changing State 

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

1:00 p.m.     Session II Workshops  

Dorothy Randall Gray – The Power and Poetry of Place

Traci Kato-Kiriyama – Creating Wellness for Survival

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

3:45 p.m.     Open Readings

4:45 p.m.     Closing

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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.

Kaila York has worked for a variety of entertainment companies, including Genesis Literary Agency, Paradigm Talent Agency, and Martin Chase Productions. Kaila formed Headlong Entertainment, a production and literary management company, in 2007. She has represented film and television writers working in all genres. Under Headlong’s banner, Kaila has produced nine films and has developed and sold both scripted and unscripted television.

In 2010, Kaila produced her first feature, the independent horror film Greystone Park, Sean Stone’s directorial debut. Among other credits, Kaila produced Highly Functional, starring Bruce Campbell and Annabeth Gish, which was filmed in Canada and New Mexico. In 2016, she executive-produced Kill Ratio, with Tom Hopper (Black Sails), shot in Ireland, and The Last Heist, starring Henry Rollins. She recently produced My Daughter Is Missing, filmed in Belgrade, Serbia, for Mar Vista Entertainment and distributed on Lifetime Television. She is currently in post-production on an independent feature. She has experience producing films at every budget level and as international co-productions.

In her spare time, Kaila works with various film festivals presenting panels on topics such as independent filmmaking, film financing, and successful pitching. She’s been a speaker at the Savannah Film Festival, Willamette Writers Conference, Hedgebrook Masterclass, and the Fairhope Film Festival. She is on the advisory board of the aTVfest (Atlanta Television Festival), hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

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.