The 2015 Gold Rush Writer's Conference will be held May 1, 2, 3.

Featured Speakers and Workshop Leaders:
Award winning novelist Alex Espinoza
And novelist Mary Volmer



Historic Hotel Leger
8304 Main Street
Mokelumne Hill CA  95245
(209) 286-1401

Accommodations      Maps

Email Antoinette:

Hotel Leger
About Us
Registration

Conference Schedule

Workshop List

Included Activities

Faculty

Come join the tenth annual Gold Rush Writers Conference, May 1, 2, & 3, at the historic Leger Hotel in picturesque Mokelumne Hill where writing professionals will guide you to a publishing bonanza through a series of panels, specialty talks, workshops and celebrity lectures.

Go one-on-one with successful poets, novelists, biographers, memoirists and short story writers.
The conference includes a picnic supper in a Victorian garden Friday evening, Saturday dinner and Sunday brunch.

Alex Espinoza
Dinner Speaker

Alex Espinoza His first novel, Still Water Saints, was published by Random House in 2007 and was named a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection. The book was released simultaneously in Spanish, under the title Los santos de Agua Mansa, California, translated by Lilliana Valenzuela. His second novel, The Five Acts of Diego León, was published by Random House in March 2013.

Alex wlll also conduct a workshop on Writing Place In Fiction.

Mary Volmer
Brunch Headliner

Mary Volmer is the author of Crown of Dust (Soho Press, 2010). She was the recipient of a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to the University of Wales, and a Chester Aaron and an Agnes Butler Scholarship in creative writing at Saint Mary’s College, California. Mary has been awarded fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and Hedgebrook. Her non-fiction has appeared in Full Court Press, Women’s Basketball Magazine and NPR’s “This I Believe” series. Her short fiction has most recently appeared in the Farallon Review. Look out for her second novel, Reliance (Soho Press), in 2016.

Her workshop will be Out Of The Woods: Tools for Revising and Finishing Abandoned or Unsuccessful Stories.

Click here for pricing details.

Registration & list of events

Founder
Antoinette May

Antoinette May
Antoinette May
Antoinette May's third novel The Determined Heart: the Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein will be published in September by the Moon Lake Publishing Division of Amazon Press. Her first novel, Pilate's Wife, published in 2007 by William Morrow, has been translated into 18 languages. The Sacred Well, her second novel, was chosen best novel of 2009 by the San Francisco Book Festival.

Antoinette's non-fiction includes the New York Times best seller, Adventures of a Psychic, a biography of psychic Sylvia Brown. Antoinette was the 1999 recipient of La Pluma de Plata, an award conferred by the Mexican Government for the best travel article on their country.

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Pilate's Wife

novel Pilate's Wife

Sacred Well

Latest novel Sacred Well


Co-Directors

Kathy Isaac-Luke
Kathie Isaac-Luke
Kathie Isaac-Luke's poetry collection, Chrysalides, was recently published by Dragonfly Press. Editor of caesura, the journal of Poetry Center San Jose for five years, she is a freelance writer for the Union Democrat. Kathie's short story, "The Collection," was nominated for a 2010 Pushcart prize. Ginger Griffin
Ginger Bennett Griffin
Ginger Bennett Griffin, helped coordinate this conference for many years. She was part of our lives and is greatly missed. Pam Mundale
Pam Mundale
Pam Mundale writes short stories and novels. She is shopping her debut novel and working on the second.

Faculty

Alex Espinoza
Alex Espinoza

Alex Espinoza

Alex Espinoza was born in Tijuana, Mexico and earned an MFA from UC-Irvine’s Program in Writing. His first novel, Still Water Saints was published by Random House in 2007 and was released simultaneously in Spanish under the title Los santos de Agua Mansa, California. The book was named a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Still Water Saints was called a “stunning debut” by Los Angeles Magazine and “elegantly crafted” by the Washington Post. His second novel, The Five Acts of Diego León, was also published by Random House in 2013. Of the book, author Sandra Cisneros wrote, “The Five Acts of Diego León breaks greater silences—taboos of race and sexuality, of reinvention and assimilation—in a fantasy called Hollywoodland.” Alex has written for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Salon, Huizache, The Southern California Review, the American Book Review, and NPR’s All Things Considered. A board member of Cal Humanities, a non-profit that promotes the humanities in California, Alex serves on the staff of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and is also an associate professor of English and creative writing at Fresno State. His awards include the Margaret Bridgman fellowship in fiction from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a 2014 fellowship in prose by the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2014 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for The Five Acts of Diego León.

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The Five Acts of Diego Leon

The Five Acts of Diego Leon

Still Water Saints

Still Water Saints


Mary Volmer
maryvolmer

Mary Volmer

Mary Volmer is the author of Crown of Dust (Soho Press, 2010). She was the recipient of a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to the University of Wales, and a Chester Aaron and an Agnes Butler Scholarship in creative writing at Saint Mary’s College, California. Mary has been awarded fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and Hedgebrook. Her non-fiction has appeared in Full Court Press, Women’s Basketball Magazine and NPR’s “This I Believe” series. Her short fiction has most recently appeared in the Farallon Review. Look out for her second novel, Reliance (Soho Press), in 2016.

Her workshop will be Out Of The Woods: Tools for Revising and Finishing Abandoned or Unsuccessful Stories.

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Crown of Dust

Crown of Dust


Kevin Arnold Kevin Arnold

Kevin Arnold

Kevin Arnold is a poet, teacher, and fiction writer from Portola Valley, Ca. He has published in forty literary magazines and a book of poems. He’s been featured three times on YourDailyPoem.com, with another forthcoming in 2015. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Jose State University, 2007. He served as President, Poetry Center San Jose, 2000-2012. He’s published in Slippery Elm, Fresh Hot Bread, Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate, and Fault Line in the last six months. Based on a story extracted from one of his novels, the San Francisco / Peninsula California Writer’s Club named him Writer of the Year, 2014-2015.

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Nineteen Poems and Beyond

Nineteen Poems and Beyond


Gillian Bagwell
Gillian Bagwell

Gillian Bagwell

Gillian Bagwell is the author of three acclaimed historical novels: The Darling Strumpet, based on the life of Nell Gwynn, seventeenth-century actress and mistress of Charles II; The September Queen, the story of Jane Lane, who risked her life to help the young Charles II escape after the Battle of Worcester; and Venus in Winter, which covers the first forty years of the life of the formidable four-times widowed Tudor dynast Bess of Hardwick. Gillian lives in Berkeley, California, and is at work on her fourth novel. She’s pleased to be returning to the Gold Rush Writers’ Conference for a third time.

Gillian began her professional life in theatre, first as an actress and later as a director and producer, and she now coaches writers on giving effective public readings. She also offers all levels of editing, specializing in historical fiction and romance. Please visit Gillian’s website, www.gillianbagwell.com, for links to her research blogs, articles, and more on her books and upcoming events.

Visit Gillian's website, http://www.gillianbagwell.com/, for further information about her books and upcoming events, and links to her blogs, articles, and videos of sites in Nell Gwynn's London.

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The Darling Strumpet

The Darling Strumpet

The September Queen

The September Queen

Helen Bonner
Helen Bonner

Helen Bonner

Helen Bonner, PhD, is founder of Starthistle Press. Her novel, Cry Dance, is the winner of a 2012 Sharp Writ Book Award in the coveted general fiction category. In 2013, her sci-fi novel Dolphin Papers was a finalist for the prestigious Eric Hoffer award. Her two memoirs, Laid Daughter and First Love Last, are becoming classics. MsDemeanors, a novel of the seventies, came out in 2013 to great reviews and her current project, non fiction, will be called Send Me Your Poor.

Dr. Bonner taught creative writing at Ohio University and Minnesota State U. Her short story, Roadside Trinity, won several Best Short Story awards, and her screenplay on Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin has been optioned.
Her website is: http://www.hbonnerbooks.com/

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Dolphin Papers

Dolphin Papers

MsDemeanors


MisDemeanors

Cry Dance


Cry Dance

First Love Last

First Love Last


Kathy Boyd-Fellure
Kathy Boyd-Fellure

Kathy Boyd-Fellure

Kathy Boyd Fellure Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Management represents Kathy’s novel trilogy ~ On the Water’s Edge. The first book, The Language of the Lake, is currently being shopped. The second book, Lake Cottage Book Haven is completed and the third, Azure Shores, is a WIP at 60,000 words. Kathy writes contemporary stories with pivotal historical backgrounds in a unique lyrical voice, and with a literary bent.

Kathy hosts a monthly Cable show ~ Authors, Writers, Books & Beyond, on TSPN TV on Channels 5 & 7 in Jackson, California, and YouTube. She is the Founder/Director of Amador Fiction Writer’s Critique Group that meets weekly at Clark’s Corner in Ione, CA, and offers an annual literary read with a guest reader and musician, & an art and photography exhibit.

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Nana's Tin of Buttons

Nana's Tin of Buttons

Mr. Snowman Ate Our Picnic Lunch
Mr. Snowman ate our lunch
Bear Cub Adventure
Bear Cub Adventure
The Birdies Came to Tea
When the Birdies Came to Tea

Lou Gonzalez
Lou Gonzalez

Lou Gonzalez

Lou Gonzalez writes technical books and novels. To publish his technical book, Creating Your eBook, he combined his engineering & programming degrees, and his experience in computer design, with his work in converting manuscripts into Kindle & Nook eBooks. In addition, Lou teaches creative writing, lectures about novel structure and eBooks, and for the last nine years has been the moderator for a Barnes & Noble writing workshop. For his Eric Sandoval mystery novels, he draws on his ethnic background in the Mexican-American community in Los Angeles to present the challenges and opportunities that America offers to all its citizens. His novels center on accomplishment, danger, drug lords, and political corruption in Los Angeles.

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Luisa Giulianetti
Luisa Giulianetti

Luisa Giulianetti

Luisa Giulianetti, a Bay Area native, received her Master's Degree from UC San Diego. Her graduate work was in 20th Century African American literature. She is an Assistant Director at the UC Berkeley Student Learning Center, teaches composition, and works one-on-one with students, helping to develop their writerly voices. She is published in The Tule Review, The Sun, The Owl (currently the Santa Clara Review), and the Lily Literary Review .
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Kathie Isaac-Luke
Kathy Isaac-Luke

Kathie Isaac-Luke

Kathie Isaac-Luke was editor of caesura, the journal of Poetry Center San Jose, for five years. Her poetry collection, Chrysalides, published by Dragonfly Press, was selected as runner-up at the 2014 Los Angeles Book Festival. Kathie's short story, "The Collection," was recently published by the Dragonfly Press Ezine, DNA, and was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart prize. She is a freelance writer for the Union Democrat newspaper in Sonora. She has two poems in the new anthology, Wine, Cheese and Chocolate published by Manzanita Writers Press.

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Chrysalides

Chrysali8des


Indigo Moor
Indigo Moor

Indigo Moor

Indigo Moor is a poet, playwright, and author currently residing in Sacramento, CA. His second book of poetry, Through the Stonecutter’s Window, won Northwestern University Press’s Cave Canem prize. His first book, Tap-Root, was published as part of Main Street Rag’s Editor’s Select Poetry Series.

Three of his short plays, Harvest, Shuffling, and The Red and Yellow Quartet debuted at the 60 Million Plus Theatre’s Spring Playwright’s festival. His full-length stageplay, Live! at the Excelsior, was a finalist for the Images Theatre Playwright Award and is being made into a full length film.

A graduate of the Stonecoast MFA Program—where he studied poetry, fiction, and scriptwriting—Indigo is also a graduate member of the Artist's Residency Institute for Teaching Artists and former Vice President of the Sacramento Poetry Center. Winner of the 2005 Vesle Fenstermaker Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2008 Jack Kerouac Poetry contest, a few of Indigo's other honors include: 2009 Pushcart Prize nominee and finalist finishes for the T.S. Eliot Prize, Crab Orchard First Book Prize, Saturnalia First Book Award, Naomi Long Madgett Book Award, and WordWorks Prize.

Indigo’s works have appeared in Missouri Review, Arkansas Review, Suisun Valley Review, Xavier Review, LA Review, Mochila Review, Boston University’s The Comment, the Pushcart Prize nominated Out of the Blue Artists Unite, Poetry Now, Black Nature: Four Centuries of African-American Nature Poetry, Cave Canem Anthologies VIII and IX, The Ringing Ear, the NCPS 2006 Anthology, Blue Moon Literary & Arts Review, Breathe 101: Contemporary Odes, and Gathering Ground and many others.

Indigo teaches workshops throughout the Bay area and the greater Sacramento Valley region.

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Through the Stonecutter's Window
Stonecutter's Window
Tap Root
Tap Root

Monika Rose
Monika Rose

Monika Rose

Monika Rose, at home in the foothills of Calaveras County, founded Manzanita Writers Press, a nonprofit literary publisher. She is published in several anthologies and literary magazines, and her book of poems River by the Glass, by GlenHill Publications, is available from Amazon and Small Press Distribution as a print and eBook. She has edited anthologies such as the recently released A Taste of Literary Elegance: Wine, Cheese & Chocolate book, and the previous collection of the ongoing Manzanita series of literary prose and poetry, Wild Edges. With a Masters Degree in English, she teaches courses in writing and literature at Delta College as an Adjunct Associate Professor.

Contact her at www.manzapress.com or at her web site www.monikarosewriter.com ~ you can also email her at mrose209@gmail.com.

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River by the Glass
River by the Glass
Wine, Cheese and Chocolate

Wine Cheese Chocolate

Pam Mundale
Pam Mundale

Pam Mundale

Pam Mundale (Pam S. Dunn) has a B.A. in Creative Writing and a Masters in Library Science. She writes novels and short stories. Her short story "Who Reads Anymore" won the second place prize for short fiction and is featured in Manzanita Press's A Taste of Literary Elegance: Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate. Pam is shopping her debut novel, Price Hill, set in 1970s Cincinnati. Her second novel Once Upon a Blue Moon, merging witchcraft, Lost Boys, and surfing in Santa Cruz, is in progress.

Visit Pam's website, www.pamsdunn.com or Follow Pam on Twitter, for further information about her books and upcoming events.

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Wine, Cheese and Chocolate

Wine Cheese Chocolate



Lucy Sanna
Lucy Sanna

Lucy Sanna

Lucy Sanna In June 2015, HarperCollins will launch Lucy Sanna’s debut novel, THE CHERRY HARVEST. As a result of previous works, Lucy has been featured on national television and radio, including CBS, NBC, NPR, and FOX, as well as in national press such as Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Examiner, and Playboy Magazine. Along the way, Lucy received a month-long fellowship at Vermont Studio Center and was invited to Bread Loaf in Sicily. She serves on the Strategic Planning Committee for the National Kidney Foundation's annual San Francisco Authors Luncheon, founded by Amy Tan and Ann Getty. Lucy previously served on the Board of the California Writers Club, San Francisco Peninsula Branch. Lucy's website: www.lucysanna.com

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The Cherry Harvest

Cherry Harvest

How to Romance the Man You Love


How to Romance the Man You Love

How to Romance the Woman You Love

How to Romance the Woman You Love


Amy Smith
Amy Smith

Amy Smith

Amy Elizabeth Smith, originally from Pennsylvania, teaches creative and professional writing at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. Her recent memoir, All Roads Lead to Austen: A Yearlong Journey with Jane, recounts a year traveling in six Latin American countries learning Spanish and holding reading groups on Jane Austen; it was praised by Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus. She is currently at work on a mystery series set in Buenos Aires.

You can visit her website at allroadsleadtoausten.com.

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All Roads Lead to Austen

All roads lead to Austen


Dawn Spinella
dawn_spinella

Dawn Spinella

Dawn Spinella transitioned into the film industry after a tour of duty in the US Army. After earning her SAG card, she explored directing and producing and finally decided to tackle screenwriting. Attending the UCLA MFA Screenwriting program has been a long-time goal, and the experience has changed her life. During her time at UCLA, her feature and television writing was recognized by a variety of industry including, winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Screenwriting competition, the UCLA Theater, Film and Television FilmLab and by the Humanitas Student Fellowship in Dramatic Television writing. Dawn is also a recipient of the UCLA Four Sisters and Carl David Memorial Fellowship awards. While at UCLA, Dawn had the privilege of studying with Bobby Moresco, Wolfgang Petersen, Dustin Lance Black, and Paula Wagner, to name a few. Currently Dawn is working on a feature adaptation of an Oscar-nominated short documentary. Although Dawn enjoys all genres, she is drawn to historical bio-pics and films with strong social commentaries.

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Sandy Towle
Sandy Towle

Sandy Towle

Sandy Towle (Ralph Sanborn) attributes much of his novels’ setting selections and character development to years of international travel and meeting hundreds of interesting people. He has lived in the New York, Chicago, and San Francisco metropolitan areas, as well as northern Quebec, Canada and Paris, France. After a marketing career, writing the ultimate in creative fiction (corporate annual reports and expense accounts), he decided to write the Caleb Frost action thriller series. Two books, China Red dealing with motorcycle gangs and drug smuggling and The Assassins’ Game, focusing on the capture of a war criminal guilty of perpetrating World War II atrocities and human trafficking, are available upon request at booksellers and from the usual websites. The third book in the series, The Falcon’s Talon, will be published in 2016—he hopes. He strives to offer fast-paced, page-turning reading entertainment. Caleb Frost’s exploits tend toward the nitty-gritty of the underbelly of political and criminal activity—violence is not unknown in the Caleb Frost series. He is, after all, an assassin.

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China Red

China Red


Jennifer Tristano
Jennifer Tristano

Jennifer Tristano

Jennifer Tristano's many years in software programming have given her a powerful insight into the technology behind eBooks. That combined with her love of writing, and her teaching the art and craft of writing allow her to translate the technical eBook information into terms that any writer can understand and utilize. Jennifer, along with Lou Gonzalez, is a co-facilitator of writing workshops at her local Barnes & Noble bookstore. There she presents specific writing techniques and offers advice on how to improve story presentation and characters. In addition, she presents writing & eBook mechanization techniques at conferences and writing events. Jennifer is in the final rewrite of her first Fantasy novel.

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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

Friday, May 1st

  • 6:00 p.m. Registration and poolside picnic at Charles and Antoinette (May) Herndon's home, 8437 Center St., Mokelumne Hill, CA.
  • 7:30 p.m. Poetry Reading at Mokelumne Hill Library. Work by Monika Rose, Kathy Isaac Luke, and Helen Bonner will be featured. This is an open mic reading. Bring your own work to share.

Saturday, May 2nd

Sunday, May 3rd

  • 9:30 a.m. Inspirational talk.
  • 10:00 to noon. Workshops.
  • Noon Brunch. Afternoon speaker: Mary Volmer on The Tourist, the Expat and the Native: A Traveler’s Guide to Writing Historical Fiction.

Workshop Schedule

Saturday 10:15 to 11:45 a.m.

Saturday, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, 3:15 to 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, 10:00 to 12 noon

   

Click Here for Registration Form
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