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Saturday Night

Sunday Afternoon


$195 - Returning Conference Attendees - BEFORE April 1st


$200 - Early Bird Registration - BEFORE April 1st


$215 - Everyone - AFTER April 1st


$45 for individual workshop offerings if you are unable to attend entire conference weekend.

CO-DIRECTOR - Erika Mailman is the author of The Witch's Trinity, a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book; Woman of Ill Fame, nominated for a Pushcart Press Editor's Book Award; and The Murderer's Maid: a Lizzie Borden Novel, which won an IPPY gold medal in historical fiction and was a National Indie Excellence winner. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Arizona
and has been a Yaddo fellow and Bram Stoker Award finalist. Under the pen name Lynn Carthage, her young adult trilogy includes Haunted, Betrayed and Avenged.

Join us for the 15th annual Gold Rush Writers Conference, May 1 - 3, 2020, in the picturesque town of Mokelumne Hill. Writing professionals will guide you through a bonanza of presentations, workshops and open-mic readings.

 This intimate event includes successful poets, novelists, screen and play writers, memoirists & short story writers.


In addition to a choice of workshops held in and around the historic Hotel Leger, the conference includes a picnic supper on Friday evening, Saturday dinner, and Sunday lunch.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - Sally Kaplan is a long-time member of Antoinette May’s writing critique group. With a background in film and television producing, she came to Gold Rush Writers in 2016, became co-director in 2017, and Executive Director in 2018.

In addition to writing/directing prize-winning short screenplays, her prose appears in Changing Course: Women's Inspiring Stories of Menopause, Midlife, and Moving Forward and Wine, Cheese & Chocolate.


Kaplan is a gifted teacher and has offered courses at NYU, UCLA, University of Colorado, and Naropa Institute. In association with Manzanita Writers Press, she serves as an editor as well as a team-member teaching writing to elders. Kaplan and her husband David Vassar own a documentary production company, Backcountry Pictures:

SANDS HALL's most recent publication is a memoir, but she is also an award-winning novelist, a writer of stories and essays, a playwright, and a singer/songwriter, as well as an actor and director. Sands will discuss how the techniques and practices of one art form can be useful in the creation of another. How did being a playwright and a director help her with her fiction? What did she learn from writing and teaching fiction that she found essential as she composed her memoir? How did being a Shakespearean actor influence her songs and, indeed, all her writing? Sands will also address the differences between the art and the craft of writing, and how inextricably they are bound up in each other—while also delivering a variety of techniques that can be applied to your own work.

Lots MORE information to come. . .

But for now, let us know you are interested in receiving the updates and registration info.


Contact Us

Sally Kaplan

Tel: 310.927.6929




PO Box 746

Arnold, CA 95223


Let's keep in touch!

  • Sands Hall – Essential Crafts for Writers of Fiction and Memoir

  • C. W. Gortner – Diving Into Historical Fiction: A Primer for the Brave

  • Antoinette May and Erika Mailman– The First Page of the Novel You Were Born to Write

  • Kevin Arnold – Finding Your Voice

  • Sally Kaplan – Don’t Tell Me, Show Me: Film Techniques for Writers

  • Indigo Moor – Inviting Tony & Oscar and Beginnings, Endings & the Practiced Magic In Between

  • Lucy Sanna – Sexuality on the Page

  • Gina L. Mulligan – Getting Your Query Through the Slush Pile

  • Jordan Rosenfeld – Scene Stealer: Learn to Write Killer Scenes and How to Write With Page-Turning Tension

  • Monika Rose – Writing like the Classics – Literary Basics 101 – Figurative Language as Tools to Elevate Your Prose

  • Kathy Boyd Fellure – Finish What You Started

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FOUNDER - Antoinette May's third novel, The Determined Heart: the Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein was published by the Lake Union 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 William Morrow novel, was chosen Best of 2009 by the San Francisco Book Festival.


Antoinette's nonfiction includes Adventures of a Psychic, which spent 44 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She was the recipient of La Pluma de Plata, an award conferred by the Mexican Government for the best travel article on their country. She writes weekly columns for the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Gate and is a frequent contributor to the Sierra Lodestar. Antoinette's articles have appeared in Cosmopolitan, Self, Country Living, San Francisco and Sacramento magazines.
Visit Antoinette's website

C.W. GORTNER's the acclaimed, bestselling author of a dozen historical novels, which have been translated in 21 languages and sold over 400,000 copies. He holds an MFA in writing  with an emphasis on Renaissance Studies. In his talk, Being a Writer in the 21st Century, he'll address how, with so many changes in how people access written material, writers are facing new opportunities and challenges in the 21st century. The dream of publishing the Great American Novel can now take on several forms, from traditional to indie, physical to audio. He will talk about the startling changes he's experienced in the fifteen years since he was first published and how we can survive and thrive being a writer in the 21st century.

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