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Saturday, January 19


Resolve to Write a Novel in 2019!
One of the biggest obstacles any writer faces is finishing the first draft of a novel. As Joyce Carol Oates said, "Getting the first draft finished is like pushing a peanut with your nose across a very dirty floor." Enter Grant Faulkner, exec director of NaNoWriMo, the organization that has generated thousands of first-time novels, and created one of the most effective approaches to writing a first draft. Get ready to leap to new creative heights!

In this session, Faulkner (also the author of Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo), will provide a crash course in novel writing and a framework to finish your novel in 2019. He'll discuss the power of diving in, banishing one's inner editor, and taking creative risks. He'll also talk about the often disregarded keys behind every great work: setting an audacious goal and a deadline, tracking your daily progress, and connecting with others in a creative community.

This is your year to finish the novel of your dreams. Come with laptop or notepad prepared to write--with abandon!

avatar for Grant Faulkner

Grant Faulkner

Executive Director, NaNoWriMo
Grant Faulkner is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the co-founder of 100 Word Story. He has published a book of essays on creativity, Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo; Fissures, a collection of 100-word... Read More →

Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Board Room 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
Wednesday, January 30


Tracy K. Smith, Poet Laureate of the United States
co-presented with the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

Join us for a conversation with Tracy K. Smith, the current Poet Laureate of the United States. In that role, she has traveled the country on a quest to bring poetry to people living in rural America. Smith authored the critically-acclaimed memoir Ordinary Light and three books of poetry including her most recent, Wade in the Water. Her collection Life on Mars won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as the New York Times Notable Book. Duende received the 2006 James Laughlin Award and The Body’s Question won the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith has also been a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Award and a Whiting Award, and received a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, awarded to one poet annually for distinguished poetic achievement. She is the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.

Even the men in black armor, the ones
Jangling handcuffs and keys, what else

Are they so buffered against, if not love’s blade
Sizing up the heart’s familiar meat?

We watch and grieve. We sleep, stir, eat.
Love: the heart sliced open, gutted, clean.

Love: naked almost in the everlasting street,
Skirt lifted by a different kind of breeze.

– from “Unrest in Baton Rouge,” Wade in the Water

avatar for Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith is an American poet and educator. She is currently serving as the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States, an office she assumed in 2017. She has published four collections of poetry, winning the Pulitzer Prize for her 2011 volume Life on Mars.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, Kanbar Hall 3200 California St, San Francisco, CA 94118
Saturday, February 2


What If: The Fiction of the Future
Fantasy and science fiction stories have long embraced the darker themes of a dystopian future, and our fascination continues unabated in recent films and TV shows such as Children of Men, Blade Runner 2049, Black Mirror, and The Handmaid’s Tale. Do these narratives speak to our fears of what the future will bring, or do they reflect the current reality in which the authors live and write? Is futuristic fiction pure escapism, or can it alter our destiny? Discussing these questions and more will be Bay Area authors Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky; The City in the Middle of the Night), and Meg Elison (The Book of the Unnamed Midwife), in conversation with Nilgun Bayraktar, a writer and professor at California College of the Arts.

avatar for Nilgun Bayraktar

Nilgun Bayraktar

Nilgun Bayraktar is an assistant professor of film in the Visual Studies Program at California College of the Arts. She received her Ph.D. in Performance Studies with a designated emphasis in Film & Media Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her work focuses on migrant... Read More →

avatar for Charlie Jane Anders

Charlie Jane Anders

Charlie Jane Anders is the former editor-in-chief of io9.com, the extraordinarily popular Gawker Media site devoted to science fiction and fantasy. Her SF and fantasy debut novel, All the Birds in the Sky, won the 2017 Nebula Awards for Best Novel and was a finalist for the 2017 Hugo... Read More →
avatar for Meg Elison

Meg Elison

Meg Elison is a science fiction author and feminist essayist. Her debut novel, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, won the 2014 Philip K. Dick award. Her second novel, The Book of Etta, was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick, and both were longlisted for the James A. Tiptree award. She... Read More →

Saturday February 2, 2019 8:00pm - 9:00pm
San Francisco Public Library, main branch, 1st Floor Deaf Services Center 100 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA
Friday, February 15


Since 1999, San Francisco's annual Litquake literary festival has drawn booklovers of all types to enjoy words and ideas, straight from the artists' mouths. This year's festival dates will be October 10-19, 2019.

Submissions open on February 15 for the Litquake festival, Lit Crawl SF, and the fifth annual Litquake Writing Contest. All submissions close May 1. Submitters will be notified by August 2019. We look forward to reading your submission.

Click here to submit.

Friday February 15, 2019 TBA