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At Stories on Stage Sacramento this month: Josh Weil. With Peggi Wood

Two men.

One young, with a new daughter.

One at the end of his life.

Two tales of love, two devastating secrets.

 

Josh Weil 2This month at Stories on Stage Sacramento, we are thrilled to welcome Josh Weil, called “one of the most gifted writers of his generation” by Colu

m McCann,  and whose new short story collection The Age of Perpetual Light, published by Grove Atlantic,  has been praised, in a starred Kirkus review, as “rich, often dazzling.”  We’ll feature an excerpt from one of those stories, “The Point of Roughness,” read by Stories on Stage Sacramento favorite Blair Leatherwood.

Peggi Wood 2Appearing with Josh will be Peggi Wood. Peggi is known to Stories on Stage Sacramento attendees as our casting director, and now you’ll meet her as a lyric and powerful writer.  We’re excited to debut her new short story “A Viewing,” which will be read by Ethan Ireland.

Friday, October 27 at the Auditorium at CLARA

1425 24th Street, Sacramento

Doors open at 7, readings begin at 7:30

a $10 donation is suggested

about  our authors and readers:

Josh Weil’s novel The Grat Glass Sea  ws a New York Times Editor’s Choice and Powell’s “Indiespensible” selection, won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the GrubStreet National Book Prize, and the Library of Virginia’s Literary Award in Fiction, and was short-listed for The Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel.  His new story collection The Age of Perpetual Light,  (September 12, 2017) has already earned a starred Kirkus review (“A rich, often dazzling collection of short stories linked by themes while ranging widely in style from Babel-like fables to gritty noir and sci-fi,”)  and praise from Publisher’s Weekly. Called “one of the most gifted writers of his generation” by Colum McCann, Weil’s  short fiction has won a Pushcart Prize and appeared in Granta, Esquire, Tin House, and One Story, among others. He has written non-fiction for The New York Times, The Sun, Poets & Writers and Time.com. A recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, he has been the Tickner Writer-in-Residence at Gilman School, the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Bowling Green State University, and the Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, and has taught in the graduate programs at Columbia University, Brooklyn College, and Bennington College. Born in the Appalachian mountains of Southwest Virginia, he currently lives with his family in Nevada City.

Peggi Wood is familiar to Stories on Stage Sacramento attendees as our fabulous Casting Director, adept and skillful at selecting actors to read the diverse short prose featured at the event. Peggi is equally adept as a minimalist writer, burgeoning screenwriter and lush storyteller who performs at local venues.  Resurrection Theatre produced Peggi’s short play, Demerol Dreams, in their 10×10 Original Play Festival, where she also directed two plays. She has a Masters in Public and Political Communication from CSUS with awards for her rhetorical analyses of inequality and power as well as guilt, shame and redemption, issues that inform her creative work.

blair-leatherwood-2017Blair Leatherwood counts more than a dozen literary journeys in his many readings at Stories on Stage Sacramento – including sojourns through the Cold War, Chinese restaurants, forest fires, Sasquatch land, and most recently the cutthroat world of competitive poker. He has over forty years of experience in the theater, in addition to numerous film and commercial credits. He recently worked on Spike Lee’s “Livin’ Da Dream”, a segment of the NBA 2K16 video game. He also has years of experience with the Standardized Patient program at UCD Medical Center and is one of the audio describers for blind and visually impaired patrons of California Musical Theatre.

Ethan Ireland is a multidisciplinary veteran of the film, television and theater trade, Ethan Irelandwith sixteen years as a working professional in both performance and technical roles. The son of noted “lit noi”author Patrick Ireland, Ethan is a writer & director of several short films, and has worked as a voice actor and a performer for both stage and screen since 1995. Most recently he appeared  in EMH’s productions of After Hours and An Almost Perfect Person.  He has also performed at Now Hear This: A Story and Music Performance Series produced by Atim Udoffia.

Winding up its eighth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento is proud of our record, as an all-volunteer organization,  of bringing the best in literary fiction, read by actors,  to a growing Sacramento audience. Our six 2017 events featured work by Steve Almond, Deborah Willis, Josh Barkan, Vanessa Hua, Joshua Mohr, the Los Rios Writers, and Josh Weil, as well as several of Sacramento’s notable emerging writers.  We’ve had a continuing uptick in attendance since we moved to our new home, the auditorium at CLARA, the E Claire Raley Studio for the Arts. 

The dates for our 2018 season – our 9th – are: February 23, April 27, June 29, August 24, and October 26.  In addition, our annual showcase featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 28.

 

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Coming to Stories on Stage September 29: our annual showcase for the Los Rios Writers

We’re very excited to present this quartet of young writers, the best of the best from the literary magazines and creative writing programs of the four Los Rios Community College campuses – Sacramento City College, American River College, Cosumnes River College, and Folsom Lake College.

Congratulations to Dylan Wells, LeKeia V. Lee, Maddy Humphreys and Eric Orosco, whose work was selected from dozens of pieces submitted.

Los Rios Writers 2017 (2)

The stories will be read by actors Kellie Yvonne Raines and Doug Pieper at Stories on Stage Sacramento on Friday, September 29, 7:30PM, at the auditorium at CLARA, 24th and N Streets, Sacramento. Doors open at 7PM. A $10 donation is suggested ($5 for students) Refreshments and a raffle, too! Come early for the best seats.

 

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At Stories on Stage Sacramento in August: drugs, strokes, and New York taxi tales…

Josh Mohr5When Joshua Mohr was thirty-eight, doctors discovered a hole in his heart, which explained the three strokes he’d sustained – but not the out-of-control-drinking, the drug use, the failed marriages and the tangled, stop-and-go-life.  Surgery, getting clean, and the memoir Sirens followed.  This month, we’re featuring non-fiction at Stories on Stage Sacramento, and we’re excited to welcome Josh and bring you a reading from Sirens, a complex and compelling tale which The Rumpus called “poetic, touching, inspiring and deeply empathetic.”

We’re happy to say that Josh’s heart surgery was successful, and that he’s currently writing and teaching in San Francisco, where he lives with his wife and young daughter.

In addition to rave reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times, the memoir was praised by Kirkus Reviews as “entirely candid, compelling memoir of addiction and the long, fraught road of recovery…raw and tender, this book not only chronicles a man’s literary coming-of-age. It also celebrates the power of love while offering an uncensored look at the frailties that can define—and sometimes overwhelm—people and their lives.” Prior to Sirens, Mohr published five novels, including the much-praised All This Life, which won the California Book Award, Damascus, which the New York Times called “Beat-poet cool,”  Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, and Termite Parade , an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times.

Appearing with Josh will be local writer James Cooper, with a reading from “The Sages of West 47th Street.” James is a practicing psychologist, which profession, he says, has “shaped him to lean in unexpected winds, to hold fast or be swept away in wonder. There is always context, amplified or subdued, a language in the hands, in posture, in the pauses between words.” But in his twenties, he drove a taxi in New York City, and the story of that experience earned him the honor of being first runner-up in the current Story Quarterly non-fiction contest.

James has received recent honors in fiction, non-fiction and poetry – in addition to the Story Quarterly recognition, he won the Tupelo Quarterly Prose Open Prize, judged by Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Johnson, 2016, and his first collection of poetry, An Ocean Large Enough, was published this spring. His short stories and poetry have appeared in The Manhattan Review, Oberon Poetry Magazine, Gold Man Review, and in other journals and anthologies.

Our readers this month are Stories on Stage Sacramento veterans Matt Rives, Ethan Ireland and Eric Baldwin. 

Now in its eighth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction, read by actors,  to a growing Sacramento audience.  Our 2017 events will be held bi-monthly on the following dates: February 24, April 28, June 30, August 25, and October 27 at our new home, the auditorium at CLARA, the E Claire Raley Studio for the Arts. In addition, a special program featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 29.

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Stories on Stage Sacramento in June with Vanessa Hua and Josh Barkan: Drug dealers, deception and fine dining…

An elderly Chinese man thinks he’s been summoned to visit his dying  mother but instead finds himself tempted with food – and other delights…A chef adds a very special ingredient to a dish prepared for the notorious narco El Chapo Guzman……Two delicious stories prepared by master storytellers Vanessa Hua and Josh Barkan, this month’s honored guests at Stories on Stage Sacramento, read by actors Hock G. Tjoa and Berman Obaldia.

Friday, June 30 at 7:30 PM at the Auditorium at CLARA

(The E Claire Raley Center for Studio Arts),

24th and N Streets.

A $10 donation is suggested.

Vanessa Hua Josh Barkan

 

Vanessa Hua  and Josh Barkan

 

Vanessa Hua’s name may be familiar as a featured columnist in the San Francisco Chronicle, but she’s also an award-winning fiction writer. Her debut short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilitiesreceived an Asian/Pacific American Award in Literature and is a finalist for a California Book Award and the Willow Books Literature Award Grand Prize. O, The Oprah Magazine, called Deceit and Other Possibilities a “searing debut.”  In 2015, she won the Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, a grant that identifies and supports women writers of exceptional talent. Her fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, ZYZZYVA,  Guernica, and elsewhere.  As a journalist, she has filed stories from China, Burma, Panama, South Korea, Abu Dhabi, and Ecuador. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker online, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington PostThe Atlantic, and Newsweek. She’s won the Asian American Journalists Association’s National Journalism Award, the James Madison Freedom of Information Award, and the Best of the West. Vanessa lives in the Bay Area with her husband and twin sons.

Josh Barkan divides his time between Roanoke, Virginia,, where he teaches at Hollins University, and Mexico City.  The short story collection Mexico, his third published book, was praised in a starred Kirkus review as “masterful stories that peel away at the thin border between everyday life and profane violence in modern-day Mexico. He received his MA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and his work has appeared in Esquire,  the Boston Literary Review, and Glimmertrain, among others. The story “The Kidnapping, ”  which appears in Mexico, was named winner of the Lightship International Short Story Prize, 2013, judged by Tessa Hadley.  Mexico was runner-up for the 2014 Juniper Prize for Fiction, and runner-up for the Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, 2014. Hogarth (Penguin Random House) published the collection in 2017. His previous books include the novel Blind Speed and the story collection Before Hiroshima.

Reading “The Older the Ginger” from Deceit and Other Possibilities by Vanessa Hua  is Hock Tjoa 2Hock G. Tjoa. An actor and an author, Hock  has appeared in several Community Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) productions including The White Snake, Chinglish, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Journey to the West, Golden Child, and Turandot as well as in a variety of roles in community plays and musicals. He is also author of The Battle of Chibi (Red Cliff), The Chinese Spymaster, Agamemnon Must Die, and The Ingenious Judge Dee, a Play. He’s a member of Sierra Writers. This is Hock’s first performance with Stories on Stage, Sacramento.

Reading “The Chef and El Chapo” from Mexico by Josh Barkan is Berman Obaldia.  He Berman Obaldia 2has performed throughout California, including appearances in Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and Much Ado About Nothing.  In addition, he played Dudard in Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros and Uncle Morty in the Clifford Odets depression era classic, Awake and Sing. He was part of the Los Angeles-based repertory theatre company Teatro Urbano. In 2016, Mr. Obaldia starred in the Elly award winning California Stage production of  A Revolutionary Mind. Film credits include “Mi Tierra”, winner of the Coachella Film Festival, and “Janitor.” His latest film projects are “Driven,” the short film “Not My Blood” and he was a regular cast member in the web series, “The Treasure Chronicles.”

Now in its eighth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction, read by actors,  to a growing Sacramento audience.  Our 2017 events will be held bi-monthly on the following dates: February 24, April 28, June 30, August 25, and October 27 at our new home, the auditorium at CLARA, the E Claire Raley Studio for the Arts. In addition, a special program featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 29.

 

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Stories on Stage in April: Canadian writer Deborah Willis, author of the new collection The Dark and Other Love Stories

with Robert Dorjath

and

readings by Lori Russo and Ethan Ireland

Friday, April 28

at the Auditorium at CLARA (The E Claire Raley Studios)

1425 24th Street, Sacramento

Doors open 7:00 – readings begin 7:30

 A $10 donation is suggested

 

This month’s featured writer, Deborah Willis, is the author of two collections of short stories about Deborah Willis 1love, in all its dark and varied aspects. Among her many glowing reviews is this from Alice Munro about Willis’ first collection, Vanishing, and Other Stories – “the emotional range and depth of these stories, the clarity and deftness is astonishing.”  Called “a major new voice in Canadian fiction” by the Toronto Star, Willis gained a US publisher with her second collection, The Dark and Other Love Stories, published by WW Norton in February 2017, and simultaneously in Canada by Penguin Random House. Her fiction has appeared in The Walrus, The Virginia Quarterly, The Iowa Review, Lucky Peach, and Zoetrope. Vanishing and Other Stories was named one of the best books of 2010 by NPR,  was  selected as one of the Globe and Mail’s Best Books of 2009, and was nominated for the Governor General’s Award. Willis lives in Calgary, Canada

Our “emerging” writer, Robert Dorjath, is a welcome new addition to the Sacramento writing scene. A native Chicagoan and a fiction writer, Dorjath received his MA from Northwestern University and taught creative writing at Columbia College and Elmhurst College. He was a member of the AstonRep Theatre Company, and his plays have appeared at Mary-Archie Theatre, Sense of Urgency Stage, The Hemingway Museum, and elsewhere. He is currently working on a novel of late-1950’s Chicago, a chapter of which, “A Parable of Fausto Bruzzesi,” was named a finalist in the Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in Fiction awarded by The Missouri Review. Robert moved to the Sacramento area last year, and lives in El Dorado Hills with his wife Susan and son Samuel.

Reading “The Ark” from The Dark and Other Love Stories is Sacramento actor Lori Russo. Lori is an alumni of the USC BFA program in Los Angeles. She has performed in New York, Broadway touring companies and Internationally with Andy Williams in his America the Beautiful Tour. She staged & choreographed New York premiers of Captain’s and Courage, The Unwritten Song and The Bus To Buenos Aires. She has been a company member and resident choreographer with SRT, performing in Lend Me A Tenor, Guys and Dolls, Comedy of Errors and A Streetcar Named Desire. She has performed at Capital Stage in Superior Donuts and Good People. Lori received an Elly award for best actress in Love Isadora with California Stage. She has staged and choreographed work for California Stage, Big Idea Theater and Capital Stage. Lori also teaches Movement for the Actor Workshops.

Ethan Ireland will read an excerpt from Robert Dorjath’s short story “A Parable of Fausto Bruzzesi”  Ethan is a multidisciplinary veteran of the film, television and theater trade, with sixteen years as a working professional in both performance and technical roles. The son of noted ‘lit noir’ author Patrick Ireland, Ethan is a writer & director of several short films, and has worked as a voice actor and a performer for both stage and screen since 1995. His most recent Sacramento appearances include EMH’s productions of After Hours and An Almost Perfect Person. He has performed at Now Hear This: A Story and Music Performance Series produced by Atim Udoffia.

 

Now in its eighth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing Sacramento audience.  We are happy to announce a new and larger home for the readings – the auditorium at CLARA, the E Claire Raley Studios. In addition, our 2017 events will be held bi-monthly on the following dates: February 24, April 28, June 30, August 25, and October 27. A special program featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 29.

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Mark your calendars – set your alarms – Go! Our 8th season, featuring Steve Almond, begins Friday, February 24

with Deborah Meltvedt

at the Auditorium at CLARA

(The E Claire Raley Studios) 

1425 24th Street, Sacramento

Doors open 7:00 – readings begin 7:30 

 A $10 donation is suggested

 

steve-almond-color-credit-sharona-jacobsShort story writer and essayist Steve Almond is the award-winning author of eight books of fiction and non-fiction, most recently the New York Times bestseller Against Football:One Man’s Reluctant Manifesto. His short stories have appeared in the Best American and Pushcart anthologies, and he has published more than 150 stories in magazines such as Tin House, Playboy, Zoetrope, and Ploughshares. His story “Donkey Greedy, Donkey Gets Punched” was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2010 and has been optioned for film. His journalism has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. Almond co-hosts the podcast Dear Sugar Radio with Cheryl Strayed. He lives outside Boston with his wife and his children, and is a frequent teacher at Grub Street in Boston and the Tin House Writer’s Conference. Almond’s appearance in Sacramento will include a writing workshop.

 

Reading “Donkey Greedy, Donkey Gets Punched” by Steve Almond  is Blair Leatherwood

 

Deborah Meltvedt is a writer and high school teacher who loves to blend medical science and art in both the classroom and in her own creative writing.  She has been published in the American River Literary Review, Susurrus, Under the Gum Tree,Tule Review, and the Creative Non-Fiction Anthology:What I Didn’t Know:  True Stories of Becoming a Teacher.  Deborah lives in Sacramento, California with her husband Rick and their cat, Anchovy Jack.

 

Jessica Laskey will read “It Was So Hot,” a Glimmertrain contest finalist, by Deborah Meltvedt.

 

 

Now in its eighth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing Sacramento audience.  We are happy to announce a new and larger home for the readings – the auditorium at CLARA, the E Claire Raley Studios. In addition, our 2017 events will be held bi-monthly on the following dates: February 24, April 28, June 30, August 25, and October 27. In addition a special program featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 29.

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Mark your calendars – set your alarms – Go! Our 8th season, featuring Steve Almond, begins Friday, February 24

with Deborah Meltvedt

at the Auditorium at CLARA

(The E Claire Raley Studios) 

1425 24th Street, Sacramento

Doors open 7:00 – readings begin 7:30 

 A $10 donation is suggested

 

steve-almond-color-credit-sharona-jacobsShort story writer and essayist Steve Almond is the award-winning author of eight books of fiction and non-fiction, most recently the New York Times bestseller Against Football:One Man’s Reluctant Manifesto. His short stories have appeared in the Best American and Pushcart anthologies, and he has published more than 150 stories in magazines such as Tin House, Playboy, Zoetrope, and Ploughshares. His story “Donkey Greedy, Donkey Gets Punched” was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2010 and has been optioned for film. His journalism has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. Almond co-hosts the podcast Dear Sugar Radio with Cheryl Strayed. He lives outside Boston with his wife and his children, and is a frequent teacher at Grub Street in Boston and the Tin House Writer’s Conference. Almond’s appearance in Sacramento will include a writing workshop.

 

Reading “Donkey Greedy, Donkey Gets Punched” by Steve Almond  is Blair Leatherwood

 

Deborah Meltvedt is a writer and high school teacher who loves to blend medical science and art in both the classroom and in her own creative writing.  She has been published in the American River Literary Review, Susurrus, Under the Gum Tree,Tule Review, and the Creative Non-Fiction Anthology:What I Didn’t Know:  True Stories of Becoming a Teacher.  Deborah lives in Sacramento, California with her husband Rick and their cat, Anchovy Jack.

 

Jessica Laskey will read “It Was So Hot,” a Glimmertrain contest finalist, by Deborah Meltvedt.

 

 

Now in its eighth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing Sacramento audience.  We are happy to announce a new and larger home for the readings – the auditorium at CLARA, the E Claire Raley Studios. In addition, our 2017 events will be held bi-monthly on the following dates: February 24, April 28, June 30, August 25, and October 27. In addition a special program featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 29.

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Master Teacher Writing Workshop with Steve Almond, Feb 24 & 25

steve-almond-color-credit-sharona-jacobsSteve Almond is the featured writer for the Stories on Stage Sacramento season-opening event Friday, February 24, AND he’s also leading a Master Teacher workshop Friday, Feb 24 and Saturday, Feb 25.

This is a rare opportunity for Sacramento area writers – Steve’s workshops are legendary. He’s a transformative teacher who brings excitement, focus, and most importantly, real help in untangling stuck places in your writing.

If you’ve ever wanted to work with him, now’s your chance! The workshop is limited to 10 participants, so contact me at suestaats@comcast.net if you’re interested.

Details:

Friday, Feb 24 11AM – 5PM, Saturday, Feb 25, 9AM-noon

Cost: $325

You may submit manuscript of no more than 4000 words for critique. Fiction only, please: short story or part of a novel.

Deadlines:

Payment must be received by February 10

Manuscript must be received by February 14

More about Steve: He’s the author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction, most recently Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto. Almond’s second book, Candyfreak, was a New York Times bestseller, won the ALA Alex Award, and was named the Booksense Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year. He has published more than 150 stories in magazines such as Tin House, Playboy, Zoetrope, and Ploughshares, with several anthologized in Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies. His essays and journalism have appeared in venues such as The New York Times Magazine, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, Poets & Writers, and Real Simple. He regularly teaches at the Tin House Writer’s Conference, and has taught fiction at Boston College, Wesleyan, and Emerson College.

And yes, he was the original “Dear Sugar” and currently co-hosts the Dear Sugar podcast with that other Dear Sugar, Cheryl Strayed.

 

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A Quick Preview of Our Upcoming 8th Season

Hello, lovers of literature – we’re back!

We’re rested, rejuvenated and ready to plunge into the 8th season of Stories on  Stage Sacramento. We’ve got a new location, a new schedule, a new tradition we are continuing, workshops,  the best national, regional, and local writers of fiction (and occasionally, non-fiction), and the best audience – you!

New location –

The Auditorium at CLARA (the E Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts) 1425 24th Street, Sacramento 

We’re thrilled to make this wonderful space our new home, and remain very, very grateful to the Sacramento Poetry Center for its support and help, and to Verge Center for the Arts for partnering with us on some memorable events.

New schedule – 

in 2017, Stories on Stage will be held bi-monthlyMark these dates:

steve-almond-3jpgFriday, February 24 – Featuring Steve Almond. With Deborah Meltvedt.

Friday, April 28Deborah Willis, prize winning author of The Dark and Other Stories

vanessa-huaFriday, June 30 – San Francisco Chronicle columnist and short-story writer Vanessa Hua. With Josh Barkan.

Friday, August 25 – TBA

Friday, October 27 – Author of The Great Glass Sea Josh Weil , with a josh-weilreading from his new short story collection.

AND Friday, September 29 – Special Event – continuing our collaboration with the literary magazines of the Los Rios Community Colleges, we will feature the best short stories from this year’s issues of Susurrus, The American River Review, The Cosumnes River Journal, and the creative writing department at Folsom Lake College.

Workshops

Master Teacher workshop with Steve Almond. Friday, February 24 from 11-5, and Saturday, February 25 from 9-Noon. Limited to 10 participants, who may submit fiction manuscript of no more than 4000 words to be critiqued. $325.  Steve’s workshops are legendary – he’s a transformative teacher. If you’ve ever wanted to work with him, now’s your chance!

If interested, please e-mail Sue Staats at suestaats@comcast.net

 

As we begin our eighth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to be proud of the quality of the literary fiction we have presented to a growing Sacramento audience. 2015’s featured writers included Tobias Wolff, Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, Bonnie ZoBell, Adam Johnson, and Naomi Williams. In 2016,  we presented Anthony Marra, Vendela Vida, Kim Stanley Robinson, Lori Ostlund, Mary Volmer, Jodi Angel, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and, in a new partnership with the Los Rios Community Colleges,  created an evening devoted to the best writing from their prize-winning literary magazines. As a completely volunteer organization, supported by donations, we’re inspired by the fine writers we’ve brought to Sacramento, some of them for the first time, and excited to continue to present more fine writing read by actors to Sacramento lovers of literature.

 

 

 

 

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It’s the end of our 2016 season, and on Friday, October 28, Bonnie Jo Campbell has something to say about mothers and daughters

bonnie-jo-campbellI’ll begin with an early warning: I can’t be objective about Bonnie Jo Campbell. I’m a fan. I love her dark, twisted, often funny stories and how she’s willing to take them as far as they will go, and then,  even further. I love the sunny, ever-optimistic way she lives her life. I’m in awe of how she’s very serious and disciplined about her writing, but playful when it comes to presenting herself as a writer, despite her burgeoning reputation as a leading author of what’s been called “rural America’s postindustrialbonnie-and-flannery landscape.”  What other writer,  compared to the great Flannery O’Connor, would show up at appearances for her short story collection Mothers, Tell Your Daughters with Flannery herself at her side, or rather a lifesize, cardboard version of Flannery?

Flannery won’t be with us when Bonnie Jo appears as the featured writer on Friday October 28 at Stories on Stage Sacramento, but she is bringing something just as fun – comics! The graphic artist Monica Friedman, a former student of Bonnie Jo’s (as am I – full disclosure) created six-panel versions of all sixteen stories in Mothers Tell Your bjc-daughters-of-the-animal-kingdom_edited-1Daughters, and we’ll have copies of the entire book at the event. “Daughters of the Animal Kingdom” is the story we’ve selected to be read, and here’s the graphic interpretation.

What else about Bonnie Jo?  Nearly too much to report, and that’s just about her writing. Mothers Tell Your Daughters recently won the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association’s Great Lakes, Great Reads Award for Adult Fiction. She is also author of the novel Q Road and its prequel, the New York Times best-seller Once Upon A River.  Her previous short story collection American Salvage was a finalist for the National Book Award AND the National
Book Critics Circle Award. Her first story collection, Women and Other Animals, won the AWP Award for Short Fiction. She’s a Guggenheim Fellow. She’s won a Pushcart Prize, the Eudora Welty Prize, and the 2009 CBA Letterpress Chapbook Award for her poetry collection  Love Letters to Sons of Bitches. She teaches in the Low-Residency Program at Pacific University, and next spring, she will serve as the Mary Rogers Field and Marion Field-McKenna Distinguished University Professor of Creative Writing at DePauw University. When she’s not writing or teaching or making appearances or giving readings bonniejocampbell-and-donkeyshe tends to her two donkeys, Jack and Don Quixote, raises chickens,  practices martial arts, rides her bike long distances, brings in the hay on her mother’s farm and makes an exemplary elderberry wine. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan  with her husband, Christopher. www.bonniejocampbell.com.

 It’s always a pleasure when a former “emerging” writer becomes a featured writer, and kristin-fitzpatrick-2this month we are very happy to welcome back  Kristin Fitzpatrick. Her first short story collection, My Pulse is an Earthquake, was published in 2015 by West Virginia University Press. Her work has appeared in Colorado Review, The Southeast Review, Best of Gival Press Short Stories, Epiphany, and Ventura County Star. Her writing has also been chosen for the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and The New Short Fiction Series. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Jentel Artist Residency Program and The Seven Hills School. Originally from Michigan, she now lives in California and teaches writing at CSU Channel Islands. There’s more at her website www.kristinfitzpatrick.com

Our readers this month are two Stories on Stage audience favorites: Kelley Ogden and Tara Henry.

Kelley Ogden 2Kelley Ogden  is an accomplished performer, director and producer whose work has been seen throughout the area. Co-founder of acclaimed fringe theater company, KOLT Run Creations, Kelley has performed with Capital Stage (most recently in How to Use A Knife and The Totalitarians,) Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, Main Street Theatre Works and Theater Galatea among others. Kelley earned her BFA in Performance from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago.

Back for the 4th time at Stories on Stage, Tara Henry is a familiar face to local theatre-

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

goers. Recent performances include roles in Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and The Fantasticks at Sacramento Theatre Company; Emma in The Behavior of Broadus at Capital Stage, and Dromio in A Comedy of Errors at the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, among many other Shakespeare productions. She also appeared as a Fantasy Festival 28 cast member with the B Street Theatre.

Our featured writer for October

Bonnie Jo Campbell

author of Mothers, Tell Your Daughters

with Kristin Fitzpatrick

readings by Kelley Ogden and Tara Henry

Friday, October 28, 7:30 PM at the Auditorium at CLARA

(The E Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts)

a $10 donation is suggested

 

As we end our seventh season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to be proud of the excellence in literary fiction we have presented to a growing Sacramento audience. Last year’s featured writers included Tobias Wolff, Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, Bonnie ZoBell, Adam Johnson, and Naomi Williams. This year we presented Anthony Marra, Vendela Vida, Kim Stanley Robinson, Lori Ostlund, Mary Volmer, Jodi Angel, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and, in a new partnership with the Los Rios Community Colleges,  created an evening devoted to the best writing from their prize-winning literary magazines. As a completely volunteer organization, supported by donations, we’re elated by the fine writers we’ve brought to Sacramento, some of them for the first time, and excited to continue to present more fine writing read by actors to Sacramento lovers of literature.

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