Towne Center Author Meet and Greet

On Tuesday, January 24, from 7:00-9:00 p.m., Tri-Valley Writers will hold an “author meet and greet” evening at Pleasanton’s Towne Center Books (555 Main St). Fifteen authors will be on hand to talk about and sign their books and chat about writing. This is a great opportunity to support our local independent bookstore and meet local authors. Poetry, fantasy, sci fi, memoir and more await you. Unwind with refreshments and discover some great reads!

February, 18, 2017: 7 Essential Keys for Planning Your Novel for Pantsers

beth-baranyJoin us Saturday, February 18, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton, 5115 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton, as Beth Barany presents “7 Essential Keys for Planning Your Novel for Pantsers.” In this hands-on workshop, we’ll brainstorm the steps to create your novel—from character development to plot structure to story themes and world building—so you can start writing your novel prepared. For beginning to advanced writers, especially for pansters, we’ll cover bite-sized exercises to help you stretch your imagination and get excited about the writing process.

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October 15, 2016: Craft Workshop “Improve Your Storytelling”

sevans1Join us Saturday, October 15, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton, 5115 Hopyard Rd., Pleasanton, for a special workshop on Ways to Improve Your Storytelling. Note: Our regular meeting time will be extended to 4:30 for this special presentation.

Scott Evans will present a hands-on workshop that will cover:

  • Intensifying plot points to add conflict and drama to your stories
  • Growing your plot from character flaws and traits by using “organic” unity
  • Improving dialogue in order to advance the plot and reveal character

Scott Evans holds a Masters in English from the University of California, Davis and teaches at the University of the Pacific in Central California, including fiction writing and a course titled “Crime, Punishment and Justice” that introduces first-year students to criminology from various perspectives. In the summer, he also teaches legal writing for the King Hall Law School Outreach Program at the University of California, Davis. Before returning to California, he taught at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, which is one of the settings in his “literary” murder mysteries (Tragic Flaws, First Folio and Sylvia’s Secrets), which follow the misadventures of a resourceful, but somewhat naïve college instructor named Joseph Lawrence Conrad.

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January 21, 2017: Winterfest Ekphrasis


Join us Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. for a celebration of art and writing. The start of the new year is ideal to bond with our writing community as we enjoy social time amid the beautiful submissions of visual art from Tri-Valley Writers members. In addition to selected readings of work inspired by the art, the meeting will feature a number of highlights, including a book exchange. Donate a book, take one home from the pile. Donate two, leave with a pair. Bring three to the meeting and . . . you get the idea. Special treats will be served, and attendees will be given a series of writing prompts. This is a wonderful opportunity for writers of all ages and genres to fire up imaginations and get the words flowing after the distractions of the holidays.

September 17, 2016: Writing Emotion: How Do You Catch a Cloud and Pin it Down?

258amanda.2016Join us Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton, 5115 Hopyard Rd., Pleasanton, as Amanda McTigue, guest speaker for the California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch, presents “Writing Emotion: How Do You Catch a Cloud and Pin it Down?”

An out-of-the-box thinker and speaker, novelist Amanda McTigue will help writers open the emotional content of our writing across all genres. Whether we struggle with work that seems lifeless or overblown, Amanda’s insights will re-focus us in ways that enhance authenticity and depth on the one hand, surprise and subtlety on the other. [Read more…]

December 17, 2016: Get Inside Your Reader’s Brain: The neuroscience of how to make readers laugh and cry

Ransom StephensJoin us Saturday, December 17, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton, 5115 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton, as Ransom Stephens, Ph.D. presents “Get Inside Your Reader’s Brain: The neuroscience of how to make readers laugh and cry.”

Neuroscience is like looking under the hood to see how It works. When you know how readers process your writing, you can figure out what grabs readers, what bores them, and why. In this presentation, we’ll investigate how to write in ways that administer dopamine when you want readers happy and withholds it when you want readers sad. We’ll explore the roots of what people like, and why bestsellers aren’t always critical favorites. Art is subjective, but our subjectivity has a lot in common.

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July and August 2016

Tri-Valley Writers takes a brief summer hiatus during the months of July and August. Monthly meetings will resume in September. Critique groups, social media group, and open mic continue to meet during the summer, so please forge on with your writing.

We look forward to seeing you in September. Write On!

June 18, 2016: Writers’ Legal Know-How

Larry TownsendJoin us Saturday, June 18, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton, 5115 Hopyard Rd., Pleasanton, as Attorney Larry Townsendguest speaker, presents Writers’ Legal Know-How for the California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch.

Mr. Townsend will provide a road map for writers seeking to safeguard protection of their works and to avoid legal problems relating to copyright, defamation, rights of publicity, trademarks, and both literary agency and publishing agreements.

He is an intellectual property lawyer based in San Francisco whose practice includes publishing law for both authors and publishers. He is also a fiction author. His second novel, The Hot Monkey Love Trial, will soon be published by Water Street Press.

Nov. 19, 2016: What’s So Funny?

pennywarnerJoin us Saturday, November 19, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton, 5115 Hopyard Rd., Pleasanton, as local newspaper columnist and mystery author Penny Warner presents “What’s So Funny?”

Penny will show us how to add humor to our stories, even if we don’t feel that witty, by offering tips on where to find humor (usually Walmart), steps on how to use it effectively (plagiarized from Wiki-Ha-Ha), and ways to increase our funny bones (morning margaritas help.) There will be hands-on writing activities, so bring pen, notepad, and any leftover Halloween candy (Penny says she ate all hers).

Penny Warner has published over 60 books for both adults and children. Several of her middle-grade mystery series, “The Code Busters” were nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Children’s Mystery. Her non-fiction book, The Official Nancy Drew Handbook, was nominated for an Agatha Award.  Her first mystery featuring a deaf reporter, Dead Body Language, won the Macavity Award for Best Mystery and was nominated for an Agatha and an Anthony Award. Reach Penny at

May 21, 2016: Tri-Valley Writers 5th Annual High School Writing Contest Awards Ceremony

TypewriterJoin us Saturday, May 21, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton, 5115 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton, as Tri-Valley Writers hosts its 5th Annual High School Writing Contest awards ceremony. Student winners from the essay, poetry, and short story fiction categories will share their work in readings.

Aashna Avachet

Guest Speaker, Aashna Avachat, author of Going Places and a 2015 Honorable Mention winner for her short story, “The Last Man on Earth,” will discuss her publishing journey. Aashna grew up reading J.K. Rowling, Andrew Clements, and Beverly Cleary, who fostered her love for the written word. As she progressed from middle grade books to YA fiction, she discovered her passion—writing. Inspired by authors including Cassandra Clare, John Green, and Rick Yancey, Aashna attempted her first novel when she was twelve years old. [Read more…]

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