Interested in Earning College Credit for Attending the Conference?

Cosumnes River College (CRC) is proud to host the “Our Life Stories” cross-generational writers’ conference with the City of Sacramento’s Hart Senior Center. The annual event will be held on Zoom on Saturday, April 17, 10-4:15. It is a great opportunity to learn from writers and publishers in a professional setting. For more information on this year’s speakers, visit

The conference is $20; the fee includes access to three workshops (one in each of the three sessions) as well as materials for all of the conference activities. If you are interested in signing up for the conference as a registrant, please see:

You also have the opportunity to earn one unit for enrolling in the conference and completing activities related to the conference, including a review and several discussion posts as networking activities. If you are interested in receiving a enrolling in ENG CW495 at CRC for one unit ($46), please apply to Cosumnes River College, and then email Dean Alex Casareno at:, with the subject line OLS Course, your name, student (W) identification number, and postal mailing address.


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The City of Sacramento Hart Senior Center and Cosumnes River College on April 17 will host “Our Life Stories,” a virtual writers conference that features lectures, readings and workshops to help people of all ages collect and create family memoirs.

“This conference is always exciting because of the high level of energy and enthusiasm for writing that the attendees bring,” said Rosanne Bernardy, recreational superintendent with the City’s Older Adult Services, which manages the Hart Senior Center. “It’s fun to see people so interested in working on the craft of writing their life story and eager to learn from the wonderful authors giving workshops at this event.”

Open to the public, the virtual conference will feature presentations from recognized poets, journalists and educators.

Presenters include poet Lisa Dominguez Abraham, poet JoAnn Anglin, journalist Marcus Crowder, educator Dale Flynn, educator Jessilyn Gale, educator Lesley Gale, former Sacramento poet laureate Bob Stanley and writer Kate Washington.

The event is from 10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and costs $20. People can register online until April 15 or call the Hart Senior Center for questions at 916-808-5462.

“We’re especially excited about this year’s conference because of the historic nature of current events, from the pandemic to politics. It’s so important that future generations have first-hand accounts from family members about the times they lived in,” said Bernardy.

The Hart Senior Center offers resource assistance, virtual classes and workshops to seniors in Sacramento and is a part of the City’s Youth, Parks and Community Enrichment department.


“Virtual Our Life Stories Writers’ Conference” to Be Held April 17, 2021, on Zoom

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                      

Sacramento, CA: “Virtual Our Life Stories Writers’ Conference,” a cross-generational writers’ conference, will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2021.

Sponsored by the City of Sacramento’s Hart Senior Center and Cosumnes River College, with support from ACC Senior Services, the focus of the annual event is the collection and writing of family stories and memoirs.

The conference features a variety of workshops led by experienced and nationally-recognized writers.

Presenters include Lisa Dominguez Abraham, JoAnn Anglin, Marcus Crowder, Dale Flynn, Jessilyn Gale, Lesley Gale, Bob Stanley, and Kate Washington. We will also have a publishing panel, featuring local publishers: MaryEllen Burns, David Covin, Cecily Hastings, and Emmanuel Sigauke.

The virtual conference runs from 10 to 3:15. The $20 fee includes morning and afternoon workshops and a writing activity for all attendees to end the day.

All are welcome. Registration is required by Thursday, April 15. To register, visit Registration Link or

For questions about the conference, call the Hart Center at (916) 808-5462, or email

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“New Eyes” with Lisa Dominguez Abraham – “The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust—We all have a life story we tell by touching the same details each time and concluding in a lesson we have engrained into ourselves. In this workshop, we’ll seek surprise by exploring hidden aspects of a familiar story and use them to draft a new poem.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Life: Shifting Perspectives with JoAnn Anglin – Poets often reveal deeper truths about a situation or person by using metaphors and analogies to depict a memory’s different facets in time’s passage, or by shifting the expected focus. JoAnn will show you how to use these techniques in telling your life story.

The People in Our Lives: Details Tell Their Stories with Marcus Crowder – In this workshop, participants will go through a couple of exercises searching for visual descriptive scenes which reveal character and then work on developing one of them in depth with descriptive details.

Writing the Garden with Dale Flynn – For centuries humans have gardened—for food, for solace. And we all have gardens—if only a flowerpot on the sill or a view of the neighbor’s roses. In this workshop we will consider the many ways we look at gardens and the ways we use them in writing. We will look at them as metaphors and as holders of place.

Seven Ways In: Turning Your Attention to a Writing Prompt with Bob Stanley – Finding our way into the mind-set of inspiration can be a challenge in a hectic life.This workshop will give you seven prompts for “quickwrites,” with a goal of helping writers find more prompts for the future. The theory here is the more attempts you make, the more work you eventually produce. When you start creating your own prompts, building your own puzzles to solve, you’ll be more likely to find inspiration in the time you spend writing and revising your poems and stories.

Your Life in Context: Adding Insight to Your Story through Research with Kate Washington – In this workshop, we will discuss how writers can approach situating their own life story in a broader context. We will discuss why writers might want to incorporate research elements to broaden the scope and vision of their memoir, to discuss relevant issues or offer social critique, to include meaningful artifacts or primary sources (such as family history), to create a powerful braided narrative, or as a meaningful counterpoint to personal memories. The workshop, based in part on the workshop leader’s experience writing her forthcoming book, will include examples of personal essays and memoir grounded in research (including a list for further reading); discussion of research methods and how to use and credit sources ethically; a craft discussion on incorporating researched materials artfully; and a brainstorming session for participants.

Publishing Panel with Moderator Cecily Hastings, Publisher Inside Publications; MaryEllen Burns, Publisher, I Street Press; David Covin, Editor and Publisher, Blue Nile Press and Founder Black Book Fair; andEmmanuel Sigauke, Editor and Publisher Munyori and Editor Tule ReviewAmong the items discussed by these local publishers are the following: what they publish, their submission process, other publishers, sources, places, and Contests. They will also offer tips and insights.

The Mindful Muse with Jessilyn and Lesley Gale – Large Group Session at the End of the Day

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For more information Tel: (916) 808-1590, or e-mail: