Friday, September 18, 2015

Celebrating the Writing Community

Litquake descends on San Francisco in October; my inbox is teeming with invitations to literary readings and author round tables. My own work will be a part of Action Fiction! reading during Litcrawl's Phase One on October 17th. Thinking of the vibrancy of the San Francisco's writing community, I want to note a few successes that seem important by the people who have spent years writing and polishing their work, and whose stories are finding their way to larger audiences out there.

Alia Volz has recently published an essay in the New York Times about volunteering in the Mounted Patrol for the National Parks Service. Growing up in Mendocino County, Alia took her first riding lesson at four years old. She writes about her childhood and hippie parents with humor and true feeling in the recent essays that have appeared in Tin House and Narratively.

Genanne Walsh won the novel prize from The Black Lawrence Press. Twister will be published in December of this year and is now available on pre-order. A hurricane descends on a small Midwestern town. This event, both mundane and momentous, sweeps up the histories of the town's residents and clashes them against one another. At the center of the novel is the relationship of two half-sisters, one of whom has recently lost her son in a war. I've read partial drafts, and I can't wait to see how it all comes together.

Tim Floreen's young adult novel Willful Machines comes out in October, just after Litquake, available on pre-order now. He's having a book release party at the Book Passage in the Ferry Building on October 28. I and the participants of the San Francisco Writers Workshop have heard him read excerpts from two earlier novels--we were hooked. This novel sounds no less brilliant.  

Last for this post, but certainly not least, Peg Alford Pursell's collection of flash fictions, Show Her a Flower, a Bird, a Shadow (love the title), will be published by ELJ Press. This book is slated to come out in January 2017, and I will surely have an opportunity to say more about it later. Peg's flash fictions have been published in literary magazines, and I can't wait to see them in a book form. New depths emerge in each story, the (implied) author's concerns and ethos shine through.