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Thursday through Saturday, February 10th-12th, 2022, Sierra College Press will host the 2022 Sierra Writers Conference, featuring science fiction superstar, Kim Stanley Robinson, author and editor Nisi Shawl, Nevada County Poet Laureate, Kirsten Casey, and an amazing group of writers whose workshops focus on various elements of story, writing, and community.
“In this time of profound societal change, let’s come together to think, write, and reflect about our relationship with the planet and with each other,” says Ingrid Keriotis, Professor of English and poet, who helps produce the event. “Sierra Writers Conference 2022 will be a time for us to gather and be inspired by an amazing lineup of writers. Let’s embrace this year’s theme and reimagine past, present, and future as a community so that we may begin to heal the wounds–psychological, environmental, and otherwise–that have been weighing us down.”
Kim Stanley Robinson is an American science fiction writer. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the international bestselling Mars trilogy, and more recently New York 2140, Aurora, Shaman, Green Earth, and 2312, which was a New York Times bestseller nominated for all seven of the major science fiction awards—a first for any book. He was sent to the Antarctic by the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers’ Program in 1995 and returned in their Antarctic media program in 2016.
In 2008 he was named a “Hero of the Environment” by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, the Clarion Writers’ Workshop, and UC San Diego’s Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination. His work has been translated into 25 languages, and won a dozen awards in five countries, including the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy awards.
In 2016 he was given the Heinlein Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction, and asteroid 72432 was named “Kimrobinson.” In 2017, he was given the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society. A prolific writer and speaker, his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Nature, and Wired, among many others, and he has lectured at more than one hundred institutions over the last 25 years. His most recent novel is The Ministry for the Future, which was selected as one of Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of 2020.
Utopian fiction in our time has to engage with the Earth’s biosphere as well as human society. The stakes are higher, the bar is lower! Come hear Stan describe the craft of writing utopia in our perilous times.
Author and editor Nisi Shawl is best known for fiction dealing with gender, race, and colonialism, including the 2016 Nebula Award finalist Everfair, an alternate history of Africa’s Congo region. They’re the co-author of Writing the Other: A Practical Approach, a standard text teaching techniques for inclusive representation in fiction, and a co-founder of the Carl Brandon Society, an inclusivity-focused nonprofit. They’re also a critic and essayist, with work appearing in “Ms. Magazine,” the “Washington Post,” “Uncanny Magazine,” and as the introduction to a volume of the Library of America. They have spoken at Duke University, Spelman College, Sarah Lawrence College, and elsewhere.
Nebula Award Finalist, Shawl has edited and co-edited anthologies including Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler; Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany; and New Suns: Speculative Fiction by People of Color. Their collection Filter House is a co-winner of the Otherwise Award, formerly the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. Additional awards include the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award, the World Fantasy Award, two Locus Awards, and an inaugural 2020 FIYAH Magazine Ignyte Award. They’ve served for over two decades on the board of the Clarion West Writers Workshop.
Kirsten Casey is the current Nevada County poet laureate, and an active California Poet in the Schools. Her poetry collection, Ex Vivo: Out of the Living Body, published by Hip Pocket Press in 2012, is inspired by odd stories, remarkable words, and the mysteries of the human body. Her second book of poetry, (with the working title Instantaneous Obsolescence,) explores historical and literary characters struggling with social media.
In 2019, she taught high school workshops as part of the Academy of American Poets Laureate fellowship granted to Molly Fisk, to facilitate the poetry anthology, California Fire & Water, which responds to California’s climate crisis. She was a co-editor of the book, which includes one of her poems. Currently, she is an associate editor of the book Small, Bright Things, a collection of 100-word stories by teens, with local author and editor, Kim Culbertson. As laureate, she is writing poems celebrating local historical places, people and events. Also, she is holding community workshops to promote poetry and to make the process of its creation more accessible.
She has lived in Nevada City for 28 years with her husband, and has three children in their twenties, who patiently assist her with technology.
Workshops and Sessions
In addition to showcasing these two dynamic personalities, each with powerful and timely messages, the conference will open with Sierra College creative writing students as well as feature an array of workshops provided by writers Marie Brennan, Dr. Victoire Chochezi and Staajabu, Ellen Szabo, Christy Hubbard and Jonathan Collier, Shirley Dickard and Catharine Bramkamp, Andrea Steward, and Devi Laskar. Each workshop addresses the craft of writing with special emphasis on speculative fiction, (re)imagining, social change, and/or world building. The conference also offers critique workshops designed to give writers individualized feedback on their own writing. Join renowned writers Kirsten Casey, Devi Laskar, Kim Culbertson, or Sands Hall for small group conferences about your own work. Critique workshop registration is limited, so sign up early.
Whether you just love to read, you are a beginning writer, or you are a pro, the 2022 Sierra Writers Conference has something for you. Engage virtually with a community of writers and powerful presenters whose works and workshops focus on equity, social and environmental justice, writing, and creativity. Enhance your stories and storytelling skills by engaging with a powerful writing community working for brighter tomorrows.
Registration and conference information are available at 2022 Sierra Writers Conference. Tickets for the three-day event are $50 and personalized critique workshops are $30. Sierra College students and staff attend for free. Those who cannot attend are encouraged to follow on social media using the hashtag #SierraWriters
About Sierra College
Sierra College District is rising to the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3200 square miles of Northern CA with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four-year universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills. Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at www.sierracollege.edu