Classes, readings, online Catamaran Conference and more: your comprehensive summery update

hi everyone, and thanks again for checking in. I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries lately because of a story of mine that ran in the Washington Post recently about applying the lessons of the Pacific Crest Trail to the life indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. I wanted to let you know that my August writing class — focusing on memoir and personal essays — is very close to sold out so please reach out to me at if you’d like me to register (and I’ll send you payment info.)

There has been a lot of advance interest in this new class — I have only four spots left at this point – so please let me know right away if you are interested. I’m limiting enrollment to 12 students.

This class is a chance for you to revise, flesh out and workshop memoir chapters or personal essays that you’ve been working on. Each student will come to class with at least two personal essays or memoir chapters that they would like to workshop with me and their fellow students. In the course of the class, we’ll focus on craft while considering the structures and themes of the books you want to write. The courses take place four consecutive Saturdays in August (August 8, 15, 22 and 29 ) from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. PST.

I’m excited about this course because it focuses on growing and revising your essays memoirs. And since the first class starts a month from now, you’ll have time to draft out some writings to share by the time our class cycle begins. The fee is $200 for all four classes. Please reach out to me at if you’d like to register, and I’ll send you payment information. Payment can be made via my PayPal account or a check. Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you in class soon

In other news, Catamaran Literary Reader’s highly anticipated summer conference in beautiful Pebble Beach, and featuring a keynote address by the celebrated fiction writer Jane Smiley, had to be reconfigured this year because of COVID-19 concerns. But the good news is that there will be an online iteration of this festival, and I am very happy to report that Charles Hood and I will give an online nonfiction reading for the Catamaran conference on Wednesday, July 29 from 5 to 630 PST. Charles Hood grew up in Atwater beside the Los Angeles River. He has been a bird guide in Africa, a translator in New Guinea, and a National Science Foundation Artist-in-Residence in Antarctica. He is the author of many books and essays including A Californian’s Guide to the Birds among Us. Charles has received numerous fellowships and writing awards, and his most recent artist-in-residence positions were with the National Science Foundation in Antarctica and with Playa Arts in Oregon. He has also been a visiting professor in England, Mexico, and Papua New Guinea. Hood is currently a research fellow with the Center for Art and Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art as well as a teacher of writing and photography at Antelope Valley College in the Mojave Desert.

Thank you for tuning in. That is more than enough news for now. And good camping to you.

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