Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Saturday, October 12


Pursuit of Publishing: It Was the Best of Lines, It Was the Worst of Lines
Co-presented by MFA Writing at CCA

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a good novel must be in want of a great opening line." —Jane Austen, sorta

Come compete in our Great First Lines contest! Bring three versions of the first line of your novel, short story, memoir or even query or cover letter. Our panel of experts will offer suggestions and choose a winner. We'll discuss great first lines in literature and what makes them succeed. Featuring editors from ZYZZYVA, Bare Life Review, and Wise Ink Publishing, as well as an agent from Andrea Brown Literary Agency. $20 (for sessions 1 and 2 of Pursuit of Pub. panels)

avatar for Janine Kovac

Janine Kovac

co-founder, Moxie Road Productions
Janine Kovac is the author of SPINNING: Choreography for Coming Home, a memoir about the death of a career but the birth of miracle twins and a 2017 semifinalist for Publisher Weekly's BookLife Prize and the 2019 memoir winner of the National Indie Excellence Awards. A former ballet... Read More →

Authors and Participants
avatar for Ismail Muhammad

Ismail Muhammad

contributing editor, ZYZZYVA
Ismail Muhammad is a writer and critic based in Oakland, California. He's the reviews editor for The Believer, a staff writer at the Millions, a contributing editor at ZYZZYVA, a board member at the National Books Critics Circle, and a Ph.D. candidate in the English department a... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer March Soloway

Jennifer March Soloway

agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Jennifer March Soloway is Associate Agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and represents authors and illustrators of picture book, middle grade, and YA stories. Although she specializes in children’s literature, she also represents adult fiction, both literary and commercial... Read More →
avatar for Amy Quale

Amy Quale

Wise Ink Publishing
Amy Quale is Co-Founder and Chief Publishing Officer of Wise Ink Creative Publishing, an agency for writers and publishers of both fiction and nonfiction. Amy has a background in publishing production, developmental editing, copy editing, and writing. She is also co-author of Social... Read More →
avatar for D. Wystan Owen

D. Wystan Owen

Bare Life Review
D. Wystan Owen is the author of Other People's Love Affairs: Stories (Algonquin Books), an Amazon Best Book of 2018. His fiction and essays have appeared in A Public Space, The American Scholar, LitHub, and elsewhere. A 2015 graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and former Deputy... Read More →


Pursuit of Publishing: Rise to the Top of the Slush Pile
Co-presented by MFA Writing at CCA

Four literary magazines answer the questions on every writer’s mind: what are you looking for? How can I make my submission shine? How do you decide who gets published and who goes to recycling bin? Secrets will be revealed. Featuring editors from ZYZZYVA, Foglifter Press, Under the Gum Tree, and Bellingham Review. $20 (for sessions 1 and 2 Pursuit of Pub. panels)

avatar for Ho Lin

Ho Lin

co-editor, Caveat Lector
Ho Lin is the author of "China Girl and Other Stories," a finalist for the 2017 Foreword INDIES Awards. He resides in San Francisco and is co-editor of the literary journal Caveat Lector (www.caveat-lector.org). Kirkus Reviews says of his work, "Lin writes with a natural lyricism... Read More →

Authors and Participants
avatar for Miah Jeffra

Miah Jeffra

founding editor, Foglifter Press
Miah Jeffra is author of The First Church of What's Happening (Nomadic 2017), The Fabulous Ekphrastic Fantastic! (forthcoming, Sibling Rivalry 2020) and The Violence Almanac (forthcoming, Black Lawrence 2021). Awards include the New Millennium Prize for fiction, the Sidney Lanier... Read More →
avatar for Janna Marlies

Janna Marlies

founding editor, Under the Gum Tree
Janna Marlies Maron has nearly 20 years experience in publishing, both print and digital, and content development. She is a veteran of the industry and of storytelling in a variety of mediums. Her experience includes time as a newspaper staff writer and photographer, magazine managing... Read More →
avatar for Melody Parker

Melody Parker

Nonfiction Editor, Fourteen Hills University Review
Melody Parker graduated from San Francisco State University with an M.A. in Creative Writing and Certificates in the Teaching of Composition and Postsecondary Reading. She has worked as a freelance writer, contributing to numerous newspapers in the Bay Area. She currently teaches... Read More →
avatar for Zack Ravas

Zack Ravas

Editorial Assistant, ZYZZYVA
Zack Ravas is the Editorial Assistant of ZYZZYVA literary magazine. In the past, he has worked with the literary publications Absinthe: A Journal of World Literature in Translation and Eleven Eleven. A graduate of California College of the Arts' MFA Creative Writing program, he is... Read More →


Pursuit of Publishing: Debut Authors and Their Publishers
Co-presented by MFA Writing at CCA

Get both sides of the story as this year’s crop of debut authors are joined by the publishers who gave them their wings. A memoirist and an indie press, a novelist and a hybrid publisher, and an inspirational speaker and a creative publishing agency share their journeys. $20 (for Sessions 3 and 4 of Pursuit of Pub. panels)

avatar for Adam Smyer

Adam Smyer

Adam Smyer is an attorney, martial artist, and mediocre bass player. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and cats. Knucklehead (Akashic Books) is his debut novel.

Authors and Participants
avatar for JK Fowler

JK Fowler

Nomadic Press, founder
J. K. Fowler is the founder and executive director of Nomadic Press, a community-focused literary and arts non-profit with operations in Oakland, CA, Des Moines, IA, and Brooklyn, NY. He also serves as the Director of Communications for Peace and Partnerships at the Oakland Peace... Read More →
avatar for Anniqua Rana

Anniqua Rana

Wild Boar in the Cane Field, is a celebration of the rural women of Pakistan whose indomitable spirit keeps them struggling despite all odds. She has interviewed Asma Jahangir, Human Rights Lawyer, Pakistan, and has published essays on gender and education.  Her next project Tales of Many Nations... Read More →
avatar for Andrew Blotky

Andrew Blotky

Azure Leadership
Andrew Blotky is the founder and CEO of Azure Leadership Group, as well as author of the book, Honestly Speaking: How the Way We Communicate Transforms Leadership, Love, and Life.  From 2013 to 2018, Andrew built and led the first global employee communications team to support all... Read More →
avatar for Dara Beevas

Dara Beevas

Wise Ink Publishing
Dara Beevas is the founder of Wise Ink Publishing, which has helped publish more than two-hundred books in ten years, and a current Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow. She's previously served on the board of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.  
avatar for Annie Tucker

Annie Tucker

freelance editor, She Writes Press
Annie Tucker is a San Francisco–based writing coach and developmental editor with twenty years of book and magazine publishing experience. She specializes in adult literary, upmarket, and commercial fiction, narrative nonfiction, and memoir and has edited more than six hundred books... Read More →
avatar for Vernon Keeve III

Vernon Keeve III

Vernon Keeve III is a Virginia born writer that California molded into an educator. He lives and teaches in Oakland, CA. His purpose is to teach the next generation the importance of relaying their personal narratives, sharing their experiences, and taking control of their destinies... Read More →


Pursuit of Publishing: The Working Writer
Co-presented by MFA Writing at CCA

Manjula Martin, editor of Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living moderates this dream team of panelists who exemplify the ways to create, work, and make a living. $20 (for Sessions 3 and 4 of Pursuit of Pub. panels)

avatar for Manjula Martin

Manjula Martin

Manjula Martin is editor of the anthology Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living. She is coauthor, with Orin Martin, of Fruit Trees for Every Garden and managing editor of the literary magazine Zoetrope: All-Story. She lives in San Francisco.

Authors and Participants
avatar for Aya de Leon

Aya de Leon

Aya de Leon directs the Poetry for the People program, teaching creative writing at UC Berkeley. Kensington Books publishes her award-winning feminist heist/romance series, Justice Hustlers: UPTOWN THIEF (2016), THE BOSS (2017), THE ACCIDENTAL MISTRESS (2018), and SIDE CHICK NATION... Read More →
avatar for Meg Elison

Meg Elison

Meg Elison is a San Francisco Bay Area author. Her debut novel, “The Book of the Unnamed Midwife” won the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award and was a Tiptree mention that same year. It was reissued in 2016 and was on the Best of the Year lists from Amazon, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus... Read More →
avatar for Vernon Keeve III

Vernon Keeve III

Vernon Keeve III is a Virginia born writer that California molded into an educator. He lives and teaches in Oakland, CA. His purpose is to teach the next generation the importance of relaying their personal narratives, sharing their experiences, and taking control of their destinies... Read More →
avatar for Juan Alvarado Valdivia

Juan Alvarado Valdivia

Juan Alvarado Valdivia is a Peruvian-American writer who was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and raised in Fremont, CA. His first book, ¡Cancerlandia!: A Memoir, received an Honorable Mention for the 2016 International Latino Book Award for Best Biography in English. His short story... Read More →