Thursday-Saturday, February 10-12, Sierra College Press will host the 2022 Sierra Writers’ Conference, featuring science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson, author and publisher Nisi Shawl, Nevada County Poet Laureate Kirsten Casey and a group of writers whose presentations focus on various elements of story, writing, and community building.

“In this time of profound societal change, let us come together to think, write and reflect on our relationship with the planet and with each other,” said Ingrid Keriotis, an English teacher and poet who is helping produce the event. “The 2022 Sierra Writers Conference will be an opportunity for us to come together and be inspired by an incredible range of writers. Let’s embrace this year’s theme and reimagine the past, present and future as a community so that we can begin to heal the wounds – psychological, environmental and otherwise – that weigh on us.


Kim Stanley Robinson is an American science fiction writer. He is the author of over twenty books, including the internationally bestselling Mars Trilogy, and most recently “New York 2140”, “Aurora”, “Shaman”, “Green Earth” and “2312”, which was a best-seller. seller of the New York Times. nominated for all seven major science fiction awards – a first for a book. Robinson was sent to Antarctica by the United States National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program in 1995 and returned to their Antarctic Media Program in 2016. In 2008 he was named a “Hero of Environment” by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, the Clarion Writers’ Workshop, and the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UC San Diego.

Author and publisher Nisi Shawl is best known for his novels dealing with gender, race and colonialism, including the 2016 Nebula Prize finalist “Everfair”, an alternative history of the Congo region of Africa. They are co-authors of “Writing the Other: A Practical Approach,” a standard text teaching techniques for inclusive representation in fiction, and co-founder of the Carl Brandon Society, a nonprofit organization focused on inclusivity. . They are also critics and essayists, with work appearing in “Ms. Magazine,” the “Washington Post,” “Uncanny Magazine,” and as an introduction to a Library of America volume. 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”.

Kirsten Casey is the current Nevada County Poet Laureate and a California School Poet. Her poetry collection, “Ex Vivo: Out of the Living Body,” published by Hip Pocket Press in 2012, is inspired by strange stories, remarkable words, and the mysteries of the human body. Her second book of poetry (with the working title “Instant Obsolescence”) explores historical and literary figures struggling with social media. In 2019, she taught high school workshops as part of the Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship awarded to Molly Fisk, to host the poetry anthology “California Fire & Water,” which responds to California’s climate crisis. She was co-editor of the book, which includes one of her poems. Currently, she is the associate editor of the book “Small, Bright Things,” a collection of 100-word stories by teens, with local author and publisher, Kim Culbertson. As a recipient, she writes poems celebrating local historical places, people and events.

Workshops and Sessions

In addition to featuring these three dynamic personalities, each with powerful and timely messages, the conference will open with creative writing students from Sierra College as well as a series of workshops offered 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 approaches the art of writing with a particular focus on speculative fiction, (re)imagination, 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 talks about your own work. Registration for the Critique Workshop is limited, so register early.


Registration and conference information is available at the 2022 Sierra Writers Conference. Tickets for the three-day event are $50 and custom critique workshops are $30. Sierra College students and staff attend for free. Those unable to attend are encouraged to follow on social media using the hashtag #SierraWriters

Source: Sierra Writers Conference

Sierra Writers Conference 2018 keynote speaker Gary Noy discusses the importance of research in writing.
Photo provided