San Francisco Writers’ Conference – Highlights

Written by Simona Carini

SF Writers' Conference logoThe 2016 edition of the San Francisco Writers’ Conference (SFWC) was, as usual, a delightful whirlwind of panels, presentations, free events, open enrollment sessions, meetings and speed-dates. From Wednesday, February 10 to Monday, February 15, the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco was humming with activities. 

It was my third year volunteering at the conference, my first year participating as WNBA member and ambassador. I love the conference’s relative small size, which facilitates access to the presenters and encourages participants’ interaction. And the variety of panels, presentations and workshops is such that I always learn a lot. At the end of the conference I feel deeply energized. 

I am far from being the only one enthusiastic about the conference. Here are some thoughts from members of the WNBA-SF Chapter Board who were there:

Annie Barrows and Kate Farrell at the SF Writers' Conference 2016 Kate Farrell, President: “It’s been an entire decade that I’ve volunteered for SFWC, beginning in 2005, its second year when it was held at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel down on Powell Street. This year I was busier than ever: volunteer, exhibitor for WNBA, presenter, panelist, moderator for two special events, and introducer for the Saturday luncheon keynote speaker, Annie Barrows. It was a thrill to introduce Annie Barrows twice, once in the morning for the children’s event and at lunch for the adults. Annie is personal, engaging, and quite thoughtful—a true talent. (I also enjoyed presenting the storytelling session, my lifelong love!)”

Joan Gelfand, National WNBA Chair, Chapter Development: “The highlight of the conference was teaching an enthusiastic group about how to use video to deliver poetry to a wider audience. With the technology available to us now, film is becoming a hot new medium. I also spoke about WNBA in all of the 3 workshops I was in. So many people were excited to learn about us & were excited to get involved.”

Julaina Kleist-Corwin, Board Secretary, had this to say about the February 12 event co-sponsored by WNBA-SF Chapter: “I am proud to be part of WNBA-SF Chapter. We had a strong presence at the San Francisco Writers Conference. A presenter who attended the evening presentation Inspiring Voices of Hope: The Afghan Women’s Writing Project talked with me about how impressive the speakers were. I agree. I really felt what Lori Noack and Humaira Ghilzai are devotedly accomplishing and I’m happy that we chose to support them.” 

Cathy Turney, Board Member: “SFWC feeds my soul. No matter where I am in the writing/publishing/social media process, I come away with marvelous information that boosts my production exponentially. I wouldn’t miss a year!”

WNBA-SF Chapter’s members presence at the Conference included: Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada, the Conference founders; Linda Lee & Jane Glendinning, volunteer coordinators and all the WNBA volunteers (so many!). Member presenters included: Nina Amir, Jennifer Chen Tran, Kate Farrell, Joan Gelfand, Humaira Ghilzai, Brenda Knight, Mary Knippel, Mary Mackey, Barbara Santos, Helen Sedwick, and Brooke Warner. 

Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter is a proud sponsor of the San Francisco Writers Conference with our logo displayed on the website and printed on the conference tote bag. Get ready for SFWC 2017 in our WNBA centennial year! If you’d like to be part of it and attend some sessions FREE, consider volunteering for the conference or at the WNBA exhibit table in 2017. 

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