Author Day Book Signing on June 14 at the San Mateo County Fair

Written by Laurel on June 1st, 2014

At the 2014 San Mateo County Fair, thirty-one local authors will gather near the Literary Arts Stage in Expo Hall to sell and sign their books on June 14, 2-4 p.m. Here’s a great opportunity to support local authors and your own reading habit. Plus you might even find a perfect gift for a friend.

Authors present will include Beth Barany, Ezra Barany, Rita Beach, Jacqueline Berger, Karen Blake, Loretta Breuning, Michael P. Burwen, Kalamu Chaché, Robert M. Davis, Darlene Frank, Valerie Estelle Frankel, Caroline Goodwin, Rain Graves, James Hanna, Holly Harman, Laurel Anne Hill, Michele Jessen, Marjorie Bicknell Johnson, Audrey Kalman, Ellaraine Lockie, C. Sanford Lowe, F.M. Kahren, Claire Mack, Arlene Miller, Elise Frances Miller, Sue Oksanen, J.L. Powers, Emerian Rich, Sandra Saidak, Sumiko Saulson and David T. Wolf.

To learn more about these talented local authors and poets, go to


San Mateo County Fair 2014 Literary Arts Program: Literary Stage Schedule and Location

Written by Laurel on May 31st, 2014

Laurel Anne Hill and her Amazing Steampunk Cookie Press

Laurel Anne Hill and her Amazing Steampunk Cookie Press

Planning to attend the 2014 San Mateo County Fair?  Be sure to check the schedule of events going on at the Literary Arts Stage in Expo Hall (San Mateo Event Center), shown below.  For more information on individual events, go to:

Warm wishes,

Laurel Anne Hill (


Literary Arts Stage Schedule, June 7-14, 2014

2014 San Mateo County Fair Literary Stage Sch 5.06.14_001


Location of the Literary Arts Stage in the Fine Arts Galleria

galleria literary stage (2) drawing


Fun for Science Fiction/Fantasy Fans at the 2014 San Mateo County Fair

Written by Laurel on May 31st, 2014

Science Fiction/Fantasy Fun at the 2014 San Mateo County Fair.  Drop by and see what’s going on at the Literary Stage Area in Expo Hall.


ON MONDAY, JUNE 9, 2014, 3-5 PM
Kids’ Day Craft Project Led by Laurel Anne Hill
San Mateo County Fair, San Mateo Event Center, Expo Hall, Galleria Stage


Laurel Anne Hill

Laurel Anne Hill


Award-Winning Science Fiction/Fantasy Author Laurel Anne Hill will again organize this craft activity. Want to design a creature that could live on a high-gravity planet, adapt to temperature extremes, or just look way cool?  Be sure to stop by the Literary Arts Stage area and put together your very own space alien to take home with you. Craft supplies will be provided free. For more information about Laurel, go to

Remember that Monday, June 9, is Kids’ Day at the San Mateo County Fair.  Children 12 years of age and younger will be admitted free. 



Beth Barany Ezra Barany  Robert Davis

     Beth Barany               Ezra Barany             Robert M. Davis


SAMSUNG   MarjorieJohnson Headshot   C Sanford Lowe headshot

     Rain Graves        Marjorie Bicknell Johnson    C. Sanford Lowe


Emerian rich headshot   Sandra Saidak headshot   Sumiko Saulson headshot

     Emerian Rich              Sandra Saidak            Sumiko Saulson

The above authors will be among the 31 authors selling and signing their books on June 14, from 2-4 p.m. by the Fair’s Literary Arts Stage. For more information on these authors, their links are on the San Mateo County Fair website:


Literary Stage Schedule for the week of June 7-14:

2014 San Mateo County Fair Literary Stage Sch 5.06.14_001


FREE WRITING WORKSHOPS AND CONSULTATIONS at the San Mateo County Fair, June 7–14, 2014

Written by Laurel on May 31st, 2014

for writers attending the San Mateo County Fair, June 7–14, 2014

San Mateo Event Center, San Mateo, CA, Expo Hall, Fine Arts Galleria


POETRY/PROSE WORKSHOP: SATURDAY, JUNE 7, 5-6 P.M. (Presented by Michele Jessen)

Michele Jessen

Michele Jessen


Mrs. Michele Jessen is a writer who loves to combine fantasy, science fiction and lyrical poetry into her fictional stories. Her first novel, Angels of the Dream Clouds, is unusual because of its use of lyrics as a language for the angelic characters. Each poem has a hidden philosophical meaning on many important life topics.



baipa logo croppedBay Area Independent Publishers Association is a not-for-profit organization open to anyone. We focus on all aspects of self- and independent publishing to help our members complete everything from writer to reader. Our members are book designers, marketers, editors, writers, printers, publishers, photographers, graphic artists and many other professions involved in bringing books to market.  During the festival BAIPA will present a series of experts giving an overview of things you need to know to publish your book and resources for more complete information.

(Presented by Scott Thomas Anderson)

Scott Thomas Anderson

Scott Thomas Anderson

Award-winning journalist Scott Thomas Anderson discusses why writers should refuse to surrender their literary arsenal when tackling reality. He’ll talk about identifying a universal story-arc in everyday events; how to capture character dimensions of actual people; and how to transmute locations into living, breathing settings on the page. Anderson is the author of Shadow People: how meth-driven crime is eating at the heart of rural America.


ON SUNDAY, JUNE 8, 4-5 P.M.  (Presented by Laurel Anne Hill)

Laurel Anne Hill

Laurel Anne Hill

All right, you’ve done it! You’ve completed the first draft of your short story or novel. Yet what should you do next? Fill in all the blank spaces you left in your manuscript? Make sure you’ve written only realistic dialogue? Contact friends to be beta-readers? Open that bottle of champagne? Award-winning author Laurel Anne Hill will offer her advice to workshop participants, and let them compare samples of her ugly firsts drafts with the corresponding finished products.   



Beth Barany

Beth Barany

 Many authors think that book promotions are about giving away tchotchkes, like bookmarks, key rings, coffee mugs to get attention for their books. But actually, book promotions start with one of the most powerful yet overlooked methods to promote your books: by what you actually say. Word of mouth still sells more books than any other promotional tool out there. And aspiring authors: You can use this tool now. 


Bring the first 1-2 pages of your short story or novel for a critique by an expert. Sign-ups for 15-minute sessions will be on a first come, first served basis. To sign up, please come to the Fine Arts Stage in Expo Hall on June 8 or June 9. 

Beth Barany: Writer’s coach; Author; Marketing advisor for novelists; Speaker.

Darlene Frank: Writer, Editor; Creativity Coach.

Tory Hartmann: Managing Editor, Parenting on the Peninsula; Also an editor at Sand Hill Review Press; Author.

Laurel Anne Hill: Author; Writers’ Workshop Leader; Writing Contest Judge.

Audrey Kalman: Author; Consultant; Current Editor of Fault Zone Anthology.

Lisa Meltzer-Penn: Author and former editor (including Fault Zone).

Sandra Saidak: Author; English Teacher; BayCon Writers’ Workshop Leader.

Chris Wachlin: Co-founder of Stoneslide Media (Stoneside Books and The Stoneslide Corrective e-magazine). President of CWC SF/Peninsula Branch.


WRITER’S JOURNEY WORKSHOP, TUESDAY, 6/10/14, 2:00-3:30 P.M.  (Presented by Darlene Frank)

Darlene Frank

Darlene Frank


The writing journey is never dull. It calls and consumes us; it demands persistence and stamina and a high level of confidence. This workshop will introduce you to seven key elements of the writer’s journey, and we’ll do a few activities that will help you feel confident, committed and inspired as you move forward on your unique writing journey.




Mary Knippel

Mary Knippel


A great experience for the young and the young at heart. We’ll explore the secrets of keeping a journal and discover how combining bits of paper, glue, and magazine images create magic!




Frank A. Saunders

Frank A. Saunders


Frank A. Saunders writes poetry, fiction, scientific articles and music, most recently the portfolio “A Scent of Tea.” Frank will read selections from his poetry and fiction, as well as offering an interactive discussion about the process of writing, especially encouraging new writers to “tell their story”.


THURSDAY, JUNE 12, 5:30–6:00 P.M.  (Presented by Marjorie Bicknell Johnson) 

Marjorie B. Johnson

Marjorie B. Johnson


Marjorie Bicknell Johnson is a retired Santa Clara high school mathematics teacher. She has accompanied archaeologists to Maya ruins in Yucatán. Also a pilot, she has flown small airplanes throughout the American Southwest. Her novel, Jaguar Princess: the Last Maya Shaman, incorporates all of these experiences. More at



MANUSCRIPT READINESS:  SATURDAY, JUNE 14, 4-5 P.M. (Presented by Laurel Anne Hill)

Laurel Anne Hill

Laurel Anne Hill

All right, your novel or short story is ready to ship to an agent or editor. Or, is it ready? Should you have made more of those changes your writing group suggested? Or did you let your story arc sink in the sea of rewriting? Is your story even YOUR STORY anymore?  Was your story ever a story in the first place? We think our stories are ready when we send them out. Yet it’s possible to overthink or not think enough. Award-winning author Laurel Anne Hill will offer her advice on manuscript readiness.


HOW TO SELL YOUR BOOK TO READERS: SATURDAY, JUNE 14, 5-6 P.M.  (Presented by Ezra Barany)

Ezra Barany

Ezra Barany

The Million Dollar Question: Great writing and a great story will not sell your novel, but answering this question will.
A lot of authors think that as long as they write a good story and write it well, readers will want to read their book. The truth is that great writing doesn’t sell books, word-of-mouth does. While your writing does need to be good, you must answer the million-dollar question, “What must I write to get my readers eager to tell their friends about my book?” Most authors never even think about this question. Author Ezra Barany will share with you the four surprising ways to answer that question when writing your novel.

For more information about presenters go to:


Literary Arts Stage Schedule at the Fair:

2014 San Mateo County Fair Literary Stage Sch 5.06.14_001



Author Laurel Anne Hill at BayCon 32: May 23-26, 2014, Santa Clara, CA

Written by Laurel on May 13th, 2014

Laurel and her amazing steampunk cookie press

Laurel and her amazing steampunk cookie press

Six Panels, two Birds-of-a-Feather gatherings and a writers workshop!  I just received my awesome schedule from the BayCon Programming Committee.  The 2014 BayCon Science Fiction/Fantasy Convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, CA, May 23-26.   I hope to see some of you there.

Warm wishes,

Laurel Anne Hill (Award-Winning Author of “Heroes Arise)


Building Your Writing Community on Friday at 5:00 PM in Bayshore
[Adrienne Gormley, Setsu Uzume, Dario Ciriello (Moderator), Beth Barany, Dan Hope, Laurel Anne Hill]

So you’re thinking about writing but don’t know how to start. Or you have a manuscript but you’re not ready to show anyone. This panel will discuss how to identify where you are in the process of finishing your book, different types of writing groups and how to utilize them, when to recognize when your work is ready for beta readers, and how to give and receive critique with grace and encouragement.

Horror Steampunk, Clockpunk, Cyberpunk – How Do You Like Your Horror Punked? on Friday at 9:30 PM in Alameda
[Laurel Anne Hill (moderator) Kevin Andrew Murphy, Colin Fisk]

As if horror wasn’t twisted enough, we have to twist it even more. Do you like your horror with gears or wires? Panelists discuss the best punks of horror.


Birds of a Feather: Steampunk on Saturday at 10:00 AM in Other 5
(with Margaret McGaffey Fisk and Laurel Anne Hill)

How much steam is in your punk?  How much punk is in your steam?  Come join other enthusiasts of this aesthetic, musical, literary, costuming and lifestyle movement, and share experiences and ideas.

When Good Food Turns Evil on Saturday at 2:00 PM in Lawrence
[Christine Doyle, Sydney Thomson, M.D., Dario Ciriello (moderator) and Laurel Anne Hill]

At one time, margarine was touted as a healthier alternative to butter. This ended after the dangers of trans-fats was discovered. There are still differing opinions on what makes a healthy diet, even after decades of research. What highly touted food items might not be as healthy as you think? Join the panelists as they chew the fat on this topic.

Birds of a Feather: Horror on Saturday at 9:30 PM in Alameda
[Emerian Rich (moderator), Jason Malcolm Stewart, Laurel Anne Hill]


Writers Workshop:  Laurel Anne Hill will be one of the leaders of a closed writing workshop on Sunday Morning.

Five Dollars, a Dead Fish and a Time Machine: Alternate History on Sunday at 5:00 PM in Alameda

[Kathleen Barthlomew, Bob Brown (moderator), Laurel Anne Hill]

Do-it-yourself alternate history. What if you were given three items? Where would you go back to, what would you change, what trouble would you cause?


Steampunk in Literature on Monday at 10:00 AM in Stevens Creek
[Carrie Sessarego (moderator), Cliff Winnig, Steve Frankel, Laurel Anne Hill]

Discussion of Victorian technology and the proper use of steam power, gunpowder, goggles, and the pith helmet. Especially the goggles.

New Classics: Five Recent SF & F Books you Should Read on Monday at 11:30 AM in Alameda
[Laurel Anne Hill (moderator), Kyle Aisteach, Randy Smith]

What books published in the last decade shouldn’t you miss?


Is your short story worth $3,000? Enter the Stoneslide Story Contest and find out!

Written by Laurel on May 5th, 2014


Laurel and her amazing steampunk cookie press

Laurel and her amazing steampunk cookie press

Stoneslide Media publishes both  Stoneslide Books and The Stoneslide Corrective. The company was founded by Christopher Wachlin and Jonathan Weisberg, who oversee all editorial functions. Christopher is a long-time friend of mine. The Stoneslide Story Contest looks like a great one to enter, so I’m sharing the link: Have fun writing!

Laurel Anne Hill (Award-winning author of “Heroes Arise”)


The Stoneslide Story Contest

Open to any kind of story up to 10,000 words in length.

They are looking for previously unpublished stories that exemplify the power of narrative to make one think and feel. Ideal stories will use character, plot, description, humor, and concept to open new emotional and cognitive territory for readers. The contest is judged by the editors.


1st $3,000 + publication

2nd $500 + possible publication*

3rd $250 + possible publication*

Four stories will also be recognized for:
-striking use of wit: $100*
-beguiling character: $100*
-description that makes them think they were really there: $100*
-propulsive plot line and/or scene $100*

*All honorees will be considered for publication in the forthcoming Stoneslide Collection, and/or in The Stoneslide Corrective


Contest opens Thursday, March 20 (first day of spring)
Entries due by Saturday, June 21 (first day of summer)
Notification made on Tuesday, September 23 (first day of fall)


What do you have to do? Write a kick-ass story. Go to the Stoneslide website:  Submit story and pay a $10 entry fee.

Wait for an answer…
Get more and more anxious.
Yell at your kids and the dog.
Imagine how good it would feel to win.
Try using the Stoneslide Rejection Generator to calm your nerves.
Rabidly check your email on September 23.


Author Laurel Anne Hill at the BIG WOW! ComicFest May 17-18, 2014

Written by Laurel on May 4th, 2014

Laurel and her amazing steampunk cookie press

Laurel and her amazing steampunk cookie press


May 17-18, 2014

May 17-18, 2014








WHAM !  POW!  KA-BOOM!  Reality has just smacked me between my big blue bloodshot eyes.  The BIG WOW! ComicFest draws nearer and nearer and I’ll be there in Artist’s Alley, Booth 421A, at the San Jose Convention Center.  This is soooo exciting.  I’ll have my steampunk cookie press on display at my booth and, naturally, some copies of my books.  Fans of girl superhero stories should check out my new short story, “The Storm Riders” in Fault Zone: Shift.

My hours at Booth 421A will be as follows:   

May 17, 3-6 pm
May 18, 10 am – 5 pm

As Stage Manager for the Literary Stage at the upcoming San Mateo County Fair (June 7-15, 2014), I’ll also have fliers about the terrific literary arts program at the fair this year.

Please drop by and say hello.

Warm wishes,
Laurel Anne Hill (Author of “Heroes Arise”)


San Mateo County Fair Writing Contests: for writers inside AND outside of California (Deadline April 1, 2014)

Written by Laurel on February 24th, 2014

Got writing?  Whether you write poetry, prose, fiction, nonfiction, literary, western, mysteries/thrillers, science fiction or fantasy, the San Mateo County Fair has a contest for you.  There are even special categories for podcasters and writers 55 years and older.  Plus, there’s an opportunity for a U.S. student writer to win a $20,000 creative writing scholarship to Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California.

Writers from BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE of California may enter the San Mateo County Fair writing contests. 

Writers must be at least sixteen years of age to enter in the adult divisions.  The deadline is April 1, 2014.  The fee for each adult division entry is $10.

Most of the contests award cash prizes.

Winners in the adult divisions, pending their permission, will have all or part of their winning entries published in the annual Carry the Light Anthology.  The anthology, to be published by the Sand Hill Review Press, will be sold at the fair and on

For more information, go to:

Happy writing!

Laurel Anne Hill (Author of “Heroes Arise”)



Laurel Anne Hill Featured in San Francisco Examiner Online!

Written by Laurel on February 23rd, 2014

“February is Women in Horror Month,” writes Sumiko Saulson of the Arts and Entertainment section.  “It is part of an initiative designed to celebrate and bring attention to the achievements of women in all aspects of the horror genre.”

Sumiko features ten women horror writers in her article, and I’m included.  I feel so honored!

The writers featured are: Anne Rice, Rain Graves, Jewelle Gomez, Fran Friel, Emerian Rich, Linda Kay Silva, Laurel Anne Hill, Sumiko Saulson, Loren Rhoads and Serena Toxicat.

To read the article, go to:

And please purchase (and read) stories by women horror writers.  Support our efforts!

Warm wishes,

Laurel Anne Hill



RADCON, THE AMAZING! (RadCon 2014 Photo slide show/video on Youtube, created by Laurel Anne Hill)

Written by Laurel on February 22nd, 2014

Hi everyone,

I’m back from RadCon 6B.  I always have fun at RadCon and this year was no exception.

RadCon is a science fiction/fantasy convention held annually in Pasco, Washington, during the month of February.  It’s a fantastic con and I really love the way youth as well as adults join in the fun.  RadCon sponsors writing and art contests for youth, and also arranges for guest participants to visit local schools and talk to students about their occupations and craft.  

Laurel, Dragon and David

One of my favorite costumes this year











 To view my slide show video of people and costumes from the RadCon 2014 event, go to Youtube:  


Enjoy!  And please visit  
May the memories of RadCon 6B be with you!

Laurel Anne Hill (Award-Winning Author of “Heroes Arise”)