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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Writers Conference in Temecula

Where Else Can You Meet with Agents from the Dijkstra Agency and BJ Robbins, talk with published authors, learn how to get published and write sellable fiction, then meet a book on demand publisher?

There may be other writing conferences but this is the only one with small workshops (under 20) and for an affordable price ($10 per session).

Old Town Temecula’s Erle Stanley Gardner Writers Weekend is offering low cost workshops and panels on publishing Saturday, November 7 at the Mary Phillips Senior Center on 6th Street in Old Town Temecula.

The most popular of activities is the Agent’s Panel at 1 p.m. Jill Marr, is an acquiring associate agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Marr graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and a minor in History. She has a strong Internet and media background as well as over 10 years of publishing experience.

Marr is interested in commercial fiction, especially women’s fiction, multi-cultural fiction, young adult, historic fiction, mysteries and thrillers. She is also looking for non-fiction in the areas of self-help, inspirational, memoir (she loves travel and foodie memoirs), parenting, history, health & nutrition, pop culture, humor and music.

She will be joined by BJ Robbins. Robbins started in publicity at Simon & Schuster and was later Marketing Director and then Senior Editor at Harcourt. Her agency (opened in 1992) represents quality fiction, both literary and commercial, and general nonfiction with interest in memoir, biography, narrative history, pop culture, sports, travel/adventure, medicine and health. Her client list includes James D. Houston, Craig Ferguson, and Wendy Werris. She has led workshops at UCLA Extension and UC Irvine Extension.

Other workshops include authors Gordon Johnson on comparing the mysteries of Erle Stanley Gardner and Raymond Chandler, Sheila Lowe on forensic handwriting analysis and incorporating it into your mystery, Marilyn Meredith on crafting a novel, romantic suspense author Kara Lennox, and publisher Robert Preece. Workshops are $5 each when pre-registered or $10 at the door.

An event designed to celebrate one of Temecula’s most famous residents and Perry Mason creator Erle Stanley Gardner, the weekend includes exhibits at the Temecula Museum and a mystery dinner on Thursday, November 5 at Baily’s Restaurant in Old Town Temecula titled “Della and Perry’s Engagement Murder Mystery.” The event is at 6:30 p.m. and $50 per person. It includes a three course meal with chocolate mousse for dessert and the murder mystery performed by the Temecula Valley Players.

Friday, November 6 at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater is the annual step back to simple music fun with “Around Uncle Erle’s Campfire.” An evening of Western Music and Cowboy Poetry, performances by Jason Ringenberg and Sourdough Slim.

Jason Ringenberg maintains a prolific catalog an ability to change with the times offering current Americana music.

Sourdough Slim is an accordion squeezin' Will Rogers packing ten gallons vaudevillian fun. Funny-man Sourdough Slim transports the audience to a whimsical world where vaudevillian camp and cowboy lore intermingle to produce grins galore the show starts at 8 p.m.

Saturday, the Golden Valley Music Society in honor of Erle Stanley Gardner Mystery Weekend will perform the world premiere of a piece written especially for this occasion by the brilliant composer Joseph Waters. The first piece of the evening, however, will be the complete original version of Aaron Copland's inspiring Appalachian Spring, danced by members of the Temecula Dance Company. For information contact www.goldenvalleymusicsociety.org, the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Gardner was one of the more famous residents of the Temecula Valley and wrote many of his mysteries from the historic Rancho del Paisano. A prolific writer, he wrote more than 700 fictional works, with 80 books featuring the crime-solving attorney Perry Mason.

A speed-sale book fair will be held in the multipurpose room of the Mary Phillips Senior Center at noon with all authors getting a short one-minute chance to talk about their books to potential readers. It is open free to local published authors. To participate call Melody at (951) 678-1456. Space is limited.

For information visit the website at www.temeculacalifornia.com.