Demystifying the Path to Publication: Three Writers Discuss Everything from Where Ideas Come From to How Work Gets Published

Image advertising Demystifying the Path to Publication: Three Writers Discuss Everything from Where Ideas Come From to How Work Gets Published at Oakland Public Library

Three widely published writers - Laurie Ann Doyle, Lily Iona MacKenzie, and Lori Ostlund - will take on questions large and small related to the sometimes mystifying topic of how writers find venues for their work.  The three will talk first about their own writing trajectories - how they got started, obstacles they faced along the way, themes and preoccupations of their work - and will read briefly from their books.  The event will culminate in an extended Q&A, so please bring questions!  The event is open to fiction writers and bloggers, poets and memoirists, of all ages and at all levels. 

Laurie's bio:

Laurie Ann Doyle's new collection of stories, World Gone Missing (Regal House Publishing) was named as a top book pick by The East Bay Express and praised by The New York Times bestselling author Edan Lepucki for delivering "astute portrayals of people who desire connection, hope, and renewal."  Winner of the Alligator Juniper  National Fiction Award and a Pushcart Prize nominee, Doyle's stories and essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Review, Jabberwock Review, and Under the Sun, among many other literary journals, and anthologized in Speack and Speak Again (Pact Press).  She teaches creative writing at the San Francisco Writers Grotto and UC Berkeley.

Lily's bio:

A Canadian by birth, a high school dropout, and a mother at 17, Lily Iona MacKenzie has taken a circuitous path to becoming a published writer.  She's worked as a stock girl, a long distance operator, and a secretary (Bechtel Corp sponsored her into the States).  She also was a cocktail waitress at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel, became the first woman to work on the SF docks, and almost got her legs broken, founded and managed a homeless shelter in Marin County, co-created The Story Stoppe, a weekly radio program for children, and eventually earned two Master's degrees, one in Creative Writing and the other in the Humanities.  Her reviews, interviews, short fiction, poetry, travel pieces, essays, and memoir have appeared in over 155 American and Canadian venues.  Fling! was published in 2015.  Curva Peligrosa, another novel, launched in 2017.  Freefall: A Divine Comedy will be released in 2018.  Her poetry collection, All This, was published in 2011.  She taught rhetoric for over 30 years at the University of San Francisco (USF) and currently teaches creative writing at USF's Fromm Institute of Lifelong Learning.  She also blogs at

Lori's bio:

Lori Ostlund's first book, a story collection entitled The Bigness of the World, won the Flannery O'Connor Award and the California Book Award for First Fiction.  Her stories have appeared in the Best American Short Stories and the PEN/O.  Henry Prize Stories and in literary journals such as ZYZZYVA and New England Review.  Her novel, After the Parade (Scribner, 2015), was a B&N Discover pick and a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.  She is a teacher and lives in San Francisco with her wife and cats, though she spent her formative years in Minnesota, catless.


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Lakeview Branch

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Oakland, CA 94610
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