LAURA DEBUTS “THE RISOTTO GURU,” HER NEWEST ON THE SHEBOOKS LABEL
Grottoite Laura Fraser’s new e-book, The Risotto Guru, is out! A Sardinian wedding feast, seaside pasta with wild fennel, meeting a risotto master: Laura Fraser journeys from the SpaghettiOs of her childhood to savor the best of Italian cuisine and the culture that cooked it up. Laura’s book is part of the launch of her new company Shebooks, short e-books for women. Download it for only $2.99 and check out http://www.shebooks.net.
HANNAH’S FIRST NOVEL PUBLISHED ON JANUARY 2ND!
Grottorati Hanna Mitchell’s first novel, The Defections, was published by the UK publisher Quercus Books on January 2nd. Set in Seoul, South Korea, The Defections is the story of a rebellious young interpreter who falls for a married British diplomat. Their love affair is doomed as he is forced to investigate her relationship to a North Korean defector and suddenly all that she has done to get closer to him becomes her undoing.
There are less than two weeks left to apply to Lit Camp, the writers conference co-sponsored by the Grotto and Litquake. Lit Camp 2014 faculty include authors Andrew Sean Greer, Susan Straight, Emily Rapp, Karen Joy Fowler, Tom Barbash, Peter Orner, Jane Ciabattari, and Janis Cooke Newman, agents Amy Williams, Mollie Glick, and Danielle Svetcov, and editors from Little Brown, Gray Wolf, McSweeney‚s, The Rumpus, and Zyzzyva.
Only 40 writers of fiction, memoir, and narrative nonfiction will be accepted to attend this four-day conference of morning workshops, panels, and yoga held at beautiful Mayacamas Ranch in the rolling hills of Calistoga.
Conference dates: Thursday, May 15 through Sunday, May 18, 2014
Submission deadline: January 15, 2014
THE NEW YORK TIMES HIGHLIGHTS DANIEL AS “A HOT NEW TALENT”
The Sunday Books section of the New York Times highlighted Grotto dweller Daniel Alarcon last month as “a Hot Talent in Peru and America.” Deborah Treisman, the fiction editor at The New Yorker (which has published several of his stories) noted: “There is always a kind of dark, haunted quality to his writing, a kind of noir undercurrent in which he is playing on the conventions of pulp fiction and cleverly combining it with the Latin American political novel, which is something I had not seen before.”
Our Winter Classes begin the week of January 14and classes are filling fast. This session we‚re offering everything from the novel to memoir, flash fiction to blogging, screenwriting to creating a writing habit.
We‚ve got day-long weekend workshops, as well as ongoing weekly evening classes. All of our classes are taught by Grotto authors, and all of our classes are held at our South of Market office. See what our students say about us on Yelphttp://tinyurl.com/kau7sj2
JOIN US ON JANUARY 26 FOR SPORTS DEBASEMENT: WHEN WRITERS GET PHYSICAL
What happens when writers leave their laptops and venture into the great outdoors? Find out on Sundayevening, January 26 when seven Grotto authors read hilarious and harrowing tales of their encounters with the physical world.
We‚re holding this event at the very cool Sports Basement on Bryant Street ˜ just up the road from our offices. Reading will be Grottoites Tom Barbash, Po Bronson, Rhodes Fishburn, Laura Fraser, Diana Kapp, James Nestor, and Caroline Paul. There will be food and drink ˜ and raffle prizes.
Raffle prizes will include a Ski Rental Package for the Season ($150 value), Lift Ticket to a local ski resort (up to $95 value), and a $100 Sports Basement Gift Card.
Plus, 20% of the purchase price of everything you buy that night will be donated to Dave Eggers’ Scholar Match!
$5-$10 sliding scale admission. You don‚t want to miss this.
We are pleased to announce the Grotto Fellows for 2014
Candace Eros Diaz
This year the selection of the Grotto Fellows has been more of a whole community event than ever before. We had over 60 applicants and many were extremely talented and interesting writers. We had amazing support this year from members and fellows who read submissions for us. Thank you for your help, readers! We will be planning a public reading for outgoing 2013 Grotto Fellows in February. Thanks also to Diana Kapp who joined the fellowship team late in the year and helped pull it all together.
Thank you readers: Susan Ito, Marie C. Baca, Louise Nayer, Alie Eteraz, Alastair Gee, Monica Campbell,Yalitza Ferreras,Vanessa Hua, Gretchen Schrafft, Kirsten Menger-Anderson,Connie Hale and Zahra Noorbakhsh
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS! SUBMIT TO LAVINIA SPALDING’S BEST TRAVEL WRITING, VOLUME 10
Call For Submissions! Grottoite Lavinia Spalding is accepting submissions for The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 10, to be published by Travelers’ Tales in fall of 2014. Please send your best true travel tales for consideration by March 1st, 2014. Stories can already be published, provided you retain the rights. Please see complete submission guidelines at http://www.laviniaspalding.com
VANESSA’S WORK APPEARS IN THE RECENT DAILYLIT’S COLLECTION
Grotto dweller Vanessa Hua’s excerpt from her novel-in-progress appears in DailyLit’s collection, “You Don’t Look Like Your Pictures: Stories of Love from the Digital Age.” Contributors include authors Adam Haslett, Deni Béchard and Tova Mirvis. Read it at http://dailylit.com/book/262-line-please
CHRISTOPHER AND HIS PROGRESSIVE MESSAGE CONSULTANCY RUNNING A STATEWIDE CAMPAIGN
Longtime Grotto dweller Christopher Cook is excited to report that he has been hired as Campaign Director for a candidate for United States Senate (more details when formally announced). Chris and his Progressive Message consultancy will be running the statewide campaign in hopes of turning a red state blue this year. Keep in touch with him throughhttp://www.christopherdcook.com, and http://www.theprogressivemessage.org.
CONNIE LEADS THE SECOND ANNUAL HAWAII WRITERS RETREAT THIS MAY 4-9
Imagine walking on the beach at dawn, exploring new paths in your writing in the morning, scribbling in the shade of a casuarina tree in the afternoon, listening to Hawaiian music in the evening, and sleeping to the sound of waves each night. Think your writing might burst open like a yellow plumeria? The Mokule‚ia Writers Retreat welcomes writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays, and memoir for six days and five nights at a 30-acre camp on a remote beach on OŒahu. Grottoite Connie Hale is joined by veteran writing teachers and Hawaiian cultural legends. This is her home turf, and she will also take you to sacred corners of the island, with a little yoga, swimming, and beachcombing thrown in. Families and companions welcome. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for info or registration or visit http://sinandsyntax.com/mokuleia-writers-retreat/
FROM OUR FRIENDS AT THE BOOKSMITH
Friday, January 10
7:30 PM at The Booksmith on Haight Street
The best possible way to begin a literary new year:
On Such a Full Sea
From the beloved award-winning author of Native Speaker and The Surrendered, ON SUCH A FULL SEA is a highly provocative, deeply affecting story of one woman‚s legendary quest in a shocking, future America. It’s our pleasure and privilege to welcome its author this evening. You will not want to miss meeting and hearing him — or reading this spectacular, hard-to-put-down tale.
JD’s Art Picks for JANUARY 2014
FOG DESIGN + ART AT FORT MASON JANUARY 17-19
Presented in collaboration with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the new FOG Design+Art Fair will feature important 20th-century and contemporary design dealers from across the country and beyond as well as a selection of leading modern and contemporary art galleries. Furniture, fine art, and design objects representing design movements from the last century to today will be presented in a dynamic layout designed to complement the exhibitor offerings. Special preview gala benefitting SFMOMA programs on January 16th. More information at http://fogfair.com/
AMIKAM TOREN AT JESSICA SILVERMAN GALLERY
A respected figure in Europe, Toren gets his first show in the States at the new venue of one of the Bay Area’s most ambitious galleries. He presents paintings from the ’80s and ’90s of abstracted letters, the pigment of each derived from a single day’s issue of the London Times. Amikam Toren: “Of The Times” and Other Historic Works,” ThroughJan. 19. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Jessica Silverman Gallery, 488 Ellis St., S.F. (415) 255-9508. http://www.jessicasilvermangallery.com.
DISSIDENT FUTURES AT THE YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS
LAST MONTH! Dissident Futures is an investigation into possible alternative futures, particularly those that question or overturn conventional notions of innovation in biological, social, environmental, and technological structures. Either through active engagement with future studies or through intuitive investigation, the artists and designers in Dissident Futures envision a future that expands beyond our conventional expectations. Loosely structured around three thematic strands˜the utopian, the speculative, and the pragmatic˜the exhibition furthers our understanding of how artists are addressing potentiality and the unknown, from the most desired future to the most feared. ThroughFebruary 2, 2014. More information athttp://www.ybca.org/dissident-futures
PIER 24’S EXHIBITION
Pier 24 Photography, one of the world’s premier exhibition spaces for photo-base work, presents A Sense of Place, an exploration of how photographs shape the perception of our environments. Together, the exhibited works shift in scale from room size installations to small, quiet photographs, transporting the viewer through a variety of locations, memories, and emotive experiences. Highlights include Lee Friedlander’s America by Car, a series documenting both the everyday and specific eccentricities in the United States from the confines of his car, shifting the viewer to a variety of places from the familiar frame of a car window. Erik Kessels’ installation 24 HRS in Photos creates a cascading room filled – floor to ceiling – with printed versions of every picture uploaded to Flickr during a 24-hour period, allowing the viewer to both visually and physically experience the overwhelming number of photographs shared online. The pictures assembled in A Sense of Place demonstrate what photography does best: engage our attention with the everyday – to what we might otherwise bypass – inspiring us to take another, closer look at the places that surround us. Artists include: Robert Adams, Doug Aitken, Uta Barth, Edward Burtynsky, Eric William Carroll, John Chiara, Jan De Cock, Moyra Davey, Thomas Demand, Jose Manuel Fors, Lee Friedlander, Paul Graham, Andreas Gursky, Todd Hido, Rinko Kawauchi, Veronika Kellndorfer, Erik Kessels, Lucia Koch, Richard Learoyd, Richard Misrach, Asako Narahasi, Stephen Shore, Cinthya Soto, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jeff Wall, and selections from the Sack Photographic Trust. Through May 2014. More information at http://www.pier24.org/exhibition/current.html
JAMES TURRELL AT THE LA COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART
Not to be missed. I’m taking a special trip to Los Angeles to see this one. You have to book tickets to see it ahead of time, though! James Turrell: A Retrospective explores nearly fifty years in the career of James Turrell (b. 1943, Los Angeles), a key artist in the Southern California Light and Space movement of the 1960s and 70s. The exhibition includes early geometric light projections, prints and drawings, installations exploring sensory deprivation and seemingly unmodulated fields of colored light, and recent two-dimensional work with holograms. One section is devoted to the Turrell masterwork in process, Roden Crater, a site-specific intervention into the landscape just outside Flagstaff, Arizona, presented through models, plans, photographs, and films. Through April 2014.http://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/james-turrell-retrospective
Guilty Pleasures: Dirt-cheap holiday candy (chocolate covered marshmallow Santas!) marked down at Walgreens; Will Ferrell in “Elf;” dim sum at the Hong Kong Lounge; strange artifacts and design finds at HD Buttercup; a Breaking Bad marathon; “This is the End,” one of the funniest celebrity movies ever, and the infectious 24 hours of “Happy” from Pharrell Williams athttp://24hoursofhappy.com/
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.