PRESENTER SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2019 (Hesperia Library)
10:30 – 12:00 WRITING WORKSHOP with John Saunders, author of “One in Six” – The Healing Power of memoir writing.
1:00 – 2:30  Professor Ruth Nolan conducts writing workshop to “Explore your Inner Desert” as part of the Exploring the Literature of the California Desert series, funded in part by California Humanities.
3:30 – 5:00 Presentation by Diana Lindsay from Sunbelt Publication in El Cajon: Discussing the book “Marshal South and the Ghost Mountain Chronicles: An Experiment in Primitive Living.”
10:00 – 11:30  Professor Ruth Nolan, College of the Desert: Exploring the Literature of the California Desert
12:00 – 1:00       Literary Agents Speak: Find out what it takes to make a good pitch to a literary agent… and find out which genres these agents are looking for in potential clients
1:30 – 2:30    Literature of the California Desert Panel w/ Madeline Gornell, author of “Reticence of Ravens”; Mary DeSantis, author of “Ashling”; and Aaron Gansky, author of “The Bargain.”
3:00 – 4:00     Gina Capaldi, Illustrator – Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
4:30 – 5:30     John Saunders, Author of “One in Six”

(times subject to change)


We are proud to announce that we are the recipients of a 2019 Cal Humanities For All Quick Grant for a special symposium within our 2019 book festival that will explore literature inspired by the California Desert. This special area of the book festival will be comprised of poetry and prose readings from works by our audience, local writers, as well as from famous works of literature, all leading to public discussions about writing that evokes haunting imagery and feelings about our California desert.
Aspiring and published authors will participate, including Ruth Nolan, professor of English at the College of the Desert. Several events will be filmed to broadcast on our YouTube channel. We will explore the lore, mystique and history surrounding legendary desert names in film and books–the Mojave, Death Valley, Palm Springs, Route 66 and Barstow.



John is an author, counsellor, child sexual abuse advocate (and survivor) and Workplace Communications  Assessor and Trainer.  John has the ability to clearly articulate the emotionality and events that happened that other victims cannot. He is a designer and facilitator of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Public Education Forums. He is the first person in Australia to take the Catholic Church to court on a Duty of Care case.


GINA CAPALDI, from Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators
If you are a children’s writer or interested in illustration, you will want to attend the presentation by Gina Capaldi from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. You will have a chance to meet her at her booth as well! Read some of these glowing reviews:
     “The Passover Cowboy by Barbara Diamond Goldin; Illustrated by Gina Capaldi
“… but it’s Capaldi’s (Red Bird Sings) sun-infused watercolors that make the story sing. She lyrically evokes the sense of new possibilities on the wide-open Argentinian plains, the exhilaration of feeling safe and free, and the coming together of two different cultures. ” – Publishers Weekly
     “Capaldi’s watercolor illustrations fill the pages with action and personality. A Seder and cowboy clothes are beautifully woven together.”- Kirkus Reviews

Our panel of literary agents will give a presentation on “How to Make an Effective Pitch to an Agent” so that you can better craft your pitches. IN ADDITION… You an Have a literary agent read and critique your writing. The FEE is $100 and details on a separate link from our home page.
      It has become popular at writers’ conferences to have a separate paid option of a literary agent critique. These sessions often sell out, so we encourage you to sign up early. Many authors who have done these critique submissions get signed by a literary agent.
      Our Lit Agent Critique provides authors with a rare chance to have a literary agent read their work, and provide personal feedback on their writing. Who knows – you may get signed you as a client! We have a panel of four literary agents who will review your written submissions of a ten-page writing sample from one of your creative works (no screenplays or theatrical plays). The agents will provide you with personal feedback on the good, bad and in between of your submission.