Former professor hosts writing lesson
A seminar on creative writing was led by an award-winning author, bringing a group of aspiring writers together from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
As a Contra Costa College English fee-based course ENGL 800CE, "How can I complete my book?" cost $35 to attend and took place at the City of San Pablo Economic Development Center.
"I heard that (CCC) was offering fee-based courses so I came up with this event together with (Marketing and Communications Coordinator) Michele Jackson," former CCC English professor Elizabeth Rosner said.
"I was hoping to inspire, guide writers, share my experience and to give people direction and hope," she said.
Author of "The Speed of Light" and "Blue Nude," Rosner said that teaching is something she cares about deeply.
"I still teach because I love teaching," she said. "I love sharing my enthusiasm for literature."
Among those who attended was Anika Hamilton, who self-published a poetry book "Urban Eyes: Flames of My Time."
Hamilton said because of her interest in publishing, she decided to attend the event.
"I want to get to a place where I can share my journey with people," Hamilton said.
The three-hour seminar covered six steps to completing and getting a book published.
Topics covered ranged from honing character authenticity to finding credible copy editors.
Rosner also shared her own personal experience as an author and admitted that it took her close to 10 years to finish her first novel.
"It's like teaching a child to walk. You can lecture them and they can watch videos of people walking, but that won't teach them - they learn on their own," Rosner said as a way to encourage her students to prepare themselves for the process of publishing.
Vallejo Rescue Mission Church of God in Christ Pastor Yaahn Hunter was another student readily taking in Rosner's lecture and experience.
Hunter said he was particularly interested in the options when it comes to publishing a book.
At the event, Hunter was happy to find that Rosner answered his questions in depth and listed the pros and cons of each type of publication.
"It was informative and specific questions were answered," Hunter said about the lecture.
"It gave me great references for more research and was extremely motivational. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in writing and publishing."
The small class number gave a more intimate feel to the lecture.
Students were able to share their own resources, experiences and most importantly their passion for writing.
"I didn't find writing, writing found me," Hamilton said. "Writing is living - it's life. It's what makes life worth living. When I can't tell you about something, I can write about it. I go to sleep and wake up thinking about writing."
Rosner also encouraged her students to network among one another and with other writers in order to get feedback and support from them.
"Writing is a unique form of communication. I believe in the power of feeling and transformation by words," Rosner said.
During the event, she urged her students to find that balance between daily life and time for writing.
The aspiring writers present exchanged their contact information at the end of the seminar hoping to stay in touch.
Participants happily looked forward to when their names would be printed on a hard copy of their own book.
"Writing is the ability to express your thoughts on paper so that others can see life through your eyes," Hunter said.
"Writing can be educational and inspirational and I would like my writing to be a combination of both - I want it to bring enlightenment."
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