Saturday, July 15, 2023 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT
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Finley Community Center 
2060 W. College Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95401


Janice Rowley 
Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club 
(707) 236-0093 


Keys to Personal Essay: A Workshop with Susan Bono 

IMPORTANT: This workshop will be held in Room 3 of the Pearson Wing at the Finley Center. If you are not sure where that is, the front desk will have directions. 


Do you know which of the five essential elements of personal essay too many writers overlook? Oddly enough, it’s a concept that’s often neglected in discussions of craft. It’s time to share what I’ve learned about this important building block of personal essay from over thirty years as a writer, writing teacher, editor, and publisher of Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative. This two-hour workshop will include lecture, exercises, and some Q&A, if time permits. Bring questions and writing materials!

This event will be in-person and recorded for later viewing. Must pre-register to receive recording.


  • Personal Essay
  • Familiar Essay
  • Submission Rules
  • Contest Requirements

You should attend this workshop if you have ever wanted to share, in a recognized written form, insights and observations based on a personal experience. Anyone attending will have a decided advantage when submitting to the 2023 Personal Essay Contest. Whether you are a seasoned personal essay writer, or never heard the phrase, you will leave with the motivation to both write and read the genre.

CLICK HERE for more information about the Personal Essay Contest

Workshop Fee

RW & CWC Members $25.00
Non-Members $35.00

About Susan Bono

Susan Bono is a teacher, freelance editor, and short-form memoirist who has facilitated writing workshops since 1993. Her personal essays have appeared online, on stage, in anthologies, newspapers, and on the radio. From 1995-2015, she edited and published Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative, as well as the online component that included postings of micro essays and a forum dedicated to craft and process. She was on the board of the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference for more than a decade and was editor of their journal, the Noyo River Review. She is the author of What Have We Here: Essays about Keeping House and Finding Home. Find out more at susanbono.com.


About Janice Rowley
Personal Essay Contest Chair

Curiosity has led Janice Rowley many places: from the rural South to the California wine country; from airline to veterinary; from show dogs to rescue dogs; from reading to writing to editing; from memoir to poetry to fiction to essays; from a young woman with dreams to an aged one with memories. Jan's prose and poetry can be found in various Redwood Writers' annual anthologies.