2017 Conference

WordSpring 2017 offered engaging workshops by some of the best in the business.

Workshops included:

  • The Art of the Personal Essay
  • Putting the History in Your Mystery
  • Postcard Poems, Or Poems That Travel
  • Songwriting For Fun
  • Self-Publishing: Before, During and After
  • Understanding Your Character’s Desire, Understanding Your Story
  • We Talk Dialogue
  • Mining Your Mind for Stories
  • And many more!


A few of last year’s presenters


Jael Richardson is the author of The Stone Thrower: A Daughter’s Lesson, a Father’s Life and The Stone Thrower children’s book, which was shortlisted for the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award and was one of 12 titles chosen for the OneWorld Schoolhouse Rainforest of Reading program in 2017. Richardson is a book columnist for the Canadian Broadcast Company and recently received the J.S. Wordsworth Award for Human Rights & Equity. Richardson has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and lives in Brampton, Ontario where she serves as the founder and Artistic Director for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD).

andrew lam

Andrew Lam is a senior editor at New America Media and the author of three books,Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora, East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres, and Birds of Paradise Lost. He writes regularly for Shanghai Daily, and the Huffington Post. He was a regular commentator on NPR’s “All Things Considered” for 8 years. His awards include the Pen Beyond Margins Award, the Professional Journalist Association Award, and the West Coast Pen Award. A finalist in California Book Awards in fiction, Lam is working on his second collection of stories, and a novel.

_head shot Jeanne Clark Wordfire

Jeanne E. Clark
is the author of two collections of poetry, Ohio Blue Tips, winner of the Akron Poetry Prize, and Gorrill’s Orchard (Bear Star Press, 2010). She teaches poetry at California State University, Chico and in the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in the interior of Alaska each summer.


Ken Letko grew up in Ashland, WI, and received a BS from the University of Wisconsin. Later he earned both an MA and an MFA from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he also taught as a lecturer and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Mid-American Review. In addition, he has taught as a Foreign Expert at the Xian Foreign Languages Institute in the People’s Republic of China. He currently teaches at College of the Redwoods, Del Norte campus, where he edits the Kerf and helps organize and host the North Coast Redwoods Writers’ Conference. He is the author of five poetry chapbooks and one book, Bright Darkness, Flowstone Press, February 2017.

Susan Spann is the 2015 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s Writer of the Year and author of the Hiro Hattori mysteries, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo. Her debut, Claws of the Cat, was a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the month and a finalist for the Silver Falchion Award (Best First Novel). Her fifth mystery, Betrayal at Iga (Seventh Street Books), will release in July 2017. Susan has a degree in Asian Studies from Tufts University and a lifelong love of Japanese history and culture. Find her at http://www.susanspann.com, on Twitter, and on Facebook (/SusanSpannBooks).

Catherine Abbey Hodges is the author of the poetry collection Instead of Sadness, winner of the Barry Spacks Poetry Prize (Gunpowder Press, 2015). Her work appears or is forthcoming in such journals as The Southern Review, Cider Press Review, Miramar, The American Journal of Poetry and Tar River Poetry and has been featured on Verse Daily and The Writer’s Almanac. Co-coordinator of California Poets in the Schools for Tulare County, Catherine teaches English at Porterville College in California’s San Joaquin Valley.