Ranch & Coast Magazine

August 2022

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MD, MAS, an infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego Health whose memoir, Catching a Breath, is about his quest to find treatments for COVID-19. Local luminaries include Rancho Santa Fe's Shilpi Somaya Gowda, author of Secret Daughter, e Golden Son, and e Shape of Family; Madhushree Ghosh, author of Khabaar; and Dean Nelson, author of Talk to Me. Nelson is founder/ director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University and hosts the Writer's Symposium by the Sea. sandiegowritersfestival.com Zadeik, SDWF's director of operations, also volunteers as a writing and performance coach, producer, performer, and board member of So Say We All (SSWA), a nonprofit literary and performing arts organization. Its goal, according to Zadeik: To help people tell their stories, and tell them better. e organization sponsors "Long Story Short," the chance to share a five-minute story with an audience. VAMP (Video Audio Monologue Performance) is a juried storytelling event held monthly at South Park's Whistle Stop Bar. Writers submit a narrative nonfiction piece on a specific theme, and those selected get help from writing and performance coaches before taking the stage. SSWA also offers classes at local community colleges. 877.357.2769, sosayweallonline.com San Diego Writers, Ink is another resource for those who want to learn about the craft. Headed by Executive Director Kristen Fogle, the nonprofit nurtures writers and fosters literary community, offering classes and workshops, writing groups, readings, and special events. Most classes are held online or at e Ink Spot at Liberty Station. "San Diego Writers, Ink and Kristen Fogle in particular, have provided me with access to the broader community of San Diego writers," says Sleeper, who has taught classes for the organization. "SDWI publishes an annual anthology, A Year in Ink, and hosts readings so writers can share their work. 619.696.0363, sandiegowriters.org La Jolla's Diane Schneider, MD says she considered "writing as a solitary endeavor" when she wrote e Complete Book of Bone Health. An expert on osteoporosis, her research findings have also appeared in JAMA, e Journal of the American Medical Association, and e Annals of Internal Medicine, among others. But when Schneider began writing Lives on Brown Cards, a memoir about patients she encountered as a young resident at an Atlanta hospital and the lessons she learned from them, she "became immersed in a vibrant community of writers," she recalls, adding, "rough classes, organizations, festivals, and read-and-critique groups, my writing and horizons have expanded along with new friendships and bonds that were unexpected benefits." One of those organizations, the San Diego Memoir Writers Association, also founded by Freedman, offers writers the opportunity to see their work performed live on stage by professional actors at its annual Memoir Showcase. Freedman, the showcase producer, and Tracy Jones, the show's co-producer and director, work with the winners to polish their pieces before local actors are cast. "Killer Bees," a chapter in Schneider's coming-of-age memoir, was among the ten winners out of about 200 submissions at the 2019 Memoir Showcase at North Coast Repertory eatre. Actor Sibongile Nagako brought Schneider's words on the page to the stage as the nervous author listened and watched from the front row. "All of a sudden her words transported me back 35 years to the 7B floor at Grady Hospital, an unexpected death of a young patient and her family's response brought alive by her powerful performance," Schneider reflects. "What an amazing experience." drdianeschneider.com e 2022 Memoir Showcase will be held at 7pm on December 8 at e Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla. is year's theme is "What.Just.Happened?" Judges will select eight to ten pieces for the performance and publish 20 more in Shaking the Tree, an annual anthology. Deadline for submission of stories (no longer than five pages) is August 10. e San Diego Memoir Writers Association also holds free monthly online meetings about memoir writing, with guest speakers, authors, and publishers sharing their knowledge. info@sdmwa.org, sdmwa.org Zadeik, whose work has been featured at the showcase several times, was co-producer of last year's show at e Conrad. As she debuts her first novel this month, Zadeik is grateful for the support she has received over the years. "e writing community has been such a huge part of my reaching my own literary goals," she says. "As the saying goes, it takes a village." anastasiazadeik.com Marni Freedman Jeniffer Thompson Sarah Sleeper Anastasia Zadeik ranchandcoast.com @ranchandcoast RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2022 75

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