Monday, November 30, 2020



A Matter of Character: How To Create Enduring Fictional Characters


Sheryl Bize-Boutte

Friday, January 8, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

This event is hosted in partnership with the San Francisco Writers Conference.

This event will take place via Zoom. Please register via Eventbrite and the Zoom credentials will be sent to you a few days before the class starts.

Tickets here: 

MI Members $19

Public $29

Questions? Contact Taryn Edwards,


If you're a fiction writer your characters need to come alive for your reader or audience. A good character is integral to the story – whether they are the protagonist, antagonist, or part of the supporting cast. In this workshop, you will discover what makes a good character, learn where to start in creating a character, and begin to develop a character in real-time.


Pushcart Prize nominee Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte is an Oakland multidisciplinary writer whose autobiographical and fictional short story collections, along with her lyrical and stunning poetry, artfully succeed in getting across deeper meanings about the politics of race and economics without breaking out of the narrative. Her writing has been variously described as "rich in vivid imagery," "incredible," and "great contributions to literature." Her first novel, Betrayal on the Bayou, was published in June 2020 and a poetry collection she has written with her daughter Dr. Angela M. Boutte, titled No Poetry No Peace, was published in August 2020. She is also a popular literary reader, presenter, storyteller, curator, and emcee for local events.

For each class, we reserve the right to cancel at any time and issue a full refund. If you are unable to attend your class, please email at least 10 days prior to the class to receive a full refund. All fees must be paid at the time of registration.


Saturday, November 7, 2020



Wednesday Dec 9 – Holiday Storytelling Fest!

6:00 – 7:00 pm PST

FREE Bring your own drinks and snacks

Join WNBA-SF Chapter in a virtual storytelling fest to celebrate the holidays as only book women can! We will share jolly, charming personal stories to make up for live holiday parties and family gatherings.

After a few presenters model their holiday stories, we’ll open it up to our virtual audience—that’s you! We want to encourage the sharing of stories during the holidays with friends and family, and provide basic techniques to enhance our skills.

We have invited contributors to Story Power who are also WNBA members as presenters in an informal, roundtable sharing of stories. Welcome to the table!

Kate Farrell Kate Farrell is our host and facilitator. Kate is a storyteller, author, librarian, founded the Word Weaving Storytelling Project and published numerous educational materials on storytelling. She has contributed to and edited award-winning anthologies of personal narrative. Farrell’s new book, a timely how-to guide on the art of storytelling for adults, Story Power: Secrets to Creating, Crafting, and Telling Memorable Stories, was released in June 2020. Farrell has presented workshops for adults on the art of storytelling at the San Francisco Public Library, Mechanics Institute, and the San Francisco Writers Conference. She is now offering virtual workshops for libraries and writing groups, as well as performing virtually as a storyteller.

Website:   Blog:

Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte is a Pushcart Prize nominated author who has been described as a “Talented multidisciplinary writer whose works artfully succeed in getting across deeper meanings about life and the politics of race and economics without breaking out of the narrative.” Based in Oakland, California, the diverse bay-side city often serves as the backdrop for her always touching and frequently hilarious works. Reviewers praised her first book, A Dollar Five-Stories from A Baby Boomer’s Ongoing Journey calling it “rich in vivid imagery”, and “incredible.” Her second book, All That and More’s Wedding, is a collection of fictional mystery/crime short stories. Running for the 2:10, a follow-on to A Dollar Five delved deeper into her coming of age in Oakland and the embedded issues of race and skin color. She is a contributor to award-winning author Kate Farrell’s book Story Power. Betrayal on the Bayou, published June 2020, is her first novel. Website:

Humaira Ghilzai is a writer, speaker and Afghanistan Cultural Consultant. Humaira opens the world to Afghan culture and cuisine through her wildly popular blog, Afghan Culture Unveiled. She shares the wonders of Afghanistan through stories of rich culture, delicious food and her family’s traditions. Humaira is a member of Women’s National Book Association, the MENA Theatre Mares Alliance Network, and a reader for the 2020 Bay Area Playwrights Festival. She’s currently working on her first novel, Unraveling Lives, which is set in San Francisco and Afghanistan. Humaira’s writing has been published in Encore Magazine, Mataluna: A book of 152 Afghan Pashto Proverbs, and the Medium. Humaira is a contributor to Story Power, sharing her tips on writing and a family story. Website: FB: @afghancultureunviled

Mary MackeyMary Mackey is an award-winning novelist and poet with fourteen novels including The Village of Bones, which won a 2018 CIIS Women’s Spirituality Book Award from the Department of Diversity and Inclusion; The Year The Horses Came; and A Grand Passion, that was translated into 12 foreign languages and made the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle’s best seller lists. Mackey is the author of eight collections of poetry including Sugar Zone, which won the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams, which won the 2019 Eric Hoffer Award for the Best Book Published by a Small Press. Mary became a writer by running high fevers, tramping through tropical jungles, dodging machine gun fire, being swarmed by army ants, making catastrophic decisions about men, and reading. Website: 

Other WNBA contributors to Story Power also invited to tell in the roundtable sharing, include: Bea Bowles, Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, Joan Gelfand, Linda Joy Myers, Bev Scott.

Bring your favorite holiday drink and a 3-minute holiday story to share!

Where: Zoom –Zoom (link provided via email when you register)