Voices of Wisdom – FREE Weekly Writing Classes for Seniors 55-plus

Voices of Wisdom: Preserving the Stories of Our Elders

A free writing class series for Calaveras County seniors, 55-plus, at four designated senior facilities in Calaveras County beginning in August 2017 and continuing through March 2018. With a generous grant from the Calaveras Community Foundation to help support the nine-month-long series of classes, and then the culminating publications, both print and eBook in April, this worthy project aims to assist seniors in recording their stories in written form and polishing them for publication if they would like the story in the public eye.

Highly-qualified writing coaches and teachers will each facilitate four writing sessions in a month, one per week, for two hours each session. Then coaches help participants shape their writing for a culminating publication for April 2018 release to the public. There will be a celebratory reading at a designated facility in April where writing seniors will share their published and unpublished works.

Space is limited to 16 participants in each of the 4-week-long courses per month. Reserve your spot by contacting MWP and letting them know which location and workshop they would like to attend. Email: manzanitawp@gmail.com or call: (209) 728-6171.

Open to Calaveras residents and Mother Lode residents. If a class is full, there is a waiting list and the participant can opt to attend at another session the following week or at a location’s month-long series. A multi-sensory approach to unlock memories, coupled with other techniques the teachers have utilized in their experience, will assist the writer in retrieving details that may have been lost or buried.  The August classes were held at Oak Shadows Mobile Home Park Community clubhouse, from 9 AM to 11:00. The September classes were held at the San Andreas Senior Center.Writers will be asked to confirm their participation in advance so that those on the waiting list can be notified in time in the event that participants are not able to be there. Some facilities offer lunch  after the session for a nominal fee, so writers may want to check ahead on that. Calaveras Senior Center in San Andreas, $6, from 11-1. Foothill Village, San Andreas Senior Center ($6), have lunches for seniors. We envision writers continuing their writing conversations in small groups over lunch, if they’d like.


Remaining Schedule

November 7, 14, 21, Tuesdays 9-11 AM at San Andreas Senior Center – and Nov. 28 at Oak Shadows Retirement Community Clubhouse led by Rebecca Fischer, writer, collecting the stories of ranching families for publication.

December 5, 12, 19 – Music as a stimulus for memory writing – Time: 9-11 am at Manzanita Arts Emporium, 1211 S. Main St., Downtown Angels Camp – led by Chrys Mollett, writer, poet, musician, and music store owner.

January 9, 16, 23, 30 – Tuesdays 9-11 AM, at Manzanita Arts Emporium, Angels Camp, led by Monika Rose.

February 6, 13, 20, 27 Tuesdays 9-11 AM – Manzanita Arts Emporium – Sharing of work, peer and instructor editing and polishing of participant work,  and more writing topics. All instructors. Final editing and sharing sessions with all participants.

March – Final editing and proofing and printing – MWP editors

Mid-April – Public book launch and reading – Location/date TBA

Capturing and preserving the stories of our elders – This project is made possible by a generous grant from the Calaveras Community Foundation for a  monthly series of writing workshops once a week to capture the stories of our elders and sharing memories of living in our community. There will be one or more culminating print and/or eBook publications made available for the community to enjoy and for historical importance in the archives at the end of the 9-month-long project. Participants may want to include their writing in the culminating anthology, with polished writing produced during the workshops. Manzanita Writers Press conducts these free writing workshops for seniors in the county at four locations with each month’s classes at a different location and with a different writing coach – for seniors 55+ only.

Mary Sexton Sip n Paint 

Friday, December 15, 6-9:00 – $45 –

Sip n Paint with Mary Sexton and Whim Paint Parties

All materials provided, wine and hors d’oeuvres complimentary.

Whim Paint Parties presents:
Sip ‘n Paint with Mary Sexton in Angels Camp
Friday, December 15 – 6-9:00 pm
Manzanita Arts Emporium and Gallery
1211 S. Main St., Suite 110, Angels Camp, CA – 95222 –(209)728-6171 –
$45 fee includes all paint supplies and wine is complimentary. Limited enrollment, so sign up now. For reservations contact marysexton@comcast.net or call 209-770-5818 or Manzanita Arts Emporium Gallery at 209-728-6171. $20 deposit
Leave your stress at the door, Relax and have fun!

November’s topic:

Benefits of Paint Parties:

Painting uses both the left and right side of the brain. It uses your creative and emotional side, as well as your rational and logical thinking.

Even in a group setting, painting is a solo activity that allows you to focus on the task at hand leaving your worries behind, as the stress begins to melt away. Paint Parties boost your self-confidence. In a non-competitive atmosphere everyone is treated equally regardless of abilities.

Learning how to handle a paintbrush helps to strengthen fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.
Painting sparks creativity and makes good use of the imagination. Each painting becomes as unique as its painter.

At Paint Parties whether Coffee ‘n Canvas or Sip ‘n Paint, there is always opportunity to laugh, socialize, and make some fun-filled memories. $45.00 per person – all materials provided including canvas, paints, and brushes – wine is complimentary.



Song Posse              

Song Posse meets every Saturday from 6 to 8:30 pm for an evening of music sharing, poetry & storytelling. Drop-in guests are always welcome! We are in our 8th fun and faithful year. A core group includes keyboardists, songwriters, guitarists, old-time banjo, mandolin and fiddle. Many genres are represented; with a clear preference for acoustic.  Shy persons & visitors are encouraged to participate or not.  We are a non-judgmental group of locals who love getting together around the healing, joyful, life-documenting and affirming energy of Music.  Unexpected & delicious harmonies often ensue.  First Saturdays  5:30-8 pm at the Center for Creativity back barn, 23 W. St. Charles (Hwy 49) San Andreas.  All Other Saturdays of the month we meet in the Gallery at Manzanita Arts Emporium, 1211 So. Main Street in Angels Camp. For questions or directions, please call Chrys Mollett 209-728-1439 or 736-0210. (Telephone at Manzanita is  209-728-6171)


Building Your Website using WordPress – January 23, 2018 – 1-4 PM. Tuesday.

Dale Baker supports creative people in building their websites from scratch with his help. Your website can be up in a day. Sign up a week before the class to get instructions on the preparations needed ahead of class to get your website up and running. $30