About Us

About Us

Sierra Writers Conference is an annual event providing inspiration and craft progression activities for area writers and Sierra College students through lectures, panels, Q &A, workshops, and networking opportunities. The first Sierra Writers' Conference was held in January 2016.

The conference is a joint offering from Sierra College, Sierra College Press and Sierra Writers.

Sierra College - Located in the Sierra Foothills community of Grass Valley, the Sierra College-Nevada County Campus serves the citizens of Western Nevada County. The beautiful 105-acre campus was built overlooking the city of Grass Valley atop what was formerly Litton Hill.

Sierra Writers supports Nevada County writers of all genres and skill levels. Monthly meetings offer prominent speakers, open reads, workshops, and book sales events. Fiction and non-fiction critique groups are led by Sierra Writers members. In conjunction with Sierra College, Sierra Writers produces an annual Writers Conference. Sierra Writers has been in existence since 1982.

Planning Committee

Lynette Vrooman teaches composition, literature, and creative writing full time at Sierra College, Nevada County Campus. She earned her Bachelor and Master of Arts in English at California State University Sacramento and is currently finishing a Master of Arts in Humanities at CSU Dominguez Hills.

Hock Tjoa studied history at Brandeis and Harvard and taught European history and Asian political thought at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. He has published seven books. Recently, Hock has been focusing on translating and adapting selected works of Chinese history and literature. The Battle of Chibi is the first of these projects. Hock teaches Accounting part-time at Sierra College and is involved with community theater.

Carolyn Crane is a published playwright, poet, and essayist. For fifteen years she was a radio personality and news reporter for KVMR-FM in Nevada City, California. Carolyn began her teaching career with California Poets in the Schools, and now teaches English at both Sierra College in Rocklin, California, and University of Phoenix, Online.

Ingrid Keriotis received her MFA from Eastern Washington University. Her poems have recently appeared in Blue Unicorn, Talking River, and Steam Ticket. She lives in Grass Valley where she teaches English at Sierra College and spends time with her family, swimming in the Yuba River and walking under the pines.


Catharine Bramkamp is a professional writing coach, bringing her clients from idea to published book to promotion. She produced 200 episodes of the writing podcast, Newbie Writers Podcast. She has written 17 novels and 3 books on writing. Her poetry has been included in over a dozen anthologies including the chapbook Ammonia Sunrise by Finishing Line Press. She served as the editor for Redwood Writer’s first poetry anthology, And the Beats Go On.

She holds an MA in Creative Writing from SSU and a BA in English from UCSB and a professional certificate from SSU specifically for Social Media. She currently teaches for OLLI at Sierra College.

Iven Lourie worked as Poetry Editor at Chicago Review in the 1960's, and he has pursued editing, writing performance art since. He participated in demonstrations and readings against the Vietnam war during the '60's and '70's. After completing his MFA at U. of Arizona (1978), where he studied with poets Richard Shelton and Peter Wild, he moved to Northern California where he works as Editor for Gateways Books and Artemis Books, teaches composition and literature at Sierra Community College, and leads the Cafe Writers critique group.

Lisa Redfern is an author, filmaker, and graphic designer. She owns and operates Redfern Studio and administers websites for Sierra Writers and the Sierra Writers Conference. Lisa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing at CSU, Sacramento.