Register to attend the 2017 S.B. Writers Conference

View the 2107 Schedule (7.5 Mb)

Find the distinctive voices of your characters and then allow them the freedom to lead you through your story.

- Walter Dallenbach

Opening night will be Sunday, June 17 2018. 

Workshop leader updates for 2018 are still in development.

Swirl2018 Conference Schedule: Writer Workshops


June 19 9:00 am - 11:30 am
June 20 9:00 am - 11:30 am
June 21 9:00 am - 11:30 am
June 22 9:00 am - 11:30 am
June 23 9:00 am - 11:30 am

Nonfiction with a Fiction Twist

Ever wonder why a good novel or short story makes you want to turn the pages and read on? Those same techniques and craft can work for nonfiction, too. Our workshop focuses on these tools and how to incorporate them into your writing.

We begin each day with a brief discussion on a particular feature of writing: characterization, voice, structure, etc. You then will be asked to do a short writing assignment followed by voluntary readings and critiquing, a method to get you to teach and, consequently, learn about your own work. This evens the playing field and provides springboards for discussions. Works-in-progress will be read the final hour and critiqued, always with good writing in mind.

Workshop Leader

Susan Miles Gulbransen

My writing background has included 21 years of writing InPrint (literary column), book reviews, travel and essays for the Santa Barbara News-Press. My articles have appeared in journals such as Santa Barbara Magazine, the Santa Barbara Independent and Book Magazine. I have had poetry and short stories published in obscure journals, although an obscure journal becomes important when it publishes one of your pieces.... I taught secondary History and English and have taught writing workshops for Santa Barbara Adult Education, SBWC and San Francisco Writers Conference. I co-founded the Santa Barbara Book & Author Festival which ran for eight years, and am currently doing a column, “Beyond Books,” for Noozhawk, an online newspaper.[More]