The heat of the summer sun is one thing, the licking flames of fire something else all together. As Santa Barbara begins to recover from its latest devastating wildfire, Ellen Anderson invites the public to explore writing as a healing process. Whether you’re a poet, prose writer, playwright, or none of the above, you’re invited to attend her free workshops, After Words: Writing Following the Fire, at the S.B. Public Library’s Faulkner Gallery on Saturdays June 20 and 27 (

Attention all readers: The 2009 Santa Barbara Reads selection will be announced officially on Tuesday, June 23. Check out the library’s Web site ( to find out which classic novel will make the rounds this summer, and which famous author will give a public lecture. This year’s pick is especially geared toward young adults, and teachers are invited to pick up free copies of the book for their students.

On Friday, June 26, former Santa Barbaran Alexandra Lander appears at Muddy Waters Cafe to discuss her new novel, Saffire_21 , a social networking cyber-mystery that takes place in S.B. and Santa Ynez.

Writers aged 13-18 take note: Writer Kit Steinkellner is offering two eight-week teen workshops this summer, one on playwriting and one for screenwriting. The weekly workshops kick off on Saturday, June 27, and Sunday, June 28, respectively, at the Santa Barbara Ballet Center.

Chaucer’s Books hosts a bevy of authors this summer. Among them, former M*A*S*H star Mike Farrell will discuss his books Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist and Of Mule and Man on Sunday, June 28. Fans of Lisa See will want to catch the bestselling writer when she stops at Chaucer’s on Monday, June 29, to sign copies of her latest novel, Shanghai Girls.

Over at Borders Books on State Street, Elizabeth Sims will be discussing the craft of mystery writing and signing copies of her latest book, The Extra: A Rita Farmer Mystery, on Wednesday, July 22.

In early August, three of the city’s poet laureates will team up for a workshop at Westmont College. Join Barry Spacks, Perie Longo, and current laureate David Starkey for the 9th Annual Santa Barbara Summer Poetry Workshop on Saturday, August 1, through Monday, August 3.

Diehard writers will miss the Santa Barbara Writers Conference this summer, but fiction writers are in luck: conference workshop leader Davida Wills Hurwin hosts a one-day intensive, Using the Actor’s Toolbox, on Sunday, August 16, at Blue Agave.

And since the summer swells are mellow, surfers might want to swing by Chaucer’s on Tuesday, August 25, to meet Jaimal Yogis, author of Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer’s Quest to Find Zen on the Sea.


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