Rural Libraries Tour Toolkit

Welcome! Be sure you’ve reviewed the program information, requirements, and timeline on the main Rural Libraries Tour page. For more background information about the Rural Libraries Tour writing workshops, see the Traversing California on the Rural Libraries Tour post on the Readings & Workshops blog and the Partners in Rhyme article from Poets & Writers Magazine.

Community Partner Suggestions for Rural Libraries Tour Writing Workshops

Community partners can help you design and market your writing workshop. Plan to work with one or more community partners to make sure your writing workshop is meeting the needs of your community and having the greatest reach. Below are a few examples of potential community partners:

Rural Libraries Tour Writers – Writer Bios, Links & Workshop Descriptions

These two-hour writing workshops can focus on writing fiction, poetry, and/or memoir. Each writer brings their own experience and expertise to the workshop in a unique and engaging way! Click on each photo for a larger version suitable for most print and online marketing.

Susan Wooldridge (Northern California)
Susan has a B.A. in anthropology from Barnard College and an interdisciplinary masters in art and writing from CSU Chico,where she developed a love for performance art as well as collage, printmaking and ceramics. She’s held workshops on creative language and process with thousands of adults and children, including teachers and youth-at-risk. Her book poemcrazy: freeing your life with words was published in 1996 by Clarkson Potter/Random House, and is now in a 28th printing.  Susan’s chapbook of poems, Bathing with Ants, was published in 2004 by Bear Star Press. Her book, Foolsgold: Making Something from Nothing (and Freeing Your Creative Process) was published by Harmony/Random House in 2007.   Susan has worked in over 70 libraries and her workshops have been featured in Poets and Writers magazine. Susan lives in a co-housing village in Chico.
Website: |  Instagram: @susan.wooldridge
Book Provided for Susan’s workshops: poemcrazy: freeing your life with words 

Susan’s Workshop Description – Freeing Your Life with Words: A Workshop with Susan Wooldridge
Join us at a workshop that will make you feel excited about language and self-expression in both poetry and prose. First we’ll gather (and steal) words from a scattering of books and create a group word pool. Through play, using word tickets and dictionary pages as well as our own gathering of words, we will delve into what soul says, heart says, mind says, water says, our town says as we write about who we are, where we come from and where we’re going  Along the way we will explore imagery, close observation, metaphor and “dream sense,” immersed in what poet Anne Waldman calls “goofy profundity.” Throughout the workshop, Susan will share her journals and talk about her her own writing process. We will welcome both laughter and tears. Sharing work is always optional.

Tim Z. Hernandez (Central California)
Bilingual (Spanish) workshops available – Tim Z. Hernandez is a writer and performance artist. He is the recipient of an American Book Award for poetry, the Colorado Book Award for poetry, and the International Latino Book Award for historical fiction. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and National Public Radio. Named one of sixteen New American Poets by the Poetry Society of America, he was a finalist for the inaugural Split This Rock Freedom Plow Award for his work on locating the victims of the 1948 plane wreck at Los Gatos Canyon, the incident made famous by Woody Guthrie’s song of the same name. The result of this work is the basis for his newly released book, All They Will Call You (University of Arizona Press). Hernandez holds a B.A. from Naropa University and an M.F.A. from Bennington College. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas El Paso’s Bilingual M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing.
Book Provided for Tim’s workshops: All They Will Call You

Tim’s Workshop Description – The workshop is designed for beginners, advanced writers, and anyone working in poetry, fiction, or memoir. Together we engage in a fun, talkative, and creative process of turning personal experiences into compelling writing. The workshop is open to people who write in English, or bilingually.

marisol baca photoMarisol Baca (Central California)
Marisol Baca is the author of Tremor, a full length collection of poems which won a first book prize from Three Mile Harbor Press. Marisol’s work has been published in Casa Libre’s SPF LitMagazine, Narrative Northeast, isacoustic*, Riverlit, Shadowed: An Anthology of Women Writers, The Acentos Review, among others. Her poem, “Spiral,” was recently nominated for a Pushcart prize. She was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and grew up around generations of family in an old adobe house in the valley. Her family later settled in Fresno, California. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Cornell University. While at Cornell, she won the Robert Chasen poetry award for her poem, Revelato. Currently, Marisol is an English professor at Fresno City College, is the founder of Women Writers of Color Central Valley, she is a member of the Fresno State Arts and Humanities Advisory Board. She has taught poetry workshops at Cornell University, Fresno, and California’s Central Valley. On May 2, 2019 Marisol was sworn in as the Poet Laureate of Fresno. She continues to write and teach, and is working on her second book.
Website: | Instagram: @marisolteresa
Book Provided for Marisol’s workshops: Tremor

Marisol’s Workshop Description – Coming Soon

Olga García Echeverría (Southern California/Inland Empire)
 Bilingual (Spanish) workshops available. Olga García Echeverría is the author of Falling Angels: Cuentos y Poemas. Her work appears in Lavandería: A Mixed Load of Women, Wash, and WordsU.S. Latino Literature TodayTelling Tongues: A Latin@ Anthology on Language, Bird Float / Tree SongThe Sun Magazine, and Imaniman: Poets Writing from the Anzalduan Borderlands. She was selected by A Room of Her Own (AROHO) as the 2013 Touching Lives Fellow and in the spring of 2015 she was a finalist for AROHO’s Orlando Literary Prize in the genre of Creative Non-fiction. She holds a BA in Ethnic Studies from the University of California in Santa Cruz and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. She has been an educator for over twenty years and is currently teaching literature to college students and creative writing to fifth graders. She lives, writes, and shape shifts in Los Angeles.
Book Provided for Olga’s workshops: Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzalduan Borderlands

Olga’s Workshop Description – Making Our Own Mini-Poetry Books: In this workshop, we’ll be using short/fun poetic forms to say something about who we are, where we come from, and what we are passionate about. We will also be making our own mini books, using paper lunch bags, recycled materials, and our short poems (produced in the workshop) to decorate the books. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to unleash and nurture the writer and the paper-bag artist in you!

Rural Libraries Tour Event Prep, Flyers & Promotions

Preparing for the Writing Workshop

Writing workshops typically see between 10 – 25 attendees. A community room or private space in the library is ideal, but a corner of your main reading room could work just as well. U-shaped seating with writing / creative surfaces invite interaction. The coordinating librarian will want to be provide the basics  — paper, sharpened pencils, pens, a flip chart or whiteboard to write on, flip chart markers, adequate lighting, copies of the writer’s books and/or poetry books from the collection, and a heartfelt welcome and introduction of the program and the writer. Be sure to cover logistics, like location of the restroom and water fountain. Don’t forget to request that attendees complete the community survey at the end of the workshop. Coffee or other beverages / refreshments provided by a Friends or other support group are nice, but optional.

Each writer workshops in a unique way. Be in contact with your writer about specifics of your location, your community partners, and your expected audience. Writers will provide any specific requests ahead of time.

Tips and information for flyers, press releases, social media, and more can be found below. Please be sure to share, email us, and tag us as you create your own!

Flyer and Promotion – Tips

  • Include the California Center for the Book logo and the Poets & Writers logo on flyers when possible.
  • Include the CA Center for the Book and Poets & Writers support statements below on flyers and promotions. Tiny font okay!
  • Reach out with printed promotions and to both traditional and social media for the widest audience.

Support Statements
This event is supported by the California Center for the Book and Poets & Writers, Inc. The California Center for the Book is supported in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum & Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administrated in California by the State Librarian.

Support for Poets & Writers’ Readings & Workshops program in California is provided by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.  Additional support comes from the Friends of Poets & Writers.

Flyer and Promotion –  Examples and Templates

Sharing on Social Media

  • Review the Instagram posts for #RuralLibrariesTour for inspiration and background
  • Tag California Center for the Book on Facebook & Instagram @CaliforniaCenterForTheBook
  • Tag Poets & Writers on Twitter and Instagram @poetswritersinc and Facebook @PoetsAndWriters 
  • Use this hashtag in your promotions and photos:  #RuralLibrariesTour

Community Surveys & Library Report – Due 08/31/2020

While writing workshops can take place anytime January – August, all community surveys and the final library report are due August 31, 2020

Be sure to track attendance and offer community surveys at your Rural Libraries Tour writing workshop!

Community Surveys – Please offer the printed community surveys at your writing workshop. Feel free to add your library logo and library name at the top of the surveys, but do not edit any text, change the order of the questions, etc. These are IMLS required questions and may not be altered. When the completed surveys are returned, please enter them manually at the link below.

  1. Rural Libraries Tour 2020 Community Survey – English Microsoft Word version
  2. Rural Libraries Tour 2020 Community Survey – Spanish Microsoft Word version
  3. Rural Libraries Tour 2020 Link – (Use the link to enter both English & Spanish Survey results)

Library Report – Please see the Rural Libraries Tour 2020 Library Report Planning Doc for required information. Once the writing workshop is complete, enter the Library Report online at

Please note: The surveys and report above are for California Center for the Book. These are not the same as the reports for Poets & Writers, though data and feedback can be used on both!

IMLS and Statewide Aligned Program Goals & Outcomes

  • Outcome 2b: Californians discover and participate in learning opportunities at the library
  • Outcome 3c: Californians connect and collaborate through their library

Past Rural Libraries Tours