Author Testimonials

“A well-run writing series can bring out a sizable audience, provide a conducive atmosphere, take care of the important technical details, provide excellent accommodations, and the people who run Manzanita’s do all that very well.  But there’s something else in the air there: a receptivity and responsiveness, a fullness of attention, that distinguish both organizers and audience, and make this one of the best series I’ve ever had the good fortune to be involved with”Floyd Skloot, author of The Wink of the Zenith: The Shaping of a Writer’s Life –

willa schneberg

“Vera Wildauer and Kathie Hightower, co-founders and hosts of the Manzanita Writers’ Series, and who are writers themselves, they really roll out the red carpet when an author comes to town. Their panache and flair for detail were in evidence from my first contact with them, and continued beyond the event itself. Publicity and book sales, (provided by Manzanita’s own Cloud and Leaf Books) were handled in a professional and timely manner. Accommodations were provided at a modest little motel within walking distance of the beach. My well-attended reading was enthusiastically emceed by the hosts at the intimate Hoffman Arts Center.  A wine and chocolate bash topped off the evening.Authors, if you have a new book to promote, I would highly recommend contacting the Manzanita Writers’ Series. You won’t be disappointed.”  Willa Schneberg, poet and author of Storytelling in Cambodia –

JBarrington-3SM“Thank you so much for including me in your terrific series. I think you’ve got a real success on your hands, and much appreciate the work you have put into it. It’s a great audience.”Judith Barrington, poet and author of Postcard from the Bottom of the Sea –

jennie shortridge



“I absolutely loved reading for the Manzanita Writers’ Series. The fun, quirky atmosphere and good vibes in the room, not to mention all those friendly faces, made it a special evening.”Jennie Shortridge, author of When She Flew –



“The Manzanita Writers Series is a fabulously good time! The scenery is wonderful, the accommodations comfortable, and the crowd–well, nothing like a room full of raucous readers! I encourage all my fellow authors to make the trip to the Coast and enjoy the fun!”Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain –


Here are some testimonials from our writing workshop students and Writing Lounge participants, too:

My goal was to retire and write a book. Then I got sick. Really sick. So, I wrote a story to keep myself entertained. When I realized it was shaping into an actual manuscript, I started meeting with a Hoffman Center writing group. With their help, and the help of the Hoff community at large, the manuscript became a novel. Now, the book is optioned for a TV series, and I’ve written ten more. These people believed in me. If it wasn’t for their support and guidance, I would never have dared to call myself a writer, much less tried to sell a book.
–Holly Lorinz, Lorincz Literary Services

Even though I am not often in Manzanita on Tuesday mornings, the Writer’s Lounge stays on my calendar. It reminds me that there’s a place and a community that supports me as a writer.  I’ve found friends there, and stretched my writing with the prompts and exercises provided.  Several pieces I began on those Tuesday mornings have been published.  Writer’s Lounge is a great program from the Hoffman Center!–Emily Ransdell

 I helped found the Writers’ Series as a way to connect to a writing community here on the coast. It’s surpassed my expectations. As a result of the Series, especially the workshops, I’ve seen my writing improve from a journalistic style to much more narrative writing. A number of pieces that started in the Writing Lounge on Prompt Days have ended up published in two different literary journals. And, most importantly, I’m finally trying my hand at fiction, a long held dream, with a novel well in process. The series provides the tools and interaction with other writers that makes that process fun and way more effective. -–Kathie Hightower

 The Writers Lounge…such a simple idea and such a powerful place.  I remain grateful to have discovered this group of kind and generous writers who gather week after week providing me with a reason to “Procrastinate No More!” and show up to write. – Kathryn Stock

 I have participated in several Hoffman Center workshops, open mike sessions and writing lounge activities. I have published in both the Squid Journal and Word & Image Project. Most useful has been my ongoing critique group where I present chapter drafts from my book manuscript and review the work of others. –Mark Scott Smith, author Enemy in the Mirror

As a writer who supports herself with a ‘day job’ that doesn’t allow much time for improving my craft, the opportunities that the Manzanita Writers’ Series has given me have been precious.  I have been able to focus my precious writing time on specific work that was either supported in or inspired by workshops; I have expanded the number and type of submissions I have made to journals; and most importantly, I have been exposed to a wider variety of approaches and technical skills both from instructors and my peer-writers.  That last gift – the diversity of voice – has been particularly important to me.–Laura B.