Writers-helping-writers Salon meets the third Monday of each month via Zoom for the foreseeable future from 7 to 9 PM.

To attend please RSVP to lois@requist.com 

Since September, writers have been meeting, talking about their needs, and reading pieces they’ve written for comments and critique. While some of this writing has been in response to prompts, others have brought something they are currently working on.

Publishing is such a large issue! We’re attacking it in bits and pieces. Three people with considerable experience have shared what has happened to them in the process of being published. One woman who had her book published through a company she paid to publish it, brought the book and advised us not to use that company.

Benicia Literary Arts is a $40 annual membership

BLA sponsors two Memoir Writing Groups that each meet twice a month. BLA membership is required to attend. To inquire about joining, please email  lois@requist.com

GOING THE DISTANCE—NOT THERE YET  brings together writings that offer strength, hope, and solidarity in this time of ongoing viral pandemic, embedded racism, economic hardship, climate crisis, and threats to democracy. This column of poetry and short prose is published weekly in the Benicia Herald and is posted at Going The Distance. Due to space limitations, prose pieces of fewer than 350 words, or poems of fewer than 30 lines, with a maximum of 30 characters per line work best. Send your writing to msgast45@gmail.com

Benicia Literary Arts is seeking volunteers

Benicia Literary Arts is now part of Amazon's Smile charities donation program.

Shop at smile.amazon.com and use this link to direct your donation  Benicia Literary Arts. Amazon will donate to us 0.5% of your eligible purchases with no fees or extra cost. Choose Benica Literary Arts as your charity. 

Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group

Who: Anyone who writes, reads, or is even a little intrigued by poetry.
What: Read your poetry for a supportive community; listen to others; take part in conversation.
(The first and third choices are optional.)
When: 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month from September through June

For more information see: 


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Our Benicia Literary Arts logo was created by Mary Shaw

YEARNING TO BREATHE FREE—A Community Journal of 2020

2020 was a year like none other. Viral pandemic with no cure in sight. Economic hardship. Embedded racism not budging. Climate crisis undeterred. Democracy threatened.

As the world closed down, people in Benicia, California, started writing about these strange and frightening times. Poets and writers of prose from nearby and far away, folks who had never before written for publication, contributed their poems and essays to a column in a hometown newspaper. Yearning To Breathe Free is the collection of those columns from April through Election Day 2020.

These sometimes raw, in-the-moment reactions and reflections provide a day-by-day accounting, a journal. Now we can look back to those early days of the pandemic and acknowledge what we went through and what we’re still going through. The losses mourned, the celebrations put on hold, the wariness and well-founded fear that linger.

Acknowledging what we went through, we can tell the stories of how we’ve overcome and of what still needs to be overcome. Of how isolated voices can come together to sustain a community. Of hope that reaches beyond the return to “normal” and breathes compassion, justice, peace, and wellbeing into the future of this planet and its inhabitants.

Glenn's Sister

The 50s and 60s come alive in this episodic memoir set in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The drug culture, the Vietnam War, and the music of the time provide a vivid context for the story of a family united by love but torn apart by an unspoken secret.
At the book's center lies the deep bond between Glenn and his sister, Carolyn, who uses multiple points of view to tell the tragic story of her brother's brief life with insight, understanding, and wry humor. 

Order this book. Send your check to Benicia Literary Arts, PO Box 1903, Benicia, CA 94510. Or pay by credit card at www.benicialiteraryarts.com.

A Community Journal of 2020

Readings from the book and
Conversations on the impact of the times
via Zoom

Sunday, August 28 3-5 p.m. Pacific Time
Sunday, September 18 3-5 p.m. Pacific Time

Sunday, October 16 3-5 p.m. Pacific Time

Click here for more information and for the Zoom link.

You are invited to a reading by local author Debbie Weiss from her book, Available As Is: A Midlife Widow's Search for Love at Sweetness & Light on Sunday, September 25 at 4:30 pm, hosted by Bookshop Benicia and held at 301 1st St., Benicia, CA. Books will be sold and signed at the event! 

Kirkus Reviews calls Available As Is "a deeply personal story but one that Weiss shares with a beguiling openness and wit. A sharply written, heartfelt dating account that proves both enriching and amusing." You can find out more about Available As Is on Debbie's website.