POLLY ALICE MCCANN
Picture Book Editor
I’ve been working as an independent Editorial Illustrator since 2018. I've been a children's book author since 2008. I have an MFA in writing for children and young adults with my thesis in picture books. I studied with and have had mentorships with award-wining authors like Jaqueline Briggs Martin, Phyllis Root, Jane Resh Thomas, and Claire Rudolf Murphy. I have also studied poetry under several award-winning poets and authors and with my undergraduate degree in art, I am able to give you really helpful advice to create a professional quality children's book to send to agents, editors, or straight to the printer!
San Francisco Resources for Writers Page
SAN FRANCISCO AREA WRITERS
FICTION AND POETRY RESOURCES
Note that all of these centers usually host local events but now have online and remote options for classes, courses, workshops, events, and seminars.
The Writer’s Studio San Francisco
The Grotto, San Francisco
writing classes, seminars
The Writing Salon, San Francisco and Berkeley, CA
The Writers Studio San Francisco
Courses and classes
San Francisco Creative Writing Institute
Classes, courses, seminars
Writing Pad, Los Angeles
Online, live seminars with well-known writers
Small Press Traffic Literary Arts, Poetry
Intersection for the Arts
Arts-oriented business workshops
The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University
San Francisco Writers Conference
Annual Writer’s Seminar
Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center, Venice, CA
Fiction and Poetry Workshops—some FREE
Independent Writers of Southern California
workshops and seminars
Marin Poetry Center
Workshops, retreats, resources
Poetry Center San Jose
Workshops, retreats, resources
Meet our new Short Fiction Editor &
author for our new imprint, Coyote Point Press
What is your work in San Francisco?
I'm a professional writer (how amazing to say that!) and an interdisciplinary artist—trying to leave all of it on the field in this life—so I also perform as a singer, and paint mixed media paintings. I've used the indoor-time this year to complete a book of short stories, and just finished my first novel. I'm thrilled to be working with Flying Ketchup Press.
Tell us about your writing...
I was born in Northern California, near San Francisco, and when I was ten years old my parents moved my family to a tiny lake town in central Wisconsin. I remember standing on the side of the road in Nevada after the first day’s drive, thinking, “Huh. So this is what it is to just go.” Then, when I was eighteen, I took a bus one way across the country and went back to California, then Colorado, then Florida, then Cape Cod, Vermont, and more. Those journeys have deeply influenced my fiction writing, infusing my character’s hearts with a feeling of searching for something, a feeling that took up residence in my own heart at an early age. The imagery of landscapes is vivid for me as well: the Midwest, the West, and other places feel like characters to me in my work, the geography and cultures themselves full of emotion. I love to write with an ear for sensuality—mining the quests we all face in our emotional lives, our partnering, our healing from difficult things, our family lives, and love affairs. I’m interested in the adult balancing act of how we get our needs for closeness and meaning met, and then what we do with our pull toward desires, outside-the-lines sensual adventures, and blurry-lined exploration.
I wrote three nonfiction books: Naked Marriage, How to Be An Artist Without Losing Your Mind, Your Shirt or Your Creative Compass, and The Debt-Free Spending Plan all about learning simple adult life skills. When I wrote a play called Ruby and George in Love that got produced at Sonoma Arts Live Theatre Company, it was that play that drew me into fiction as a writer. I couldn’t stop writing it, and the characters just kept talking to me. It's been like that ever since! Now, my first short fiction collection, STAY WITH ME, WISCONSIN will come out from Flying Ketchup’s new imprint Coyote Point Press, and I couldn’t be happier. Coyote Point Press will focus on the niche of contemporary women's lit–smart, savvy, and sensual.
What inspires you?
Honestly, it’s life itself. It’s my experiences and the people I love (or have loved) that speak to me most pressingly. It’s as if the stories are alive inside me, knocking on my heart, saying, “Me! Me next!” Many times, there’s a spark of memory—like riding down a Key West lane on a bike—and then I build on that from my imagination. Or, sometimes it’s simpler: a neighbor told me one day about a friend who was a perfume editor and boom! I had a kind of instant vision of Gil in my Leaving Lefty story, then I had the first line. Another day, I woke up thinking of fishing for white bass with my dad—something I hadn’t thought about in years—and I had a vision of this woman grieving, fishing alone. That birthed my Fishing story. Where does it come from? Living. I think it comes from just living and paying attention and trying to love every part of it, even falling down and messing up parts. It’s so human writing fiction, and it makes me feel humble and grateful for every bit of my living experience.
"Little Did I know" by JoAnneh Nagler, San Francisco, CA