Friday, May 19, 2017


2017 Events

   Invite a friend.  Save the dates.   

* Saturday, February 25 - 10:30 a.m. - Kapolei Library - Readings, followed by lunch at Assaggio Kapolei.

* March 16 thru 19 - Left Coast Crime Convention at Hilton Hawaiian Village,  See

* Saturday, April 22 - 10  to noon - Aina Haina Library - “Songwriting and Poetry & Prose: the Interplay of Art Forms” with Steven Goldsberry and Dylan Nobuo Little.

* Saturday, May 20 - 10  to noon - Aina Haina Library - Workshop and Readings: “Six African American Poets, from Langston Hughes to Maya Angelou” -  Ten poems with elements that are also part of fiction, such as narrative, character, setting (both time and place), point of view, voice, tone, word choice, and imagery. Workshop leader: Michael Little.

* Saturday, June 17- 11:30 a.m. - Readings and lunch at Assaggio Kahala.

* Saturday, July 29 - 10 to noon - Aina Haina Library - John Simonds, “News, Notions and Narratives: Using Verse to Mine the Memory.”

* Saturday, August 19 - 10 to noon - Aina Haina Library - Workshop and Readings: Christy Passion and Ann Inoshita.

* Saturday, September 9 - 10 to noon - Aina Haina Library - Writers workshop: “Pinocchio at the Keyboard” - Wikipedia lists 34 kinds of lies, a gold mine for fiction writers! - Workshop leaders: Michael Little and Craig Howes, UH professor and director of the Center for Biographical Research at UH Manoa.

* Saturday, October 21 - 10:30 a.m. - Kapolei Library - Readings, followed by lunch at Assaggio Kapolei.

* Saturday, November 18 - 10 to 11 - Aina Haina Library - High School & College Short Story Contest Winners, followed by end-of-year luncheon.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Hawaii Fiction Writers Events: August thru October 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016:

10:00 a.m. to noon - Aina Haina Library

Guest Speaker: Craig Howes

Craig Howes, UH professor and director of the Center for Biographical Research at UH Manoa, on “How do you turn personal experience or factual material into fiction?”:

There are huge debates about this at the moment, with people talking at length about “biofiction,” which is sort of the equivalent of a film’s claim to be “based on a true story.” And more and more, you’re hearing novelists and short story writers saying things in interviews like--“Of course, my work is based on my own experience--but I add unicorns and alien lovers.” And of course, in other cases, short stories and novels draw extensively on historical or contemporary events--DeLillo, Martin Amis, Hilary Mantel, etc. etc.--but place fictional characters at the center. (It used to be called “historical fiction”) Iʻve actually written about this, and talked about what constitutes a “fictobiographical pact” with the reader.

Saturday, September 17, 2016:
10:00 a.m. to noon - Aina Haina Library
“Opening Lines” - Workshop led by Michael Little

As Glinda the Good Witch says in The Wizard of Oz, “It’s always best to start at the beginning.”  Twenty opening lines from literature to amuse and inspire, first drafts of a dozen opening lines to familiar stories and novels, and a chance to write opening lines for a snippet of monologue overheard on a Honolulu street.

Saturday, October 15, 2016:
10:00 a.m. to noon - Aina Haina Library
“Poetry Skills for Fiction Writers

Workshop led by Ann Inoshita

Ann Inoshita, who teaches at Leeward Community College and has published both poetry and fiction, shares her insights on how fiction writers can draw on elements of poetry to enrich their stories.

Monday, January 4, 2016

You're Invited!

In 2015, Hawaii Fiction Writers presented writers workshops and readings, focusing on the elements of fiction, including character, plot, dialogue, point of view, and setting. In 2016, we focus on mystery writing and other genres. Here’s the schedule for events January through May.

Saturday, January 16, 2016 -                                           

Hawaii Mystery Writer Laurie Hanan

10:00 a.m. to noon - Aina Haina Library  


Join us as for an informal Q&A with local mystery writer Laurie Hanan! Laurie grew up in the picturesque islands of the South Pacific. She moved to Seattle to study photography and dance at the University of Washington. On Oahu Laurie had a career with the Postal Service and raised three children. She retired in 2006 and started writing the Louise Golden mystery series. Titles include Almost Paradise, How Far Is Heaven?, Another Day in Paradise, and Stairway to Heaven. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016 -
“What's Life Without a Little Mystery?” - Readings by Laurie Hanan, Rosemary & Larry Mild, Gail Baugniet, and Kent Reinker

10:30 a.m. to noon - Kapolei Public Library

Saturday, March 19, 2016 -11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Assaggios Kahala - Lunch & Readings

Saturday, April 16, 2016 -10:00 a.m. to noon - Aina Haina Library - “A ___ Walks Into a ____”: Writing a Comic Scene -Workshop led by Michael Little

Saturday, May 21, 2016 -10:00 a.m. to noon - Aina Haina Library - “Mystery Writing”: Workshop led by Rosemary & Larry Mild

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hawaii Fiction Writers:
Mary Lou Sanelli speaking
Saturday, November 21

10:00 a.m. to noon - Aina Haina Library
Guest Speaker: Mary Lou Sanelli

Followed at 12:30 by lunch at 
Ryan’s Grill in Ward Centre.

A WOMAN WRITING (Aequitas Books, 2015), is Mary Lou Sanelli’s newest title. Mary Lou Sanelli has published seven collections of poetry and two works of non-fiction, AMONG FRIENDS (Aequitas Books, 2009) and FALLING AWAKE (Aequitas Books, 2007). 

Her regular columns appear in Seattle’s City Living Magazine, Art Access magazine, as well as the Peninsula Daily News & Lilipoh health magazine. She has written for the Seattle Times, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Morning Edition, National Public Radio, Seattle’s NPR station KUOW FM, and many other publications and radio stations. 

She works as a successful literary speaker and is booked at regional and national conferences and many other venues. She is also a master teacher of Lyrical style Jazz Dance and teaches classes & workshops throughout the world. She lives in Seattle.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hawaii Fiction Writers: upcoming workshops & readings

Hawaii Fiction Writers calendar of events:

Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 11:30 a.m. - Luncheon & Reading at Assaggio Kahala.  Join us for lunch! Featuring readings by Leslee Ellenson, Malena Brooks, and Carol Catanzariti!

Image result for assaggio kahala

Saturday, August 15, 2015 - 10 a.m. to noon - Writers Workshop at Aina Haina Library. Workshop on character led by Craig Howes of the University of Hawaii!  Join us.

Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 10 a.m. to noon - Aina Haina Library.  "Computer and Software Tips for Writers," led by computer wizard David Jones!  Also bring your pages to read and share.
Image result for writer are computer

Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 10 a.m. to noon - Aina Haina Library.  Writers Workshop:
"Plot, Character, and Setting: The Journey Home, with Stops in Dickens' London, the Land of Oz, and Fenway Park."  
Workshop led by Michael Little.

Join us as we explore the relationship of three major parts of fiction, as illustrated in "A Christmas Carol," The Wizard of Oz (film version), and baseball.  Including a writing exercise: write a short plot summary (beginning, middle, and end), opening paragraph, and closing paragraph (we get to leave out that pesky middle!).

Image result for Ebenezer Scrooge      Image result for Fenway Park
Image result for Wizard of oz

Monday, June 8, 2015

Hawaii Fiction Writers reading at Kapolei Library on June 13

Image result for Kapolei Public Library Image result for Kapolei Public Library
Hawaii Fiction Writers will be having its first public reading next Saturday, June 13, at the beautiful Kapolei Library.  Please join us ... should  be fun ... and spread the word!

Where:  Kapolei Public Library
Date:  Saturday, June 13, 2015
Time:  10:30 a.m. to noon
Lunch:  Assaggio Kapolei (just a couple of blocks from the library) ... we have a reservation for noon.

Reading will be Carol Catanzariti leading off, Marie Hara, Rosemary & Larry Mild, Christy Passion, and, batting sixth and playing emcee, Michael Little. Each reader will have 10 minutes to read, which will leave time for some questions and discussion.  

Looking ahead for Hawaii Fiction Writers in 2015:

(1) lunch (and short readings by Leslee Ellenson and a couple of other writers TBA) Saturday, July 18, 11:30 a.m., at Assaggio Kahala ...

(2) return to Aina Haina Library for writers workshops at 10 a.m. on third Saturdays: August 15, September 19, and October 17 (more details on these later).

J.D. Salinger, we hardly knew ye ... by Michael Little

[Note:  J.D. Salinger died five years ago.  This is an essay I wrote at that time.  All true at the time, and today.]

Image result for The Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger, best known for writing a sensationally popular and critically acclaimed novel over 50 years ago, and for never having appeared on Oprah or The Tonight Show, or pretty much anywhere else outside of Cornish, New Hampshire, after he ran from his celebrity, died last week at the age of 91.

This news has been rattling around in my head in the five days since he left us (this time for good). My thoughts on Salinger keep returning not to the writer but to his most famous character, the narrator and antihero of The Catcher in the Rye, on his way home at Christmas from yet another dismal failure as a prep school student, but not going straight home, instead spending a weekend underground in Manhattan, searching, lost, the 20th century Huck Finn, and like Huck always on the move—Holden Caulfield.

Everyone who's read Catcher has their own memories. For me, it's summer and I've just graduated from high school. I'm in Saint Louis taking music classes and I've bought a copy of the book I've heard about and I'm sitting in a small restaurant by myself, reading Holden's account of his weekend in New York City.

The book's paperback cover promises that "This unusual book will shock you, may make you laugh, and may break your heart—but you will never forget it." True on all points, although the book gave me more laughs than shocks, and as for breaking my heart, that was something I would have to wait six months for, when my high school sweetheart ran off with a sailor (an event that Holden would probably describe as both "corny" and "crummy").

About six years later Holden is waiting for me again. I need to choose a subject for a master's thesis in English, and I return to The Catcher in the Rye. By this time I've taken just about every literature class I can and I'm armed with all kinds of cool analytical tools to dissect Salinger and his book. When I read the rest of his fiction I am struck mostly by the importance of family in the stories, and not so much parents as siblings. All the Glass family brothers and sisters drive most of the other stories. As for Catcher, it's Holden's sister, Phoebe, who means the most to him and ultimately saves him from his crummy lost weekend. It's for Phoebe that Holden returns home.

So I write the thesis and call it "The Value of the Family in J. D. Salinger." Having finished the project, of course, I move on to other writers, other literature classes, away from Holden and Catcher, although, as the cover says, you will never forget it. Or him.

Eventually I move on to teach college English in Seattle. You would think that I'd include Holden in one of the college English courses, but I never do. I don't know why, I just don't. When I board a United flight one snowy Seattle morning, on my way to a new life in Hawaii, how can I have known that Holden is waiting for me on Maui?

It takes a couple of years on Maui, but on a fateful afternoon at Baldwin High School, there I am in the dusty old book room and another teacher is telling me to "look around and see what you can find." I spy a modest stack of worn, abandoned paperbacks against a wall. I move closer for a better look, and of course it's The Catcher in the Rye. Holden's been waiting for me. Lucky for me, and lucky for my students, there are just enough copies for the one class that awaits a new book. The next day I pass out the old paperbacks, ask the students to open them to chapter one, and then I begin reading aloud:
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

Nobody speaks. I look up and the students all have their faces in the books. "Keep reading," one of them says. So I do. In the days that follow we live through that weekend with Holden Caulfield. By the time we finish the book the school year is almost over. No time to start another book. I collect some of the Catcher paperbacks (about half of the books have disappeared, and I know that the students who liked Holden best just can't give him up, and that's fine). I return the remaining books to the dusty old book room. They may still be there.

So that's it. I'm ready to move on. I look through the obituary and articles about J.D. Salinger in The New York Times, and I wish him well on his journey. As far as I know, Salinger never met Oprah. He never crashed a White House dinner. He never needed to be famous. But Holden Caulfield takes on the world for him. The book awaits.