Testimonials and Reviews of MWP

Testimonials & Reviews:

Manzanita Writers Press and the Voices of Wisdom Program 

The Manzanita professionals and fellow writers are/were the reason my first book happened. Weekly writer meet-ups and feedback helped me edit and formulate my writing and thought process. Feedback was always candid, yet kind.

The voices 55+ workshops and resulting publications were both motivating and the best routine social interactions with like-minded individuals. Always a well-spent respite from weekly demands. Some of the nicest people in Calaveras and Tuolumne County you will ever meet. The workshop leaders and guest speakers were always well-prepared and ready to help your writing endeavors become a reality.

—Carey Steffee


I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Voices of Wisdom class for seniors. A lively, friendly and fun group, great social therapy. I have often written different stories, poems and articles but never had any published until the Voices of Wisdom book “Mother Lode Voices”. I am learning new writing skills and methods and getting positive feedback on my work. All in all it’s helping me to become an improved writer.

— Starlin Yvonne Patrick



How can I ever find sufficient words of praise for our extraordinary writing coaches? They show up, antennae ready, and create workshops that keep on giving. Each shares their strength as readers, their sensitivity as coaches and a tremendous creativity. They somehow give each of us attention, with patience, flexibility and dedication. They are simply angels with pens.

Each offers their own unique blend of gifts, and pours them out for all equally. They encourage and guide us with constructive critiques—sometimes strict, sometimes gentle—but always cogent.  We learn that our pens flow with spirit as well as ink.

If one can judge a tree by its fruit, take a look at our anthologies. They will speak for our beautiful tree of teachers—a rare and wondrous tree, grafted of many unusual branches. This tree has grown, nourished and sheltered the talents of a community of elders, individuals whose voices are often lost in the din of daily living. Together we are heard. Together we are great.

— Diane Alexis


I’m a left-brained retired engineer. Both of my daughters have degrees and careers in writing. They’ve been on my case for years to take up writing.

I saw an article about Manzanita Press and their Voices of Wisdom program. So, I told myself “You’ll never be a writer, but it will get the daughters off my case.” I went to a session and by the end of the second session I was hooked.

After my first story, I received lots of comments. Not criticism, but comments. The group was amazing. Lots of talented writers encouraging me to learn to write.

I thoroughly enjoy the “probes” we’re given. I never knew I had creative ability. The classes have taught me to draw on my creative side when writing probe stories.

I’ve recommended Manzanita Press and the Voices of Wisdom program to several friends.

— Jim Allday – Docent at Big Trees State Park


Monika Rose is a treasure! She has brilliantly identified themes and opportunities for a better story for my novel and elevated my writing to a new level. She is an absolute joy to work with and is dedicated to the writers under her wing to produce the best material possible. ~ Mary Fry


“Never has there been a more devoted patronesse saint of the art and craft of writing than Monika Rose.  She works tirelessly for Manzanita Writers Press to help bring aspiring and accomplished writers together to share their journey through the maze of words they aspire to navigate.  Writers of all contours join together in small groups by zoom and in person for the feedback so necessary to hone their skills.  With the courage to write and read their works, they grow into the craft, and, in time, their art reveals itself.  What a valuable experience she offers us all.  Without her encouragement and direction, we’d be lost in the wilderness without a hope of finding our way home.”

— Jim Pesout

Monika, I’m so pleased that you are encouraging Conrad to put all his books into a single volume. It was a sincere pleasure “confabulating” with you this morning! What a gift you are to your writer’s community!

— Ted Bravos


From Denella Kimura:

  1. I have published the following with MWP: poetry, prose and photos in the three Calaveras Anthologies for Voices of Wisdom (VOW):  “Voices of Wisdom” (2018), “Voices on the Wind” (2019), and “Mother Lode Voices” (2020). I also had three poems published in “Vignettes” (2016) and four poems published in another Calaveras Anthology, “Out of the Fire” (2017). And I had two photos and a poem published in “Wine, Cheese & Chocolate: A Taste of Literary Elegance.” I feel both privileged and honored to be included in the many writing projects with Manzanita Writers Press, and especially admire the love and enthusiasm that Monika Rose brings to her projects and events.
  2. Yes, I would work with Monika in future teaching, writing and editing projects. Monika and staff are easy to work with, friendly, professional and task-focused. She gets the job done. The product is outstanding, well-edited, and respectful of the writer’s voice. Every book I’ve been published in with the Calaveras Anthologies has beautiful covers and present well to the public. I’d work with MWP again in a heartbeat.

3.  I enjoy working with Monika and her staff. She is well                         organized, gracefully social, and makes everyone feel                        included and valued. We laugh a lot!

  1. Background: I am a credentialed California teacher, and have taught mostly in California, though I did teach 4-5th grades in Val D’or, Quebec, Canada. I have also taught many writing workshops at conferences, and public and private schools. I have participated in and hosted open readings since 1987. I also hosted the “Coffee House Writers” and “Favorite Things” radio shows for a few years with KAAD-LP 103.5 FM, Sonora CA.

I have published two poetry books: “Poetry Reading at the Panama Hotel” (Joy Publishing 1991) and “Waiting for Wings: A Child’s Journey” (Word Project Press, 2019) and a CD of “Waiting for Wings.” (2019).

Monika has given me a back-of-book cover promotion for “Waiting for Wings,’ and allowed me to display my books, read from them at open readings, and sell them through her shop at Angel’s Camp.  I love her professionalism  and business savvy. I enjoy the end of month checks from book sales. And it is great working with her publishing team.

5.  I have attended many events with Manzanita Writers Press: Readings, Wine and Art celebrations, Book Fairs, and teaching many Voices of Wisdom writing workshops. For a few years, I participated in Writers Unlimited, And there is an annual celebration of published books each year with special speakers. And there’s this wonderful Mark Twain history lecture whose author sold a lot of books to Angels Camp residents and visitors.

You had to be there, absorb the ambient artistic glow, saturate yourself in words, relive scenes from the past, cry a little in missing the warmth of friends, and laugh a lot with fellow writers. You had to be there. Walls filled with art, tables and chairs scattered around, books, jewelry and pottery scattered around the register, as you dodge tables strewn with colorful artifacts for sale. It was wonderful with the scent of tea or coffee and snacks, and  a big box to hide the chairs. And Joy Roberts with a big ole grin standing behind the register. Monika floats from person to person, absorbing the magic of the moment. And there were many. You had to be there. DLK

Denella Kimura