Alan Black, CA

Critically Acclaimed Writer

Alan grew up in Scotland, and his brogue has stuck with him through three decades living in California. He wears a coat of many colors. Alan teaches creative writing to male and female inmates in California prisons, is a spoken word performer, and ran a successful literary arts venue in San Francisco. He published a memoir with Hudson Street Press/Penguin Books and worked with best-selling authors editing an anthology, Public House. Alan has also written for newspapers and magazines, including San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, Salon, Christian Science Monitor and more, on a variety of subjects spanning art, literature, politics, sport, art, pop culture, interviews, and humor.

As a Story Terrace writer, Alan interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better by reading his autobiographical anecdote below.

First Story

Ten years old, I wrote my first story on a sidewalk with chalk. My dog had gone. My parents no longer wanted her. They gave her to a farmer. Rudi the Spaniel is chasing a chicken, I wrote. When is she coming back? Rain came and washed the dust into the street. For a while, I looked at the nail next to the backdoor where her collar once hung. But then I stopped looking. A meow had replaced a bark. Cats did not need parents to take them for a walk. No leash required. Just a bowl of milk and some leftover lamb from the dinner plate unleashed a purr. The farmer has a cat already, I thought. Just ask the mice in the barn. But I never forgot Rudi. Her beautiful big ears and her jolly wag. Her life went one way, mine another. It takes more than rain to wash away memories. Writing preserves them for tomorrow.

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Your voice is your life. Experience shapes. Life is witnessed. Writing is born from it. Storytelling can be a soulmate or a messenger, a treasure to pass on. Words play in many courts. Fun to serious, sad to happy, truth and tragedy. Call it the rich tapestry of time.

It’s time for your story. I look forward to listening and partnering with you as we take your voice to the page.

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