San Francisco Peninsula Writer
Writers Helping Writers Since 1909
Dear San Francisco Peninsula CWC members -- and Happy August!
How are you doing this summer? Are you able to get some earnest and worthwhile writing done? Or have you succumbed to the heart of the summer malaise? Sadly, me too! Seems like there has been so much going on that plunking down in front of a blank piece of paper has been a thing of daydreams.
Obviously, some of you have been reaping the rewards from past writing. Our very own poet,
Jo Carpignano, has done it again. With nineteen entries from our branch into the latest
Literary Review, her poem "You and Me" was the only entry published. Congratulations, Jo! And congratulations once again to all who won awards in the San Mateo County Fair Literary contests and were published in this year's
Carry the Light.
To bring you out of your summer doldrums and kickstart your writing, our August meeting will give you a unique opportunity. Two of our former
Fault Zone editors,
Lisa Meltzer Penn and
Audrey Kalman, will be discussin
Fault Zone: Uplift, the upcoming anthology, with a presentation called "
Submission Tips for Getting Accepted to Our Branch's Anthology." These tips will be helpful to all submissions you make in the present and in the future, so take good notes.
Oh! By the way, we received c
ongratulations on our branch's turnout to the annual
Joaquin Miller Park
. Our branch had the highest number of members in attendance -- even more than Berkeley-Oakland! So our efforts were noted and acknowledged. For those who were not able to attend, we were treated to a cookout, a LitCake contest (won by our own
Teresa LeYung Ryan
), plus an Open Mic for which some of our own members (
Mary Beth O'Connor
) braved the mic and became true stars! (
Read the history of the Joaquin Miller Park
As a heads-up for our upcoming meetings, we will be having our final meeting at the
Belmont Congregational Church this month. After that, starting in September, we will meet at our original meeting venue -- the
Sequoia Yacht Club, 441 Seaport Court, Redwood City
. See notes on our website for directions.
And please keep in mind that the upcoming "Building Better Branches" Leadership Conference is coming up on October 1 at DeVry University in Fremont. This is open to all interested members, and your all-day conference fees plus lunch will be paid for by our branch. Bring your skills and talents and share them with others as we learn better ways to contribute to "building a better branch." Let me know if you are interested.
I look forward to seeing you soon. Good writing!
--Carole Bumpus, SF Peninsula Branch President
Time to Renew Your CWC Membership
Renew now to keep your membership current and to be listed with the State Branch, get discounts to programs, support our Writer's Club, and more!
We are proud to announce the California Writers Club is over 2,000 members strong!
What?! Not a Member Yet?
Join now to get a good deal....We'll spot you the next month FREE if you join now. So
go to our membership page and submit payment via the top link for July 1 through December 31. This will take you to a PayPal link for $65 ($20/year dues + one-time membership fee of $20). Click here to join now.
Alternatively, you can send a check for $65 to our P.O. Box. Please make it payable to "CWC SF/Peninsula," then mail to:
CWC SF Peninsula
PO Box 853
Belmont, CA 94002-0853
August 20 Program
It's All Your Fault Zone: Submission Tips for Getting Accepted to Our Branch's Anthology
with Audrey Kalman and Lisa Meltzer Penn
Founding editor Lisa Meltzer Penn and former editor Audrey Kalman delve into everything you ever wanted to know about
but were afraid to ask. Learn about the genesis of this literary anthology, the benefits and perks of submitting, and tips you can use to increase your odds of having your piece accepted -- including what makes a good story. Lisa and Audrey also will cover the nuts and bolts of the schedule and the submission process. And they will share details about some exciting new opportunities available to members in the upcoming edition,
Fault Zone: Uplift
. Come with your questions!
Our last meeting at the church!
10 a.m. to Noon
Congregational Church of Belmont
751 Alameda de las Pulgas
$10 members. $13 nonmembers. $10 students with ID.
July Picnic Recap
by Carole Bumpus
GETTING TO KNOW JOAQUIN MILLER
While at the Joaquin Miller Park for the State Picnic on July 23rd, we were also given a history lesson about Joaquin, the Park and our CWC connection to it. It turns out that some of the very first meetings of the California Writers Club happened on this very plot of land in the Oakland foothills.
Cincinnatus Hiner ("Joaquin")
Miller, who was born in Indiana in 1841 and during his lifetime was a pony-express rider, lawyer, judge, teacher, gold prospector, nomad and author, also made a trip to the Bay Area in 1870. It was at that time he met California's first Poet Laureate and Oakland's first librarian,
Ina Coolbrith. Coolbrith convinced him to take the colorful pen name of Joaquin Miller. (The same woman also encouraged
Jack London to write, and write he did. The most prestigious award given by the State CWC is the Ina Coolbrith award in her honor.) Joaquin later became well known as the "Poet of the Sierras" and was the author of the poem,
"Sail on," which became one of the California Writers Club mottos and was one of the few poems foisted on early California fourth-graders to memorize in the state schools.
When Joaquin returned to Oakland in 1886, he settled on 70 acres of grassy hillside, which he had purchased parcel-by-parcel in the hills above the "City of the Oaks." In an effort to create an inspirational artists' retreat, he erected monuments, built structures for his mother and daughter, and coordinated the planting of 75,000 trees -- Monterey cypress, olive and eucalyptus. He died in his home in 1913. Later, during the 1930s, and with the help of the CCC and California Writers Club members, a special "walk" was created on the hillsides in honor of "all California writers."
For some of us, the trek up into those beautifully shaded groves was difficult, with steep slopes, trails riven with gnarled tree stumps and the heat radiating off the upper hills. But it all was worth the effort to have visited this most historic of physical sites in celebration of our own California Writers Club.
P.S. Next year, the picnic will be held closer to the flat open space and will be much more member-friendly.
Fault Zone Authors
We are looking for 8 to 10 readers for our
series reading at the Belmont Library on Sunday, August 28 from 2-3 p.m. to read for 7-8 minutes each. The library has graciously offered to host us and provide refreshments and we want to wow them! Please email Lisa Meltzer Penn at
if you are interested in reading. First come, first served, with an emphasis on representing readers from all six volumes, from
Fault Zone: Words from the Edge
all the way to
Fault Zone: Transform
Attention Aspiring Novelists:
November Is "National Novel Writing Month!"
Are you intimidated at the very thought of writing a novel because it takes so darn long? Do you procrastinate because it seems like such a long process? Do you still dare to dream of taking the plunge and writing that novel that you've always wanted to write?
Well, look no further for any excuses to live out your dreams! November 1-30, 2016 is National Novel Writing Month.
Worldwide, during 2015, 431,626 people took the challenge and, as a result, over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published.
So why not do it this year?
Simply go to the website http://nanowrimo.org/ to learn all the details, from how to sign up and how this program will help you accomplish your goal. You'll write a novel, track your progress along the way, get pep talks and support (very important!) and meet others who are doing the same thing (online and in person).
On the website you'll find out how it works and what "press information" will be provided. You can also find out what past participants have said about this exciting process.
Commit the month of November to writing your novel (50,000 words minimum) and who knows, you may be one of the lucky ones who gets published! That's http://nanowrimo.org/ for all the details!
CWC SF Peninsula Calendar
Special presentation by the Fault Zone editors. Final
meeting at the Belmont Congregational Church. Starting September 17 we will meet at the Sequoia Yacht Club in Redwood City!
reading at Belmont Library Taube Room, 2 p.m.
TBA Save the Date
NOTE: We'll meet at our NEW venue: Sequoia Yacht Club
TBA Save the Date
Creating an Effective Marketing Strategy for Your Book
SF Peninsula Branch meets for the last time on August 20
Congregational Church of Belmont,
751 Alameda de las Pulgas,
after that (starting in September) our monthly meetings will be at the Sequoia Yacht Club
$10 members. $13 non-members.
$10 students with ID.
San Mateo Critique Group
San Mateo - 2nd and 4th Friday each month, 10:30 to noon
The Peninsula Regent
1 Baldwin Avenue, rear of the large meeting room opposite the elevator.
Bring at least 5 copies of your no-longer-than 6-page manuscript to hand out. For more info contact Karen Hartley at
Non-SF Peninsula Branch Events
August 7, 1 to 3 p.m. The B Street Writers Collective in Hayward is sponsoring a workshop with South Texas Beat poet PW Covington! Cost is a modest $20. Covington is a well-published poet and novelist and has performed at the Beat Museum San Francisco.
How to Get Published workshop in South San Francisco. Presenter is Chuck
Sambuchino of Writer's Digest Books. He edits the
Guide to Literary Agents
In addition, there are 11 literary agents (with maybe a few more to come) at the event to meet with writers and take pitches for books. It looks to be a great one-day event.
September 29-October 1, 2016
Got Feedback? Suggestions for Critique Groups
By P.A. and E.A. Moore
How do we find a critique group that will fit our needs? To answer that question, it is
important to know where you are as a writer and what you want from a feedback group.
If you are a beginner, there is obviously a lot to learn. Your goal should be to find a supportive
group that will encourage you and motivate you to keep going. The most helpful critique
groups provide positive feedback and constructive criticism. The primary mission for beginner feedback is to keep members writing and developing as writers. Trust and compatibility are essential in this stage.
As you become a more experienced writer, look for feedback that identifies specific strengths and
weaknesses. This type of group praises what you do well, but also helps identify areas for improvement. On the technical side, these areas might include the need for stronger sentence structure, expanded vocabulary or correct grammar. In terms of content, plot and character can be addressed.
Are you an advanced or published writer? In this case, there is always a benefit to having
readers provide feedback. Experienced writers can be mentors to others. Reading and critiquing
the work of beginners can benefit more advanced writers by reminding them of things to do or not
do. Regular and ongoing meetings help writers maintain a productive and disciplined writing
routine, a necessity if the goal is to be published.
So where do you find your particular critique group? Your CWC chapter is a good starting place. If
your schedule doesn't permit face-to-face meetings, then look for an online group. Group formats vary widely, but we have found the better groups submit material in writing before a meeting. Then members have a chance to read and think about the work. It's helpful to have standardized feedback forms, which are then given to the writer. Groups should be kept to a small size: between four and six allows each person ample time and prevents meetings from going on...and on.
Whatever the group and feedback, it is important to observe two basic rules: listen
without getting defensive and thank the person for their time and comments.
P.A. Moore, Language Services
who was accepted into the 2016 edition of the CWC Literary Review with her poem "You and Me."
James Hanna received an editorial review on his new book A Second, Less Capable Head: And Other Rogue stories. Jim was also recently interviewed by Dreaming Big, a publisher's blog for this book. He was also interviewed by Denise Turney, Off the Shelf Radio, on his books
The Siege, Pomeroy, A Second Less Capable Head,
and on honing the craft of writing.
will present at the CWC Sacramento Branch Breakfast Meeting on August 5 at 9 a.m. on the topic "Turning Everyday Events into a Story." All welcome. iHop. 2216 Sunrise Boulevard, Rancho Cordova, CA.
Jac Fitzenz announces his new book, Undaunted Lovers, A Tale of Forbidden Love. It's a combination of adventure: naval intelligence/espionage and romance. Those of us at the monthly open mics have been enjoying the excerpts!
Look at Elise Frances Miller's new and transformed website! Read her first post at https://elisefrancesmiller.com/blog/ to find out about why she made the change and what's up ahead in her writing life! Then take a moment to look through the revised Menu items. Please note and bookmark the change to http://elisefrancesmiller.com.
Kirsten Weiss reports her
newest novel of paranormal mystery and suspense,
The Mannequin Offensive
, was published on July 1 by misterio press.
Jennifer Bearss' poem "More Moments" was published in the California State Poetry Society's Magazine
San Mateo County seeks next Poet Laureate!
38th annual Nimrod Literary Awards Accepting Jan 1-Nov 30:
The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction -
Mom Egg Review Vol. 15 Deadline August 15
Cash prize for poetry, fiction, and creative prose by writers who are mothers or by others about motherhood. Submit work not published previously online or in print. $3 fee for each submission. Click here for rules
West Marin Review Deadline September 1
Click here for submission guidelines for this journal.
Two different quarterly poetry publications, plus monthly and annual contests. Heads-up: the Poetry Letter information is at the very bottom of the page -- easy to miss on the first visit.
Deadline: September 1, 2016
The Poetry Chapbook Competition is open to all writers. Prize: $200 cash award plus 50 copies of the published book.
Nimrod International Journal
is seeking poetry, short stories, and creative nonfiction pieces that explore ideas of home -- both leaving home and finding home for their
Spring/Summer 2017 issue,
Leaving Home, Finding Home. Click here to submit
Thanks to Eve Visconti for researching so many new contests for us!