August 2020
Our next board meeting is on Tuesday, August 11th, 6-7:30 p.m. via Zoom. Board meetings are held 6-7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month unless otherwise noted, and are open to any member in good standing. If you would like to attend a board meeting, contact: to receive an invitation.
Saturday, August 15
1 - 2:30 p.m.
via ZOOM*
Cost is $5 for members and $10 for guests.
Memoir: The Art of Questioning Everything
Alia Volz
It's common to begin personal writing with questions and end with answers—like the essays we learned to write in college. But the most interesting moments in memoir happen when questions lead not to conclusions, but to more questions. Memories prove unreliable. The book starts out investigating one thing, then evolves as the narrator’s worldview crumbles and new questions arise. Uncertainty can be a plot device.

This craft talk explores how relentless self-interrogation has become the driving force behind contemporary personal essays and memoir. We’ll discuss practical techniques for taking advantage of questions that refuse to be answered.

Alia Volz is the author of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020). Her work has been published in The Best American Essays 2017 , The New York Times , Bon Appetit , Guernica , Salon , and many other places. Her unusual family story has been featured on podcasts "Snap Judgement," "Criminal," and NPR’s "Fresh Air."
August's General Meeting Agenda

  • Contest announcement
  • Featured Speaker Alia Volz
  • Board announcements
  • Member announcements
  • Adjourn
*WHAT IS ZOOM? It's the most popular online platform for virtual presentations, meetings, get-togethers, etc. Just go to and download the app on your phone, iPad, or computer (camera required to participate). If you can't join us live, you will be able to download the presentation for viewing/sharing at your leisure (and don't we have plenty of that!).

With summertime here, many of you are probably dreaming of taking a nice vacation. Unfortunately, shelter-in-place mandates have cancelled many planned getaways. 

So why not write about it?

Our current contest, "Wish You Were Here," is officially underway. Write about the perfect—or not so perfect—travel experience. Tell us about the accommodations, exotic food, the people. Did you pack enough, what about traditional attire, excursions, the weather? What about the romance, or dealing with family members? Was it difficult to get home? Did you have your passports or vaccinations? Did you miss the boat? Write about any or all these experiences in 2,000 words or less. Entice the judges to book a trip to—or avoid—your vacation destination.

Deadline is August 19.
Open to Redwood Writers and CWC members.

More information on rules and how to submit at the button below:

We are in the final stages of editing this year's prose anthology, Sunset Sunrise: A Collection of Endings & Beginnings. With forty-eight authors and fifty-eight stories about beginnings or endings, this year's anthology is packed with interesting stories and amazing talent.

The publication date is still pending, but will be announced through email, on the website, and on our social media channels, along with how you can get a copy. Stay tuned!

Crissi Langwell
Anthology Editor
We are so happy with our newest poetry anthology, AND YET . We will be posting a poem from the anthology each month. Copies of the anthology are available on Amazon .

This month's poem is by Louise Hofmeister.

Louise Hofmeister thoroughly enjoys exploring various forms and hanging out with her marvelous poet-mentors and colleagues. In addition to being aired in  Redwood Writers Anthology , her poems have been picked for publication by  Truth Serum Pure Slush , and  Gnashing Teeth .

With love, Fran Claggett-Holland and Les Bernstein
Written on the Wall
by Louise Hofmeister

The laureate of Cleveland Street
has lost her train of thought 
Lifetime subscriber to the Muse 
whose words cannot be caught
Quotes saved her for a little while 
her go-to potluck dishes
But when she summons even those 
elude her recall wishes
Not long since she could find a thread 
on pausing for diversion
but often now those birds once flown
are over the horizon
These days the Muse keeps taunting her
as she keeps slipping stitches
Her only respite now are songs
but even those have hitches
The laureate of Cleveland Street
does not have far to go
before she comes to where she
doesn’t know she doesn’t know
Please note: Poetry submissions for the newsletter are temporarily on hold while we feature poems from this year's poetry anthology. If you have any questions, please contact our poetry editor at .
We are excited to announce the 2021 Poetry Anthology, which will kick off on at the Redwood Writers general meeting on August 15!
The title of this year's anthology is Out of Silence. We are not prescribing any theme or subject for your poetry. Our hope is that the upcoming cover painting by Christine MacDonald and title of anthology may help you think about moving from silence to word. We look forward to a diversity of responses.
  • Poets must be members of Redwood Writers.
  • Each poet may submit up to 5 poems in ONE document.
  • Submit online at RW website:
  • Your name must NOT appear on poems.
  • Every poem must have a title. 
  • Use TIMES NEW ROMAN and 12PT font.
  • Poems are to be justified to the left.
  • Include a 50 word bio (seriously, no autobiographies!)
  • Begin bio with your name and use third person. See example below:
  • “John Doe lives in Sonoma and has been published in...”
  • Submission format should be in word doc or docx. No other will be accepted.
  • Poems must be original and unpublished. Poems that have appeared in print, including online magazines, are NOT eligible. However, they may have appeared in a personal blog or online newsletter.
  • Only poems following these guidelines will be accepted.
  • Poets will be notified of accepted poems by DECEMBER 1, 2020.
  • Editors may ask for minor revisions or clarifications before acceptance.
Submission Deadline: NOVEMBER 15, 2020 at 9 p.m.

Have fun and know we are so happy to receive your poems.
Co-Editors of Out of the Silence, 2021 Poetry Anthology
Fran Claggett-Holland - After a career of high school and university teaching, Fran traveled widely as an educational consultant, writing books for teachers and students along the way. After moving to Sonoma County, she taught memoir and poetry for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Sonoma State University. She recently published her fourth book of poems. Fran currently hosts two poetry groups in her home and has edited or co-edited four poetry anthologies for Redwood Writers.
Les Bernstein’s poetry had been published in journals, presses and anthologies in the U.S. and internationally. Her chapbooks Borderland , Naked Little Creatures   and Amid the Din are published by Finishing Line Press. She won the 2014 Nazim Hikmet award and is a 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee. Les has served as editor for three prior RW anthologies. Les lives in Mill Valley with her very large family.

If you are a current member of Redwood Writers and have yet to renew your membership for 2020-2021, it is time to Renew.  The 2019-2020 membership ends on September 30, 2020.  After that date, your membership is dropped, and it costs $65 to rejoin the club.   Don’t wait.  If you haven’t renewed, do so now at the button below.

If you are interested in becoming a new member of Redwood Writers joining is a simple clicking on the button below.

The Express Pass gives you access to the all the club monthly meetings from July 2020 to July 2021 for the low cost of $45. For the Zoom meetings and any recorded meeting, your pass gives you access to the video recording, meaning that if you miss the meeting, you can watch the speaker’s presentation at your convenience. In addition, if you purchase the pass in August, you receive a free guest pass for one meeting (a $10 value). 
If you need to renew, you can purchase a pass when you renew. If you renewed already and now would like to purchase a pass, click the button below.
Lise Quintana
"Submit to Indie Lit!"
Online via Zoom Saturday, September 19

Theme: “Sheltering: Turning inward. Reaching out with words. Staying connected.”
Date: Saturday, August 22 from 1-2 p.m. via Zoom.

We are inviting twelve RW members to read from their works in progress or published pieces.

If you’ve ever wondered what your fellow RW are writing, this is the place to find out!

If you'd like to participate, please RSVP to Sher Gamard at .

To offer members a constructive and enjoyable environment in which to read their works among the support of fellow writers. 
Bring your Prose, Memoir, Poetry and more!

Zoom meeting format
  • Meeting begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m.
  • Those to be “Readers” will be limited to the first 15 who register.
  • Other attendees may be “listeners.” 
  • Each reader will have 5 minutes, including introductory remarks.
  • Evaluations will be suspended during Zoom meetings.

Mark your calendars! Upcoming dates are:
Saturday, August 1
Saturday, September 26
Saturday, November 28

How to register: 
Writers Circle meets bi-monthly. On each appointed month, you will receive an email invitation to register for the coming Writers Circle. To register, simply respond to that email and you will be sent a Zoom link to attend.

Questions? Email .
The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing is now published

Member Marlene Cullen is proud to announce the release of the sixth book in The Write Spot series.  The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing  evolved from her heart and from her passion about the possibility of healing through writing. Shawn Langwell has a memorable piece in the anthology. Available through Amazon. $15 and as an ereader. 

Information about The Write Spot Books:
Virtual "Writers Forum" Events for August

Writers Forum has a new format. Please join us for these free online chats about writing and activities to inspire writing. Wednesdays 6:30 pm and Sundays 2 pm.

August and September Forums will be based on the anthology The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing.

For details, Zoom URL, and meeting password, please go to Click on Writers Forum.

Writers Forum Presenters:
August 5: Shawn Langwell and Teri Sloat
August 9: Ted A. Moreno
August 16: Kathy Guthormsen and Susan Bono
August 19: Ted A. Moreno and Christine Falcon-Daigle
August 23: Constance Hale
August 26: Teri Sloat and Dave Seter
August 30: Diane McKay

Learn more about Marlene Cullen, her workshops, and The Write Spot book at .
If you have news to share about your writing, an award, an appearance, or other writing-related news, send a 50-word or less announcement to . Deadline for consideration in next month’s newsletter is the 15th of this month.
With so many opportunities for writing, it's a lucky time for Redwood Writers! If you've read through this newsletter issue, you've learned about our Wish You Were Here contest, the upcoming poetry anthology, and events like the Salon and the Writers Circle, both happening this month. Our featured speaker, Alia Volz, is sure to offer wonderful inspiration, as well, for your personal essay and memoir writing.

I also have some exciting news! Along with editing this newsletter, I am also our club's social media manager. We've had a lot of fun conversation on our Facebook and Instagram channels. Have you visited these pages? Head on over and join the fun!

Stay healthy, and best wishes in your writing!

Crissi Langwell
Redwood Writer Editor
EDITOR: Crissi Langwell
Our mailing address is:
The Redwood Writer
P.O. Box 4687
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Redwood Writers  is a branch of the  California Writers Club , a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.