President's Message
November 2017
Fall Snap
Fall has always been my favorite season. Growing up on the east coast, it meant the spectrum of leaves changing colors on the trees, and their eventual fluttering descent to the ground. A cold snap is needed at just the right time for leaves to attain their full brilliance, for the chlorophyll to drain out and leave behind the hidden reds, golds and umbers beneath. Without a cold snap, the trees just don't do much.
And what is a cold snap but a push to change and move forward? Often uncomfortable, but necessary for the order of the seasons. As California writers, it's sometimes easier to want the comfortable and the warm. After all, we live in the land of sunshine! It's sometimes easier to be complacent, or allow our characters to go with the status quo, even if that means less color, less investment, or less than a complete transformation.
Ask yourself how you can snap things up in your stories and other creative projects this fall, whatever color or stage the local foliage takes on.
Speaking of trees...our club is made up of branches up and down the state. Our thoughts and good wishes for a speedy recovery go out to our writer friends in branches of the CWC affected by the recent wildfires in the north and the south.
Lisa Meltzer Penn, President, CWC SF Peninsula Branch
November 2017 Highlights:

November 18, 2017

November Speaker: 
Iris Jamahl Dunkle
Answering the Call -  How Jack and Charmian Kittredge London Inspired Me to Become a Writer Who Questions History

What does it mean to be a writer? 

Iris Jamahl Dunkle asked herself this at a young age and found the answer at Jack London State Historic Park. 

Join her as she tells the story of Jack London and his wife Charmian Kittredge London and her own journey toward finding a voice and writing back to history to find a better sense of the truth hidden beneath.

Iris is the 2016-2017 Poet Laureate of Sonoma County. She is currently co-authoring a new biography on Jack London's wife, Charmian Kittredge London. She teaches writing and literature at Napa Valley College and is on the staff of the Napa Valley Writers conference.

Saturday, Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
California Writers Club
Sequoia Yacht Club
441 Seaport Court
Redwood City
FREE to first-timers. $10 members. $15 nonmembers.  
$10 students with ID. 
To register with payment go to: 
Think Tank
Scene versus Summary: When and How to use Each  Moderator: Carol Park

Please join us after our regular meeting for an opportunity to discuss a different writing-related issue each month. The Think Tank is open to all members, guests and newcomers.  

"Show, not tell" is a proverb repeated often, at writing workshops, in books and by those critiquing your work.  Yet, "It's wrong...Let's say that it's certainly not always right.. And it could be wrong for you," contends Alice LaPlante, an award winning writer and beloved writing teacher at Stanford University for 15 years. 

November's Think Tank gives opportunity to discover or strengthen your understanding of these two ways of writing--i.e. showing (scene) and telling (narration) - through exploration, illustration and discussing examples.  By necessity, this introductory exploration is limited in scope, but you can learn more through two marvelous writing texts; The Making of Story by Alice LaPlante and  The Scene Book--a Primer for the Fiction Writer by Sandra Scofield. 

Geri Spieler
Save the Date

CWC SF Peninsula Holiday Party 2017
Fault Zone: Uplift Anthology Launch


Sunday, December 3rd
2:00-5:00 p.m.

Appetizers, Refreshments, Cash Bar
Significant others or friends welcome
Members,  click here for more details,
to sign up to bring a dish to the afternoon potluck,
to exhibit and sell your books

From Inspiration to Publication: 7 Steps to Your Dream of Authorship -  October Meeting Recap

Nina Amir, 11-time Amazon bestselling author of 19 titles and Performance Coach broke out tools to keep writers focused and ready to work. 

Some of these tools included: Identify the important thing that keeps you writing and moving toward your goal and keep that in mind. Block out writing time on your calendar and honor it. Manage your attention: time doesn't change, but your focus can. Take breaks. Hydrate. Oxygenate. Meditate. Shut down email and social media while writing. Focus on what you want, not what you don't want. 

She suggested creating a creativity ritual to set the sacred space of writing each time, and using creative visualization to get you all the way to your goal of publication. "Goals are dreams put into action. Enjoy the process!" Find more at .
Lisa Meltzer Penn
CWC SF Peninsula Calendar

Wednesday,  November 15
Open Mic - Emcee Pratibha Kelapure
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
Open Mic at Reach & Teach
144 W. 25th Avenue, San Mateo. FREE


Saturday, November 18th
Speaker - Iris Jamahl Dunkle

Answering the Call -  How Jack and Charmian Kittredge London Inspired Me to Become a Writer Who Questions History

Iris Jamahl Dunkle  is the 2016/2017 Poet Laureate of Sonoma County.  Her third poetry collection,  Interrupted Geographies , was published by Trio House Press in June 2017.

November 18th - Think Tank
Moderator: Carol Park

FREE.  Think Tank is now open to all members, guests, and newcomers after the general meeting.

"Scene versus Summary: When and How to use Each"

Upcoming Events

Sunday, December 3, 2017
Holiday Party and Fault Zone Launch

January 17, 2018
Open Mic with Pratibha Kelapure
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Open Mic at  Reach & Teach 
144 W. 25th Avenue, San Mateo. FREE

January 20, 2018
First Meeting of the Year

The SF/
Peninsula CWC Branch meets the 3rd Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at:

441 Seaport Court
Redwood City 

$10 members. $15 nonmembers. 
$10 students with ID.

Member News
Darlene Frank  is celebrating the success of her presentation at the  Imagery International Conference  in October. She spoke about creativity and the power of imagery in art and life. Participants described the presentation as "mesmerizing" and "extremely powerful" and said they loved the writing exercises. The exercises were experiments - thankfully, they worked!

Pat Obuchowski  was recently interviewed on "The Author's Show" The executive producer, Danielle Hampson, announced a new initiative to bridge authors with readers - our "Give A Book, Get A Smile" literacy project. 

Visit to find details and see authors, partners and recipients who are already participating. Pat recently contributed five of her books, Gutsy Women Win, and is featured on their website as a participating author with a cover of her book and a link to her website.

Readers' Favorite Book Awards has awarded
James Hanna's book, Call Me Pomeroy, a gold medal in the Humorous Fiction Category. Readers' Favorite Book Awards has also awarded James Hanna's novel, The Siege, a bronze medal in the Literary Fiction Category. James Hanna's short story, Tower Duty, placed fourth out of 265 entrants in the Sixfold Writer's Competition. The story is included in the Sixfold 2017 Summer Issue.

Congratulations, everyone!

'Tis the Season....
By Ida J. Lewenstein
'Tis the season
To be jolly
Or perhaps a bit

It starts with Thanksgiving
And already you see
A store decked out
With a Christmas Tree

When Thanksgiving is over
    You must get hopping
      Not much time left for
         Christmas shopping.

 'Tis the season
      You don't need a reason.

Shopping is easy
  No cash involved
     Just swipe your card
       And the problem is solved.

But what about the poor--
  The down and out?
     What have they got
         To be jolly about?

Not much, I say--
  Not much at all.
     The best they can do
        Is walk the mall!

2017 California Writer's Week
Participating at the Belmont Farmer's Market

For the first time since its inception, the SF/Peninsula Writer's Club participated in our state-sanctioned California Writer's Week. We dipped our toes in and found the water to be 'just fine'. 

Some of our members volunteered to visit local libraries, bring our colorful posters and see what we can do together. We came out with promises of local writer displays this year and plans for future book signings, other writer events and even some writer/library collaborations in our future.

Lisa Meltzer Penn spearheaded advancing our cause at local farmer's markets and we had our table at the Belmont market Sunday morning and the San Mateo market the following Saturday. 

We're thrilled with the positive response and look forward to doing it again next year!

Jeannine Gerkman, Newsletter Editor
Member Resources

Check out the updated  Writers' Corner  page on the SF Peninsula CWC website, where you'll find a list of resources to help you write and get published. Listings include publications and small presses founded or edited by branch members, literary magazines where members' work is published, local writing conferences and contests, and local writing organizations. 

There is a list of branch members who provide writing-related services for a fee: editing, coaching, and more.  

Special Offer from  Sand Hill Review 

The Sand Hill Review's online platform is at They do podcasts, interviews and discuss the craft of writing on their blog in addition to supporting writers, poets and artists by publishing their work online. 

They're on  Submittable, but because SHR has had a longstanding relationship with the CWC, they are offering CWC SF Peninsula chapter members
free submissions until January 1, 2018. Send submissions directly to

Jean Morrow
Submit to the Revamped CWC Literary Review!

This is our club's statewide literary magazine. Let's make sure our talented branch is well represented!

Deadline is November 30, 2017.

Check out the guidelines at  
Writer's Mindset for Entrepreneurs
Facilitated by Petalyn Albert and Mary E. Knippel

Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
San Mateo Coastside

If you have ever struggled as a writer, this is for you! Come learn how to prime yourself for your next writing project in a beautiful intimate setting on the San Mateo Coastside.

You wear many hats in business and the title of "writer" may or may not be chief among them. However, writing is essential to your success. Your success in business begins with the right mindset. Space is limited so grab you spot today at

Mary Knippel

Member Discounts

  • Family Tree Magazine (for genealogical writers and researchers) has offered CWC members $3 off a one-year subscription (7 issues). Price would be $24 vs. the $27 "standard intro price." California Writer's Club members can receive a discounted Family Tree Magazine sub rate for 7 issues for $24.00. When ordering by phone (888-403-9002) club members should mention source key: 87DCWC. Expiration on this agreement is  6/30/18 .
  • Writer's Digest has offered a discount to CWC members. Current online cost is $21.96 for print or digital. They offer the same options (print and digital) to CWC members for $14.95 for either one. Expiration on this agreement is 12/31/17The link:  WritersDigest. An opt-in box will appear reading "Please send me Writer's Digest's and F+W's FREE newsletter plus exclusive offers via e-mail. You'll also receive special offers from our marketing partners. You can unsubscribe from those newsletters via the newsletters themselves. We will not share your e-mail address with any third party without your consent. For more information, please read our privacy policy." Members who do not check the box to opt in, will exempt themselves from these offers and the discount would still apply.
Critique Groups

SAN MATEO: Meets on the 2nd and 4th Friday each month, 10:30 a.m. to noon at t
he Peninsula Regent, 1 Baldwin Avenue, San Mateo, 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 or (408) 315-0271.


Classified Ads

Sam Kauffman is inviting anyone interested in being part of a "holiday/winter" small event at Kingston Cafe in San Mateo to contact her at

Ernie Mendez is doing his memoir and would be interested in learning whether others might want to get in contact for an informal group to exchange ideas. You can reach him at .

Geri Spieler is looking for Think Tank moderators. You don't have to be an expert to lead a fun and informative discussion.  Please contact her with any questions or ideas at

Executive Board:
President: Lisa Meltzer Penn
Vice President: Audrey Kalman
Secretary: Jean Morrow
Treasurer: Pratibha Kelapure        
Appointed Board Positions:
Membership Co-Chairs: Bette Houtchens and Margaret Nalbach 
Publicity Chair: Bill Baynes 
Newsletter Editor: Jeannine Gerkman 
SMCF Literary Stage Coordinator: Bardi Rosman Koodrin 
Parliamentarian: Bette Houtchens
NorCal Representative & Volunteer Coordinator: Carole Bumpus
Fault Zone Editor in Chief: Laurel Anne Hill 
Non-Voting Positions:
State Board Rep & Immediate Past President: Carole Bumpus
Web Manager: Pratibha Kelapure
Hospitality Co-Chairs: Geri Spieler and Eve Visconti
Think Tank: Geri Spieler
Member-at-Large: Alisha Willis

Guidelines for Submitting Articles to This Newsletter  
  Want to see your article or poem published here?
Please Note: The submission deadline has been changed to the 23rd of each month. 

Keep in Mind:
  • You must be a  current member  of the club.
  • Your article must be  related to writing.
  • Your piece shall not exceed 350 words.
Format Requirements:
  • Use Word, .pdf, or write within the body of the email.
  • One space (not two) at the end of sentences.
  • Edit and proofread carefully before sending. If accepted, your article will be printed as submitted.
       Send your submissions to:  
CWC SF Peninsula   |    Email    |    Website