President's Message
October 2017

Did you know that this month the CWC celebrates the 14th annual California Writers Week?
Our branch has been a little shy about jumping into the fray, but no more! Visit your local libraries to see the beautiful poster and Resolution and celebrate California Writers Club along with our illustrious history stretching all the way back to Jack London, Joaquin Miller, and Ina Coolbrith.
Read Pratibha Kelapure's article below for more on Jack London, the history of this celebration and our club, and how to find events here on the Peninsula.
We are SO excited about all the projects our branch is cooking up for our members! We are planning:

  • New Member Mixer on Sunday, October 29, 2-4pm
  • Critique Groups starting up in November
  • Holiday Party and Fault Zone: Uplift Anthology launch Sunday, December 3
  • And more!
Check out our website and Facebook page for the latest updates.

Have you thought about contributing your talent toward our club activities? We need your help to make things happen! Don't just hide out in back by the coffee and bagels. Jump into the fray and lend a hand!

  • Membership Assistant-join Bette and Margaret in maintaining and growing our membership.
  • Emcee/Open Mic-just two hours a month, from 7pm to 9pm on the third Wednesday at Reach & Teach to announce and time participants.
  • Newsletter Copy Editor/Assistant-just an hour or two at the end of each month to help us keep up on club happenings.
  • Hospitality Helpers-join a fun crew and keep us in coffee and snacks! All it requires is showing up a little early to help set up before the regular meeting. Sign up for one month or a few (and be first in line for coffee!).
Please step up and volunteer. You won't be sorry! 
Contact Volunteer Coordinator Carole Bumpus at
or President Lisa Meltzer Penn at

Our anthology is currently being copyedited and about to go to Tory Hartmann of Sand Hill Review Press for typesetting! Laurel Anne Hill and her editorial crew have put our authors through their paces. It's a rigorous process, we know, but we think club members and friends will be pleased with the results! At our holiday party, Laurel will present the "Member Awards" for best short story, narrative nonfiction and poem.

You can purchase your copy-and extras for holiday gifts-at the holiday party & Fault Zone: Uplift launch Sunday afternoon, December 3rd. It will also be available at future club meetings and via
Lisa Meltzer Penn, President, CWC SF Peninsula Branch
October 2017 Highlights:
  1. President's Message
  2. Speaker: 
    Nina Amir - 
  3. September Speaker Recap by Audrey Kalman
  4. Deep Web search engines by Geri Spieler
  5. NEWS FROM THE SAN MATEO COUNTY FAIR by Bardi Rosman Koodrin
  6. Remembering Arnette Bourla

October 21, 2017

October Speaker:  Nina Amir
7 Steps to Realizing Your Dream of Authorship

Writing a book that sells can seem an arduous, overwhelming task. Getting your book published can seem more daunting. 

Nina Amir will show you how to stay inspired from the moment the light bulb goes on through publication and beyond. Reach your destination-successful authorship-without feeling burned out, hating the process, doubting yourself and your idea, or, worse yet, giving up.

Nina Amir is an eleven-time Amazon bestselling author of 19 titles, including Creative Visualization for Writers, How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual. As an author and high-performance coach, she helps writers achieve their potential and make a positive meaningful impact. 

Find her at

Saturday, Saturday, October 21, 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: 
Your Think Tank


Please join us after our regular meeting for an opportunity to discuss writing related topics with a program we call "Think Tank." What is it? Think Tank was created for writers to get together to discuss specific writing issues they want to explore in depth. It is now open to all members, guests and newcomers. We meet right after the regular meeting from noon to 1 PM, same place. Some past Think Tank sessions include topics such as writer's block, five principles of nonfiction writing, what makes a poem and how to build your blog.

Have an idea for a session? We are looking for Think Tank leaders. You don't have to be an expert to lead a fun and informative discussion.

Please contact me with any questions or ideas at

Geri Spieler

California Writer's Week

The above quote comes directly from California Legislature Assembly Resolution dated September 4, 2003.

By this time, you probably have heard that CWC celebrates the California Writers Week every October. SF Peninsula branch is planning several special events throughout the month. Keep an eye on the website and Facebook page for the upcoming announcements.

We would like to remember and pay tribute to our original founder and legendary writer Jack London. The meetings Jack London and his friends held to exchange ideas and opinions on each other's work led to the founding of the California Writers Club.

As we draw inspiration from Jack's words, "Don't loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club," it's important to look at his writing and examine the qualities that made it a phenomenon.
  1. Authenticity: Jack's writing is deeply rooted in his life experiences. In 1893, after surviving a horrific seal-hunting expedition on the Sophia Sutherland. When he told his mother about his stories of his ordeals, she encouraged him to enter a writing contest. That was the beginning of a stellar writing career.
  2. Several of his stories dealt with the fresh subject matter - his Alaskan adventures told with raw energy.
  3. He studied several magazines of his day and worked tirelessly to produce sonnets, ballads, jokes, anecdotes, adventure stories, or horror stories.
  4. He faced some harsh criticism of his writing and accusations of plagiarism. While reserving the judgment, let's take inspiration from his persistence and perseverance.
Pratibha Kelapure, Treasurer and Webmaster

You can visit our parent site at:

New York Times best-selling author Michelle Richmond read from her  latest novel, "The Marriage Pact," and discussed writing the book. 

The  first chapter was not originally the first chapter; she wrote the whole  book chronologically and made a change during the editing process to  increase tension and interest for the reader. She discussed the pros and  cons of working with small presses vs. large publishing companies, and  told the audience that "it's a crap shoot" whether you'll have a good  experience with either. The most helpful thing for her has been her  agent, who has stuck with her since 2003. 

She also talked about being a  woman writing from a man's point of view. "I shortened the sentences and  used more curse words." Her advice for writing from the other gender's  POV: focus on your character's wants and motivations. And then have a  reader of that gender review it to make sure it sounds authentic.

Audrey Kalman
CWC SF Peninsula Calendar

Wednesday,  October 18
Open Mic - Emcee Maurine Killough
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
Open Mic at Reach & Teach
144 W. 25th Avenue, San Mateo. FREE


Saturday, October 21st
Speaker - Nina Amir

Nina Amir is an eleven-time Amazon bestselling author of 19 titles, including Creative Visualization for Writers, How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual. As an author and high-performance coach, she helps writers achieve their potential and make a positive meaningful impact. 

October 21st - Think Tank
Moderator: Laurel Ann Hill

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

October 2017 Meeting: Think Tank led by Laurel Anne Hill. Editing and the Many Flavors of Stories: How do story, style and genre influence the editing process for short fiction and narrative nonfiction? And what about the perspective of the editor?

Upcoming Events

California Writer's Week
Third Week in October, 2017
for more information. 

Sunday, October 29, 2-4pm
New Member Mixer

New Members:
look for your invitation or
contact Carole Bumpus at  for details.

November 18, 2017
Speaker - Iris Jamahl Dunkle

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 15, 2017
 Open Mic
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Open Mic at  Reach & Teach 
144 W. 25th Avenue, San Mateo. FREE

December 3, 2017
Holiday Party and Fault Zone Launch
Details to follow.





 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  will be one of six featured speakers at the Imagery International Conference on October 20-22. The Imagery International association promotes awareness of the gifts of guided imagery for personal growth and healing. This year's conference focuses on the power of imagery that lives in our bodies and explores the wisdom, mystery and vitality of the mind-body connection. Darlene's presentation is about art and creativity. She will lead the group in writing and reflection exercises designed to stir the imagination and explore the power of body-related imagery.  Location: Vallombrosa Retreat Center in Menlo Park

Pat Obuchowski  published her first article for  as a member of the Fo rbes Coaches Council: 

Lucy Murray (a correspondent for 25 years) is currently halfway through writing a series of 21 articles on the 20 regions of Italy. One is published in three publications bi-monthly. The publications are Fra Noi Chicago), La Voce (Los Vegas) and Bostoniano (Boston).

Sam Kauffman  was invited to be a storyteller at Redwood City's 150 year celebration. She wrote "Lady of Lace" based on her husband's family - lace merchants from France who came to California before statehood - and has been invited to present at schools.

Audrey Kalman will be presenting a workshop at Book Passage in Corte Madera on October 21, 2017 entitled: "Birthing Your Truest Stories" with writing teacher Jennifer Browdy from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Congratulations, everyone!

Deep Web search engines 
I've been hearing a lot these days from friends who are finding it more difficult to find pertinent information from their Google searches. There are many reasons for this, one is the way the search is written. I'm a big advocate of Search Strings , and have a comprehensive list in my full Internet Research workshop. There is a lot more information in the Deep Web if you know how to find it.

These databases and search engines offer a "deep dive" into the Internet and will help you get closer to the specific types of information you are looking for. Be aware these don't respond to typical Google type searches. They will ask you for more information and you will need to spend more time creating your search. However, the result will be more specific than a typical Web search.

  1. SurfWax. This search engine works very well for reaching deep into the web for information.
  2. Academic Index. Created by the former chair of Texas Association of School Librarians, this meta-search engine only pulls from databases and resources that are approved by librarians and educators.
  3. Dogpile. Dogpile searches rely on several top search engines for the results then remove duplicates and strives to present only relevant results.
  4. Yippy. Save yourself the work by using this search engine that looks among major search engines, social networks, flickr for photos, Wikipedia, and many more sites.
  5. Clusty. Clusty searches through top search engines, and then clusters the results so that information that may have been hidden deep in the search results is now readily available.
  6. Mamma. Click on the Power Search option to customize your search experience with this meta-search engine.
  7.  World Curry Guide.  This meta-search tool with a strong European influence has been around since 1997 and is still growing strong.
  8.  Give this meta-search engine a try. It accesses a large number of databases and claims to have more access to information than Google.
  9. Meltwater. Search blogs as well as the general Internet, the news, and more to receive results by posting date.
  10. iZito. Get results from a variety of major search engines that come to you clustered in groups. You can also receive only US website results or receive results with a more international perspective.
  11. pipl. Specifically designed for searching the deep web for people, this search engine claims to be the most powerful for finding someone.
  12. Mensur . Metrics from Scholarly Usage of Resources. The project's major objective is enriching the toolkit used for the assessment of the impact of scholarly communication.

Using these tools should help you refine your search and make your research process easier and more concise. 


Geri Spieler


by Bardi Rosman Koodrin, Literary Stage Director
We're already hard at work preparing the contest guidelines for the 2018 fair. Here's just one of the exciting developments underway:
We are opening a new class for young writers between the ages of 16 to 25 years old. This Young Adult class will compete among their peers, not the older, more established writers who typically enter our fair contests. This age separation will give the younger writers their own platform in which to thrive. To help facilitate our new direction, the Young Adult class will be charged $5.00 per submission instead of the usual $10.00 fee, and they can win $50.00 for a first prize (instead of $100); $35.00 for second; and $25.00 for third prize.
Hopefully, this change will encourage the younger aged writers to submit their work and also, to take advantage of the partnership between the fair and Notre Dame De Namur University (Belmont, CA) that offers a creative writing undergraduate scholarship worth $5,000 per year to a maximum of $20,000 towards earning a bachelor's degree.
All Young Adult class winners will be highlighted in their own section in the annual Carry the Light Winners Circle Anthology. They will also be able to take advantage of the fair's optional Author Archive, where their work will be published online along with their headshots and bios. This will enable those without a website to promote their work online.
Please spread this good news to the young writers you know. After all, the California Writers Club motto is Writers Helping Writers. There's no better way than nurturing young aspiring writers to reach their full potential.
The deadline for all literary contests is Monday, April 2, 2018. For more information, go to . Interested contestants can email

In Memoriam
Arnette Bourla
Arnette Bourla, a wonderful member of our San Francisco Peninsula branch of the California Writers Club, passed away September 13. 

She lived in Los Altos. Arnette served as a board member of the SF Peninsula branch for three years, in the role of Secretary.
"Arnette served on the CWC Board when I was president. She was a devoted mother and grandmother. In 2017 she had begun publishing a blog that was as rollicking and laugh-provoking as it was poignant. Arnette's life was one of color, energy, family, and friends. Arnette had an almost boundless capacity for compassion, a ready laugh, and a wit as sly as they come. She will be missed by our club, and by all who knew her."
Christopher Wachlin, Editor and Publisher
The Stoneslide Corrective
Arnette's blog can be found at
"Even though Arnette Bourla had great challenges in her life, she seemed to overcome them through humor and grace. Arnette was a natural storyteller as well as an eager learner. After every critique she became better at her craft. As a publisher, I've noticed that some people can do that - have life limited by surroundings and chance, and yet overcome all obstacles. I am so sad to hear of her passing. She will be truly missed." 
Tory Hartmann
Sand Hill Review Press, LLC
"I'm saddened by this news. I remember Arnette from her days as CWC Secretary. She was always fun, positive and had a sincere love of stories. She rarely missed a meeting and enjoyed learning about the craft of writing. She will be missed."
Wendy Walter
Managing Editor, Sand Hill Review

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 

We're back up! The Sand Hill Review has launched a new online platform at We now do podcasts, interviews and discuss the craft of writing on our blog in addition to supporting writers, poets and artists by publishing their work online. We're on  Submittable but because SHR has had a longstanding relationship with the CWC, we'd like to offer CWC SF Peninsula chapter members free submissions until January 1, 2018. Send submissions directly to We'd love to hear from you.

Jean Morrow

Unleash Your Gutsy Self! Workshop Sat., Sept. 30, 2017 
Pat's workshop:  9 a.m. - 12:00 ($77)
Mary's workshop:  2:00 - 5:00 p.m. ($77) Full Day* $134  
Foster City, CA
Treat yourself for the day by getting out and going inward to find your bigger game and your voice through playing on The Bigger Game Board and spending time discovering or renewing your confidence to accomplish your goals.

In the morning Pat Obuchowski, credentialed leadership development coach at inVisionaria, and author of  Gutsy Women Win: How to Get Gutsy and Get Going will lead a highly interactive workshop called The Bigger Gameā„¢.  The Bigger Game is the model Pat describes in her latest book. You may have read it, but now is the time to experience it and spend some time on the game board.

The goal of Mary Knippel's presentation is to inspire, inform, delight and empower you. She intends to help you recognize and take ownership of your true purpose message and your  voice  and to assert the power you possess in your unique story.

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.
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

Shelly King,  a member of the Central Coast Writers branch of the CWC, is the author of many short stories and the novel The Moment of Everything (now in 15 languages). She lives in Felton (near Santa Cruz) and is offering fall classes and workshops, including an advanced workshop on social media for writers. She's teaching these classes in her home in the redwoods. Interested in attending?  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 408-317-9126 or
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.



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:
Immediate Past President: Carole Bumpus
Web Manager: Pratibha Kelapure
Hospitality Co-Chairs: Geri Spieler and Eve Visconti
Think Tank: Geri Spieler
State Board Rep: Carole Bumpus
Member-at-Large: Alisha Willis  

Guidelines for Submitting Articles to This Newsletter  
  Want to see your article or poem published here?
Keep in mind:
  • You must be a current member of the club.
  • Your article must be related to writing.
  • 350 words maximum. (Please indicate the word count at the top of the article.)
Format requirements:
  • Submit your article in a Word or .pdf file or in the body of your email.
  • Use Times Roman font, 12 point.
  • Put only one space (not two) at the end of a sentence.
  • Edit and proofread carefully before you submit. If accepted, your article will be printed as submitted.
       Send your submissions to: 
Include the words "CWC Newsletter Article"  in the subject line. Deadline is the 25th of the month. Earlier is encouraged! Thank you.
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