President's Message
January, 2018

The New Year is a time for resolutions. To be resolute. To resolve to do better, do more, be better, be more.
January 1st is the big one most of us celebrate. But there are others. We just passed winter solstice-the shortest day, the darkest, the turning around. There's Chinese new year with its change in Zodiac. The Jewish calendar counts four new years. There's new everywhere you turn, with lots of chances to start again.
As the days climb back into the light, I have my list made up of all the things I want to create this year. I'm good at making lists of ideas. At resolving.
But starting from here, it's about the execution of those ideas. The planning, the holding on, the not forgetting.
How do we hold ourselves accountable to the things that matter most to us?
As writers, how do we believe strongly enough in ourselves and our capabilities? How do we keep coming back to the page, keep trying to say the thing that needs to be said, the thing that only we can say? As if those words were a magic string of incantation that once set loose upon the world will change its course.
I believe in words. I believe in ideas. I believe in the power we hold as writers. I believe in all of us.
I start every morning with one of Mary Oliver's poems. You might have heard the quotable part of this one. Here's the whole thing.

The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
-Mary Oliver

Starting in January:  
  • Monthly CWC-Led Community Writing Workshops at the San Carlos Library
  • Critique Group Trainings for New Members
  • CWC Weekly Edition of Shut Up & Write
Starting in the Spring:  
  • Critique Group Meet & Greets for club members seeking to join critique groups or add to their rosters.
  Check our Website and Facebook page often for the latest details. 
To all the Fault Zone: Uplift anthology authors. If you haven't gotten your copy yet, buy it  here. Limited copies are also available at meetings.
Thank you to Alisha Willis, Carole & Winston Bumpus, Geri Spieler and Pratibha Kelapure who led the holiday party charge. And to the Sequoia Yacht Club for hosting us all year.
Thank you to everyone who brought a dish and to the many volunteers who helped make the party happen!
Thank you to our California Writers Week Farmers' Market booth volunteers.
Thank you to the board, committee chairs, and volunteers.
Thank you to all the writers who are part of this more than 100-year-old venture we call The California Writers Club.
Speaking of 100 years, it's been a while (though not quite that long!) since we last updated our Branch Bylaws. Look for a link to the new version in the February newsletter. We will be voting on the Amended Bylaws at the February meeting.
Happy New Year! Happy Writing!

Lisa Meltzer Penn
President, CWC San Francisco Peninsula Branch
January 2018 Highlights:

Speaker: Brianna Schofield
Topic: Untangling Copyright: A Crash Course for Creators

From the moment you put pen to paper, copyright questions loom in the background: 
  • Is your work protected by copyright? 
  • Can you incorporate other authors' works into your own? 
  • On what terms do you want to let publishers-or others-use your work? 
This presentation will provide a primer on copyright, fair use, and publishing terms.  You will leave armed with practical information that will empower you to make informed copyright decisions so you can focus on your writing.

Brianna Schofield is the Executive Director of Authors Alliance, a nonprofit organization representing the interests of authors who want to take advantage of the digital age to share their creations with readers, promote the ongoing progress of knowledge, and advance the public good. 

She is a copyright expert and the co-author of a comprehensive, illustrated handbook to evaluating whether works are in the public domain, a guide that helps authors keep their books available to be read, and a guide to understanding open access. Schofield holds a JD from UC Berkeley, School of Law.

Date: January 20, 2018 Time: 10:00 a.m.
Where: The Sequoia Yacht Club 441 Seaport Ct, Redwood City, CA 94063

CWC SF Peninsula Calendar

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
Open Mic at Reach & Teach,
Moderator: Pratibha Kelapure 
144 W. 25th Avenue, San Mateo
FREE but please purchase something in the store to support them. 


Wednesday, January 17, 2018
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
(NEW!!) Monthly Member-Led Community Writers Groups
San Carlos Public Library,
Instructor: Laurel Anne Hill
Topic: Breathing Life Into Your Writing,
Story-Writing Basics 

7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
Open Mic at Reach & Teach,
Moderator: Pratibha Kelapure 
144 W. 25th Avenue, San Mateo. 
FREE but please purchase something in the store to support them. 


The Launch of  Fault Zone: Uplift
Submitted by Laurel Anne Hill, Editor-in-Chief

CWC San Francisco Peninsula Branch celebrated the holidays on December 3rd, and the launch of the seventh issue of its 
Fault Zone anthology-  Fault Zone: Uplift

The event, with plenty of camaraderie, tasty food and the magic of the written word, was a total success. 

Maria Elena Bernal de Barre, Mary Heneghan, Maurine Killough, Richard E. McCallum, Valerie Stoller and Karen Sundback read from their award-winning work.

The list of prize winners and finalists is as follows:

Members of CWC San Francisco Peninsula Branch
Short Fiction:
First Prize: "Thomas Edison's Last Invention" by Richard E. McCallum
Short Fiction Finalists (in alphabetical order of story):
"Charisma" by Ann Foster
"Hope Under My Pillow" by Sheena Arora
"Pearls" by Audrey Kalman
"Rewards of Service" by Mary Heneghan
"The Prisoner" by Lisa Meltzer Penn
Short Narrative Nonfiction:
First Prize: "To Catch a Star"by Maria Elena Bernal de Barre

Narrative Nonfiction Finalists (in alphabetical order of story):
"Drawing My Two Mothers" by Darlene Frank
"Graduation Day" by Lucy Ann Murray
"Music Lesson" by Carolyn Curtis
"Truck With Nine Lives" by Jo Carpignano
First Prize:"i love lucy"by Maurine Killough
Poetry Runner-up
"Magnolia Grandiflora" by Mary Heneghan
Additional Poetry Finalists (in alphabetical order of poem)
"Dolphin" by Bill Baynes
"Feeding Other People's Horses" by Kevin Arnold
"His Best Year" by Martha Clark Scala
"Learning to Recite Poetry at a Workshop in October" by Martha Clark Scala
"Sunbeam" by Jeannine Gerkman
"The Predator" by Jo Carpignano

Non-Members of CWC San Francisco Peninsula Branch
First Prize: "Cassie's Valentine" by Valerie Stoller
Second Prize: "The Heart's Far Reaches" by Karen Sundback
Third Prize: "Intensive Care" by Elaine Webster

Think Tank 

After our regular meeting, all those interested meet for an opportunity to discuss a different writing-related issue. The Think Tank is open to all members, guests and newcomers.  

NOTE: We will not have Think Tank for January in order to allow time for those who wish to leave at noon to attend the various women's marches around the area. 

We are always on the lookout for Think Tank moderators. You don't have to be an expert to lead a fun and informative discussion.  Be sure to contact Geri with your questions and/or ideas at .

Geri Spieler

Member News
On December 18, 2017, Laurel Anne Hill received an unexpected holiday gift from Kirkus Reviews. Kirkus has placed her spirits-meet-steampunk novel, "The Engine Woman's Light," on its list of the six Best Indie Teen Books of 2017. This is in addition to the previous inclusion of "The Engine Woman's Light" among Kirkus Reviews' Best 100 Indie Books of 20 17. "From somewhere," Laurel said, "David is s miling."

Jeannine Gerkman is pleased to announce her children's picture  book Spring was released as an eBook on December 14, 2017 by Gatekeeper Press under the category "Poetry" .  It is now available as a  Kindle  edition on Amazon; a  Nook Book on; and is in the iBooks Store

Congratulations, everyone!

San Carlos Library Groups

As a heads-up to you all, this January 2018, our California Writers Club, San Francisco Peninsula Branch, will be starting a series of events with one of our local libraries, the San Carlos Library, located at  610 Elm St, San Carlos, CA 94070.

We have been asked to help them form a monthly writers group, wherein we will take turns teaching other writers some of the necessary skills of writing.  Held on the 3rd Wednesday night of the month, from 7-9 p.m., the first of the series will be led by member teacher Laurel Anne Hill who has stepped up to the plate to teach: "Breathing Life Into Your Writing:  Story-Writing Basics."


For the month of February, Pratibha Kelapure will be teaching on the basics of poetry called: "But I Can't Write a Poem."
If you have a subject or a scintillating idea that you would like to present to the San Carlos Writers Group, please get in touch with me to see if it would be a good fit. We are organizing a total of twelve classes per year.

Because we have offered to help the San Carlos Library with this project, they have reciprocated by offering rooms in which we can hold several gatherings, including panel discussions, Fault Zone readings, and special speaker events. 

All of these events will be free and open to the public, and we will be able to sell our books and connect with the local community in a fuller measure.  Again, if you have ideas you would like to pursue, contact me. This is our year to extend our talents out and beyond our general meetings.  Think big!
Carole Bumpus, Volunteer Coordinator
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.  

Classified Ads

Flash Fiction & Poetry Workshops conducted by  Pratibha Kelapure :

Online Flash Fiction Workshop - Beginner - January 8 - February 12
Online Flash Fiction Workshop - Advanced - February 19 - March 26
Online Poetry Workshop - All Levels - January 8 -Feb 12

Technical Requirements: A computer, email account, and internet access.  Sign up to unleash your creativity with the expert leader in a supportive environment.  Click here to learn more.

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.



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:
State Board & NorCal Rep & Volunteer Coordinator: Carole Bumpus
Membership Co-Chairs: Margaret Nalbach & Tim Flood
Publicity Chair: Bill Baynes 
Newsletter Editor: Jeannine Gerkman 
SMCF Literary Stage Coordinator: Bardi Rosman Koodrin 
Parliamentarian: Bette Houtchens
Fault Zone Editor in C hief: 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
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