Vice President's Message
January, 2019

(Guest message from the Vice President)

I don't usually appear in this space, but family matters have taken our president across the country. Part of the vice president's job is to step in when the president is unavailable, so here I am.

Temporarily assuming this role got me thinking about something we don't usually discuss until later in the year: seeking new CWC board members for terms that will begin in August, 2019. Wait, you say, isn't it too early to be thinking about our May elections? No, and allow me to show you why.

Planners (like me) work back from end dates. This year, we will hold elections in May so they don't interfere with June activities at the Fair's Literary Stage. Elections are preceded by:

5) recommendations from the nominating committee (April),
4) submissions to the nominating committee (March),
3) commitments from interested candidates (February),
2) conversations with potential candidates (January), and
1) putting the word out (immediately!).

You can see that the timing is right to think about this now.

Many of you know the story of how Lisa Meltzer Penn encouraged me to get involved with CWC at a holiday party. She cleverly approached me after I'd had a glass of wine and began talking about how much fun it was to edit Fault Zone. I thought it sounded like fun, too-even after the wine wore off. And it was. I helped her that year and went on to edit the two subsequent editions.

As a result, I gained
  • Experience. Though I've edited nonfiction for most of my professional life, I had never shaped a fiction anthology. Lisa showed me the ropes and I acquired a valuable skill that improved my craft.
  • Connection with fabulous writers! Editing Fault Zone was a way to help other writers make their writing the best it could be.
  • Editing credit. Not the reason I took on the job, but a publishing credit is nothing to sneeze at.
Something similar happened when I became VP/speakers almost three years ago. During my tenure, I've had the opportunity to
  • Learn what's important to CWC members as they hone their craft and advance their writing careers.
  • Connect with great writers outside the club. My official position gives me a ready excuse to contact almost any writer or other industry professional.
  • Dream up new programs, such as our upcoming one-day workshop in March. If it's successful, we hope to offer more.
Still, I know you may have some questions. And I have answers.
  • Why should I serve on the board? Non-profit board experience looks great on your resume.
  • The club runs fine without me. Why should I get involved? You have a perspective and talents that no one else does. With you, we can do things we've never dreamed of!
  • I've never done something like this. How am I qualified? Many of us took a leap and ran for a position we'd never held before. The CWC board is extremely welcoming and outgoing board members are available as mentors and guides.
  • Won't it take a ton of time? Not necessarily. You can pick a job requiring a commitment that matches your availability.
  • What will I get? You'll grow as a person and a writer. Doors may open. You'll take yourself more seriously as a professional. You'll make a difference in the lives of your fellow writers.
Serving on the CWC board (or volunteering) isn't just about giving back. It also can be about helping yourself. And the upcoming year promises to be particularly exciting as the board reviews and puts into practice some of the new ideas we soaked up at the CWC NorCal Leadership Conference.

I hope you'll consider giving back to your writing community as one of your New Year's resolutions this season.

We flourish when you flourish.



P.S. Please don't hesitate to contact any current board members
to find out more about the board and open positions!
January 2019 Highlights:
  1. Vice President's Message - Audrey Kalman
  2. Speaker: Idris Anderson, Tunneling: a Writer's Process
  3. Full Day Workshop with Elizabeth Stark: "Find Your Characters and Follow Them to Danger" coming up Saturday, March 2, 2019 sponsored by CWC SF Peninsula Club - registration open now
  4. A Big THANK YOU to our 2018 CWC Volunteers - Carole Bumpus

Photo by Karen Brodgesell

January 19, 2019 
Speaker -  Idris Anderson
Tunneling: a Writer's Process

Former English teacher, current Poet, Author and Speaker, Idris Anderson, will be sharing insights about her writing process. It evidently involves tunneling of some sort and we're thrilled to have her at our club this month.

Idris Anderson's second collection of poems Doubtful Harbor was selected by Sherod Santos for the Hollis Summers Prize and was published by Ohio UP in March 2018. 

Her first collection of poems Mrs. Ramsay's Knee was selected by Harold Bloom for the May Swenson Poetry Award and published by Utah State UP.  She has won a Pushcart (2010), nominated by Eleanor Wilner, a Pushcart Special Mention (2012), and the New York Yeats Society Poetry Prize (2014).  She was born and grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area two decades ago. 

Don't miss these pearls of wisdom from a writer whose poems create images equally  "immanent and transcendental."

Saturday, January 19 at 10:00 a.m.
FREE  to first-time attendees! 
$10 Members; $15 Non-Members; $5 Students/ID

Think Tank

January 19, 2019  
Moderator: Mary Knipple 
Presentation: Three Keys to Crafting Compelling Blog Content 

"When is the last time you wrote a letter to someone? Either cursive or printed by your own hand?

Think back to when you were little, what did you have to do before you could play with a toy or spend your birthday money? This is an activity brides have to attend to within a specific period of time or risk alienating family and friends. Do you labor over what to say and hear guilty admonishments in your head when you know you are behind in accomplishing this task?

Do you know what I'm talking about? If you guessed writing thank you notes, you are correct. 

Now, I'd like to suggest you expand this activity beyond thank you for a specific gift...consider sending a note to say that you are thinking about someone, that you are grateful they are in your life, that you just wanted to say "Hi."

Be a Rebel and turn your back on technology. Now, please do not have a panic attack. I know you could not live without voice mail and e-mail access 24-hours a day. I'm not suggesting that you do away with all your modern devices such as your cell phone, laptop, or iPad.

Reach out and connect in a personal and significant way with a letter in honor of National Letter Writing Day. There is no substitution for the feeling of pen on paper putting your thoughts on the page as far as I am concerned. Of course, as a lover of journal writing my confessing I love receiving and sending hand-written notes comes as no surprise. The next time you want to really make an impression, try sending a pretty note card or even a single sheet of paper with a few lines from you. It will be a gesture that is remembered. Perhaps even imitated.

Happy writing!"

Who wrote this blog? None other than our own Mary Knipple, author and blogger at She will be leading this month's Think Tank.
2019 CWC SF Peninsula Calendar


Shut Up & Write
Every Tuesday in Foster City
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

As the name implies, we sit quietly and write. If you'd like to participate, join    Shut Up & Write Silicon Valley on MeetUp to RSVP (look for Shut Up & Write/CWC SF Peninsula).

Writers Helping Writers
2nd Wednesday in San Mateo  New Location!
3rd Wednesday  in San Carlos
7:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
On the second and third Wednesdays of each month, we meet to learn and teach about writing, publishing, marketing, critique groups and a myriad of other useful writing-related topics. Learn from your fellow writers. Bring an open mind. FREE.

Topic: Editing Memoir and Personal Stories
Moderator: Darlene Frank
January 9, 2019 - San Mateo 

Moderator: Laurel Anne Hill
January 16, 2019 - San Carlos

Writers Helping Writers

February 13, 2019 - SM
Topic: Nonfiction
Moderator: Geri Spieler

February 20, 2019 - SC
Moderator: TBD

March 13, 2019 - SM
Moderator: TBD

March 20, 2019 - SC
Topic: All About Editing
Moderators: Lisa Meltzer Penn and Audrey Kalman

3rd Saturday at Sequoia Yacht Club 

10:00 a.m. to noon
Speaker:  Idris Anderson
Topic: Tunneling: a Writer's Process

noon to 1:00 p.m.
Think Tank Moderator: Mary Knipple
Topic: Three Keys to Crafting Compelling Blog Content

January 19, 2019

Monthly Meeting 
3rd Saturday of each month

February 16, 2019
March 16, 2019

Open Mic
4th Tuesday in San Carlos New Day! 
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Emcee: Jeannine Gerkman
We get together to share our original work in a warm and welcoming environment. Members and non-members are welcome. Too shy to share? Come as part of the audience.  FREE 
January 22, 2019

Open Mic

February 28, 2019
March 28, 2019

Full-Day Writing Workshop Signup
$25 discount for CWC members 
(use code CWCMember when registering)



Saturday, March 2, 2019
Full-Day Writing Workshop


Find Your Characters  and Follow Them Into Danger

Join renowned writer, editor, teacher and coach Elizabeth Stark for a special one-day craft workshop hosted by CWC SF-Peninsula all about developing characters and using them to propel page-turning plots. We'll gather for inspiration and warm up, then get to work digging deep to discover how to create characters in need of a story-the secret to making a powerful, character-driven plot. After lunch, we'll turn to the twists and turns that create a page-turning ride for your characters.
This is a hands-on workshop: you'll have time to practice what you learn and share with others. And it's suitable for writers of memoir and creative non-fiction as well as fiction... any storyteller interested in creating a compelling narrative that feels true to life.
Enter the code CWCMember for special CWC member pricing ($25 off).

Member NewsMemberNews

In November, judges declared THE ENGINE WOMAN'S LIGHT the Winner in the "Fiction: Fantasy Category" of the 2018 Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest. The news delighted author Laurel Anne Hill. This is the twelfth honor/award Laurel's spirits-meet-steampunk novel has received. 

Maurine Killough's poem matryoshka dream won 3 rd  place in the Poetry & Dance Festiva l held at the Legion of Honor in September, 2018. 

Then her poem  aparagraha  was included in the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art's "Fire Sto ries" exhibit running September 2018 through January 2019. 

She was also part of their Fire Stories panel on November 10 , 2018 .


Have you participated in our Writers Helping Writers series of monthly events either as a teacher or attendee?  We have been holding workshops this past year at the San Carlos Library, and we've recently added a new program at the San Mateo Main Library as of January, 2019.  

The gatherings for  San Mateo Library will be on the second Wednesday of the month, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.  The San Carlos Library will continue to be held on the third Wednesday of the month, with a similar time frame.

Would you be willing to teach a session at either the San Carlos or the San Mateo Libraries this year? 

Our goal is to introduce new writers to the art of writing, and we are focusing on the most basic or fundamental ideas first.  But we have also been open to members teaching classes on poetry, editing, memoir writing, plotting, etc. to give our 'students' a peek into your world of writing.  

Each class will be promoted by our SF Peninsula CWC social media as well as the libraries'. And, if you have a book to sell, that can be accommodated.  It's up to you, but the main point of you teaching a class is to help other writers move their writing forward and encourage them to come visit our monthly
CWC meetings.    

If you think you'd like to teach a writing subject for a two hour space of time, please contact  Carole Bumpus for more information.

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.  

Thank you 2018 Volunteers!

As one of your volunteer coordinators, I would like to thank those of you who volunteered to give your time teaching a monthly 'Writers Helping Writers' class throughout the year 2018 at the San Carlos Library. We have been able to provide free classes, and in trade we have been given access to rooms and spaces for our events, including our Open Mic. This has been a most rewarding venture. Those CWC members who gave their time to teach include: Laurel Anne Hill, Mary Knipple, Audrey Kalman, Lisa Meltzer Penn, Prathiba Kelapure (2 sessions), Elise Miller (2 sessions), Tim Flood, Darlene Frank, Bill Baynes, and yours truly, Carole Bumpus (2 sessions). For 2019, we already have sign-ups for teachers at San Carlos Library including Laurel Anne Hill and Audrey Kalman and Lisa Meltzer Penn.

Because the news of our success at San Carlos Library traveled across the Peninsula, the San Mateo Main Library has also opened their doors to our CWC branch. In October, they provided a wonderful forum for our authors to read from their own books and the library purchased those books to be used within the library. (We have heard that all books have been checked out.) We will also be teaching monthly 'Writers Helping Writers' classes and already have Darlene Frank, Geri Spieler and Laurel Anne Hill set for the first months of 2019.

If you are interested in participating in this rewarding endeavor of sharing your expertise on writing to new writers, please notify me at I would be happy to have you join our ranks within our Club.

Carole Bumpus, SF Peninsula CWC Past President, Volunteer Coordinator
NorCal Group Chair, and CWC's State Board Representative

Classified Ads

This is the place to find Writer's Conferences, Workshops, Volunteer Opportunities, Upcoming Events and Member Ads. 

If you would like to submit an ad related to a writing need or service, send your submission to: 

Subject line: "CWC Newsletter - Classified Ads" 

Together, we can promote our club, boost your career and get you the help you need to move forward with your writing projects. 

We are delighted to have had so many eager volunteers ready to help with Outreach and Marketing, Membership, Hospitality, Open Mic, Special Events, and Fault Zone. If you missed out and/or have questions about upcoming opportunities, please contact our President, Lisa Meltzer Penn at
San Francisco Writers Conference February 14-18, 2019

Click here to read SFWC's latest newsletter. Learn about free stuff and other goodies. What kind of stuff? See below:
  • Want to attend the SFWC for FREE? Two scholarships are still available!
  • NEW! A full-day Poetry Summit will focus on publishing your work
  • New Feature: Conference Question
  • How to get an extreme makeover of your novel's first page...for free!
  • First SFWC-MIL Class of 2019 is free and features the SFWC Management Team
  • In the News: Items of interest for writers
  • Writers' Calendar: So many exciting Events & Deadlines for all writers

Click here to register:
Critique Groups

Look for updated information on joining Critique Groups  soon .
Any questions in the meantime? Contact Lisa Meltzer Penn at 
San Mateo: Meets on the 2nd and 4th Friday each month, 10:30 a.m. to noon at the 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.

You may join as a new member any time. 
Annual membership dues are $65.00. Meeting fees are $10.00 for each meeting attended . (Non-members pay $15.00 per meeting.)

If you pay by check, make it out to "CWC SF-Peninsula". Either bring your annual membership funds to the next meeting or mail them to CWC SF-Peninsula, P.O. Box 853, Belmont, CA 94002. Thank you.
If you have questions, contact Membership Chair,  Tim Flood at .

Tim Flood, Membership

Executive Board:
President: Lisa Meltzer Penn
Vice President: Audrey Kalman
Secretary: Korie Pelka
Treasurer: Jean Morrow         
Appointed Board Positions:
State Board & NorCal Rep: Carole Bumpus
Membership Co-Chair: Tim Flood
Marketing & Outreach Chair: Bill Baynes 
Newsletter Editor: Jeannine Gerkman 
Acting SMCF  Literary Stage Coordinator: Sue Barizon  
Fault Zone Editor-in-C hief: Laurel Anne Hill  
Non-Voting Positions:
Immediate Past President & Volunteer Coordinator: Carole Bumpus
Web Manager: Mindy Yang
Hospitality Co-Chairs: Geri Spieler and Carol Park 
Think Tank: Geri Spieler  
Parliamentarian: Alisha Willis
Member-at-Large: Bette Houtchens

Guidelines for Submitting Articles to This Newsletter  
  Want to see your article, ad or poem published here?
Submission deadline is the 23rd of the month. 

Keep in Mind:
  • You must be a  current member  of the club.
  • Your article or news must be  related to writing.
  • Your piece shall not exceed 350 words.
Format Requirements:
  • Include "CWC Newsletter submission" in subject line and add what you are submitting, i.e. Member News, Article, Critique Group, Member Resources, Think Tank, Event, Classified Ad, etc.
  • Use Word or write text 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.
  • If you have a picture to include, send it as a jpeg attachment to your email.  
       Send your submissions via email to:  
CWC SF Peninsula   |    Email    |    Website