July 2020
Our next board meeting is on Tuesday, July 14th, 6:30-8 p.m. via Zoom. Board meetings are held 6:30-8 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, July 18, 1 - 2:30 p.m.
via ZOOM*
Cost is $5 for members and $10 for guests.
Imagination is reflexive. Readers come to our pages ready to co-create the characters, worlds, and stories that we write. But are we making room for them? How do other authors enhance this natural writer-reader collaboration? We’ll take a look at some great examples from various literary genres in order to explore two distinct approaches: saying less, and saying more. We’ll ask how (and why) each strategy works, and what we might do, whether in our first draft or final edit, to invite our readers in.

Amanda McTigue has spent her life cross-pollinating between her works on the page and for the stage. Her debut novel Going to Solace was named a Best Read of 2012 by public radio KRCB’s “Word by Word.” Since then, her published short stories have earned her a Pushcart Prize nomination, and a semi-finalist nod from the American Literary Review Fiction Contest. Amanda’s written works for the stage have been produced at Carnegie Hall, the Minnesota Opera, and Sonoma County’s Green Music Center. She's an alum of Yale, and, much more recently, the Bread Loaf, LitCamp, Squaw Valley, Napa Valley, and Writing x Writers conferences. Her second novel The Cautionary Tales is currently out looking for a home among agents and publishers. Meanwhile, she's editing her third, tentatively titled Monkey Bottom . Find Amanda at
July's General Meeting Agenda

  • Contest announcement
  • Featured Speaker Amanda McTigue
  • 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!).
"Wish You Were Here" Contest
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 next contest, "  Wish You Were Here ," is coming up on  July 18 , kicking off at the July meeting. Send in your travel-related submissions and convince us to visit your favorite place to vacation. Fiction or memoir pieces are welcome, and your destination can be real or imagined. 
Listen for the announcement at the July meeting, and visit
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. Just click here.

This month's poem is by Jo Ann Smith.

Jo Ann Smith spent most of her life in public education as a teacher, counselor, principal and for the last twelve years superintendent, all at the high school level. In those capacities she relied most on the orderly left side of her brain. Now retired, she finds herself drawn to the evocative nature of poetry, achieved through imagery, scene, tone of voice and a very different kind of writing specificity. This journey continues to be challenging, revealing and liberating. In 2019 Jo Ann was recognized with an "award of merit" and had five poems published in Redwood's poetry anthology, Crow .

With love, Fran Claggett-Holland and Les Bernstein
Life Throws Curveballs
by Jo Ann Smith

it’s not always a walk in the park
or fat fastballs down the middle,
sometimes life throws curve balls
with a crooked bead on your heart
throwing you off balance with the unexpected,
confusing, thwarting, outwitting
a crazy curve ball,
a deceptive spinning elliptical orb
its advance smooth and slow
before a sudden dramatic break
diving down rapidly as it approaches the plate
dropping into the strike zone like a bomb
from the trajectory of Candy Cummings
snapping seashells on Coney Island beach
to its place as intelligent idiom
this dark art pitch separates
the mimic from the eminent,
the good from the great,
the ready or not
step up to the plate
measure the speed, read the spin and
quiet the din of the crowd,
you knew it was coming
a veering vexing curve ball closing in
on your make-or-break bulwark of readiness

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 .
If you have news to share about your writing, an award, or other writing-related news, please send a 50-word or less announcement to the newsletter editor at . Deadline for consideration in next month’s newsletter is the 15th of this month.
July 1, 2020 begins our drive for new and renewing members of the Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC). The CWC is one of the oldest writers’ associations in the nation. Today the CWC has over 2,000 members and 22 branches across California.  
The Redwood Branch of California Writers Club (Redwood Writers) is the fourth oldest branch and, today we have approximately 300 members including: novelists, poets, journalists, essayists, technical writers, screen writers, playwrights, genre and literary fiction writers, editors, publishers, designers, book sellers, and others involved in related creative fields. 

Redwood Writers offers all its members a full array of literary experiences and opportunities.  These include a monthly meeting (Zoom or in person) with a professional speaker covering topics related to craft, publishing, marketing, and social media. Each year we publish an annual collection of member poetry and an anthology of member prose, including short memoir, nonfiction, and fiction. Submissions to these juried publications are only available to members in good standing.  In addition, the club offers workshops and writing contests with cash prizes. The club provides Member Orientation, Author Support, Writers Focus Groups, Salons, and the Writers Circle on a rotating basis. These events are opportunities for members to socialize, read their work, discuss specific genre, and ask basic question about writing and the business of writing. 

The club offers several levels of membership.  For more detailed information about member levels, go to .

The fee to join as a new member (Active, Associate, Supporting) is $65. 
The fee to join as a dual member (another branch is the member’s primary branch) is $25.
The fee to join as a Student member is $15.

Current members can renew their membership beginning July 1, 2020 for the reduced fee of $45. Members can renew from July 1 to September 30 without penalty. After September 30, your membership is deactivated and if you want to participate in club events, you have to rejoin the club at the normal fee of $65. The best advice is to renew early.

EXPRESS PASS (for Club monthly meetings)
To encourage you to renew early, we are offering a special Express Meeting Package on a limited basis. If you renew in July or August, you can purchase a $45 Express Meeting Pass. The Express Pass allows you to attend or participate in all 12 meetings without paying the “at the meeting” fee of $5 a meeting. In addition, you will receive a Guest Pass that allows you to invite a guest to attend one meeting (normally $10) for free. Basically, the Express Pass is a $70 value for $45. The total amount for Express members will be $90 ($45 for membership and $45 for Express Pass).

In 2020-2021 we plan to record our monthly speaker (whether on Zoom or in person). These recording will be available to our Express Members after the meeting. This way even if you cannot attend a meeting, your express pass will give you access to all the speaker events. 

Renew today at the button below by September 30 so you can take advantage of these deals and all the club has to offer.
Alia Volz
"Memoir: The Art of Questioning Everything"
Online via Zoom Saturday, August 15
Napa Valley Writers July 8, 7-9pm
Judy Baker and Judy Dang share their best tips, tools, and resources in their presentation: Productivity Tips for Writers. Go to to register.
Aqus Zoom Writing Event
Ready to write? Log on to the upcoming Writers Forum events, all happening via Zoom. RSVP for the following July events:

  • July 8, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Zoom Writing with Marlene Cullen, sponsored by Aqus
  • July 14, 6:30 - 8 p.m. Writers Forum presenter Brenda Knight, sponsored by Copperfield's
  • July 15, 6:30 - 8 p.m. Writers Forum presenter Stacey Dennick, sponsored by Aqus

Learn more about Marlene, her workshops, and The Write Spot book at .
Free Virtual Writing Classes
Santa Rosa Junior College offers ongoing virtual writing classes at no charge. Open to all adult residents of California. Contact Stacey Dennick for more information about her Creative Writing classes.
The college also offers memoir and poetry classes. See full schedule here .
Summer semester: 6/15/20 – 7/31/20
Fall semester: 8/19/20 -12/20/20
Judy Baker presents to the Women’s National Book Association in July. “Create Your Online Style to Sell You and Your Book.” Judy partners again with Shelley Golden from Shelley Golden Style on improving marketability through image and messaging. Their webinars “How to Look and Sound Your Best on Zoom for Writers” received accolades. 
Join in on the stories, words, and lives of some of the best writers around committed to supporting independent bookstores. Coming up in July are acclaimed novelist Ann Patchett, andtravel writer Tim Cahill in conversation with Michael Shapiro, among other well-read authors. For details, click here .
Registration for Judy Baker’s 4-Week Book Marketing Momentum Mastermind is open. The group meets August 3, 10, 17, 24. Mastermind members come together for 60-minutes each week, giving and receiving support with book marketing. Limited to 8 participants. Details at or .
"On Writing" with Anne Lamott
On August 8, Anne Lamott will share "everything" she knows about writing in this $75 3-hour live workshop, held online. Registrants will receive a recorded version of this event if they're unable to make the live workshop. CLICK HERE to register.
“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.” - Octavia Butler

To go with Shawn's inspiring quote about persistence in writing at the beginning of this newsletter, I thought I'd end it with another pearl of wisdom on the topic, also from Octavia Butler. I love this quote because of the blatant truth in it. When I wait for inspiration to hit before I write, I don't write. But when I keep showing up, day after day, inspiration eventually starts meeting me where I am.

If you're struggling with your writing, just keep showing up. Be persistent in making writing a habit.

Happy 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.