June 2019 | California Writers Club
San Francisco Peninsula Writer
Writers Helping Writers Since 1909
Thank you!

We won’t be at the Sequoia Yacht Club again until August. The June 15 th  meeting and first-ever Writers Block Party will be held at the San Mateo County Fair, and our Summer Picnic will be reinstated at Twin Pines Park the afternoon of July 13 th . See important details below.

Welcome to all our new members and thank you to all our long-time members for a great year. Let us know how we can lend a hand, and let us know how you can lend a hand so we can all accomplish even more in 2019-2020.

Over the last two years I’ve used this space to write about wild roosters, castles, rivers, changing seasons, leprechauns, Neanderthals, distant stars, and more. For my final column as President, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the whole club—it’s always great to be with other writers—and especially to the teams and committees who have made my job a heck of a lot easier and more fun!

Many thanks and kudos to:
Executive Board: VP/Speakers: Audrey Kalman, Treasurer: Jean Morrow, Secretary: Korie Pelka

Speaker’s Bureau (Meeting speakers, workshops, Think Tank, Writers Helping Writers series in the libraries): Audrey Kalman, Kori Pelka, Geri Spieler, and Carole Bumpus

Membership Team: Tim Flood, Margaret Nalbach, Mark Dooley

Marketing Team: (Social Media, Newsletter & Website): Bill Baynes, Melanie Shook, Mindy Yang, Jeannine Gerkman, Korie Pelka, Doug Baird

Fault Zone Anthology: Laurel Anne Hill, Lisa Meltzer Penn, Audrey Kalman, Lisa Rosenberg

CWC Literary Stage: Sue Barizon, Laurel Anne Hill, Kim Schultz, Bardi Rosman Koodrin, and the 2019 Literary Contest Judging Team

CWC Central and NorCal Rep: Carole Bumpus

Hospitality & Party Planning Committee: Geri Spieler & Carol Park (co-chairs), Alisha Willis, Lucy Ann Murray, Mindy Yang, Cheryl Ray, Sharon Espar, Chris Knoblaugh, Pat Obuchowski, Steve Latner, Megan MacDonald, and George Rodriguez. Also Carole Bumpus, who makes sure the room is set up for us each month, and is our sponsor at the yacht club.

Open Mic: Jeannine Gerkman, Korie Pelka, Dave Strom

Special thanks to our community partners: Sequoia Yacht Club, San Carlos and San Mateo Libraries, San Mateo County Fair, Sand Hill Review Press, Penelope’s Coffee & Tea, and of course, the California Writers Club, who provides the backbone and history to our local branch.
2019 election photo
To accommodate our special meeting at the Fair, we held elections a month early. Congratulations to our newly-elected Executive Board who will hit the ground running July 1st! President: Audrey Kalman, VP/Speakers: Geri Spieler (not pictured), Treasurer: Jean Morrow, Secretary: Korie Pelka. Also pictured are Lisa Meltzer Penn (outgoing President) and Alisha Willis, Parliamentarian.

May your writing journeys take you far. See you at the Fair!

Lisa Meltzer Penn, President
May Highlights:
  1. President’s Message
  2. CWC Literary Stage at the San Mateo County Fair
  3. June Meeting at the Fair
  4. May speaker highlights
  5. Member News
  6. Fault Zone Update
  7. AWP Conference Review
  8. Upcoming Conferences and Workshops
  9. Beta Reader Program
  10. Renew your membership
The CWC Literary Stage
at the San Mateo County Fair
June 6 - 15, 2019
The CWC Literary Stage presents...
Workshops, Speakers, Events & a Writers Block Party!

Check out the links below for Fair Schedule, Opening Day Events and Literary Stage Map!

June 15th Meeting at the Fair
Meet Me at the Fair...
June CWC Meeting
Saturday, June 15th
10:00 AM
The Literary Stage in Expo Hall
San Mateo Event Center

Open to CWC members requesting an
“Early Admission” (green) ticket.

Members who completed a self addressed envelope at the April or May CWC meeting will receive their ticket in the mail. Tickets are limited – only one ticket per member.

Ticket request deadline is June 5th!

Click here to request a ticket.

Louise Boggess and Jack London Awards to be announced at the meeting.

You may park in the Event Center parking lot as early as 9:30 AM. Park closest to Gate 7 , members must enter through Gate 7 with a green ticket. Proceed to Expo Hall . The Literary Stage is located on the south wall between Home Arts & Fine Arts. The $10 meeting fee is waived for this meeting. You can view the fairgrounds map on our website.

If you are unable to use your ticket, please pass it on to a CWC member who can!
Writer's Block Party at the Fair

Join CWC SF-Peninsula Branch for the first-ever Writers Block Party
at the Literary Stage at the San Mateo County Fair

Saturday, June 15, 2019
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Writers’ or Writer’s? We left out the apostrophe so you can decide. Is this an afternoon of festivities for a neighborhood of writers or a chance for blocked writers to get together? Either way, we offer a stellar lineup of story-related events. Come meet fellow writers and get past your blocks!

This fun-filled day begins immediately after the special 10 a.m. meeting at the San Mateo County Fair. If you didn’t get a special early-entry ticket for Saturday, June 15, request one here.

Preparing to Tell Your Story
11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Most writers find simply putting the first words on the page is daunting—and come up with all sorts of excuses to avoid it. In this interactive session, writer, writing coach, and teacher  Jane Anne Staw  will explore strategies to help writers who struggle with what the French call  la page blanche.

Storytelling Headliners
12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

San-Francisco-based writer Ron Jones tells a story of prejudice and salvation in today’s world.
Straw into Gold
Spoken word artist (and alchemist) Gary Turchin weaves his family’s straw into pure poetic gold.

Prize Giveaway
12:45 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Take Your Personal Story from Page to Stage
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Storyteller and multiple Moth StorySLAM winner Jeff Hanson will show you how to bring out your creativity and character, so you can deliver your very own well-crafted and well-told personal story.

Your Stories
2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Singer, songwriter, and performer Sam Kauffman will lead audience members in interactive storytelling activities, including finishing a classic story that everyone knows, storytelling through song, and a writing challenge to take home.

Closing Ceremony
3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Fault Zone Readings at the Fair
Thursday, June 13, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Get ready for the next round of  Fault Zone  Readings on the Literary Stage at the San Mateo County Fair. We still have a couple of open spots for readers. We request "family friendly" excerpts. Each participant will have a maximum of 5-8 minutes, depending on the number of readers present. 

Participants may read from any issue of  Fault Zone , including the current one in progress ( Fault Zone: Strike Slip ). To add your name to the list, please email Laurel Anne Hill,  laurelannehill@yahoo.com .
Event Calendar
Happening Now

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).

Every Tuesday in Foster City
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

June 4, 11, 18, 25, 2019

Every Thursday in San Mateo - NEW!
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

June 6, 13, 20, 27, 2019
Upcoming Events
will be on hiatus for the summer
See you in September!

Mastering Memoir with Brooke Warner
September 28, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
CWC Literary Stage
June 8-15, 2019

June 15, 2019 - CWC Literary Stage at the San Mateo County Fair

10:00 a.m. followed by the Writers Block Party from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - see the article above for speakers and special events!
3rd Saturday of each month
July 13, 2019 - Summer Picnic at Twin Pines Lodge

4th Tuesday in San Carlos  New Day! 
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

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 
June 25, 2019
4th Tuesday of each month
July 23, 2019
May Speaker Highlights
Carole Bumpus: Critique Group Practicum
On May 18, 2019, longtime club member and past branch president Carole Bumpus led a session on critique groups. She laid out some of the basic approaches to providing a critique (which is different from criticism) and shared specific questions you can ask when critiquing fiction and non-fiction. 

After Carole's presentation, attendees broke into four groups--fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and mixed--and exchanged information. A couple of groups got off the ground right away. 

Did you attend the meeting?  Let us know what you thought .
Member News

CWC member Steve Latner has published a book on Amazon KDP, This Taxi For Hire . It's a murder mystery thriller set on the Peninsula in 1979. There are many references to restaurants, bars, and streets that long time residents of the area will recognize. Steve reports that the reviews have been very good. 
Martha Clark Scala ’s memoir,  Assembling a Life, Claiming the Artist in My Father (and Myself)  is now available in both premium softcover, and as an AppleBooks e-book (viewable on Apple devices). In  James Hanna ’s recent review of this poignant and colorful book, he describes the household where Martha grew up as "a place of magic and divinity. A divinity to be found in the resilience of family members, the joy of household pets, and the creative juices that produced her father’s many paintings. In these, she finds a faith unencumbered by ritual and church-bound conceits. And this may be the purest faith of all." The full text of Hanna’s review can be found at  Martha’s website.

Judy Field 's flash fiction story, " The Great White Chihuahua , " was published in the Spring 2019 issue of  Birdland Journal .
Photos by Doug Baird
Lisa Meltzer Penn and Darlene Frank read from their work at the Bay Area Generations #69 storytelling series at Harrington Galleries in San Francisco on May 29.

Would you like to see your news published here? Send your submissions to  newsletter@sfpeninsulawriters.com by the 23rd of the month with the subject line "CWC Newsletter Submissions."

Welcome New Members
Please help us welcome our new members who joined since January!

  • Harriet Garfinkle
  • Nancy Desantis-Vannice
  • Neal Pagador
  • Russ Towne
  • Diane Moomey
  • Heywood Mansergh
  • Deanna Washington
  • Steve Latner
  • Mary Heneghan
  • Tice Swackhamer
  • James Dudley
  • Aileen Cassinetto
  • Vibha Akkaraju
  • George Rodriguez
  • David Good

Welcome to the club!
Bay Area Book Festival 2019
Tens of thousands of book lovers meet hundreds of acclaimed authors over an exciting weekend in downtown Berkeley, California. One of the premier literary events in the nation!
This is the fifth year the California Writers Club has had a presence at the Bay Area Book Festival. This year’s booth was handled by Mike Verant, member of both the Berkeley and San Francisco Peninsula branches. Our thanks go out to Mike for taking on this event and handling it responsibly and with grace. 

Our branch once again showed great form by representing not only our branch, but also the entire Club. We collected a total of 68 signatures for the Bay Area branches, as we spoke with hundreds of interested writers. The volunteers from the San Francisco Peninsula branch were: Laurel Anne Hill, Megan McDonald, Lisa Meltzer Penn, Elise Miller, Cheryl Ray, Audrey Kalman, Darlene Frank, Mike Verant and Carole Bumpus. A great showing!! Plus, our own Mindy Yang was the creator of the tri-fold book covers display. Again, thank you all for participating in one of the most important literary events of the Bay Area.  
2019 AWP Conference
Review of Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference
by Carol Park
I attended the 2019 AWP conference in Portland and found literary bliss. Mild, sunny weather was ours for this 14,000-person gathering of writers, literary agents, editors and booksellers!

Every session of the three days offered scads of options. Authors read their work. We could hear from individuals or learn from a panel. Writers, editors, agents, and publishers spoke on craft or the business of writing.

In one panel four women told of placing their work with small presses. Though thrilled with their publishers, panelists admitted that—after subtracting the little income garnered from their book—on promoting they’d make $200 or less.

In a panel of agents, several said they’d like to work with authors over the course of their career—not merely one work. A silvered-haired writer courageously asked, "How can I mitigate my age?"

The first agent replied, “We’re glad to read any good writing from any person.”
“That’s not what I’m saying, Given that I’m not the age you’re looking for, how can I mitigate that?"
The frank responses revealed the fine filter agents use in dealing with manuscript deluge. The snap judgments they make. One agent said, “If I see an email with Comcast or Earthlink in the address, I dismiss that piece.” (She surmises that the author is not up with the times).
A comment about comparing one's novel to other books showed me my blunder. I’ve compared my novel set in Tokyo to  Memoirs of a Geisha , but that is thirty years old. Agents want to know I’m reading current fiction—part of “today's conversation." Comparing my novel to  Pachinko , a saga on today’s NY times list, would better draw an agent’s attention.
In the glow of the conference, I felt optimistic. Here on my lonesome, I work to keep the spark of hope aflame, saying "I can do it, I can do it!" But there will be another AWP conference coming in 2020 to inspire and inform you and thousands of others. More on that in the next issue of this newsletter.

CWC Member, Writer, Editor, ESL Tutor
Upcoming Conferences and Workshops
CWC SF Peninsula Presents:
Mastering Memoir with Brooke Warner
September 28, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Twin Pines Lodge in Belmont
Memoir expert and enthusiast Brooke Warner brings energy and passion to her teaching of memoir, supporting writers to find ways to make their stories bigger and more meaningful than simply “what happened.” This workshop will guide writers through the most important craft elements: scene, narration, character development/characterization, memory and flashback, reflection and takeaway. And we’ll examine popular memoirs that execute these elements of craft beautifully so that writers will grasp how to implement what they learn in their own writing.

Whether you’re a beginning memoirist or well into your project, this workshop will give you hands-on strategies to deepen your work and, most importantly, write scenes and characters that make readers care.  

TO SIGN UP, VISIT http://bit.ly/CWCMemoir
Enter code CWC for special
CWC member pricing ($15 off)
Honors Class
Jane K. Cleland, author of 12 mysteries and 5 nonfiction books is excited to share a new, completely free program she has created. It is called the  Honors Class . Designed for thoughtful writers (and readers), the Honors Class provides one-minute lessons to improve and reinforce understanding of the tools skilled writers use to tell captivating stories. Writers will learn new techniques that they can put to work right away, and readers will discover tricks of the trade that will deepen their appreciation of their favorite books. If this is of interest to you, you can access these in both text and podcast formats using the link above or via her website at  www.janecleland.com —completely for free!
Beta Reader Program
Will you be a beta reader?
An author has worked with a critique group and rewritten his or her book, probably several times; it's been reviewed, revised and edited; after years of effort, the book is ready to be sent out to the wider world.

There is, however, one other step in the process, a last pass before submission or publication. The author can have the manuscript read by a neutral third party, the beta reader.

What is a beta reader?    
A beta reader is someone who will read a story as if he or she had picked it off a bookshelf, and who will give the author feedback accordingly. You've heard of the beta tester who puts software through its paces, looking for bugs before release. That's similar to what a beta reader does. However, the reader and the author get to decide the breadth and depth of the evaluation. Keep in mind that a beta reader is not a critique partner or editor.

A beta reader familiar with a particular genre or category, such as horror, fantasy or young adult, might choose a book in that genre, and knowledge of the conventions will help the author ensure the story is what readers of the genre expect. On the other hand, it's a wide world out there, and an author might want to test the reaction of a general reader not wedded to a specific genre. The possibilities are numerous.

Sample questions that might be asked:
  • Did the story hold your interest? Or were there parts where you got bored?
  • Were the characters sufficiently compelling? Were they properly motivated?
  • Was the point of view consistent?
  • Were there any passages you found confusing and had to reread?
  • Did you notice errors of any kind?
  • Was the conclusion satisfying? Or did you feel there were loose ends left hanging?

Be honest:
Any author who asks for a beta reading should expect an honest reaction. In fact, that's the whole point of this exercise. Compliments are great but a candid review is of greater value.

Why Be a Beta Reader?
In the spirit of writers helping writers, please consider being a beta reader. Many members reading one book a year means support for many writers. And, it's not all one-sided. A thoughtful analysis of a book is a learning experience for better writing. Plus you get to be one of the first to read a brand-new book.

Author Eligibility:  
Author must be a CWC SF Peninsula member with completed book length fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry or short story collection.
Do you have a finished book ready for beta readers? If so,  sign up here .

A big  Thank You  to Carol Park from Lisa Meltzer Penn for being a Beta Reader for her novel. It was very helpful!
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.  cwc-peninsula.org/writers-corner/writing-services
Classified Ads
This is the place to find Volunteer Opportunities 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. 
Writers Helping Writers at the Libraries
Although the Writers Helping Writers Program is taking a hiatus this summer, we are still taking names for the months of September 2019 through May of 2020. If you would enjoy sharing your talents and ‘writerly’ expertise with a small group of new writers, please contact Carole Bumpus at carole.bumpus@yahoo.com  But, you ask, what do we have to do? The answer is you provide a short description of what you choose to teach, you prepare a short 1 ½ hour program with handouts or hands-on practice of a helpful practice for new writers, you provide a short bio of yourself, and you sign up with Carole – for either the San Mateo Public Library or San Carlos Library and you choose the month you prefer to teach. San Mateo Library group meets the second Wednesday of the month and San Carlos Library meets the third Wednesday of the month. Come share your ideas, expertise and talents, make new friends and encourage new writers to come join us at the San Francisco Peninsula CWC.
Marketing Team Members Needed
The marketing team is looking for assistants to help out with marketing for our club. If you have expertise or interest in marketing, we would love to have you join our team. We need help with proofreading the newsletter, posting our events on social media, emails to club members, and working on our website. These are volunteer positions and we can work around your schedule. If you can help with any of these areas, please contact Melanie Shook (melanie.shook@gmail.com) for more information.
Critique Groups
Did you attend the May meeting? Have you joined a Writers Critique Group? Are you looking for more members? If you're looking for match-ups, come to a meeting or post your group here next month.

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  sew1machin@icloud.com  or (408) 315-0271.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO INCLUDE YOUR EXISTING GROUP IN THIS SECTION, PLEASE EMAIL  newsletter@sfpeninsulawriters.com , subject line: CWC Newsletter - Critique Group.
Renew Your Membership
Beginning in June, it's time to renew your membership to take advantage of another year of great benefits in belonging to the SF Peninsula branch of the California Writers Club! The membership renewal period runs June 01-September 30, but don't put it off! Here's a rundown of some of the many benefits offered by our branch:

A sampling of our club’s offerings open to the public:

  • Club Meetings with Industry Speakers
  • Think Tank roundtables 
  • Open Mic nights 
  • Writers Helping Writers forums in our public libraries 
  • Shut Up & Write sessions (weekly) 
  • The San Francisco Peninsula Writer newsletter 
Special Events: 
  • Full-day and half-day writing workshops 
  • CWC Literary Stage at the San Mateo County Fair 
  • Celebrate California Writers Week with us 
  • CWC booth at Bay Area literary conferences and festivals 

Exclusive for Members: 
  • Receive member pricing for meetings and workshops 
  • Promote yourself in our Member Gallery 
  • Submit to our Fault Zone Anthology series and The Literary Review
  • Obtain critique group match-ups & training 
  • Attend holiday parties, picnics, and new member gatherings 
  • Participate in bookstore events and public readings 
  • Partake of opportunities for promotion, volunteering, and leadership 

This article is just a head's up. Your membership team will email you renewal instructions when membership renewal begins.
If you have questions, contact Membership Chair, Tim Flood at  timcwcpeninsula@gmail.com .

Tim Flood, Membership
Board Members
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: Melanie Shook 
Newsletter Editor: Melanie Shook 
Fault Zone Editor-in-Chief: Laurel Anne Hill 
Non-Voting Positions:
Immediate Past President & Volunteer Coordinator: Carole Bumpus
Membership Co-Chair: Margaret Nalbach, Mark Dooley
Web Manager: Mindy Yang
Hospitality Co-Chairs: Geri Spieler and Carol Park 
Think Tank: Geri Spieler 
Parliamentarian: Alisha Willis
Member-at-Large: Bette Houtchens
Acting SMCF Literary Stage Coordinator: Sue Barizon 
Guidelines for Submitting 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:   newsletter@sfpeninsulawriters.com 
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