June 2021
Our next board meeting is on Tuesday, June 8, 6-7:30 p.m. via Zoom. Board meetings are held 6-7:30 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.
GENTLE REMINDER: In-person meetings are still not allowed!
We know many of you are anxious to get back to in-person events. At the same time, we know many more of you feel nervous about social gatherings. At this time, all club events will remain virtual. We will let you know when this changes, however expect to remain virtual in the month of June for all events.

We are also working on offering a hybrid experience with our general meetings once we can meet in person. For many members, virtual meetings have allowed easier access to our meetings. When we resume in-person meetings, we plan to continue recording our meetings so that members who RSVP can watch from home, or re-watch at a later date.

Thank you for your patience as we all wait together....apart.

  • President's Message
  • Upcoming Events
  • Upcoming Vote for 2021 Officers
  • June General Meeting
  • Homegrown Poetry
  • 2021 Poetry Anthology
  • Poetry Writing Contest Winners
  • Upcoming Contest Teaser
  • Writing Exercise
  • 2021 Prose Anthology and Q&A
  • Author Support Group
  • Redwood Writers Salon
  • Member News & Events
  • New Member
  • Membership Reminder
  • July Meeting Preview
  • Editor's Note

Mark your calendars for this month's upcoming events! Keep reading the newsletter for more details about each event.

June 2: New Member Orientation

June 5: Author Support Group

June 8: RW Board Meeting

June 10: Anthology Q&A Event

June 19: RW General Meeting with Matthew Félix

June 26: RW Salon

July 1: Member Renewal Begins
NOTE: If you are reading this newsletter through your email, it may be clipped at the end. If you don't reach the editor's note, be sure to click "view entire message" at the bottom of this newsletter.
Below is the slate of officers currently nominated for election at the June General Meeting. Each of the nominees have been contacted and have agreed to serve a duly elected term for Redwood Writers year July 2021 to June 2022.

Shawn Langwell

Vice Presidents
Marilyn Lanier
Jeane Slone
Judy Baker

Crissi Langwell

Malena Eljumaily
Do you miss connecting with your fellow Redwood Writers? can help.


If you haven't joined yet, you're missing out. This platform allows instant connection with your fellow Redwood Writers, allowing you to share your good writing news or hear news from others, plus keep on top of club events. You should have received an invitation in your email, but in case you haven't, please contact Roger Lubeck at
Saturday, June 19
1 - 2:30 p.m.
via ZOOM*
Cost is $5 for members and $10 for guests.
Online Book Marketing Demystified
Matthew Félix
Author and Book-Marketing Strategist Matthew Felix will discuss some of the many options available to authors for developing an online marketing strategy, including the specific components that comprise his own strategies, and those he uses with clients. From key considerations to think about up-front, to the importance of finding your niche and building a platform, to the pros and cons of social media, to the ins and outs of Amazon, and more, Matthew will discuss essential principles, common questions, and frequently underutilized techniques for developing a successful online marketing strategy.
Matthew Félix is an author and the program manager and host of the San Francisco Writers Conference Podcast. He is also a book-marketing consultant, indie publisher, and speaker.

Five years ago, Matthew didn’t have—or even want—any online presence: no website, no Facebook page, no Amazon profile. As he went to publish his first book, he knew that absence had to change. So began an ongoing exploration of and experimentation with the many approaches, platforms, and tools available for online marketing for writers.

Matthew’s hard work immediately paid off. His first book, With Open Arms, topped the Amazon Africa category, as well as the Morocco one four times. Matthew’s novel, A Voice Beyond Reason, which Publishers Weekly’s BookLife Prize called “(a) highly crafted gem,” and his latest, Porcelain Travels, have had similar success. In addition to being a bestseller in four Amazon categories, the latter won Gold for Humor in the 2019 Readers’ Favorite Awards and was a Foreword INDIES Book of the Year finalist.

Matthew works with authors and publishers on every aspect of book marketing and publishing, from editing to interior and cover design, to going live on publishing platforms, to developing and executing comprehensive marketing strategies. Find him at
June's General Meeting Agenda
  • Zoom meeting room opens at 12:45 p.m. for open conversation
  • Meeting starts at 1 p.m.
  • Featured speaker, Matthew Félix
  • Vote for 2021-22 Slate of Officers
  • Contest Announcement
  • Chair announcements
  • Member announcements
  • Adjourn at 2:30 p.m.
  • Mingle on Zoom until 3 pm.
*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!).

Please submit poems to: Submission guidelines: single-spaced, Times or Times New Roman, 12 point font, no all caps, please. Poems are reviewed by a team of poets. We will acknowledge receipt of your work, and let you know if your poem is going to be included, or if we are requesting minor edits prior to inclusion.
Nathaniel Robert “Bob" Winters, despite having Parkinson’s disease, writes most days. The Navy Vietnam Veteran earned a BA in history from Sonoma State and a MA from CSU Stanislaus. The retired teacher lives with his wife in the Napa Valley. In eleven years, he’s published sixteen books, poetry and prose.
An Unexpected Surprise 
by Robert Winters

Have you ever seen a ring-tail cat?
I have but just once
I was working setting up a YCC camp
In the boonies far from any freeway ramp
at the Heath Nature Preserve
where the Eel River makes a curve
out in the forests of Mendocino County

working alone on my own 
before campers came
to tame the trees of forest
closed inside sleeping bag for the night
when a crash in the kitchen gave me a fright
alone I decided to be brave
hoped it wasn’t a bear come to misbehave

when on the table it stood
its hand in the cookie jar
This critter about racoon sized
unexpected visitor wanted a cookie prize
It was like something out 
of Alice in wonderland
of the book I had long been a fan
It reminded me of the Cheshire cat
large rings of circles of rings around its tall tail

seconds felt like years
we stared 
not trying to flee
the cat or me
captivated by each other
finally, it escaped
trailed by its cape like ring-tail
Beyond Distance, our 2021 Poetry Anthology, is now available for purchase at Amazon! Be sure to pick up a copy today.

If you've already read it, don't forget to leave a review!
Congratulations to Winners of 2021 Redwood Writers Poetry Contest
Thank you to Linda L Reid, Contest Chair and Tina Deason, Contest Coordinator
Thank you to judges: Les Bernstein, lead judge, Susan Gunter and Louise Hofmeister
1st Place
“the prerogatives of flight”

Margaret Rooney is a retired psychotherapist and former farmer/rancher. She says her positive addiction to poetry is managed in a safe and self-reflective way within her weekly poetry group. She has published in several poetry journals, anthologies and magazines and, get this, has had two poems nominated for the Pushcart prize. 
2nd Place
“Oenophile’s Lament”

Richard Boyd is an Emeritus Professor, having spent thirty years in the Physics and Astronomy Departments at The Ohio State University. He has authored or coauthored more than two-hundred-fifty articles on experimental and theoretical nuclear physics, astrophysics, and astrobiology. He has written two fairly arcane scientific books, a smattering of poems, and five novels which are aimed at civility, artificial intelligence, campus sexual assault, and dogs.
3rd Place

Ellie Portner is a poet and visual artist out of Sonoma, CA. She loves to sing, play the ukulele and compose music. Her poems have appeared in local anthologies. 
5 Honorary Mentions:
Skye Blaine, Only Then
Anita Erola, The Writer’s Cloth
Robin Gabbert, Logical Fallacy
Karen Pierce Gonzalez, Hoshen
Mark Meierding, Overlooking Casper Cove
2021 Redwood Writers Poetry Contest Winning Poem

FIRST PLACE -  Margaret Rooney

the prerogatives of flight

wingless on the edge of dawn
wanting to step lightly
into the purlieus of flight

lift off hollow boned and 
near weightless over a tinfoil sea
untethered from solid earth

willing to give ten of my nine lives
to soar aloft rippled breezes
through open doors of air

screel along serrated cliffs
over a wrangle of waves
and tall finned rocks

see my winged shadow
echo over the shine of estuaries
and wink of tidal marshes

chase swirl of upflow currents
pierce the wild breadth of sky
plunge headlong

into breakneck waves
against a pulling tide to emerge
with a sackful of startled fish

slip over whispering forests
and green pitched glades
dip into folded valleys

creased with shadow
alight for an instant
on a long leafed branch

in a balance of light and dark
sharp sound and blue silence
strung between earth and sky
You have found the one (person/place/job/other) and you accepted the proposal. All goes well until you realize, “I have made a huge mistake!”

Stay tuned for this exciting Redwood Writers prose contest at the June meeting!

Tina Riddle Deason, Contest Chair
Each month, the Redwood Writer will feature an exercise to help inspire your writing. This can be an exercise you do on your own, or you can send your 300-word (or less) piece to for possible publication in the newsletter.
Imagine you are having coffee in a local bistro when an ex-lover enters. You had been the one to end the relationship but never explained why, and you haven't spoken since. Will you speak to them now? What do you say?


Write a three-page dramatic play of this conversation between ex-lovers. In this exercise, focus on telling the story of the couple's breakup without directly writing what happened (avoid a prose tell).  Now write the play as a comedy. 
I remember the day I stood in the center of the ice rink, the only one steady on my skates. It was our 5th grade field trip, and for once I knew I was going to shine.
I was the kid who lived in the shadows. While other kids went to slumber parties, I stayed in my room reading books. I didn’t wear name-brand jeans or live in a big house like the rest of my classmates. I spent my lunch breaks in the classroom. I could count my friends on one hand, and still had some of my baby fat.
I didn't know how to stand out in a crowd. But I knew how to skate....

What do you remember?

Submissions are now open for the 2021 prose anthology, Remember When. Share your stories, fiction or memoir, of a momentous moment from the past.
Submissions open May 15 through July 18.

If you have any questions, please contact co-editor Shawn or Crissi Langwell at

June 10, 6 - 7:30 p.m.
via Zoom

For this year's anthology workshop, we've decided to do things a little differently. Instead of holding a paid workshop, we are inviting members to attend a virtual Q&A session with Shawn and Crissi Langwell, plus many of the editors on the anthology team. This will be your chance to ask any question you have about submitting to this year's anthology. We will also share how to avoid disqualification and sail through the judging round.

While this virtual event is free, we still need your RSVP. Sign up below.

Wednesday, June 2
Online via Zoom
6-7:30 p.m.

As a new member, you probably have questions about the Redwood Writers and the California Writers Club

Join President Shawn Langwell, Roger Lubeck, and other board members to ask questions and learn about the Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club.

If you can join us, please RSVP to Roger Lubeck, Membership Chair.
June 5, 1-3 p.m. via Zoom

Please join us on June 5 at 3 p.m. to chat about writing, listen to the challenges of others, and share resources. All levels of writers can benefit from participating. Published authors enjoy this group as well as beginning writers. This is a forum where you pick the topics and questions to be discussed. Discuss the challenges of writing fiction, memoir, or nonfiction. Find new ways to handle rejection, writers' block, or to start a critique group.
The Author Support Group's purposes are to help those who want assistance getting unstuck, want new resources, or need guidance in choosing options. 
July 28 - Aug. 8

Would you like to sell your books at the fair, or help with this wonderful event?
Redwood Writer's Club has been invited to sell our books at this year's Sonoma County Fair! The theme of the fair is THE SUMMER FUN FESTIVAL, and it will be a modified version of past fair experiences, running July 28 - Aug. 8.

Jeane Slone is the chair of the Redwood Writers fair committee, and is seeking help for this year's big event. Can you fill any of these needs?

  1. A technical savvy person to manage "sign up genius"
  2. Managers for each day of the fair
  3. Volunteers to manage selling the Redwood Writer's anthologies

If you would like to help, please contact Jeane at Please also email if you would like to participate in selling your book at least one day. We need to know how many people will participate before the club signs the check for the fee. 

Keep checking for updates, as slots are bound to fill up fast.

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.”   
~ Wallace Stevens
  SATURDAY, JUNE 26th, FROM 1:00 ~ 2:30pm VIA ZOOM

We are inviting RW members to read from their works in progress or published pieces; first 15 to register read, 5 minute limit per reader. We also welcome all listeners. Read to us your stories and poems about summer memories, summer romance, long hot nights with the relief of cool swims, or whatever you’d like to share at this moment. 

Salon is a good place to practice your reading skills, try out the sound of a new piece, or just enjoy the company and talents of your fellow writers. Come join us!

Email host Robin Gabbert at to let her know you’d like to attend or respond on the RW website.
If you have news to share about your writing, an award, an appearance, or other writing-related news, send a 100-word or less announcement to Photos encouraged. Deadline for consideration in next month’s newsletter is the 15th of this month.
Margeret Barkey releases debut poetry book, Ribs

I’m excited to announce that my first poetry collection Ribs is being published by Finishing Line Press this summer! Pre-sale will end July 25. For more information and to order, go to Ribs by Margaret Barkley – Finishing Line Press

To order by mail, send a check for $17.98 per copy ($14.99 + $2.99 shipping) to:
Finishing Line Press, PO Box 1626, Georgetown KY 40324
Specify that it is for Ribs by Margaret Barkley

As some of you know, this book has been a long time coming. I’m forever grateful for support from my fellow writers in Blue Moon salon, especially Les Bernstein, Fran Claggett Holland, and Skye Blaine.
Why Poetry: The Poetry Project
On June 10, Linda L. Reid, Les Bernstein, Fran Claggett-Holland will host the online event Why Poetry: The Poetry Project, presented by Sebastopol Center for the Arts. This event will feature guests poets Larry Robinson and Rebecca Evert, plus the top prize winners of the Redwood Writers Poetry Contest.

Register for this virtual event at

The Poetry Project is not just for people who write or read poems, but it is designed to allow people to think about what poetry could mean to them, an opportunity to discover new and familiar poets. We explore how poems are created, edited and critiqued? Poetry can throw sideways light on the miraculous ordinary, or as Ted Kooser says, “a chance to see the lifeplay in everything.”

Mark your calendars for upcoming Why Poetry events:
  • June 10
  • July 8
  • August 12
Writers Forum Events

Thursday, June 3, 6:30 pm Writers Forum Online. Presenter, Stacey Dennick will explore point of view in a lively discussion. Free.
Thursday, June 24, 6:30 pm Writers Forum Online. Susan Bono and M.A. Dooley read excerpts from "The Write Spot: Musings and Ravings From a Pandemic Year." Then we'll write, using prompts from the anthology.
Details: Click on “Writers Forum”
Latest Write Spot book, hot off the press!

The Write Spot: Musings and Ravings From a Pandemic Year is available on Amazon, the seventh book in The Write Spot series chronicles experiences during a tumultuous year. A fun and entertaining book capturing the essence of our times and emotions with prompts for writing.
Launch Party for Aunt Truly's Tales

You're invited to a storytelling launch party for Aunt Truly's Tales, Laura McHale Holland's new book of illustrated stories inspired by a character in Laura's novel, The Kiminee Dream. Laura will tell (not read) two stories from the collection. She will be joined by Kate Farrell, Ruth Stotter and Mandy Hanes, who will tell complementary stories from their repertoires. The fun will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday June 5 and should last an hour or so. For the Zoom link, email Laura at
Inga Aksamit featured in The Press Democrat

Inga Aksamit was profiled in the Press Democrat for her book, The Hungry Spork Trail Recipes: Quick Gourmet Meals for the Backcountry, which won the Best Outdoor Guidebook award in 2020 from the Outdoor Writers Association of California. Recipes in the book represent all the major cuisines of the world, assembled from freeze-dried or dehydrated ingredients. The recipes have been embraced by backcountry enthusiasts as well as RVers, office workers and busy moms who need a quick, delicious just-add-water meal. Recipes printed in the article included Moroccan Chickpea and Quinoa Salad, Senegalese Peanut Soup and Indonesian Chicken noodles. Learn more about Inga's books at
Two free webinars about video for authors

Short Video Clips - 3 Tools to Produce Awesome Video, Short Video Clips
Learn how to use Loom, Zoom, YouTube, Camtasia, Canva, Filmora, Adobe Premiere Rush to create captivating videos.
June 2nd @ 12PM Pacific

Shine Online: Grow Your Visibility without Leaving Home
Find out how to grow your visibility by speaking at online book clubs.
July 1st @ 12PM Pacific

RSVP at or contact Judy Baker at 707.210.6696
Judy Baker
CWC Marin
3 Techniques for Creating a Sticky Story
with Rebecca Hunter

Sunday, June 27, 2-4 pm.
This workshop will focus on three techniques to make a solid book into an outstanding book during the editing phase of writing. These techniques focus on small, manageable chunks of the story, building them to lift a reader’s larger experience of your book. We’ll explore published examples and learn to create these “moments of brilliance” that last with readers, even after they finish reading, making your story stand out in a crowded market. You’ll leave this workshop with three very practical tools for your writing toolbox as well as new ways of thinking about your stories.

REBECCA HUNTER is an award-winning author, reader, traveler, former English teacher, chocolate lover, and keeper of a very messy desk.
Her debut book, Stockholm Diaries, Caroline, won the 2016 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award (NERFA), and Best Laid Plans, the first book in her Blackmore Inc. series for the Harlequin Dare line, won the 2019 NERFA and the 2019 HOLT Medallion contests and earned a starred review from Library Journal. She’s currently writing more witty, sexy books about complex characters and intriguing destinations.
CWC NorCal Calendar

Because of social distancing, most events are now held virtually. This presents a unique opportunity to attend events, workshops, and meetings held by other CWC branches that would have been difficult to attend in person. To keep up to date with upcoming events, be sure to check the CWC NorCal calendar at the button below.
Find your perfect critique group! Marie Judson is pairing members with other writers of the same or similar genres, and will also help established groups expand their membership. If you would like to find a critique group, or would like to find more members for your group, please contact Marie at
We're not just writers, we're readers, too! Have you read a book you think others should read? Send your 100-word book review and a photo of the book to the editor at for possible publication in the newsletter.

Note: We welcome reviews about your fellow Redwood Writers' books!
The Boy with the Broken Smile, by Roger DeBeers Sr.

This month, we are reading Roger DeBeers’ new book, The Boy With The Broken Smile. This fictionalized memoir told in short stories is something that Roger has been working on for a long, long time and it is very important to him. Roger’s health has been in decline and he has been on and off from the hospital in the past months, so he really wanted to see this, his most important work, published soon. 

Please show Roger your support by getting and reviewing his book, or just dropping him a line at
I like stories with surprising plots, and sometimes characters who are kind to each other.

Don Giroux is a technical writer with 25+ years in the software business. He has also written short educational and industrial film scripts. Retired from commercial work and living in Santa Rosa, his focus is now on writing science fiction. 
Mark your calendars! Member renewals start July 1 and runs through September 30. Look for details on how to renew in the next newsletter issue!
Chuck Sambuchino
Page 1 Critique Fest
Online via zoom on July 17
Sometimes I worry there is so much stuff packed into this newsletter, you might miss something that's important to you. But all that means is that there is so much good stuff happening in this club! Just think, the pandemic changed almost every way we do things, and yet we haven't slowed down at all. Can you imagine how things will be when we can meet in person again?

That said, probably the most important bit of news in this newsletter is the fact that we are still not meeting in person - not at our general meetings, nor at any of our club level events. Patience, friend, we're almost there!

The other important thing is our Q&A session for the prose anthology on June 10. I admit it, I'm biased since I'm one of the co-editors. But I'm really excited to stray from the traditional workshop format and open the floor to your questions. I think it will be an evening filled with great information.

Finally, I'm super excited about Redwood Writers presenting their books at the Sonoma County Fair, once again! You can find information on how to be involved in the Events section. Check in for further updates, as slots will fill up fast!

There's a lot more in this newsletter, too. Take a moment and sit with it. This is your club, and these are the things we offer you. I hope you get as much out of this club as I do.

P.S. I'm always ready to receive your contributions to this newsletter! Check out the guide below on ways you can share your good news or writing.

Happy writing!

Crissi Langwell
Redwood Writer Editor
Want to be a part of the newsletter? Here's the cheat sheet to the different sections of this newsletter and the word count requirements:

  • Writers Helping Writers - 300 words or less
  • Other Articles or In Memoriam - 300 words or less
  • Members News - 100 words or less
  • What We're Reading - 100 words or less
  • Homegrown Poetry - short poems work best

Please do your best to adhere to word count limits! Send your articles and news by the 15th of the month to the newsletter editor at Send your poems by the 10th of the month to the poetry editor at Submission guidelines may apply, read section for requirements.
If you're interested in advertising in the Redwood Writer newsletter, contact the editor at for submission requirements and guidelines.
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.