President's Message
June 2017

Dear CWC SF Peninsula members,

June has arrived and my tenure as your president is almost at an end. It has been a wonderful ride and I can't thank you enough for all the support I have received from each one of you. What a vibrant and fun group of folks to be a part of!! Thank you! Thank you!
On that note of leave-taking, I want to bring your attention to our upcoming slate of Executive Board candidates (on which you will be voting at the June general meeting):
Lisa Meltzer Penn - President
Audrey Kalman - Vice President
Jean Morrow - Secretary
Treasurer - (Open)
Also joining our Board are Margaret Nalbach as Membership Chair and Alfred Jan as Assistant Newsletter Editor. Bill Baynes is continuing on as Publicity Chair, Jeannine Gerkman as Newsletter Editor, Bardi Rosman-Koodrin as Member-at-Large, Bette Houtchens as Parliamentarian, and Pratibha Kelapure as website manager. I will continue as the NorCal representative, as I was re-elected as Chair of NorCal. 
We still need to find someone to fill Dildar Pisani's role as Treasurer. We hate to lose her, but she has given her all. (If you have an aptitude for light bookkeeping and are knowledgeable about Quicken, please contact me.) Also, Michele Jessen's shoes as Hospitality Chair need to be filled, but we have changed the role to be coordinator-in-chief. (Check with Michele, as we already have people who will handle the heavy lifting of set-up/tear-down.) 
But back to June. We have much going on for all you writers, so be sure to put these dates on your calendar: June 3 and 4, Bay Area Book Festival, in Berkeley. The CWC sponsors a booth and CWC volunteers are able to not only sell our own spectacular CWC organization, but our own books at the same time. Check out the schedule of events and just  

And our wonderful Literary Stage at the San Mateo County Fair, from June 10 to 17:   Many of you have already been told you are winners, but you will be picking up those "winnings" at the Fair. Be sure to remember the dates. Participate, celebrate, pontificate, or commiserate--this is our branch extending itself in all its glory and it's up to you to be there to reap the rewards!! 
Please remember there is no branch meeting in July, but we will regroup in August at Sequoia Yacht Club--same time, same station: August 19. If there is an informal gathering like a picnic during July, that will be handled by our new president. Be as kind and supportive as you were to me! My deepest gratitude goes out to you for allowing me to serve. And have a great summer writing, writing, writing!    
Carole Bumpus - President, CWC SF Peninsula Branch

June 17, 2017

A special meeting of
Writers Sharing with Writers

 Think Tank Sampler
This month we're inviting some of our Think Tank facilitators back for a full meeting's worth of Think Tanks. Have you wondered about these post-meeting gatherings? Missed some due to other obligations? 
The June 17 meeting is your chance to sample two Think Tank sessions. Not a member yet? Our usual Think Tank sessions are open only to members, but this special meeting gives nonmembers a chance to sample as well. Each facilitator will run two back-to-back sessions during the meeting so you can pick two topics that interest you. 
Your options will be:

What Makes a Poem? - Bill Baynes. Diving into poetry. You don't need to be a poet to participate!

Blockbusting - Audrey Kalman. Sharing ideas for conquering writer's block--even if you think you don't suffer from it.

What Happens Next? - Lisa Meltzer Penn. An open-ended way of propelling your story forward.

The Five Principles of Nonfiction - Jac Fitzenz. How to design and write nonfiction that sells and endures.

Creative Nonfiction - Geri Spieler. Explore the ins and outs of writing that uses literary styles to craft factually accurate narratives. Lee Gutkind, founder of the magazine Creative Nonfiction, describes this sometimes confusing genre (also called literary nonfiction or narrative nonfiction) as "true stories, well told."
Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
California Writers Club
Sequoia Yacht Club
441 Seaport Court
Redwood City
FREE to first-timers. $10 members. $15 nonmembers.  
$10 students with ID. 
To register with payment go to: 
CWC SF Peninsula Calendar

Wednesday,  June 14 - Open Mic 
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
Bring your poems, prose, and sto ries to the Literary Stage at the
1346 Saratoga Dr, San Mateo, CA 94403

Saturday, June 17
Think Tank Sampler: Pick Two 

The choices are:
  • What Makes a Poem? - Bill Baynes
  • Blockbusting - Audrey Kalman
  • What Happens Next? - Lisa Meltzer Penn  
  • The Five Principles of Nonfiction - Jac Fitzenz 
  • Creative Nonfiction - Geri Spieler 

Upcoming Meetings

July 19, 2017 - Open Mic 
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Open Mic at  Reach & Teach 
144 W. 25th Avenue, San Mateo. FREE

June 10 - 18, 2017 - Literary Arts
San Mateo County Fair
The Literary Arts Stage will be featuring winners of pieces submitted for the 2017 Carry the Light anthology, local author interviews, readings, plays, poems, and fun. Contact Bardi Rosman Koodrin for more information or check the board at

August 19, 2017 - Mystery Speaker
 SF Peninsula branch meeting 
We've got an action-packed June, and we'll be taking July off for good behavior. Come in August and be prepared to be informed, entertained, and maybe even surprised.
August 19, 2017 - Think Tank
FREE. MEMBERS ONLY. Immediately after the program, a maximum of 10 participants will get together to discuss matters pertaining to literature and writing.

    SF Peninsula Branch meets at:

441 Seaport Court
Redwood City 
$10 members. $15 nonmembers.
$10 students with ID.
May Program Recap:
Five Keys Elements of a Successful Memoir 
To have a successful memoir, writers need to master scenes, narration, theme, characterization, and takeaway. 
This talk analyzed why each of these elements is important in good storytelling and showed us how to harness these points of craft in our own memoir.
Brooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of  Green-Light Your BookWhat's Your Book?, How to Sell Your Memoir, and co-author of  Breaking Ground on Your Memoir.  
She is the former Executive Editor of Seal Press and currently sits on the boards of the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Bay Area Book Festival, and the National Association of Memoir Writers. She writes a monthly column for  Publishers Weekly and blogs actively on Huffington Post Books and She lives and works in Berkeley, California.  
Behind the Scenes
at the San Mateo County Fair
Congratulations to all the winners of the 2017 San Mateo County Fair literary contests! We received over 200 submissions, and members of SF Peninsula branch graciously volunteered their time and expertise to judge the contests. Thank you, judges!
We had to disqualify some contestants for not following the rules that we've been stressing the past two years. It's discouraging for us to turn away any writer, but hopefully this is a lesson learned that won't be repeated in the 2018 contests!
We'll be posting our Literary Stage schedule shortly on the fair website and the literary department's Facebook page . Please like us! Our CWC website and Facebook page will also post the schedule and other fun fair news.
See you at the fair June 10-17!
Bardi Rosman Koodrin
Literary Director for the San Mateo County Fair                                                                                         
Think Tank
JUNE is a Think Tank Sampler, presented as our regular meeting instead of after the meeting. No limit to the number of participants. Members and nonmembers are invited. The only limit is your imagination. Join us for this special Think Tank sampler and see what all the fuss is about!
San Mateo Critique Group

2nd and 4th Friday each month, 10:30 to noon.
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.

Member News
Kim Cromwell would like to share two exciting things that happened to her:
(1) Her one-woman play, "Abelia," was a 2017 O'Neill semifinalist; and

(2) She won a full scholarship to the 2017 Santa Barbara Writers Conference in the "prose" category.

We managed to miss one winner in last month's newsletter. Under the title "2017 SAN MATEO COUNTY FAIR, CWC LITERARY CONTEST WINNERS," in the category "Div. 326-01 Personal Memoir," please note an additional winner:  2nd Place: A Distant Memory, Sheena Arora

Congratulations to our CWC Peninsula Writers who won 2017 Independent Press Awards (IPA) and Distinguished Favorites! There were five winners altogether from Sand Hill Review Press in a range of genre categories, quite an achievement for Tory Hartmann and her publishing company, Sand Hill Review Press

PA Award Winners:
Laurel Anne Hill, The Engine Woman's Light 
Monsignor Harry G. Schlitt,
I'll Never Tell: Odyssey of a Rock & Roll Priest

2017 Distinguished Favorites:
Elise Frances Miller, The Berkeley Girl, In Paris, 1968
Congratulations, everyone!

Submission Opportunities

Local Events
Literary Arts at the San Mateo County Fair -- June 10 through June 17. Check out the for the full schedule of events.

Want Ads

Our Voices  is a South Bay writer's critique group looking for two new members. We're old (eight years), small (six members max), and passionate about our art. Every two weeks, we meet
Sunday morning at a tiny, quiet coffee shop near SAP center. Our focus is mainly fiction. Unlike  many critique groups, time is not wasted reading or narrating submissions. Members come with  marked-up paper copies of work circulated via email four days earlier. Some homework is  therefore required, the goal being to maximize time for helpful discussion. We welcome new and experienced authors who want to work with dedicated like-minded members to improve their writing.  Candidates are invited to submit sample writing and attend a meeting, meet current members, and judge if it's a suitable fit for their needs. For details, contact David LaRoche at

Tory Hartmann, publisher of the award-winning Sand Hill Review Press, is still looking for a publisher to shepherd CWC's delightful anthologies. She will train you to build your own business by giving you these two established anthologies: the San Mateo County Fair's Carry the Light and the CWC San Francisco Peninsula branch's Fault Zone (FZ) at no cost! 
Carry the Light training takes place during April-May and then on to FZ in the fall. Don't miss out! Contact Tory at for details.

Bylaws Regarding Our Upcoming Branch Election and Volunteer Position Openings

Section 1:  In April of each year, the board of directors shall appoint a committee of no more than three members in good standing to present nominations for election. The news of the formation of the committee and the name/contact information for the chairperson shall be posted in the May branch newsletter.
PRESIDENT - shall prepare agendas and preside over meetings of the branch board of directors and general membership; conduct the affairs of the club in accordance with the bylaws; appoint committees and chairpersons as necessary to conduct the affairs of the club; and be included as one of the signatures on the club bank account.
VICE PRESIDENT - shall assume the duties of president in his or her absence and is responsible for monthly meeting programs.
SECRETARY - shall keep minutes for all meetings, handle incoming and outgoing correspondence, and maintain administrative files for the branch.
TREASURER - shall keep books of account and report the financial status of the branch at each board meeting.
Membership Chair, Publicity Chair, Newsletter Editor, NorCal Rep, State Board Rep, Fault Zone editor, Literary Stage (SMCF) coordinator, Hospitality Chair, Open Mic Chair, Volunteer Coordinator, Think Tank coordinator (non-voting), and Webmaster (non-voting).
* * * * * * * *
We are also looking at adding these new roles: Contest Coordinator, Author Launch Leader, Poetry Festival Chair, Conference Chair, Branch Outreach Coordinator, Critique Group Coordinator -- oh, we have so many ideas, but we need able assistants or experienced coordinators to help make these things happen.

-- Carol Bumpus, President
by Carole Bumpus

I sent out a question to the NorCal CWC branches regarding Beta Readers and here are some of the responses: 
North State Branch: Chico
We used Beta Readers to help with our latest anthology. We contacted our local Colleges, Chico State and Butte Community. They gave us the name of several retired English teachers.  You could also ask the local high schools and see if any of their appropriate teachers would be interested. We found the retired teacher to be very good and timely. We collected an admission fee for each piece and paid the readers. There was no cost to the club.
Tri-Valley Writers -- has a "beta reader" group as a member benefit. We have a "beta reader" coordinator that keeps track of members who want to be beta readers, the genre(s) each is interested in reading, and the typical timeline each can complete a read. TVW announces the "beta reader" program in our monthly newsletter and at general meetings throughout the year. The coordinator provides beta reader contact information to a member wishing a beta read. It's another way that members can help other members. TVW also has over a half-dozen critique groups, so members might find beta readers that way as well.
Also, from our own Elise Miller: You can post on your own Facebook page and then send out the following questionnaire:
Beta Reader Questionnaire for Story/Essay
Please email to: _____________________
Rate the Story : Loved it - Really Liked It - Liked It - It was Okay - Did Not Like It
1) What stands out in your mind about the story? (A certain scene, characters, theme, language, etc.)
2) What were the story's strongest moments?
3) What were the story's weakest moments?
4) Were you confused about any part of the story? If so, which one/s?
5) What surprised you the most in the story? Did you guess anything correctly?
6) Was the ending satisfying? If not, why?
7) Do you read short stories as one of your reading preferences?
If so, what genre of stories do you usually read/enjoy?
8) Any other comments or suggestions? (Adding another page is fine)

Writers' Corner on the CWC Website
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. Check it out!  

Letter from the Editor

Is June here already??? So many exciting things coming up this month  at the San Mateo County fairgrounds on Delaware at 25th Ave, San Mateo: Literary Stage in Expo Hall!....

...The first Saturday of the Fair, contestants will read their work, talk on panels, get recognition, and mingle with fellow authors - June 10th

... Bardi Rosman Koodrin will officially launch her new book, Novelmania, that same day , from 4:30 to 5:30 pm
...On Sunday, award-winning children's book authors will talk about picture books, middle grade novels, and YA novels they have written, and give tips on writing. There will be "Ask the Editors" with our very own CWC editors on the panel - June 11th
...Then Monday, a number of our Children's Books writers will be participating on Kid's Day and delighting little ones with singing, art, story times, and craft projects - June 12th 
...Tuesday is Senior Day with an author panel discussing the topic "So You Want to Write a Book?" Darlene Frank will lead  a workshop "Creating Your Most Powerful Writing" and Ellen Six will host the memoir workshop "Everyone Has a Story to Tell" - June 13th

...Wednesday is filled with a Creativity Workshop from 1:00 to 3:00 pm and our very own Open Mic starting at 7:00 pm -  June 14th 
...Thursday has "Spotlight on Poetry," "Writing from the Heart and the Pit of the Stomach," and Fault Zone Anthology Readings - June 15th
...Saturday focuses again on Poetry with Poetess Kalamu Chaché, Poet Laureate of East Palo Alto, poetry readings by contestants, and the ever popular Author Day Book Fair - June 17th
Open Mic (on June 14) and Fault Zone Anthology Readings  (June 15) are opportunities for you to get on stage, in front of a mic, and share your work with the world (at least the world that happens to be in the Expo Hall). 
Author Day Book Fair is a wonderful way to meet other authors and pick up some delightful books not available in stores. I hope you have a chance to come and participate. See you there!
Jeannine Gerkman - Newsletter Editor

Guidelines for Submitting Articles to This Newsletter  
  Want to see your article or poem published here?
We often have room for one or two short  articles. 
Please follow these guidelines when submitting your piece:
  • You must be a current member of the club.
  • Your article must be related to writing.
  • 350 words maximum. (Please indicate the word count at the top of the article.)
Format requirements:
  • Submit your article in a Word file or in the body of your email.
  • Use Times Roman font, 12 point.
  • Put only one space (not two) at the end of a sentence.
  • Edit and proofread carefully before you submit. If accepted, your article will be printed as submitted.
       Send submissions to: 
Include the words "CWC Newsletter Article"  in your subject line. Deadline is the 25th of the month. Earlier is encouraged! Thank you.
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