President's Message

Our Springtime has been filled with preparations-- preparing for the nominations for new board members and a new full board to pick up its role. Voting takes place in June; be sure to attend our  June 18th meeting for the vote.
We are also preparing to take part in the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley on  June 4th and 5th  by volunteering for one of several booths representing California Writers Club members. Come one and all to enjoy this day of festivities and for those of you volunteering, enjoy the opportunity to sell your own books. It should be a wild kind of madness--in the best of ways!

Beginning on  June 11th , the San Mateo County Fair Literary Stage will be getting underway with a  Carry the Light book sale followed by awards, anthology readings and an autograph party. What could be better than the celebration of our own authors? The Literary Stage continues full bore until June 19th with every kind of literary event possible. Check it out and be sure to come to the Fair, especially on our special California Writers Club day, June 18th.

For those of you who were not at our club meeting on  May 21st , we were honored with a visit from Arlene Pence, who is our branch's "oldest" member, which means she has had a continuous membership since the late 1960's. I understand she was an impressive presence at the meeting, as she stood up and talked about her days as part of the CWC. Surely she was a dynamic member when she was active in the club. And she left a copy of her own CWC history for us to peruse. (Sorry I missed her visit, as I have been down and out with back surgery, but am already up and mending quickly.)

As we prepare for the summer months, please stay tuned for details relating to a possible gathering of folks to go to the State California Writers Club picnic held every year in Joaquin Miller Park. Instead of having a regular monthly meeting, we hope to gather a few vans and head over the bridge to Oakland to join in with a slew of other CWC branches for the festivities. I understand that they are planning to have another LitCake contest, so click here to check out the details on the State CWC website. The date is  July 23rd from 1-4 p.m. It would be a great way to meet some of our fellow CWC writers from across the State.

Hope to see you out and about and celebrating your days as a writer--in whatever manner you enjoy!! Bring on the Summer!!

Carole Bumpus, SF Peninsula Branch President

Proposed Board, Vote Happens at June Meeting

We are excited to announce our 2016 slate to be voted on at the June meeting.
  • President, Carole Bumpus
  • NorCal Representative, Carole Bumpus
  • Vice President/Program Chair, Audrey Kalman
  • Secretary, Lisa Meltzer Penn
  • Treasurer, Dildar Pisani
  • Membership Chair, Bette Houtchens
  • Parliamentarian, Bette Houtchens
  • Fault Zone Editor, Laurel Anne Hill
  • Reservations, Ann Foster
  • Hospitality, Michele Jessen
  • Newsletter, Maurine Killough, Darlene Frank, Editors
  • Newsletter Co-chair, OPEN
  • Publicity, Bill Baynes
  • Member at Large, Bardi Rosman Koodrin (County Fair)
  • Member at Large, Geri Spieler (Mentorship)
  • State Representative OPEN
If you are interested in any OPEN positions, contact Ann Foster. Being on the Board is a great way to network, learn and connect to the larger world of writing.

June 18 Program 
Pace Like Joss Whedon!
with Kirsten Weiss
How can you keep readers turning the page? Pacing is one of the key elements fiction writers must master and also one of the most misunderstood.

In this interactive workshop, we'll examine the pacing system described by Joss Whedon, writer and producer of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "The Avengers," and other high-octane movies and TV shows. You'll also get a chance to practice this simple method for editing your own work and keeping readers riveted to your story.

Kirsten Weiss worked overseas for nearly twenty years in the fringes of the former USSR, Africa and Southeast Asia. Her experiences abroad sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.  Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes genre-blending steampunk suspense, urban fantasy, and mystery, mixing her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem.  Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn't like, and her guilty pleasures are watching "Ghost Whisperer" reruns and drinking red wine. Sign up for her newsletter to get free updates on her latest work at
Saturday, June 18 at 10 a.m.
California Writers Club
Congregational Church of Belmont
751 Alameda de las Pulgas
$10 members; $13 non-members; $10 students with ID.
May CWC SF Peninsula Program Recap
by Darlene Frank 

May's featured speaker, Maureen Studer, has spent nearly forty years in the theater, winning multiple awards, and she loves to teach. Her fast-paced presentation took us through the steps of how to write an exceptional 10-minute play. Her philosophy: Write lines that actors want to speak. Write about ideas a director wants to ponder. Surprise your audience. Write as little stage direction as possible (write it into the dialogue). 
Of course, she said much, much more, and we had fun! Click here to read 10-minute plays, but the key to writing short plays is to write them.
Many thanks to Maureen for her dynamic presentation.
CWC SF Peninsula Calendar
June 11 to 18
June 15 - Open Mic at Fair
Note the June Open Mic regularly held at Reach & Teach will instead be at the Fair. Click here to get on the list for a FREE ticket and parking pass!

August 28 
Fault Zone reading at Belmont Library Taube Room,  2 p.m.

Upcoming Meetings

June 18
Pace like Joss Whedon: How to write so that readers stay riveted to your story  with author  Kirsten Weiss 
PLUS Board Elections -- please note the June meeting will be at our usual Belmont location and not at the Fair.

July Annual Summer Picnic
Possible date and location:
 July 23, 1-4 p.m. 
State CWC Annual Picnic
Joaquin Miller Park 

August 20
Special presentation by the Fault Zone editors

September 17
Susan Shillinglaw, Director of the National Steinbeck Center
SF Peninsula Branch meets monthly
Congregational Church of Belmont 
751 Alameda de las Pulgas 
$10 members; $13 non-members; $10 students with ID.

San Mateo Critique Group

Karen Hartley
San Mateo - 2nd and 4th Friday each month, 10:30 to Noon
The Peninsula Regent
1 Baldwin Avenue, rear of the large meeting room opposite of elevator
Bring at least 5 copies of your no-longer-than 6-page manuscript to hand out. For more info contact Karen Hartley at (408) 315-0271

San Mateo County Fair, June 11-18                                                        
Check out the article about the Literary Stage in the Examiner!

June 11
1 p.m. Anthology signing and more
4 p.m. Winners read
7 p.m. Live music with Singer/Songwriter winner Randy Bales, with Chinese Melodrama

June 12
1 p.m. Writing Historical Fiction hosted by Bill Baynes
2 p.m. How to Create Award-Winning Writing with Ann Foster
3 p.m. Self-Publishing Tips
4 p.m. Ask the Editors Q&A Panel
5 p.m. Private consultations
7 p.m. Live music with Singer/Songwriter winner Brenda Yodice

June 13
Kid's Day: Sam Kauffman, Laurel Anne Hill, and a 10-year-old published author!

June 14
Senior Day: W orkshops by Darlene Frank and Laurel Anne Hill 

June 15
Open Mic 7:30 to 9 p.m.

June 16
4 p.m. Writing for the Dramatic Medium with Sam Kauffman
5 p.m. Beyond Best Practices (innovative ways to edit) with Michele Jessen
6 p.m. Memoir Panel with Sue Barizon
7 p.m. Fault Zone readings

June 17
5 p.m. Boris Koodrin and the Fine Arts Galleria

June 18
1 p.m. Readings hosted by Laurel Anne Hill
2 p.m. Author Day: local writers sell and sign books
4 p.m. Writers Helping Writers hosted by Laurel Anne Hill 
5 p.m. Writers discuss San Mateo County Fair and community literary programs
6 p.m. Peninsula Symphony performs at the Fair (not on the Literary Stage, but thought you should know!)

Non-SF Peninsula Branch Events
June 4-5
Bay Area Book Festival, Berkeley
100 interviews, panels, keynotes, and other presentations by nearly 300 authors and speakers--CWC NorCal with have a booth!
Want to volunteer or get involved?  Click here to contact Joyce Krieg 
June 12
Redwood Writers Program:  Your Book in the Spotlight: Effective Marketing Strategies  Click here 
June 16
San Mateo County Fair Fault Zone readings on Thursday, June 16 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Advance Details about the 2017 Fault Zone
  • Fault Zone will be published every other year.
  • The title of the 2017 anthology will be Fault Zone: Uplift
  • The submission period will be 8/1/6 through 11/30/16.
  • The anthology will be launched at the CWC holiday party in 2017.
  • The program at the August 2016 club meeting will focus on making submissions the best they can be.
September 29-October 1, 2016

Make Your Mark Statewide in the CWC Bulletin! 

Deadline for advertising submissions for the August issue is Friday, July 29, 2016
Your ad will be seen by 2,000 writers.  Click here for details 

Malware Warning
Marjorie Johnson reported at the May meeting that a malware attack (ransomware) encrypted her data and froze her computer system. She had to buy a new hard drive. Ouch.
All this in the excitement of launching her new novel, Lost Jade of the Maya. She was expecting a FedEx shipment of books, and opened an email from FedEx. It looked like other emails she'd received from them. Except it wasn't. She clicked on a link; it froze Safari and told her how to proceed, even gave her a fake phone number for Apple.
The Apple technician (from ClickAway, licensed to repair Macs) who replaced her hard drive cautioned against clicking on unfamiliar links.
Marjorie's advice: "DO NOT CLICK on links in your email because you DO NOT KNOW where that link will take you. So what is safe, then? PDF attachments. You can open a PDF document sent to you by email. Even then, know the sender."

We congratulate Marjorie on her new book! And thank her for sharing this tip. Mac users, especially, will take note.  
Time to Renew Your CWC Membership!
Renew by the August 1 Deadline
Click here to renew now

Renew now to keep your membership current, be listed with the State Branch, get discounts to programs, support our Writer's Club and more!

We are proud to announce the California Writers Club is over 2,000 members strong!

What?! Not a Member Yet?

Join now to get a good deal....We'll spot you the next month FREE if you join now. So  go to our membership page and submit payment via the top link for July 1 through December 31. This will take you to a PayPal link for $65 ($20/year dues+one-time membership fee of $20). Click here to join now

Alternatively, you can send a check for $65 to our P.O. Box. Please make it payable to "CWC SF/Peninsula," then mail to:

CWC SF Peninsula 
Attn: Membership
PO Box 853
Belmont, CA 94002-0853

Questions? Contact 

Editing Tips: More on Verbs
By P.A. Moore

Previously we discussed using dynamic, active verbs to move your story along. Dynamic verbs quicken the pace and encourage the reader to turn the page. The opposite of a dynamic verb is called a "stative verb" which conveys thoughts, emotions or relationships. Examples are like, know, want and belong.

Why use stative verbs? These tend to be more introspective and thoughtful. "She hates flowers. Maybe working at the funeral home ruined her sense of smell." Notice that with stative verbs, it is not possible to use a continuous tense, that is, a verb with an -ing ending. It is grammatically incorrect to say "She is hating flowers."

Just to confuse you even more, some verbs can be BOTH stative and dynamic. "She likes ice cream." (stative) "How are you liking your new job?" (dynamic)

Keep in mind that the verb "to be" tends to be overused. Look for the "is, was, will be" verbs in your draft. Notice the difference:
"The cat was in the corner."
"The cat crouched in the corner, ready to pounce."

To summarize, statives provide insight to the inner thoughts of the character, but they should be used sparingly. Dynamic verbs reduce our dependency on adverbs and give a sense of excitement and energy to the sentence. Change "look" into "stare, gawk, peer or gaze."

Expunge those stative verbs and adjacent adverbs. Capture the most descriptive verb and, in turn, capture your reader.

Dr. P.A. Moore is an editor and proofreader. She teaches English to foreign professionals and to undergraduates at Menlo College in Atherton, CA.

Member News
Celebrating SF Peninsula President, Carole Bumpus, 
on the following awards for her novel 
A Cup of Redemption and
Recipes for Redemption, a Companion Cookbook
2016 IPPY Award Winner - Bronze - Fiction - Cover Design
2016 Honorable Mention - Paris Book Festival 
2016 Finalist - International Book Awards 
GO, Carole!
Judith Shernock's book, Sammi the Seahorse, won first prize in the category "Best Children's - 5 and Younger" in the 2016 Pacific Book Awards. Click here to view

Elise Miller announces a re-launch just out on Amazon/Kindle of her novel:
The Berkeley Girl: In Paris, 1968 
 (formerly A Time to Cast Away Stones). 
CWC member Carmen Lee writes public opinion articles and editorials for a mental health agency in San Mateo County. Click here to read her recent articles on teen suicide, police brutality and the mentally ill, and affordable housing.
Congratulations to Marjorie Johnson on the launch of her new novel, Lost Jade of the Maya. And for Honorable Mention at the San Mateo County Fair in General Fiction Short Story, for "Gopher in My Living Room."
Jim Hanna's A Second, Less Capable, Head: And Other Rogue Stories is out on Kindle.  A Tea Party activist discovers that he is growing another head. A playboy befriends a fickle female only six inches tall. A lonely librarian answers a matrimonial ad from a demonic farmer. Darkness abounds in Hanna's cryptic stories. In these nineteen piercing tales, he skewers the human comedy and makes reading dangerous again. Click here to see more
Congratulations to Dave Strom for First Place at the County Fair, category Audio Book: The Malevolent Mystery Meat! and Honorable Mention for Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Story, same title.
Sheena Arora won SF Peninsula Writers Club Writer of the Year Short Story: "Uniqueness Under My Pillow" and Honorable Mention for General Fiction Short Story, same title.

Edward Moore
HM: "The Turnip Farmer's Daughter" (SF Peninsula Writers Club Writer of the Year Short Story), and 3rd Place (Short Story, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Senior) for the same story
Audrey Kalman 1st Place: My Right Brain, Yearning to Be Free (Best Blog) and  1st Place: "Do Not Remove Lid, Do Not Stir" (Literary Essay)

Tia Creighto
n HM: "We Need a 'Leave Your Dog at Home' Day" (Best Blog)
1st Place: "Frustration Triangle" (Poetry Free Form)
HM: "Clear Heads & Toms" (Poetry Free Form)  
Ellen Six 1st Place: "A Little Water Goes a Long Way" (Immigrant Experience: Short Story, Essay, or Monologue)  
Mary Heneghan 1st Place: "The Mind-Body Problem" (Persuasive Essay)
Stanley Gedzelman 2nd Place: "Eric's Train" (Poetry)
2nd Place: "Euphemistics" and 3rd Place: "Al Ghafiqi's Revenge" (Persuasive Essay)
Lisa Meltzer Penn 1st Place: "The Prisoner" (Short Story, General Fiction)
Sue Barizon 1st Place: "Up Against a Wall" (Personal Memoir)
2nd Place: "Time Out" (Literary Essay) 
HM: "Dog Gone" (Short Story Fantasy/SciFi)

Anami Sheppard 1st Place: "A Devil's Con" (Short Story, Science Fiction/Fantasy)
Michele Jessen HM: "The Day I Lost Anna" (Lifestyle Memoir)
2nd Place: "Smaller and Smaller" (Poetry Structured)
HM: "Loved Too Much" (Poetry Structured)
Bill Baynes HM: The Pitch Whisperer (Children's Novel, Chapter, or Story) 

Maurine Killough 3rd Place: "Alone in Her Garden" (Poetry Free Form)  
Mary Chiao  1st Place: "Jimmy and Perky" (Senior  Short Story, Humorous) 
Congratulations, everybody!
Submission Opportunities

38th annual Nimrod Literary Awards Accepting Jan 1-Nov 30: The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction - 

The Narrative Prize Deadline June 15
Free submission online with cash prize. Prose and poems accepted.

Rosebud Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award for Imaginative Fiction
Deadline June 15 
FutureScapes Annual Contest Deadline July 15

No fee.   

Central Coast Writers Contest Deadline July 15 Cash prize for prose and poetry. 
Redwood Writers Steampunk Contest Deadline August 14 
Mom Egg Review Vol. 15 Deadline August 15
Cash prize for poetry, fiction, and creative prose by writers who are mothers or by others about motherhood. Submit work not published previously online or in print. $3 fee for each submission. Click here for rules

West Marin Review  Deadline September 1
Click here for submission guidelines for this journal
Two different quarterly poetry publications, plus monthly and annual contests. Heads-up: the Poetry Letter information is at the very bottom of the page--easy to miss on the first visit.

Sites that list competitions:

 Do you know of any publications to submit to? Please help me share with members. Email me!
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