President's Message
May, 2018 

May flowers. That's what May is about, right? Except here in California, we have our first spring flowering in February, and by May, it's the third birth of spring, maybe fourth, and old hat by now.

Next month we vote on a new board. Whether the job holders are new or old, there are always changes as the composition of the board changes. This is normal and part of volunteer business. Both experience and new blood are integral to the process. See below for more election information and how you can get involved. Your board represents the interests of club members. Your feedback is always valuable. Please be in touch with any suggestions or comments about what we are doing right and what needs improvement. And don't forget, there is a place in the speaker wrap-up section each month to fill out a short survey with speaker feedback.

Speaking of multiple springs, don't forget that CWC Open Mic is still on break for May and resumes in June - twice! Once in its brand-new location at the San Carlos Library in "The Spot" June 6th, the 1st Wednesday evening of the month, and again for its annual appearance at the Fair on June 13. Don't miss the double dose of good entertainment, whether you are in front of the mic or in the audience.

Spring forward!

Lisa Meltzer Penn
President, CWC San Francisco Peninsula Branch
May 2018 Highlights:
  1. President's Message
  2. May 19, 2018 Speaker - Diane Holcomb, Inside Self-Publishing: The Good, the Bad and How to Do it Right
  3. San Mateo County Fair Literary Arts Schedule
  4. Shadow and Limelight - Prathiba Kelapure
  5. Classified Ads - Volunteer Opportunities

Speaker: Diane Holcomb
Topic: Inside Self-Publishing: The Good, The Bad and How to Do it Right

Whether you've already self-published a book, or you're in the process of writing one, there are steps you can take to attract the right kind of attention from booksellers. 

She will give you insider tips on what to do and what not to do when it comes to self-published books. You'll learn how to build relationships with booksellers, the lowdown on the buying process, why some books make the grade and others don't, and how to better your odds of getting your book into stores.

Diane Holcomb spent fourteen years happily reading and purchasing books as a bookseller for East West Bookshop in Mountain View, California. As a copywriter, she writes web content and marketing materials for authors and other creative types, business owners, and nonprofits.

When: Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 10 a.m.
Where: The Sequoia Yacht Club 441 Seaport Ct, Redwood City, CA 94063
CWC SF Peninsula Calendar

Every Tuesday,  9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Shut Up & Write
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).
Penelope's Coffee & Tea

Saturday, May 19, 2018
Speaker: Diane Holcomb
Topic: Self-Publishing: The Good, The Bad, and How to Do it Right

Think Tank, May 19 , 2018
Moderator: Darlene Frank 
Topic: Editing Memoir and Personal Stories


Wednesday, May 16, 2018
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
 "Writers Helping Writers"
San Carlos Public Library,
Moderator: Carole Bumpus
Subject: Writing Basics

Sunday, June 3, 2018
CWC Authors Day
Barnes and Noble Bookstore
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 9, 2018 to Saturday June 16, 2018
See Schedule


Like the rare blue moon,  Open Mic is going to show up twice in  June, first at the San Carlos Library the first Wednesday evening of the month from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. ( June 6, 2018) and then again at the San Mateo County Fair on June 13, 2018 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

June 16, 2018
Speaker: James Hanna
Subject: Ten Writer Traps to Avoid
Also: Branch Elections 
Our next meeting will be August 18th.

MEETING WRAP-UP  April, 2018

Speaker: Devi Laskar
Wordplay and Forms in Poetry  

Do you know what a rogue sonnet is? Turns out it's not a sonnet that goes galloping off on its own. At the April meeting, poet Devi Laskar explained that a rogue sonnet is one that doesn't quite adhere to the sonnet form. 

She read some poems, introduced us to various poetic forms, and then engaged everyone with a fun exercise resulting in a pantoum-- a verse form with a specific pattern using repeated lines. We ended with the  open casket version of Exquisite Corpse, which sounds a bit macabre but consists of each person in a group contributing a line to a poem. Some surprisingly engaging poems emerged. 

The emphasis throughout was on play --playing with language, words, and sounds. 

Meeting Survey
If you'd like to give feedback on this or any other speaker, or give suggestions for future speakers, please fill out our quick survey.

Audrey Kalman
Think Tank 

After our regular meeting, all those interested meet for an opportunity to discuss a different writing-related issue. The Think Tank is open to all members, guests and newcomers.  

May 19, 2018 Think Tank: Darlene Frank - Editing Memoir and Personal Stories  Whether you're writing a book-length memoir or an essay or short story about an event in your life, editing is essential.  Understanding what happens in the editing process will help you develop your manuscript and make it easier to work with an editor.

In this Think Tank session we'll talk about what you can do on your own before you give your manuscript to an editor, and what to expect as the two of you work together.

Darlene Frank has been an editor since 1979, starting with training manuals and moving on to memoir and other nonfiction books. As a coach and editor, she helps writers turn their personal stories into powerful works of art. You can find out more and sign up to receive her free newsletter at


We are always on the lookout for Think Tank moderators. You don't have to be an expert to lead a fun and informative discussion.  Be sure to contact Geri with your questions and/or ideas at .

Geri Spieler


There will be  Presentations about  Writing,  Reading s, Book Launches , Signings, Interviews, a nd  Entertainment.

Literary Stage Volunteers: Jean Dixen, Jeannine Gerkman, Nanci Woody, plus anyone additional Kim may have on her list.

Bardi Rosman Koodrin and Laurel Anne Hill

Our dear Maurine Killough, poet member and former PR Chair, Newsletter Editor and Open Mic host, lost her beloved husband Daniel Swetlik in April to a sudden heart attack. We are holding her in our thoughts and sending our love.

"Writers Helping Writers"
Monthly Member-Led Community Writers Groups

Wednesday, May 16, 2018  7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 

Moderator: Carole Bumpus
Subject: Writing Basics

Member News

Three of the " First in Category" Winners: 
  • Murray Richter
  • Laurel Anne Hill 
  • Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz

Chanticleer Book Reviews (CBR) held its annual awards banquet on April 21, during the Chanticleer Authors Conference at the picturesque Hotel Bellwether in Bellingham, Washington. Laurel Anne Hill was surprised--and delighted--to receive an Ozma Fantasy Award (First in Category Blue Ribbon) for her novel, "The Engine Woman's Light." Her book had been short-listed for both the Ozma and the Dante Rossetti (Young Adult) Awards. As an additional bonus, Laurel attended excellent programs about writing and book promotion, and made new friends. "The quality of the speakers was amazing," Laurel said.

Once again, the California Writer's Club was represented by the SF/Peninsula Chapter in a booth at the Bay Area Book Festival, Saturday and Sunday April 28th and 29th in Berkeley. Carole Bumpus  and Elise Francis Miller  participated along with Lisa Meltzer Penn . A good time was had by all!

Lisa Meltzer Penn is pictured here with Shut Up and Write founder, Rennie Saunders. Thank you to all the volunteers and members who came by to say "hello." 

Sam Kaufman  and  Jeannine Gerkman  read poetry the second Tuesday in April and look forward to reading poetry again at QD Gallery in May. They invite poets and others who like poetry and art to join them.

Sam Kaufman is pictured with the gallery owner, Jesse Nguyen. This unique store is lined with original art and other lovely items.  QD Gallery  is located downstairs near Macy's at the Hillsdale Shopping Center  (in San Mateo). They will be hosting the 2nd of a series of poetry readings on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and are open to continuing the tradition the 2nd Tuesday of each month if enough authors and poets are interested. So come, be inspired and mingle.  Light refreshments will be served.

On April 26th,  Penelope Cole was on an Author Panel at the "Annual Lunch with the Authors" (a Brandeis University Fundraiser) in Downtown Campbell. She was the only Children's Author on the panel with some best selling authors!

On April 28th, Penelope Cole was one of the local artists/authors featured at the Annual Art in the Park at the Villages in San Jose. 

AND...Three of her submissions to the  Tri-Valley Writers Club Anthology were accepted!  It's been a very exciting month!

Congratulations on your Literary Successes!

SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2018 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m

Once again CWC SF/Peninsula will have a table near the entrance of Barnes & Noble at the Hillsdale Mall and a seating area for author readings. Volunteers have already stepped up to man the table and read their books; however, if you are interested in supporting us as an audience member and/or reading your book before a live audience, please join us the first Sunday in June.
Shadow and Limelight

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
           --Wasteland by T.S. Eliot
So, after three years of doing the website management, a year of taking care of club treasury, and a brief stint at the open mic, the time has come for me to retreat into anonymity. When I took over the treasurer responsibilities last June, my bio read, "She continually tries to make herself invisible and fails miserably." Well, the burden of visibility had again become unbearable, and I began my retreat last month. When someone asked me about why I don't write much anymore, I had the same response - the fear of exposure. I love the freedom of anonymity, yet, as a human, crave the camaraderie of a group. So, I keep doing this dance of shadow and limelight.
But, I want to assure the membership that I am not abandoning the ship entirely. The website is in maintenance mode now and doesn't require software expertise. In the past month, I have begun to train the new web person. We already have an excellent treasurer nominee lined up when I step down. There are many talented writers here who can step into moderator role for Open Mic when we resume in June at the new location.
So, as Eliot said, "And (time) for a hundred visions and revisions," I (hopefully) devote more time to "Shut Up and Write" and revise my work. At least whatever time I have left over after taking care of The Literary Nest - A journal for fine poetry and fiction; poetry workshops; and my family (not necessarily in the order.)

I will see you at the meetings and events and help when I can, and who knows I may take on some board role later on.

Pratibha Kelapure
2018 Elections are coming up!
This year's Nominating Committee consists of Tim Flood and Alisha Willis. They are assembling an executive slate of officers to vote on in June. If you are interesting in learning more about serving on the board in any capacity, please get in touch with them at
Bylaws Regarding Our Upcoming Branch Election and Volunteer Position Openings: Bylaws
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.  

Classified Ads

Look below for Writer's Conferences, Volunteer Opportunities and Upcoming Events. Let's promote our club and boost your career. 

Check them out!

Volunteer Positions with SF PENINSULA Branch

Thank you to Mindy Wang for stepping into the Website Manager position. Mindy will be transitioning in as seasoned manager Pratibha Kelapure transitions out. 

We are still looking for an Open Mic Moderator(s). This could potentially be a shared role so think of a co-host if you like! We will move to our new home at the San Carlos Library in June, Please contact Lisa Meltzer Penn if you are interested in this snazzy role to represent our club in the community. Her email address is:
Member Discounts

Family Tree Magazine (for genealogical writers and researchers) has offered CWC members $3 off a one-year subscription (seven issues). Price would be $24 vs. the $27 "standard intro price." California Writer's Club members can receive a discounted Family Tree Magazine sub rate for seven issues for $24.00. When ordering by phone (888-403-9002) club members should mention source key: 87DCWC. Expiration on this agreement is  6/30/18.
Critique Groups

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 or (408) 315-0271.

By popular demand, our branch is helping to facilitate the formation of critique groups, along with distributing information about best practices in running a group.

If you are a member looking to join a critique group, add to your current one, or you just want to try something new; click on the link below and fill out the form to get more information about upcoming events.  CWC SF Peninsula Critique Groups
Even if you signed up on an earlier list, please sign up again here, so we have everything together with complete information. Thank you.



Executive Board:
President: Lisa Meltzer Penn
Vice President: Audrey Kalman
Secretary: Jean Morrow
Treasurer: Pratibha Kelapure        
Appointed Board Positions:
State Board & NorCal Rep: Carole Bumpus
Membership Co-Chair: Tim Flood
Publicity Chair: Bill Baynes 
Newsletter Editor: Jeannine Gerkman 
SMCF Literary Stage Coordinator: Bardi Rosman Koodrin 
Fault Zone Editor-in-C hief: Laurel Anne Hill  
Non-Voting Positions:
Immediate Past President & Volunteer Coordinator: Carole Bumpus
Web Manager: Pratibha Kelapure
Hospitality Co-Chairs: Geri Spieler and Eve Visconti
Think Tank: Geri Spieler  
Parliamentarian: Alisha Willis
Member-at-Large: Bette Houtchens

Guidelines for Submitting Articles to This Newsletter  
  Want to see your article or poem published here?
Please Note: The submission deadline has been changed to the 23rd of each month. 

Keep in Mind:
  • You must be a  current member  of the club.
  • Your article must be  related to writing.
  • Your piece shall not exceed 350 words.
Format Requirements:
  • Use Word, .pdf, or write 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.
       Send your submissions to:  
CWC SF Peninsula   |    Email    |    Website