President's Message
May 2017

Dear CWC SF Peninsula,

This time of year one has no choice but to follow in life's maternal leanings. I watched a gaggle of baby goslings struggle across our street, with mother and father looking on adoringly. And, mighty protectively.  

The feelings which came to mind were like the putting together of a list of qualified nominees for next year's board. The moment one lines up, another one wanders off for a bit of this and that, and pretty soon, I've forgotten what my ultimate goal could be. It's a lot like "parenting."  But, because I have, as your president, been fortunate to have such a responsive and thoughtful board, I have felt compelled to bring to you another fine board for 2017-18. You all deserve that!

To help me in my "herding" abilities, my stalwart and intrepid Nominating Committee, Elise Miller and Geri Spieler, have been out contacting many of you about the open positions. I will be presenting their slate at the May meeting, but the slate will not be voted on until the June meeting. If you have any interest in giving of your time in a most creative and dynamic manner, please do not hesitate to step up and make your interests known.

In my two years as your president, we have had the ability to stir the pot and bring you many new opportunities: Barnes & Noble bookselling/readings (one coming up again on May 21), opportunities to work the San Francisco Writers Conference booths, the Bay Area Book Fair in Berkeley event (that's also coming up June 3 and 4), the Literary Stage at the San Mateo County Fair, plus sharing your work at the Open Mic and our Holiday Party this year. We are also engaging with Kepler's to set up even more possibilities for writers to explore for this coming season.

We will have had (by this printing) our first Old Member/New Member Gathering in my home and I must say I'm very excited about meeting you on a more personal level. We will  continue to hold these gatherings several times a year, so if you weren't able to make this one, please consider the opportunity in the future. 

For those who are just learning about our branch and the opportunities which abound, let me tell you we have much to celebrate because we have in our midst two award winners. Please take the time to read the article on Darlene Frank, our new Louise Boggess Award winner, and the article on the 2017 Jack London Award winner, who is Bill Baynes. Be certain to congratulate them and read how they have made your branch even more vital and vibrant than even before. And, consider joining our team--and expanding your writing experience!

Carole Bumpus - President CWC - SF Peninsula Branch

May 20, 2017
 Guest Speaker:  Brooke Warner

  Five Keys Elements of a Successful Memoir

To have a successful memoir, writers need to master scenes, narration, theme, characterization, and takeaway. 
This talk analyzes why each of these elements is important in good storytelling and shows writers how to harness these points of craft in their own memoir.
Brooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Green-Light Your Book, What'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.

Saturday, May 20, 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, May 17 - Open Mic 
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
Bring your poems, prose, and sto ries to 
Reach & Teach144 W. 25th Avenue, San Mateo. FREE

Saturday, May 20
10 a.m. Author and Publisher, Brooke Warner presents: 

Five Keys Elements of a Successful Memoir

Saturday, May 20 - Think Tank
FREE. MEMBERS ONLY. Immediately after the May program, Bill Baynes will
lead a discussion on "What Makes a Poem?" Maximum of 10 participants. 

Sunday, May 21 - Author Event
CWC SF Peninsula branch members who are published authors will be selling their books directly to consumers in this established store. There are time slots scheduled for various authors to read from their books and interact directly with fans. If you're not a published author yet, come by anyway and show your support.  Bill Baynes  is the coordinator.

Upcoming Meetings

June 21, 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

June 17, 2017 - Think Tank
FREE. MEMBERS ONLY. Immediately after the June program, Julia M. Wei will lead a discussion on how to build your blog.


  SF Peninsula Branch meets at:

441 Seaport Court
Redwood City 
$10 members. $15 nonmembers.
$10 students with ID.
April Program Recap:
GET INSIDE YOUR READER'S BRAIN -- The Neuroscience of How to Make Readers Laugh and Cry 
by Audrey Kalman,  VP/Speakers

At the April meeting, Ransom Stephens, PhD , took club members on a quick tour of the human brain. Working from his book The Left Brain Speaks, the Right Brain Laughs, he highlighted some neuroscience concepts that can help writers, including:

  • Our brains naturally want to solve problems. Give readers a problem to solve and you'll engage them. Solving puzzles is a buzz.
  • We are natural pattern-recognizers, categorizers, and future-predictors. We like to have our pattern recognizers tickled. That's why literature can be more effective for changing people's minds than a so-called persuasive essay. A story puts readers in a world the writer creates and lets them figure things out. Or, as Stephens put it, "We manipulate them."
  • "If you're not crying, the reader isn't either." We mirror what others feel. If you don't feel it as a writer, your reader won't feel it either.
  • Finding the balance between enticing and confusing the reader can be tricky. Too much complexity and the reader runs away. Too little complexity and the reader tosses the book aside, wilting with boredom. You can use tricks like peak shifting/exaggeration, isolation, and contrasts/boundaries to direct the reader's attention where you want it.

The following members of the SF Peninsula branch are award-winners!
Div. 326-01 Personal Memoir
1st Place: View from Erroll's House, Mary Beth O'Connor
HM: Out for a Spin, Marjorie Johnson
Div. 326-02 Lifestyle Memoir
3rd Place: Matchbox Dreams, Karen Hartley
View from Erroll's House
Mary Beth O'Connor
Div. 327 Best Blog
3rd Place: No More Political News, Sheena Arora
HM: Little Free Library, Eva Barrows
Div. 328-02 Audiobook Contest
1st Place: Super Holly Hansson in: The Intellecta-Rhapsody!, David Strom

Div. 329-03 Digital Recorded Lyric Songwriting Contest: Singer/Songwriter/Indie
HM: Lazarus, Sam Kauffman
Div. 330 - Publisher's Choice Novel Chapter Contest
1st Place: All Nuts Are Not Created Equal, Jean Morrow
HM: The Short Arm of Chromosome 4, Carol Peyser
Div 331 - Genre Novelist First Chapter Contest
3rd Place: The Meeting, Jac A. Fitzenz

Div. 333-01 Short Story, General Fiction
2nd Place: Heirloom, Angela Yang
3rd Place: Crow Secrets, Megan Clancy

Div. 333-02 Short Story, General Fiction, Senior
3rd Place: Empowered, Lisa Johnson

Div. 333-04 Short Story, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Senior
3rd Place: Cal "The Intellectual" Critbert in: The Lutefisk Door! David Strom
Div. 333-05 Short Story, Mystery/Thriller
2nd Place: The Darkness Within Humanity, Kassandra Cooney
3rd Place: A Late Night Visit, Megan Clancy

Div. 333-06 Short Story, Mystery/Thriller, Senior
1st Place: Night School, Penelope Anne Cole
HM: Stopped, Lisa Johnson

Div. 333-08 Western/Historical, Senior
HM: Margie Goes West, Lisa Johnson
Div. 333-09 Humorous
HM: The Birthday Committee, Eva Barrows

Div. 334-01 Poetry, Free Form Poem, Exhibitor 54 Years Old or Younger
3rd Place: My Dear Hanuman, Sheena Arora

Div. 334-02 Poetry, Free Form Poem, Senior
2nd Place: The Smile, Jo Carpignano
HM: Recital: Three Dancing Fuchsias, Karen Hartley

Div. 334-04 Poetry, Structured Poem, Senior
3rd Place: Global Warming, Ida J. Lowenstein
HM: Wisdom's Cost, Stanley Gedzelman
Div. 336 - The Immigrant Experience
2nd Place: Giuseppe and the Earthquake, Jo Carpignano

Behind the Scenes
at the San Mateo County Fair
Congratulations to all of 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                                                                                         

Every two years, the entire State CWC honors outstanding volunteer service by an individual at each branch.

The merit of the award is in service, independent of writing achievement. The Jack London Award is considered one of the highest honors bestowed to a member by CWC and is given out at the State Board meeting at a special ceremony at the July meeting.

While our branches thrive through the dedication of many volunteers, the Jack London Award gives recognition to that special someone at each branch who maintains a superior and sustained record of stepping forward unselfishly in the spirit of volunteerism. Awardees do what it takes to carry out branch operations, deliver services to members, and contribute positively to our writing communities.

This year's award winner representing the San Francisco Peninsula Branch is Bill Baynes. He has served on the board of the SF Peninsula branch for the last two years as Publicity/Marketing Chair. He supervised the development of an improved marketing strategy for the branch, including developing a new logo, reworking the website and brochure, and setting up outreach systems. He interfaced with Barnes & Noble to set up a large-scale event at the Hillsdale store in San Mateo, which enriched the Branch coffers by over $2,000. Our next Barnes & Noble event is May 21st, thanks to Bill. He also is an active part of the Literary Stage at the San Mateo County Fair.

His YA baseball novel, Bunt! was published by Silverback Sages, Youngsville, New Mexico. His 7,000-word novella, Mrs. Spooner's Special Day, was published in The Long Story in March 2017.

According to his website, , Bill describes himself this way: 
I am the world's oldest beginner. I like learning new things and then teaching others. I've worked with many school systems to create student-driven media campaigns and videos on various topics, such as tobacco, alcohol, nutrition, fitness, and bullying.
I am 107 (on some days) and I've done many things. None was as much fun as being 11. Writing children's stories is as close as I've come.
I'm a writer who is also a producer, director, and creative director. I'm comfortable in many media. I've been a newspaper reporter for The Miami Herald and the Associated Press and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. I've been active in feature film and video production, magazine publishing, public interest marketing, and website development.
These are all ways to display what you write.
Bill will be receiving the Jack London award at the next State Board meeting in July. Until then, be certain to congratulate him for a job well-done and an award well-deserved!

Think Tank
The May Think Tank will be hosted by Bill Baynes, on the topic of "What Makes a Poem?" Bring your ideas and  questions. The discussion is always lively and engaging!

Think Tank has a MAXIMUM OF 10 PARTICIPANTS, so sign up early.
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
After years of obsessive work, Bardi Rosman Koodrin is jumping for joy over the publication of her book, Novelmania, My Ticket to Crazy Town. Sand Hill Review Press will launch Novelmania on Opening Day at the San Mateo County Fair, Saturday June 10 at 4:30 pm. 


Jeannine Gerkman wandered into Reach and Teach on April 18 to buy a scarf an d gifts and discovered her book Spring was front and center in the store display for Mother's Day! What a nice surprise!   
See the special section above listing all SF Peninsula branch winners of this year's Literary contest awards at the San Mateo County Fair.
Congratulations, everyone!

Submission Opportunities

Local Events
Women's Fiction Writers Association  is holding their  first West Coast Regional Conference on May 20, 2017.

Featured Speakers Are Liz Fenton, Jeannie Nash, Kerry Lonsdale and Wendy Tokunaga, plus book agents. 
A one-day regional writing conference for writers of women's fiction will be held in Redwood City, California on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Sponsored by the Women's Fiction Writers Association ( WFWA ), it will feature seminars on book marketing, craft and editing, along with agent pitch sessions and an "Ask the Experts" publishing industry panel.

Liz Fenton, bestselling women's fiction author, will give the keynote. Fenton's books have been sold in Target stores ( Your Perfect Life ), and have made reading lists for Cosmopolitan and InStyle magazines, plus POPSUGAR, the global lifestyle media publisher's newsletter.

A highlight of the event will be "Ask the Experts," where attendees sit with an agent or editor for a 10-minute one-on-one. Attendees can ask questions about the writing process, pitch interest in their work in progress, query an agent about their finished manuscript, and receive feedback.

"Even if you aren't ready to pitch your book, you can use your time to establish relationships and ask questions about your book, writing and publishing," said WFWA President Chris Adler. "Whether you plan to commute in just for the day, or stay overnight and socialize with other members on Friday evening and share a Sunday breakfast, we anticipate a productive event focused on learning and building new friendships."

Agents attending the conference include Amy Cloughley and Lisa Abellera from the Kimberly Cameron Agency, and Jennifer Chen Tran from the Fuse Literary Agency.

Sessions will be held on marketing, editing and craft. Author Kerry Lonsdale will present a session on marketing. Jennie Nash, founder and chief creative officer of Author Accelerator, a book coaching program, will discuss craft. Novelist and manuscript consultant Wendy Tokunaga will present the session on editing.

The WFWA West Coast Regional Conference will be held at the Courtyard Hotel, 600 Bair Island Road, Redwood City.  Registration is open to members and non-members, and will be capped at 80 participants. The cost is $140 for WFWA members and $190 for non-members. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on Saturday to all attendees. Click here to register 

CWC SF Peninsula will hold an A uthors' event on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at  Barnes & Noble, Hillsdale Mall, San Mateo. P articipating authors will sit behind their books at a table in the front of the store. They may read excerpts at prearranged times at a seating area behind our table. To be eligible to participate, your book must be able to be ordered from and returned to Ingram. If you qualify and you want to take your seat at the CWC table, please contact Bill Baynes. THIS IS A FREE EVENT.

Want Ads

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
Darlene Frank began her CWC affiliation as a member of the California Writers Club at the Marin Branch in 1999. She remained at that branch for two years, where for part of that time she co-chaired a memoir critique group.
She then joined the San Francisco Peninsula Branch in 2001. She states that at her first meeting, she met Teresa LeYung Ryan and mentioned she would like to get involved in the Club. She was immediately directed to an open Parliamentarian position on the Board, where she served from 2001 to 2005. She stepped off the Board during 2005 to 2014, but was always an ardent volunteer.
In 2014-16, she held the position of Vice President and Programs Coordinator. She set up and scheduled many top-rated speakers and when called upon to be our acting President, she handled the meetings calmly and superbly. After moving to Walnut Creek this past year, she continued her service to our Club by assisting the newsletter editor in proofreading each issue, as well as helping to develop a style guide and consistency standards for the newsletter.  

She also became a pivotal member on our website committee to overhaul the website and to bring it into the 21st century. Her attention to detail and help in simplifying and updating of  many categories (especially the Writers' Corner) give each of our member writers advantages we never had available before. She was one of the many volunteers in helping to put on the 50th anniversary celebration of our Club (February 2016) and coordinated the design and production of our special printed program.

She continues to be active with the Literary Stage at the San Mateo County Fair. Since 2012, she has presented workshops, interviewed CWC authors, showcased playwrights, and hosted a special event featuring our Club's wise elder women poets Jo Carpignano, Ida Lewenstein, and Ollie Mae Welch.

And if Darlene doesn't epitomize the CWC motto "Writers Helping Writers," then take a look at her list of credentials from her website:    
  • Certified Creativity Coach, Creativity Coaching Association. Studied with Eric Maisel, America's foremost creativity coach
  • Professional writer and editor for over 30 years
  • Author of memoir and other creative nonfiction published in eight anthologies
  • Author of business books about writing and graphic design
  • Editor of nonfiction books and stories, newsletters and articles, business and training materials, and more
  • Consultant in book production, self-publishing, and information design
  • Workshop leader and speaker on writing and creativity
  • Co-producer of performing arts events to showcase the work of new and emerging artists
  • Scriptwriter of award-winning documentary film about Eichler homes
  • Award-winning instructional and technical writer
(photo by Michele Jessen)

In keeping with the merits of our founding member, Louise Boggess, it was with great pleasure to present Darlene Frank with the one and only award specifically given to a member of the San Francisco Peninsula Branch, the coveted Louise Boggess Award. Congratulations, Darlene!

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

May looks like it's going to turn out to be an exciting month! Along with the budding trees, we've got winners of awards right, left and center, wow! And, there are literary events to attend and enjoy.

We've got the Hillsdale Barnes & Noble event on May 21, 2017 where published authors will be offering their books and speaking. Then on May 27, there is the BayCon Imagination Health Fair at the San Mateo Marriott where authors can mingle with paying patrons and pass out brochures and postcards and talk about our upcoming projects (we can't sell our books there, though). 

I'm always learning, and today I connected (I think) Eventbrite with my Wordpress website and the Barnes & Noble event to my Spring Picture Book Facebook page. It's all new (and a bit confusing), but social media is the new Yellow Pages, so we better get used to it. 

Please take a moment to use your social media to connect to these events and to the Literary Arts site. Even if your invitees don't come, they will appreciate being informed and invited. 

Something I've learned over the years is impressions become reality. In my real estate career, I've received business from seminars promoted to (but not attended by) potential clients. The same works in the book business. So, tell your LinkedIn and Facebook friends about these events, make sure your profile is filled out and up-to-date on our page, link where you can to local literary events, and get your smiling face out in the world. Who knows what can happen?

May your May be prolific, plentiful, and profitable.

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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