San Francisco Peninsula Writer
Writers Helping Writers Since 1909
November 2019 | California Writers Club
President's Message
I don't have much to say this month, primarily because I am still wearing the hat of newsletter editor--which explains why this newsletter is late and isn't much of a newsletter.

Yes, we still need marketing help!

In other news, I and several other CWC members I know are participating in NaNoWriMo . In case you are unfamiliar with this non-profit/activity/obsession, it's described as follows:

"National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel during the thirty days of November. Now, each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand-new novel."

This is the first time I've participated in the madness taken up the challenge. Instead of a novel, I've committed to writing 50,000 words worth of stories.

What I've discovered in the first few days is

  • Having a challenging word-count goal every day is motivational. I've been getting up early to get my word count in before becoming enmeshed in other activities.
  • Focusing ONLY on writing--rather than on reviewing or editing--is liberating.
  • Having buddies is a big help. Several people in my critique group are participating, and the San Mateo Public Library is offering space for NaNoWriMo participants on several Saturdays this month.

Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo or a similar challenge? Why or why not? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Hope to see you soon, and happy writing.

November Meeting
Public Speaking Skills for Today’s Authors
Pitfalls to Avoid, Practices That Pay Off
Betsy Fasbinder Graziano
From the time they go to their first writers’ conference, prospective authors learn that they need to start building their “author’s platform." They spend all kinds of time, energy, and even money creating their websites, their social media presence, and sometimes spend thousands on a publicist to book events to increase the visibility for themselves and their books. But nobody tells us that once we build that platform, we’re going to be the ones standing on it…speaking…in public.

Book launch events, readings, panels, Facebook Live events, even TED Talks are all opportunities for writers to gain exposure for themselves, their books, and the ideas and causes that matter to them most. Skilled speaking helps authors to find readers, fans, and even super fans that help promote their books for them.

Lots of people believe that skilled public speaking is a gift that some got, and others just didn’t. In truth, the ability to speak with confidence to audiences of any size requires a few simple skills, some practice, and some mental shifts that transform a “meh” talk into a dynamic, engaging, even inspirational presentation. 

In this short presentation, those who attend will:
  1. Gather the two most powerful tips for engaging audiences
  2. Learn of the variety of kinds of speaking opportunities and why to use them
  3. Understand the value of skilled public speaking for writers, before, during, and post-publication
  4. Get a handful of mental shifts to manage nerves and approach speaking opportunities with a sense of fun instead of fear 
Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
FREE to first-time attendees! 
$10 Members; $15 Non-Members; $5 Students/ID
Think Tank: Outlining Strategies
moderated by Megan McDonald
 immediately following the meeting at 12:00 p.m.
Event Highlights
SF Peninsula Literary Reading and Salon
We are pleased to partner with Bay Area Generations to bring their acclaimed Literary Salons to the Peninsula. Please join us in November to hear poets, writers, playwrights, authors, memoirists, and musicians in paired readings!

Bay Area Generations Edition #75
November 21, 2019
7:00 p.m.

If you attended our September club meeting, you saw the wonderful Amos White speak about how to present your work to an audience. Amos is president of Bay Area Generations and will be co-emcee’ing our first salon. You won’t want to miss this event! Find out more at the Bay Area Generations website.

Sunday, December 15, 2019
2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Members, watch your email for more details
Recurring Events
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).

Every Tuesday in Foster City
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Every Thursday in San Mateo
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


4th Tuesday of every month
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
November 26

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Speaker: Laurel Ann Hill
Topic: Painless Book Promotion

Wednesday, November 20, 2019
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Speaker: Geri Spieler
Topic: Super Sleuthing: Internet Research Skills Everyone Should Know

Stay up to date on CWC events... Check out our
on the website

Get Involved!
Marketing Team

Calendar Master - Keep our master Google calendar up to date with club and other activities
Event Promoter - Posting our events to Facebook and/or MeetUp (familiarity with FB helpful)
Marketing Strategy - Help oversee our marketing efforts.

Fault Zone Book Launch Team
We need help to get our wonderful new anthology and the whole Fault Zone series to a broader audience with readings and book sales.

Contact Lisa Meltzer Penn by email to find out more or just chat about how you can get involved. What’s your creative vision for CWC?
Writers Helping Writers

Our monthly series takes place at two local libraries. We've featured topics from studying short fiction to marketing your book. What topic are you passionate about that you'd like to share with other writers?

To participate, you need to:
  • Be comfortable preparing and leading an interactive 1.5-hour class.
  • Prepare a class with handouts or hands-on help with practice sets for new writers.
  • Provide a short description of your topic to include in our newsletter and library listings.
  • Provide a short bio including your writing experience.
  • Choose the month and library where you would like to present.
It’s quite easy to share your gifts. Just email Carole Bumpus to get on the calendar for 2020!
San Mateo Library – Second Wednesday of the Month
San Carlos Library – Third Wednesday of the Month

Resources for Members
Critique Groups
Looking for critique group partners? We can help! Please contact Lisa Meltzer Penn .
Resources on our Website
Check out the 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 also a list of branch members who provide writing-related services for a fee: editing, coaching, and more. 
Classified Ads
To submit an ad related to a writing need or service, send your submission to: 
Subject line: "CWC Newsletter - Classified Ads" 
Free for club members.
Board Members
Executive Board
President: Audrey Kalman
Vice President: Geri Spieler
Secretary: Korie Pelka
Treasurer: Jean Morrow

Additional Voting Positions
Membership Chair: Mark Dooley
Marketing & Outreach Chair: OPEN
Newsletter Editor: OPEN 
Fault Zone Editor-in-Chief: Laurel Anne Hill 
Immediate Past President: Lisa Meltzer Penn 
State Board Rep: Geri Spieler
NorCal Rep: Carole Bumpus     
Committee/Individual Contributor Positions
Volunteer Coordinator: Lisa Meltzer Penn
Memberships: Tim Flood, Margaret Nalbach
Web Manager: Mindy Yang
Hospitality: Megan McDonald
Think Tank: Geri Spieler 
Parliamentarian: Alisha Willis
Member-at-Large: Bette Houtchens
SMCF Literary Stage Coordinator: Megan McDonald
SMCF Literary Stage Consulting Coordinator: Sue Barizon 
Critique Group Contact: Lisa Meltzer Penn
Submission Guidelines
Want to see your article, ad or poem published here?
Submission deadline is the  23rd  of the month. Send via email to:

Keep in Mind:
  • You must be a current member of the club.
  • Your article or news must be related to writing.
  • Your piece shall not exceed 350 words.
Format Requirements:
  • Include "CWC Newsletter submission" in subject line and add what you are submitting (i.e. Member News, Article, Critique Group, Member Resources, Think Tank, Event, Classified, etc.)
  • Use MS Word or write text 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.
  • If you have a picture, send as a jpeg attachment to your email. 
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