November 2020
Our next board meeting is on Tuesday, November 10, 6-7:30 p.m. via Zoom. Board meetings are held 6-7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month unless otherwise noted, and are open to any member in good standing. If you would like to attend a board meeting, contact: to receive an invitation.
Mark your calendars for this month's upcoming events! Keep reading the newsletter for more details about each event.
November 8: General meeting with speaker Forrest Gander

November 10: RW Board meeting

November 15: Submission deadline for poetry anthology

November 28: Redwood Writers Circle
Sunday, November 8
1 - 2:30 p.m.
via ZOOM*
Cost is $5 for members and $10 for guests.
Twice Alive: Lichen and Language
Forrest Gander
Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet
Do we live twice? In what sense can we merge with others? How might lichen expand our thinking about human intimacies? A poetry reading and conversation around the language of science and poetry in a time of ecological trauma.  

Pulitzer Prize-winning Forrest Gander is a poet, writer, translator, and editor of several anthologies of writing from Spain and Mexico. He is celebrated for the richness of his language and his undaunted lyric passion. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including collaborations with notable artists and photographers.

Gander’s collection Be With won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award. The Pulitzer Prize Judges citation calls it, “A collection of elegies that grapple with sudden loss, and the difficulties of expressing grief and yearning for the departed.” 

Gander’s essays have appeared in The Nation, The Boston Review, and the New York Times Book Review. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim, Howard, United States Artists, and Whiting Foundations.

Find Forrest Gander at
November's General Meeting Agenda
  • Zoom meeting room opens at 12:45 p.m. for open conversation
  • Meeting starts at 1 p.m.
  • Featured speaker Forrest Gander
  • Chair announcements
  • Member announcements
  • Adjourn at 2:30 p.m.
  • Mingle on Zoom until 3 pm.
*WHAT IS ZOOM? It's the most popular online platform for virtual presentations, meetings, get-togethers, etc. Just go to and download the app on your phone, iPad, or computer (camera required to participate). If you can't join us live, you will be able to download the presentation for viewing/sharing at your leisure (and don't we have plenty of that!).
Redwood Writers Meeting Registration

Our club meetings are held on Zoom. Each month, you will receive an email inviting you to attend the meeting. To register, click on the big registration button and complete your information. We have invited our sister clubs to join us for these events. When you complete the checkout process, you will receive a confirmation email with the details of how to join the Zoom event.

Please note, if you are an Express Member, you will receive a special code to use during registration. Enter the code exactly as it appears in your invitation and be sure to hit “Apply” to complete your registration.

If you are using a Gmail account, your invitations and confirmation may go into your promotions folder.

We are doing our best to send out a reminder email to all registrants 1-2 days before the meetings with the link you need to join the event. Be sure we have your email. If you make a change, notify A follow-up email with the replay will go out to registrants within 48 hours of the live event.

Thank you,
Judy Baker
Vice President, Speaker Team
1st Place - "Big Trees" by Crissi Langwell

Crissi Langwell writes romance, magical realism, and literary fiction novels that often feature strong female heroines and tell the story of the underdog. She joined Redwood Writers in 2012 and has served as the club's 2020 anthology editor, board secretary, social media manager, and newsletter editor. She is currently writing For the Birds, a love story set in Sonoma County. Find her at
2nd Place - "Mediterranean Mishap," by Nicole R. Zimmerman, MFA

Nicole R. Zimmerman, MFA, was a 2019 recipient of Creative Sonoma's Discovered Awards for Emerging Literary Artists. Her work appears in literary journals including
Sonora Review, Under the Gum Tree, The Rumpus, Hypertext Review, About Place, Ruminate, Birdland, Origins, and Creative Nonfiction. Nicole leads writing workshops using the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method.
3rd Place - "Romantic Getaway," by Nancy Martin

Nancy J. Martin was born in San Francisco, raised in Marin County and migrated north to the Valley of the Moon, where she has resided since 1976.
Reflections on the recent “Wish You Were Here” travel writing contest by our judges:
Linda C. McCabe

February was the last time I traveled anywhere. I flew back to Michigan to be with family as my ailing father’s last days. Covid19 spread in the United States was still in its preliminary stages and I wasn’t concerned about my health and safety at that time.

After returning home to Santa Rosa, I made plans to attend a cousin’s wedding in Minnesota in April. Like so many other planned events in our country, her wedding didn’t occur. Since mid-March I have remained in my apartment except for daily walks, occasional trips to grocery stores, post offices, and visits to our house being constructed at Sea Ranch. Otherwise, I really haven’t been anywhere, not even restaurants.

So, I found it a joy to be transported mentally to places around the country and around the world by reading the submissions by our talented membership. I was able to “see” diverse locales such as Albania, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, England, France, Germany, Israel, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Spain, Thailand and Tibet. There were also domestic settings such as Calaveras County, the town of Mendocino, the state of New Mexico, and national parks in Utah. I wish to thank everyone for entering the contest and allowing me a chance to travel again, even if it was only in my mind. 

Hopefully this pandemic will recede and allow us to be able to safely visit these types of locales again in person. Until then, keep writing and may your muse treat you well

Linda C. McCabe is the author of Quest of the Warrior Maiden and Fate of the Saracen Knight, an epic historic fantasy series set in the time of Charlemagne. She received a master’s degree as an historian of science from Sonoma State University, and loves to travel. To aid in her research, she traveled twice to France. Her first novel was honored by the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association’s 2013 awards.
Carole Bumpus  

Dear Redwood Writers and Contestants of the Travel Writing Contest “Wish You Were Here!”

Thank you all for taking me with you on your illustrious journeys—across the State, the nation and even to foreign climes. It was an absolute delight to accompany you on your travels, or, travails, as can often be the case. I read in more than one of your travel pieces some of the same dilemmas I had encountered. I laughed at the same delights, cried with you on moments of absolute misery or grief, got lost with you for some of the same reasons, and continued to marvel at the wonders that travel provides. Yes, travel literally opens up the world for those who are open to it, and travel writing gives one a unique perspective on those very experiences. 

Some of these lessons I learned in my own travel writing, which focused on trips throughout Europe. I traveled with a friend (proficient in the language) and stayed in the homes of her friends and family members. My job was to interview my hosts, take cooking classes on local cuisine, collect recipes and family stories, and consider how families come together during troubled times. Often the conversation would lead to revelations of World War II and how a family was able to survive. As a family therapist, they enlightened me. Yes, I found travel to be a most rewarding and eye-opening proposition!

During the pandemic, some of us sadly consider the trips we have cancelled, but also wonder how the rest of the world is faring. We recall with pitched clarity those trips we, oh so loved from our past and look forward to ‘packing it up’ once again. So, it was with great exuberance, I became your ‘armchair traveler’ when I was given the opportunity to read your unique stories. 

As you may have realized, travel writing puts life into a time capsule, and my journey into ‘Big Trees’ took me back to my own childhood. This poignant sharing of family, loss, grief, and solace is cradled beautifully under the ‘big trees’ of the past.  I also saw myself striding through the airport in ‘Mediterranean Mishap,’ fearful of missing a plane (in my case it was a train), to come upon a sight I didn’t expect. Ah, but the memories of place: Spain and Portugal. And, haven’t we all made the same trip searching for a Romantic Getaway, only to find surprises amongst the gems of human foibles. That was the beauty of so many of your travel pieces. They touched me in a profound, yet familiar way, and I was grateful! Keep writing! There’s so much more to share.

Carole Bumpus has been a state board member of the California Writers’ Club since 2012, on the local San Francisco Peninsula Branch board since 2010, and chair of the regional NorCal Group board since 2015. She is also a member of the Women’s National Book Association–San Francisco, a member of the Writers’ League of Texas, Austin branch and has been a contributing food/travel writer for numerous local and national newspapers.
We are so happy with our 2020 poetry anthology, AND YET. We will be posting a poem from the anthology each month. Copies of the anthology are available on Amazon.
This month's poem is by Barbara Armstrong.

Barbara Armstrong, a dedicated disciple of the Blue Moon poetry salon in Sonoma County, was recognized as a merit poet in the 2017 Redwood Writers Poetry Anthology. She contributed to Reverberations, an ekphrastic collaboration between artists and poets. She has a lifelong fascination with the nuanced influence of words.

With love,
Fran Claggett-Holland and Les Bernstein
the green glass bowl
by Barbara Armstrong
Old friends weigh in
on time-worn couches
old dog shrugs her covers
lifts her head to take us in.
So many of us have come and gone…
does she remember how we used to be
Take a piece of candy
from the green glass bowl
ride across living room
on plumes of peppermint
take up a customary role
with inside jokes and tales of woe.
Let us resume our journey
down this beaten path.
On paws no bigger than my thumbs
a puppy crawls into my lap,
with clever little claws proceeds to scale
my sweater on his quest for Annapurna.
He looks me in the eye and licks my chin.
Seasoned laughter skids around the room again.
In one another’s company,
we occupy old ways of being.
How can we be so different now
and still remain so much the same.
Take a piece,
a piece of candy
from the green glass bowl.
Save another for the long,
or the long road home…
Please note: Poetry submissions for the newsletter are temporarily on hold while we feature poems from the 2020 poetry anthology, And Yet. If you have any questions, please contact our poetry editor at
Submit your poetry to the 2021 Poetry Anthology

Deadline November 15!
Time is almost up to submit your poems the 2021 poetry anthology, Beyond Distance. Members are invited to submit up to 5 poems of any theme. Click the button below for more information on guidelines and how to submit.
Did you publish a book between April 2019 - Sept. 2020? If so, you're invited to present your new book at this year's Author Launch.

Mark your calendars for FEB. 20, 1 p.m.,
at the Saturday general meeting.

To participate, you must be a current Redwood Writers member, and your book must have been published between July 2019 and January 2021. This year, we are seeking authors who have never presented at an Author Launch. There will be a waiting list for past presenters.

Here's what you can expect at Author Launch:

  • The order of presenters depends on when you sign up
  • Authors will have 5 minutes to read from their book
  • If you are scheduled to read but don't show up, you won't be able to present again
  • Sign ups begin NOW, and space is limited!

To reserve your spot for this event, visit the link below and fill out the reservation form and contract. If you have any questions, contact Jeane Slone, Author Launch chair, at

To offer members a constructive and enjoyable environment in which to read their works among the support of fellow writers. Bring your Prose, Memoir, Poetry and more!

Zoom meeting format
  • Meeting begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m.
  • Those to be “Readers” will be limited to the first 15 who register.
  • Other attendees may be “listeners.” 
  • Each reader will have 5 minutes, including introductory remarks.
  • Evaluations will be suspended during Zoom meetings.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 28

How to register: 
Writers Circle meets bi-monthly. On each appointed month, you will receive an email invitation to register for the coming Writers Circle. To register, simply respond to that email and you will be sent a Zoom link to attend.

Questions? Email .
We're thrilled to throw the spotlight on a few of our members and their accomplishments! Over the next few months, we're highlighting those members who are featured in the 2020 Lit Review, coming out by the end of this month. Take a moment and celebrate these members who are featured in our November Spotlight.
"Dreaming of a Return to France."

Pamela Heck: In the summer of 2019, Pamela spent three weeks as an artist-in-residence at Studio Faire in Nérac, France. Covid willing, she will return to France next summer as an artist-in-residence at Chateau Orquevaux. Pamela’s writing includes picture book, memoir, short story and poetry. She is an Artist of Merit in the 2020 poetry anthology, And Yet. She is also a resident artist at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance Gallery.
“What keeps me writing is the thrill of the adventure: starting with a stream (sometimes a flood) of words on a page and ending with a story or a poem." 

Simona Carini: Born in Perugia, Italy, a graduate of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Milan, Italy) and of Mills College (Oakland, CA), Simona Carini writes nonfiction and poetry and has been published in various venues, in print and online, including several Redwood Writers’ anthologies. She lives in Northern California with her husband and works as a data scientist in academia. Her website is
CWC 2020 Lit Review

Look for this year's CWC Lit Review, expected to be mailed soon.

This year, 10 Redwood Writers members had their writing accepted into the Lit Review. As well, our president Shawn Langwell had two of his photos accepted, including the back cover.

Look for the following work by our members in this year's Lit Review:

“At the Cliff’s Edge” by Cristina Goulart
“Character” by Tim Jollymore
“Roller Coaster to Istanbul” by Beth Lewis
“Wine in a Bucket” by Bo Kearns

“End of Summer in Northern California” by Simona Carini
“Sweetie” by Nancy J. Sharp
“Postlude” by Mark Meierding
“Terri” by Robin Gabbert

“Angel Soup” by Pamela Heck
“Everyone Does It” by Jan Ogren

"Mustard looking toward Sonoma Mountain" by Shawn Langwell
"Wood Bridge" by Shawn Langwell
SURVIVAL: Tales of Pandemic 
CWC High Desert Branch anthology

Congratulations to Roger Lubeck and Tommie Whitener, whose short stories made it into the High Desert Branch's anthology, Survival: Tales of the Pandemic. In total, there are 25 stories from 23 CWC members from across the state.

If you'd like to purchase a copy of this anthology, you can find it on Amazon, or you can contact HDCWC editor Jenny Margotta at to purchase it directly from the branch.
CWC NorCal Calendar

Because of social distancing, most events are now held virtually. This presents a unique opportunity to attend events, workshops, and meetings held by other CWC branches that would have been difficult to attend in person. To keep up to date with upcoming events, be sure to check the CWC NorCal calendar at the button below.
If you have news to share about your writing, an award, an appearance, or other writing-related news, send a 50-word or less announcement to Deadline for consideration in next month’s newsletter is the 15th of this month.
Redwood Writers extends a warm welcome to our newest members! Since we can't meet in person, we're sharing a little about each new member here in our newsletter. Be sure to say hello at our next general meeting!
Joan Goodreau's stories, articles and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines and journals in Canada and the United States. Her recently published books are Another Secret Shared and Other Poems and Strangers Together: How My Son’s Autism Changed My Life. She participated in the Hedgebrook Writers-in-Residency Program. Her comedies have been performed at the Annual Short-Play Festival in Chico.  

5 star review:
"The stories submitted by talented and compassionate writers led me through a range of emotions, deep thoughts, and best of all, the light and hope to look forward to tomorrow."

Are you ready for National Novel Writing Month?

As you read in Shawn's letter, we have National Novel Writing Month on the brain. My very first book I ever wrote was during NaNoWriMo. It was very rough, and won't ever see the light of day. However, writing fast during the month of November taught me organization and writing skills I now use regularly to write novels. Today, I have eleven published books, including five that started out as NaNoWriMo novels. If you're curious about the process I use during NaNoWriMo, I wrote a blog post about it here.

Visit the NaNoWriMo website at You can "friend" me at
In case you missed it, here are some of the events and information we shared in this newsletter:

  • Forrest Gander, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, will present "Twice Alive: Lichen and Language" at our November meeting.
  • The winners of the "Wish You Were Here" contest were announced.
  • Author Launch still has space for newly published authors to read at the February meeting.
  • Redwood Writers Circle is this month, and you're invited to read your writing.
  • The submissions deadline for the 2021 Poetry Anthology Beyond Distance is this month.

P.S. If you have something you'd like to share with the membership, send me a short note about it and I'll include it in the newsletter. Deadline is the 15th of this month.

Also, when you're not writing, join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

I hope your month is full of inspiration and creativity!

Crissi Langwell
Redwood Writer Editor
EDITOR: Crissi Langwell
Our mailing address is:
The Redwood Writer
P.O. Box 4687
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Redwood Writers is a branch of the California Writers Club, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.