President's Message
October, 2018 

Were you at our September meeting? Wow---what an energy-filled morning it was! We powered through the announcements portion of the meeting and had lots of time to really connect with one another during our half-hour "Pop-Up Volunteer Fair" where members and visitors alike talked about writing and life, and discovered great ways to get more involved as writers in our club. Thank you to everyone who signed up to get more information and participate. 

We then moved on to one of our most fun speakers of the year as Cory Rosen had us "exploding" writing prompts and venturing in new directions with the idea-development process. It was a blast!  For the cherry on top, our Think Tank leader du jour, Pat Obuchowski, ran us through a writing model that looks like a tic-tac-toe board and is designed to help you create plot from within whichever box of the grid you begin.

If you missed it, see Audrey's speaker wrap-up below. And be in touch at if you want to lend a hand in your club. There are still opportunities available! I'm happy to talk.

October brings more fun to our club. We meet October 13 this month (*note the change in date) and mix it up again with a terrific panel of published authors talking about What Works and What Doesn't in your writing career, with time for Q&A. Bring your questions! From 12:00-1:00 after the main meeting we will host a special Critique Group Matchmaking session for all who are looking for a writing critique group, or seeking new members for an existing group. Visit different stations organized by category and genre and talk to other talented writers to facilitate finding your best match. These special events are all part of our annual California Writers Week. See the schedule below for other sponsored events taking place in our partner libraries for the whole community. Invite your friends!

Finally, don't forget submissions are now open for our new Fault Zone Anthology: Strike Slip through the end of the year. Find out more here. And submit your writing-related Good News to the newsletter. We want to read all about it. Guidelines can be found at the bottom of the newsletter.

Happy writing and Happy California Writers Week!

Lisa Meltzer Penn
President, CWC San Francisco Peninsula Branch
October 2018 Highlights:
  1. President's Message
  2. October 13, 2018 Writers' Panel - Do This, Not That!
  3. Think Tank: Critique Group Matchmaking 
  4. Fault Zone: Strike Slip Submissions 
  5. Member News
  6. California Writers Week October 15-20, 2018


Do This, Not That!

Writers' Panel

A panel of published authors will discuss what works and what does not when it comes to your writing.

Panelists include Kellie Ann Benz, Pat Obuchowski, Geri Spieler, and Nanci Woody Moderator is Audrey Kalman .

The speaker portion of this program will start 15 minutes earlier than usual, at 10:45, so we have time to hear from the panelists and get your questions answered. 

The session will be followed at noon by a special Think Tank: Critique Group Matchmaking See below for details.


Note that our meeting date is a week earlier than normal, October 13, 2018.

When: Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
Where: The Sequoia Yacht Club 441 Seaport Ct, Redwood City, CA 94063
Think Tank

October's special Think popular demand:

Critique Group Matchmaking 
Moderated by
Lisa Meltzer Penn

Have you been wanting to join a writing critique group and get feedback on your work? Are you seeking new members for an existing group? 

If you are ready to work with a small group of writers on a regular basis to sharpen your skills, get fresh eyes on your work, and help other writers do the same, this event is for you. These are ambitious goals, and none of us can do it alone. 

Visit different stations organized by category and genre and talk to other talented writers to facilitate finding your best match. 
MEETING WRAP-UP September, 2018

Speaker: Corey Rosen
Topic: Free Your Mind and the Stories will Follow    
Actor, writer and visual effects producer Corey Rosen, who also hosts  The Moth StorySlam  events in San Francisco and Berkeley, led a lively presentation at the September meeting. He started with a game to loosen everyone up. Then he led an exercise called "Explode the Prompt," designed to expand ideas by pushing you beyond the first one or two (often cliched) thoughts you might have about a topic. 

Attendees then paired off to practice another brainstorming exercise, "That reminds me of the time when...," designed to build off another person's ideas and memories. Finally, Corey discussed the "story spine" and presented story structure in seven steps:

1. Once upon a time... setting/the world of the story
2. Every day... the normal, routine, everyday world
3. Until one day... something happens to change the world--this is what makes it a story
4. Because... the character makes a decision... and another decision because of that one... and another... as many as are needed to hook the reader and drive the action
5. Until finally... the climax/rising action, what the escalation led to
6. Ever since then... the new normal, how things are now as a result of the action
7. The moral... an optional lesson or takeaway

"If all else fails," Corey advised, "Take an improv class."

Did you attend the September meeting? Want to give us feedback?  Fill out the meeting survey .

Audrey Kalman
Vice President, SF/Peninsula California Writers Club
CWC SF Peninsula Calendar


Every Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. - 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).
LITQUAKE is October 11-20, 2018

October 15 - 21, 2018
California Writers Week

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
San Carlos Library
610 Elm St, San Carlos, CA 94070
The first Wednesday of the month, we get together to share our original work in a warm and welcoming environment. Members and non-members are welcome. Too shy to share? 
Come as part of the audience.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Open Mic 
Emcee: Jeannine Gerkman
 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Fault Zone Uplift Reading
CWC members will read their works
10:30 a.m.

Saturday, October 13, 2018
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Speaker: Writers' Panel
Topic: Do This, Not That! 
What Works & What Doesn't in Your Writing Career

Saturday, October 13, 2018
12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.
Think Tank:  Critique Group Matchmaking

Sequoia Yacht Club, 441 Seaport Ct, Redwood City, CA 94063

Saturday, November 17, 2018 
 Speaker: Carmen Simone 
Topic: Neuroscience of Story
Think Tank Moderator: Bill Baynes
Topic: Mary O! An Appreciation


Wednesday, October 17, 2018
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Writers Helping Writers
Darlene Frank - 'Editing Memoir and Personal Stories'

The third Wednesday of each month, we meet to learn and teach about writing, publishing, marketing, critique groups and a myriad of other useful writing-related topics. Learn from your fellow writers. Bring pen and paper.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Writers Helping Writers
Moderator: Elise Miller
Topic: Genealogy: Writing Family History

Fault Zone:Strike Slip is now accepting submissions. 
  Submittable Link

Local Author Day at Barnes & Noble
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Details to follow.

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

Wednesday, October 17, 2018  7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
The third Wednesday of each month, we meet to learn and teach about writing, publishing, marketing, critique groups and a myriad of other useful writing-related topics. Learn from your fellow writers. Bring an open mind.
Darlene Frank 
Subject: Editing Memoir and Personal Stories
Fault Zone: Strike Slip , Our Branch Literary Anthology
California Writers Week CALWriterWeek

When you step off the elevator at the third floor of the Main Library in San Mateo during Writers Week, you'll see a display of books published by our branch writers.

Writers Week, October 14-17, 2018, has been designated by the California Legislature to honor local writers. The San Mateo Library has purchased our books for the occasion and will shelve them when the display is taken down.

CWC members who are published authors will read their works at the Main Library in San Mateo on Thursday, October 18, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.

One day earlier, Darlene Frank will present a class in Editing Memoir and Personal Stories at the San Carlos Library at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 17, 2018.

In addition, our poster showing all 21 published branch writers will be displayed at 11 other local libraries: San Mateo, San Carlos, San Bruno (2), Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Burlingame, Redwood City, and Belmont.

Member NewsMemberNews

Leadership Team, Audrey Kalman,
Bill Baynes, Alisha Willis, Lisa Meltzer Penn, Jeannine Gerkman, Korie Pelka, Melanie Shook, Geri Spieler, Sue Barizon, Darlene Frank, & Carole Bumpus participated in CWC Norcal's fourth bi-annual Leadership Conference in Pleasant Hill Saturday, September 30, 2018. This conference was attended by leadership teams throughout Northern California from Chico to Monterey. Carole was one of the organizers and speakers. 

Rogue writer James Hanna is on a roll. The 2018 Reader's Favorite International Awards gave his short story collection, A Second Less C a pable Head , the gold medal in the Fiction Anthology Category. James has also had several recent online publications. His critical essay, "Like a MF," appears in Trampset, His short story, "The Time Dad Took Me to a Whorehouse," appears in The Hunger. His novel excerpt, "Crossing the Jordan," appears in Literally Stories

Audrey Kalman,  Author and  CWC  SF/Peninsula branch vice-president, will be reading from her new book of short stories,  Tiny Shoes Dancing and Other Stories , on   Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kepler's Books reading series,  Story is the Thing.  


On Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 2:00 p.m., Audrey Kalman will present  Seeking the Muse: Connecting with Your Creative Self in an Age of Distraction at the Tri-Valley Writers CWC branch in Pleasanton.

Visit her  website  for more information. 


NOTE: The membership renewal period closed September 30th. Going forward, there is an additional $20 reinstatement fee required by the CWC state board.
Existing Members : Most of us are members of CWC SF/Peninsula only, but some are Dual members who have membership in another CWC branch in addition to our own SF Peninsula branch. Dual members will pay through our branch and the other branch they have joined.  This is the policy set by the CWC Central Board and as branch members we are required to follow their requirements exactly. 

This year we have two options available to our members. You can choose which plan works best for you:
1) Combined Fee: Pay a combined fee upfront that covers both your annual membership dues and meeting fees for the whole year. Regular members pay $125.00; Dual members pay $105.00. Overall you will save money (two meetings free) and have the convenience of one payment.
2) Traditional Separate Fees: Pay the annual membership dues now and pay the meeting fees monthly. Regular members pay $45.00 to renew membership; Dual members pay $25.00 to renew. Both groups pay $10.00 for each meeting they attend.
New Members and Late Renewals : If you are a new member or have missed the September renewal deadline, then your cost will include a processing fee. A new member choosing the Combined Fee option pays $145.00. A new member using the Separate Fee option pays $65.00 to join and then $10.00 each meeting.  

Here it is in a chart:


Annual Dues $

New Member
65.00 $145
Existing Member 45.00 $125
Existing Dual
25.00 $105

If you pay by check, make it out to "CWC SF-Peninsula". Either bring your funds to the next meeting or mail them to CWC SF-Peninsula, P.O. Box 853, Belmont, CA 94002. Thank you.
If you have questions, contact Membership Chair,  Tim Flood at .

Tim Flood, Membership
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

This is the place to find Writer's Conferences, Volunteer Opportunities, Upcoming Events and Member Ads. 

If you would like to submit an ad related to a writing need or service, send your submission to: 

Subject line: "CWC Newsletter - Classified Ads" 

Together, we can promote our club, boost your career and get you the help you need to move forward with your writing projects. 

Last month we had our Pop-up Volunteer Fair and were delighted to have had so many eager volunteers ready to help with Outreach and Marketing, Membership, Hospitality, Open Mic, Special Events, and Fault Zone. If you missed out on the fair or have questions about upcoming opportunities, please contact our President, Lisa Meltzer Penn at Thank you.

Critique Groups

CRITIQUE GROUP MATCHMAKING: Saturday, October 13, 2018 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. will feature our long-awaited critique group gathering. Be sure to be at the  Sequoia Yacht Club for this special event.  Visit different stations organized by category and genre and talk to other talented writers to find your best match.

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.

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.


Executive Board:
President: Lisa Meltzer Penn
Vice President: Audrey Kalman
Secretary: Korie Pelka
Treasurer: Jean Morrow         
Appointed Board Positions:
State Board & NorCal Rep: Carole Bumpus
Membership Co-Chair: Tim Flood
Marketing & Outreach 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: Mindy Yang
Hospitality Co-Chairs: Geri Spieler and Carol Park 
Think Tank: Geri Spieler  
Parliamentarian: Alisha Willis
Member-at-Large: Bette Houtchens

Guidelines for Submitting Articles to This Newsletter  
  Want to see your article, ad or poem published here?
Submission deadline is the 23rd of the month. 

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 Ad, etc.
  • Use 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 to include, send it as a jpeg attachment to your email.  
       Send your submissions via email to:  
CWC SF Peninsula   |    Email    |    Website