October 2021
Our next board meeting is on Tuesday, October 12, 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.

  • President's Message
  • Upcoming Events
  • Membership Renewal
  • September General Meeting
  • Homegrown Poetry
  • 2021 Poetry Anthology
  • Writing Exercise
  • Redwood Writers Circle
  • Author Support Group
  • Member News & Events
  • New Members
  • Editor's Note

Mark your calendars for this month's upcoming events! Keep reading the newsletter for more details about each event.

Oct. 12: Board Meeting

Oct. 16: Author Support Group

Oct. 16: General Meeting with RW Panel

Oct. 23: Salon
NOTE: If you are reading this newsletter through your email, it may be clipped at the end. If you don't reach the editor's note, be sure to click "view entire message" at the bottom of this newsletter.
Saturday, October 16
1 - 2:30 p.m.
at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa
and also online
Cost is $5 for members and $10 for guests.
Masks are required by all, regardless of vaccination status to attend this meeting, per CDC.
A Tour of Redwood Writers Groups & Offerings
A Panel of RW Leaders
Are you new to Redwood Writers and curious about what our club offers its members? Or are you a member and could use a refresh about the benefits of being a part of Redwood Writers? This next meeting is for you! Our branch's leaders and volunteer chairpeople will be walking you through the various groups and offerings our club has for members only.

Included in our program:

  • Linda Reid, Writer's Circle & RW Poetry Anthology 
  • Robin Gabbert, Salon
  • Deborah Taylor-French, Author Support Group
  • Marie Judson, Critique Groups
  • Shawn & Crissi Langwell, RW Anthology
  • Jeane Slone, Author's Launch & Sonoma County Fair booth 
  • Writing Contests
  • Shawn Langwell, Biennial Conference

Are you ready to find out how to use your membership to the fullest? Be sure to attend our next meeting! We hope everyone will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to hear from the RW members who lead these writerly opportunities, and to ask questions.
October's General Meeting Agenda
  • Finley Center opens at noon for Author Support or mingling
  • Zoom meeting room opens at 12:45 p.m. for open conversation
  • Meeting starts at 1 p.m.
  • Featured topic: Redwood Writers panel
  • Chair announcements
  • Member announcements
  • Adjourn at 2:30 p.m.

Please submit poems to: Submission guidelines: single-spaced, Times or Times New Roman, 12 point font, no all caps, please. Poems are reviewed by a team of poets. We will acknowledge receipt of your work, and let you know if your poem is going to be included, or if we are requesting minor edits prior to inclusion.
Margaret Barkley is a teacher, poet, and curious observer. Her poetry has been published in the Redwood Writers poetry anthologies Beyond Distance, And Yet, and Crow, in which she was an Award of Merit poet. Her work has also been performed by Off the Page Readers Theater. She lives in Sebastopol, California with her husband and has a vibrant extended family of adult children and grandkids. She is from Wyoming and has roots there that go back several generations. Her first book of poetry, Ribs, is being published by Finishing Line Press in September.
By Margaret Barkley

Flying down the road to town
my mind already there,
I slow suddenly,
shocked into the present
by a perfect set of ribs
jutting up in the middle of my lane
gleaming wet and red in the morning sun
with the tan fur of the body
splayed out flat beneath.
A young deer,
must have been hit in the night.
Already picked by vultures,
this red cage so exposed
I can’t turn away
and in that sunlit vision
of small bones
I feel my own ribs picked clean,
my own heart beating
inside its cage
as wet and red as this –
bones arrayed as fingers
of two skeletal hands cupped
to hold precious the center muscle
so loyal to me,
driving blood a thousand miles
through my body.
In one drive-by moment
I am the same as any bony mammal,
the same as you –
fragile and moist,
flesh and blood and breath
held by bone
held by some grace we cannot see
held by time given
till bone exposed again.
In 2003 the California Legislature Assembly Resolved to “recognize the third week in October as California Writers Week, and encourage the people of the State of California to reflect upon the contributions that California writers have made to humankind.” This resolution was created by the California Writers Club.
In an effort to promote our local Redwood Writers and to celebrate California Writers Week (October 18-24). We will be posting on our Facebook page and our YouTube channel members’ book trailers, brief recorded readings, and other book and author promotions submitted by our members.
If you have had a book published in 2020-2021 we would like to promote it on our Facebook page during California Writers Week. Create a one-page marketing sheet (advertisement) and send us a JPEG. On the sheet, include your name and a photo, brief bio (50 words), and a picture of your book, and how to purchase.
If you have a professional flyer promoting you as an author. Format your flyer into a JPEG (a picture), and we will post it on our Facebook Page. 
If you have a book trailer or professional video promoting a new book or your writing, one that is already online (for example on your Website, Blog, or YouTube, you can send us a link.
If you want to make a book trailer or record a poem or story excerpt (reading) we recommend watching several how to videos on YouTube and watching professional trailers for books in the same genre. Find a trailer you like and copy that style.

Here are a few resources:
Your video should be simple, clear, complete, and short. Most trailers are 30-60 seconds. Readings are less than three minutes. A good trailer has music. If you use music make sure it is copyright free music and will pass a YouTube review. You can submit a MPEG 4 of your movie or a link.
Send your JPEG, MPEG4, and Links to Roger Lubeck at No PDF or raw material. Author submissions are due by October 11.
A huge congratulations to our contest winners for their "Terrible Mistake" stories!

First place went to Jean Wong, an award-winning author writing fiction, memoir, poetry, and plays. Her work has been produced at Sixth Street Playhouse, Petaluma Reader's Theater, and Off the Page. She is the author of Sleeping with the Gods, and Hurtling Jade and Other Tales of Folly.
Second place went to John J. Lesjack. A long-time member of Redwood Writers, John said, "I benefit more from the writer's club's circles and salons than I do my therapist." With 12 sales to Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, his aim is currently toward a Pulitzer Prize.

Third place went to Foy W. Minson, who has published five novels as e-books and paperbacks, all on Amazon Kindle. They include Refuge Earth, Raven, and Wolfehaven, all in the Refuge Omnibus SF series, plus And Crawling Things Lurk, SF/horror, and Mama Bear, a thriller. Also, What If, as a short collection of short stories.
Of course, we couldn't have done it without our wonderful judges, Sandy Baker and Kymberlie Ingalls, and to our contest chair, Tina Riddle Deason. Thank you!
On this night of spooks and gnomes
Of swooning leaves and cringing crones
Of legends told from ear to ear
Of shrieking cats that grin and sneer….
~from Denise M. Cocchiaro’s Halloween Chills
When: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23rd, FROM 1-3 p.m.
Where: Robin’s House Outside at Park Area at Gazebo Weather Permitting (or Zoom as a backup)
Attendees should be vaccinated.
October is traditionally our Halloween, Fall, Scary Story Salon. So, if you’re in the spirit, come and bring a weird or wistful tale of autumn or woe! Other tales welcome as well. Robin will provide drinks, an appetizer and a dessert. Feel free to bring an additional contribution if you like.
First 12 to register read, 5-minute limit per reader. We also welcome listeners.
Salon is a good place to practice your reading skills, try out the sound of a new piece, or just enjoy the company and talents of your fellow writers.
Oct. 16, noon - 1 p.m.
(via Zoom before the general meeting)

Please join us online via Zoom on Oct. 16 at noon to chat about writing, listen to the challenges of others, and share resources. All levels of writers can benefit from participating. Published authors enjoy this group as well as beginning writers. This is a forum where you pick the topics and questions to be discussed. Discuss the challenges of writing fiction, memoir, or nonfiction. Find new ways to handle rejection, writers' block, or to start a critique group.
The Author Support Group's purposes are to help those who want assistance getting unstuck, want new resources, or need guidance in choosing options. 

Be sure to register in advance to receive the link to this free online gathering.
Over the next several months, we will feature the books of recently published Redwood Writers. We encourage you to read and review your fellow members' books! If your book was published in 2021 and you would like your book to be featured, send a 100-word (or less) synopsis and a JPG file of the front cover of your book to
Revenge of Nature, by Karl Kadie
The poems in Karl Kadie’s Revenge Of Nature address climate change and the destruction of the planet. Mother Nature is angry about human incursion and she’s fighting back. These poems are personal stories that show how people, animals, and other life forms cope with Nature’s forceful response. Sharing our physical, emotional, and spiritual experiences, as we do in these poems, takes a first step toward rescuing humanity and making common cause with the earth.
In July of 2021, Revenge of Nature was published as a paperback and an eBook and is available on Amazon.
Murder Chronicles, by John Omaha

John Omaha, Ph.D., MFT lives in Northern California. His writing examines the effect of early childhood experience and how it affects adult behavior. Omaha has been a practicing shaman for 30 years and regularly conducts sweat lodges in the Great Mystery Lodge of Humanity Rising. His ceremonies, like his book, emphasize a deep spiritual connection with the natural world, both animate and inanimate. Murder Chronicles is a story of brutal murder, transformation, and redemption. Omaha's novel examines human motivations for killing, whether in warfare, in relationships, or against the environment. Using a fast-paced style Omaha brings together psychology, politics, podcasting, and Native American spirituality to tell Peter Dewar's story, which is a metaphor for America's contemporary existential situation.
In the Language of Lost Light, by Patricia Nelson

In the Language of Lost Light features poems about metaphysical light and shadow: how light can inspire and also deceive.  The book highlights characters in the Arthurian legends, Greek myths, and fairy tales. It is available from Poetic Matrix Press.
If you have news to share about your writing, an award, an appearance, or other writing-related news, send a 100-word or less announcement to Photos encouraged. Deadline for consideration in next month’s newsletter is the 15th of this month.
Evening of Poetry

October 21, 2021 "CONNECTIONS” @ Sebastopol Center for the Arts.
5 local poets bring you an Evening of Poetry: Sandra Anfang, Kirsten Avilla, Ernie Carpenter, Hilary Moore, Larry Robinson. Music by John Christian. Donations @ the door. Net proceeds to benefit CA. Poets in the Schools. Attendees must be vaccinated; check website for mask requirements:
Nancy Martin's book a "Reader's Pick"

My memoir From the Summer of Love to the Valley of the Moon has been chosen as a "Readers Pick" in this month’s Reading Nation

I also gave a zoom author interview on September 14 to support Reading Nation and the Pulpwood Queens bookclub. You can view it on YouTube at

In addition, I gave a zoom author interview on in the UK n Sept. 25.  
Writers Forum hosts four Saturday afternoons of writing with prompts.
October 2, 9, 16, 23. 1 pm to 3 pm.
Part I: We’ll use prompts to inspire our writing.
Part II: Participants are welcome to read their freewrite.
This is for fun. No pressure.
Registration is required for this free Zoom event.
How to freewrite:
Marlene Cullen will lead these freewriting sessions.
Deborah Taylor-French
Deborah Taylor-French's Poem Wins Award

I won second place in a poetry contest for the Petaluma History Museum's upcoming exhibit Black and White in Black and White: Images of Dignity, Hope, and Diversity in America.

I selected A Young Woman with a Small Book photograph to write an ekphrastic poem.

The opening event happens on Zoom, Friday, Oct 1st at 7 p.m.

Here's a clickable link to the reading:

Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 874 3253 6427
Passcode: 695953
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.
Marie Judson keeps an ongoing list of RW members interested in joining or creating a writing group. If you would like to find a critique group, or add more members to an existing group, send your genre(s) and contact information to You'll receive an email with the subject line, "Writers seeking writing groups." You can then either reply to all or select specific writers to contact. This has been an ongoing free service for Redwood Writers members for nine years.
October 2-3. Virtual Writing for Health and Healing Retreat. This free, two-day virtual writing retreat will explore how to connect while writing across distances, languages, and experiences. Poet and essayist Dean Rader will deliver the keynote lecture on the Poetics of Repair and Ashley McMullen will present audio narratives from the podcast series Black Voices in Healthcare. Dominican’s MFA students and faculty will present writing workshops. Chan E. Park and Wayne de Fremery will lead an interactive session on Korean Sijo. Registered nurses can apply to earn five continuing education units (CEU) for attending the retreat Register here

October 23, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Small, Bright Things: Exploring 100-Word Stories. Kim Culbertson will lead this virtual fiction workshop that will examine how participants can be mindful of story and approach creative ideas through this short form. Register here.

November 10, 6 – 8 p.m. Composition by Juxtaposition: A Poetry Workshop. Caroline Goodwin will lead this hands-on, virtual class in which participants will consider how differences in tones of voice, and associative leaps, can work together in poem-building. Participants will free-write, arrange and rearrange, and ultimately share poem drafts with the group if desired. Register here.
Redwood Writers are members of the California Writers Club (CWC). Redwood Writers is the largest of the 22 branches in the CWC. Becoming a members of the Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club is a simple as 1, 2, 3. 

  1. Go to the website:
  2. Complete the submission form.  Include references to any publications. 
  3. Pay the $65 new member fee.
Redwood Writers offers members the opportunity to:

  • Attend the monthly meeting (3rd Sat. 1-3 p.m. at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa)
  • Interact with other writers and sell books at the monthly meeting.
  • Learn from professional speakers at monthly meetings.
  • Publish fiction and memoir in the annual prose anthology.
  • Publish poetry in the annual poetry anthology.
  • Read their work at the club-sponsored Salon and Writers Circle. 
  • Present their work at local bookstores.
  • Sell their work at the Sonoma Country Fair.
  • Launch their new book at the Author Launch party. 
  • Attend workshops and conferences on the writing.
  • Win writing contests with cash prizes and special recognition for winners.
  • Advertise their expertise—graphic designer, editor, illustrator.
  • Receive club news from our award-winning website and monthly newsletter.
  • Submit stories, essays, and poetry to the Literary Review published by CWC.
  • Receive the annual Literary Review from the California Writers Club and receive a triannual CWC Bulletin with state-wide events from CWC branches.
Children's Authors Panel: Paths to Publication
with Natasha Yim, Mae Respicio, Innosanto Nagara, Mitali Perkins
at the Finley Center and on Zoom
I'm super excited about this month's general meeting topic, which will introduce the many benefits of being a member of Redwood Writers. In my first few years as a member, I was very shy about some of our club events, and it took a while before I experienced all of them. I think if I'd attended a roundtable discussion like the one we'll have on Oct. 16, I may have experienced many of our club events sooner. My hope for you is that you'll learn new ways to grow as a writer in our club through one or more of these many benefits.

Along with our general meeting, this month's events include the Salon (in person) and Author Support Group (online). You can also take a peek at some of our member's newly published books in this issue.

All this and more is in this month's newsletter. Scroll up for more information.

Happy reading, and happy writing!

Crissi Langwell
Redwood Writer Editor
Want to be a part of the newsletter? Here's the cheat sheet to the different sections of this newsletter and the word count requirements:

  • Writers Helping Writers - 300 words or less
  • Other Articles or In Memoriam - 300 words or less
  • Members News - 100 words or less
  • What We're Reading - 100 words or less
  • Homegrown Poetry - short poems work best

Please do your best to adhere to word count limits! Send your articles and news by the 15th of the month to the newsletter editor at Send your poems by the 10th of the month to the poetry editor at Submission guidelines may apply, read section for requirements.
If you're interested in advertising in the Redwood Writer newsletter, contact the editor at for submission requirements and guidelines.
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.