October 2020
Redwood Writers extends our sincerest wishes for peace, health, and safety to all of you during the current fire emergency. Please stay safe!
Our next board meeting is on Tuesday, October 13, 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.
Saturday, October 17
1 - 2:30 p.m.
via ZOOM*
Cost is $5 for members and $10 for guests.
Fade Out: The End of the Free Press in America
Derek Moore
Join Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Derek Moore in a conversation about the revolution in how Americans get their news, what this means for the future of our democracy and challenges reporting factual information in an era of hyper-partisanship and claims the news is rigged.

Derek Moore is a Napa-based freelance writer who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize along with staff of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (Sonoma County) for breaking news coverage of Northern California wildfires in 2017. As a daily news reporter, Moore covered numerous national and international events, including the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the Sept. 11 terror attacks and the 2014 South Napa Earthquake. Moore has written extensively about local government, state politics, the environment and health, the latter with a particular emphasis on adolescent mental health. Moore has a journalism degree from Sacramento State University and as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar lived in South Africa, where he earned a Post-Graduate Diploma in African Studies from the University of Cape Town. Moore is president of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, which represents hundreds of journalists on the West Coast and in Hawaii. He and his wife, December, have two children and a cat.
October's General Meeting Agenda
  • Zoom meeting room opens at 12:45 p.m. for open conversation
  • Meeting starts at 1 p.m.
  • Featured speaker Derek Moore
  • Contest winners announced
  • 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
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 Robert Shafer.

Robert Shafer is the author of Mickey: The Giveaway Boy, grew up as a Chicago slum boy and abandoned child. He served 1960-1964 in the US Navy and worked thirty-five years as a film/video editor in San Francisco. His childhood experiences inspired much of his writing.

Robert Shafer recently passed away in August. We will miss his stories, but feel so fortunate to still hear them through his timeless writing. We hope you enjoy his wonderful poem.

With love,
Fran Claggett-Holland and Les Bernstein
by Robert Shafer
Race with the wind, 
and uninhibited. 

Dazzle with your speed, 
charm with your beauty.
Nostrils flared with fire, 
thick mane flows free. 

Tail proudly held aloft, 
four hooves defy gravity. 

I’m entranced 
and bedeviled, 
by your indomitable 

I’m impressed by 
and in fear, 
of your great strength. 

You radiate warmth 
all around, 
yet you shiver 
at an admirer’s touch. 

Suppress your 
inborn instinct, 
to recklessly flee 
from everything. 
You find it difficult
to rely on humans,
but there is no wild herd
to escape to.

A harsh hand releases
your flood of fear,
a soft touch
soothes you horse.

usually doesn’t work,
with hyenas,
or wasps,
but lightness
will bring
a happy response,
from the equine
every time.

Earning your trust
is my goal,
seeing you at peace
is my reward.

Bonding with
your wildness,
my most fervent
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!

Submissions are now open for Beyond Distance, the 2021 poetry anthology. Members are invited to submit up to five poems in one document by 9 p.m., November 15 for consideration. We are not prescribing subjects for your poetry. Our hope is that this cover painting by artist Christine MacDonald and the title of anthology will help inspire poetry about moving from silence to word. All subjects will be acceptable. We will appreciate a diversity of responses. Click the button below for more information on guidelines and how to submit.
Submission Deadline: NOVEMBER 15, 2020 at 9 p.m.
Co-Editors of Beyond Distance, 2021 Poetry Anthology
Fran Claggett-Holland - After a career of high school and university teaching, Fran traveled widely as an educational consultant, writing books for teachers and students along the way. After moving to Sonoma County, she taught memoir and poetry for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Sonoma State University. She recently published her fourth book of poems. Fran currently hosts two poetry groups in her home and has edited or co-edited four poetry anthologies for Redwood Writers.
Les Bernstein’s poetry had been published in journals, presses and anthologies in the U.S. and internationally. Her chapbooks Borderland, Naked Little Creatures  and Amid the Din are published by Finishing Line Press. She won the 2014 Nazim Hikmet award and is a 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee. Les has served as editor for three prior RW anthologies. Les lives in Mill Valley with her very large family.
Forrest Gander
Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet
"Twice Alive: Lichen and Language"
Online via Zoom Sunday, November 8
Please note: This event will be on the 2nd Sunday of November. Look for invites to this event in mid-October. Seating is limited and we expect a large interest in this event, so be sure to RSVP early to save your spot.

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. Because of the pandemic, we will be holding this event online, but the exciting news is that it will be held on TWO dates instead of just one.

Mark your calendars for DEC. 19, 1 p.m. and FEB. 20, 1 p.m., both 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. Please sign up for only one of the dates, either December or February. 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

Theme: “A Harvest of Stories!”

Join us Saturday, October 24, 1-2:30 p.m. via Zoom.

We are inviting fifteen Redwood Writers members to read from their works in progress or published pieces. Listeners are also welcome. RSVP early to reserve your spot.

If you’ve ever wondered what your fellow RW are writing, this is the place to find out! 
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 October Spotlight.
"My goal is to try and capture the essence of a thing or feeling through my writing; occasionally I find a dash of humor creeps in."

Robin Gabbert is a lawyer who, for years, yearned to escape the world of legal writing and return to her roots as a Creative Writing Major, particularly to writing poetry. Her poems have been published in Redwood Writers’ 2020 Poetry Anthology, And Yet… and  accepted by the California Writers Club for publication in their 2020 Literary Review. Her first book, Diary of a Mad Poet, will be published this fall. 
"My aspiration is to be an older Holden Caulfield, and write like J.D. Salinger."

Bo Kearns is a journalist and writer of fiction. Several of his short stories have won awards and been published. His novel Ashes in a Coconut received the 2020 Finalist Eric Hoffer Book Award and the 2020 Finalist Next Generation Award- First Novel and Suspense categories. Bo is a UC Naturalist, beekeeper, active hiker and supporter of conservation causes. He lives in Sonoma with his wife and rescue dog, Jake. 
"I love experiencing the magic of the muse and watching stories unfold on the page."

Cristina Goulart writes in several genres including contemporary fiction and poetry. Three of her short stories have been performed on-stage and three have placed in Redwood Writer’s contests. Her work has appeared in Redwood Writers anthologies and in community papers including the Windsor Times. Her short story “At the Cliff’s Edge” will appear in the forthcoming CWC literary review. Cristina lives in Santa Rosa where she is (still) working on her first novel. 
"If I could pack only two things for a journey to the afterlife, I believe they would be a pen and a little notebook."

Mark Meierding has lived in Sonoma County for forty years. He enjoys writing both poetry and fiction and is a member of Redwood Writers and the Marin Poetry Center. He has completed one novel for middle graders: The Seven Diamonds of Sawalon. His most unusual work to date is a sing-along oratorio for people who don't read music, based on Bret Harte's short story The Luck of Roaring Camp.
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.
Look for Fran's poem in the New York Times!

Fran Claggett-Holland is being published in the magazine section of the Sunday NY Times on October 4th. This is such an honor and so richly deserved. The poem that will appear is On Taking the Measure of Your Work.  This is especially noteworthy as Fran turns 93 in October, a model for all of us to never stop creating.
News from Nicole R. Zimmerman

My flash memoir "Hope Against Hope" appears in the Sunset Sunrise anthology. "Politeness Will Not Protect You" was a recent essay contest finalist, published at Hypertext Review. “Fallen,” a New Millennium Writing Awards finalist, is published online at The Rumpus: Voices on Addiction. “Case Management” will soon appear in Sonora Reviews special online issue on gender-based violence. “The Nature of Beginnings” is forthcoming at Under the Gum Tree.

Competition for North Bay Poets

Napa Valley Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club, and the Rail Arts District (RAD) announce an opportunity for poets. If you live in Napa, Sonoma, or Solano counties, you may enter. We seek poems relating to the theme of “Passages.” Up to five finalists will each receive a $500 honorarium. Poets will work with RAD and graphic artists to create a word-centered mural on a large building adjacent to the Wine Train tracks and Vine Trail pedestrian pathway in Napa. Our esteemed jury includes Leonore Wilson, Iris Dunkle, Juanita Martin, Ernesto Garay, and Michael Waterson.

Deadline to submit is October 15.

See details at

The statewide California Writers Club has an excellent publication that is produced three times a year: It's the CWC newsletter called The Bulletin.

Actually, this high quality document is, surprisingly, produced by just one person: Editor in-Chief Rusty LaGrange. Readers who inquire are sometimes amazed that she has no “staff” and does this all by herself.

The CWC is appealing to our statewide membership for a volunteer to help in the production of this Bulletin. Here is what that person would do:

  • Branch submissions of Bulletin articles and photos would be sent to this volunteer.
  • The volunteer would acknowledge receipt of these submissions.
  • The volunteer would accumulate all the articles in a folder for Rusty.
  • The volunteer would track what branches have submitted news, and report that status to Bob Isbill.
  • On a pre-appointed date, the volunteer would transfer the files to Rusty.
  • Follow-up conversations between the volunteer and Editor Rusty would occur.

Total time is estimated to be four to eight hours per edition, which is three times per year. Anyone willing and able to help us in this position should contact Bob Isbill at with CWC Job Volunteer in the subject line or, if you have any questions, you can phone him at (760) 221-6367.
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!
Brittany Sweeting is a California and New York based artist and writer, soon to be author of her first book. She has a professional history in the wine and culinary industries on both coasts and has shifted to writing professionally. Her genre of writing is both poetry and fiction thriller.
Corlene Van Sluizer is a family woman, a grandmother, an artist, a poet, a journal keeper, a world traveler, a lover of the global family.  Corlene self published her poetry book “Resurgence.” Each poem is illustrated with her art.  She has been published in a variety of journals: The latest publication is in “The Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices.” She is presently working on her memoir.  
A freelance writer for twenty-five years, Liz Abess engages in multiple writing genres. Reporting for the River Valley Times led to writing copy for businesses. Liz then founded Reminisce Life Stories in 2012 to write other people’s stories, which led to writing community stories for Sacramento Magazine. She’s currently pursuing her MFA for creative writing nonfiction at Sierra Nevada University and writing her memoir about losing her older brother to addiction and overdose.
We are sad to share that Harry Reid, former Redwood Writers member, talented writer, and beloved husband to past president Linda Loveland Reid, has passed away.

Linda says, “Harry was my best friend for 40 years.” 

Harry Reid, a force for joy, creativeness and love, went from this world on Aug 29, 2020, at home and surrounded by family. Harry filled his life with adventures. He was a design architect and MIT grad who studied with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin. 

He collected a Master’s degree from SSU where his thesis, American Ethos in 19th Century Alaskaa study of cross-currents in American and Tlingit cultures, can be found at Princeton and other major university libraries.

Almost a dozen of his plays and an opera were performed in the Bay Area. While a member of Redwood Writers, Harry published over 7 novels and a memoir, almost one a year. 

When asked in an interview, how he kept his fingers on the keys, Harry said, “We’re all blessed with creative skills. Writing is my strongest skill. As to passion, it is about a delight with human innocence. At the age of eighty-eight, one is reminded of human mortality; a sense of deadline sits upon the horizon. Our natures are teased by immortality. Maybe, in a century or two, a hominid will come across something I’ve written and show it to other hominids as an example of its curious 21st century mental activity.”
Harry was born in Bristol, CT in 1926.

I'm honored to have been the editor of this year's anthology, Sunset Sunrise: A Collection of Endings & Beginnings, which has been an absolute labor of love. Throughout the year, I worked with some truly magnificent writers and editors.

I chose this year's theme because I appreciate the cycle of beginnings and endings, how each makes room for the other. The fact that this landed in 2020, the year of the pandemic, when life as we knew was put on pause, has only made this anthology even more meaningful. Yes, there are hardships as some things have come to an end. But there have also been some beginnings: a chance to slow down, to discover new things, to value the things that matter, and to let go of the things weighing us down. 

After many, many, many months of working on this anthology, it feels good to hold the finished product in my hands. I feel so grateful and fortunate I was invited to be a part of something this wonderful. I think you'll agree, the 2020 Redwood Writers anthology is a wonderful representation of the writing talent within our club.

Click the link below to purchase your copy through Amazon.

Crissi Langwell
Anthology Editor

P.S. If you have purchased Sunset Sunrise, please take a moment to leave a review on Amazon. As writers, we all know the power of reviews, and this is no exception! Thank you!
Redwood Writers is successful because of our members, and especially those who volunteer their time and money to support our club’s many offerings. We would like to recognize and thank those members who made financial contributions during our annual membership renewal drive.
Cynthia Axell
Heather Chavez
Barbara Cottrell
Malena Eljumaily
Janis Flores
Pamela Heck
Janet Henker
Debra Koehler
Crissi Langwell
Shawn Langwell
Marilyn Lanier
Roger Lubeck
Robert Markowitz
J. Curtis Moran
Renelaine Pfister
Linda L. Reid
Dorothy Rice
Luis Salvago-Toledo
Jeane Slone
Peter Stafford
Linda Stamps
Kathleen Taylor
Waights Taylor
If you would like to have your name added to our list of donors, please click the button below.

RWC Board of Directors
We are so fortunate in Redwood Writers to have so many interesting and inspiring presenters at our virtual meetings, as well as the other virtual events we have throughout the month that allow us to convene with other writers.

But why stop there?

This pandemic may have changed the way we can socialize and meet with others, but it's also presented a fabulous opportunity to attend events we normally wouldn't be able to attend because of the distance. Now it's easy to attend a meeting in Napa, Berkeley, Mt. Diablo, and more, all from the comfort of your own home. I've been taking advantage of this unique time to attend a few of Napa's meetings, and I plan to check out a few other branch meetings and events, as well.

Above, I shared about the CWC NorCal events calendar, which provides easy access to all of the CWC events happening around our region. Here are just some examples of upcoming events from other clubs:

  • Napa Valley Writers, Wed. Oct. 14, 7 p.m.: Award winning journalist and author Scott James on "Digging Deep Can Bring Pages to Life"
  • Tri-Valley Writers, Sat. Oct. 17, 2 p.m.: Website designer Pauline Wiles on "Websites that Wow Readers…How to Create or Update Your Online Home"
  • Central Coast, Sat. Oct. 24, 9:30 a.m.: Marcia Rosen on "About Being an Author"
  • And more!

Find the CWC NorCal calendar at

And, of course, don't miss everything Redwood Writers has to offer, which is all in this month's newsletter! In case you missed it, here are some of the events and information we shared:

  • Derek Moore, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, will present "Fade Out: The End of the Free Press in America" at our October meeting
  • Author Launch dates were announced, and authors can now reserve their spot
  • Redwood Writers Salon is this month, and you're invited to read your writing
  • Forrest Gander, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning poetry book, Be With, will be our November speaker - RSVP early!
  • The 2020 Anthology Sunset Sunrise is now published!
  • The 2021 Poetry Anthology Out of Silence is now accepting submissions
  • Member spotlight
  • New members

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.

Happy writing!

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.