President's Message

Dear San Francisco Peninsula CWC,

By the time you read this, a great event will have come and gone! No, it's not the first debate, but the NorCal CWC Leadership Conference. Held on the 1 st of October, nine of your own board members will have spent the day FOR YOUR BENEFIT! We will have gathered with board members of other CWC branches across the region--twelve branches in all and seventy voices. We will have tackled some of the problems which plague many of our branches, such as bringing in younger members, reaching out to more volunteers, figuring out some logistics of membership and the web, and finding out how best to reach you, our fellow members, to help meet your goals. 

You can expect to find a survey coming out soon because we want to know what you think, how you feel about what is happening at CWC, if your needs and genre are getting the attention you were hoping for, and if the very reason you joined is continuing to meet your needs. Stay tuned!!

If you haven't taken the time to check out our new website, we are making some real headway. It has taken an enormous amount of volunteer time and effort, so please let our volunteers know you've noticed, especially our web manager Pratibha Kelapure and Bill Baynes. Bill, also our publicity chair, is doggedly pursuing opportunities to show the face of CWC in our community and beyond. Bette Houtchens, your membership chair, is still completing the membership rolls and reaching out to those who have not renewed. This is a time-consuming effort, which at this time of the year takes more than just time and effort--it takes patience. Let her know you appreciate her efforts.

Our new Vice President, Audrey Kalman, is the new person in charge of speakers. She has gained good strides in following in the footsteps of Darlene Frank. Darlene now donates her time to editing content in our monthly newsletter. Maurine Killough, our newsletter editor, puts out this dynamite newsletter every month and is bringing us into a new world of stories and sharing of member news throughout the region. Bardi Rosman Koodrin just negotiated a new contract with the San Mateo County Fair (with input from our State CWC Board) to bring more publicity and attention to the Literary Stage.

Lisa Meltzer Penn is absolutely our all-star secretary...who takes the most efficient and meticulous of notes. Time-consuming? Yes! But she is continuing as secretary for her fourth (?) year. Ann Foster continues to sound the "alarm" of upcoming meetings and CWC happenings via email.

Michele Jessen, our hospitality chair extraordinaire, gives more than just putting out a great brunch at our meetings. She gives tirelessly to promoting the Club and encourages writers in her own writers' group. Dildar Pisani is back on the job as Treasurer this year. She is due for back surgery soon, but is working behind the scenes even if we're not seeing her in person. 

So, these are just a few of the people who are working for you! And most of these folks have families, jobs, and writing lives beyond CWC. Please give these folks your thanks. Or, better yet, if you would like to volunteer, we are always open to new voices, new faces, and new ideas. We are creative people, but we always need new inspiration.

Hope you are enjoying the new venue at the Sequoia Yacht Club. I received so many positive comments and compliments after last month's meeting. And Sequoia Yacht Club loves hosting us as well. A win-win, for sure!  

--Carole Bumpus, SF Peninsula Branch President

October 15 Program
The Purpose of Writing
with  Kendra Lubalin 

What are the drives that underlie your writing, and how can you tap into them for motivation and inspiration? This interactive and experiential session uses principles of co-active coaching to connect you deeply to the purpose of your writing, and shows you ways to use that connection to energize your work. You'll leave with clear next steps toward accessing your strongest writing more easily and consistently.

Kendra Lubalin is a coach, a teacher, a writer, and a mother of two. As a coach, she can empower you to live the life you want to be living. To learn about her coaching style, or read her coaching blog, please visit As a writer, she's recently completed a middle grade book about an autistic boy and a magical gnome who turns his world upside down, and is currently working on a series of creative nonfiction essays about childhood, for adults. Follow her on Twitter @kendralubalin to read her work.

October 15, 2016
10 a.m.
California Writers Club
Sequoia Yacht Club
441 Seaport Court
Redwood City
FREE to first-timers. $10 members. $13 non-members.
$10 students with ID.
Register in advance at

September Program Recap
by Audrey Kalman

"The dead depend on the living."
"When the house burns down, save the nails."
"Unself yourself."

These were a few of the ancient Middle Eastern proverbs shared by Steven Nightingale in his presentation, "Making a Life with Language: Joy, Mania, and Commitment," on Saturday, September 17 to the SF Peninsula Branch of the CWC. He wove them into a lively exchange about writing, poetry, love, Emily Dickinson, and sonnets. Steven has written hundreds of sonnets in his life and talked about his practice of writing a sonnet a day.

And he offered some great plot advice in the form of a story about a lemonade stand: Two girls are selling lemonade on a viciously hot day. Their sign reads: "First glass free. Second glass $10." A man claims his free glass, which he drinks thankfully. He's heading off when the first girl asks if he's going to get his second glass.

"Why should I do that? I just got a fantastic glass of lemonade for free."

"Because," the second girl says, "the second one's got the antidote."

If you missed Steven and want to hear him read from his just-published book, The Hot Climate of Promises and Grace, he will be at Books Inc., in Palo Alto at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 20. You can find out more about him at his website

CWC SF Peninsula Calendar
October 15 
Kendra Lubalin on  Discover Why You Write: The Purpose of Writing
Sequoia Yacht Club
October 19 - Open Mic 
7:30 p.m.  Reach & Teach
on 25th Avenue, San Mateo. FREE

Upcoming Meetings
November 19
LeeAnne Krusemark
Creating an Effective Marketing Strategy for Your Book 
SAVE THE DATE! January 21, 2017 
Joel Friedlander presents: Kickstart Your Year by Getting Publishled: Author Platform, Branding and Monetization
SF Peninsula Branch now meets at:
441 Seaport Court
Redwood City 
$10 members. $13 non-members.
$10 students with ID.

Think Tank after the October 15 Meeting

The first Think Tank meeting in September was well attended! Join us for the next Think Tank after the October meeting.

Have any ideas you would like addressed, such as character development, scenes, plot, point of view, or anything you'd like to talk about? Please email Geri Spieler at

San Mateo Critique Group

2nd and 4th Friday each month, 10:30 to noon
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.

Non-SF Peninsula Branch Events
October 20  
A reading by Steven Nightingale (he was our September speaker) 
Books Inc. in Palo Alto, 7 p.m. Click here for info.

A New Critique Website!

The CWC San Fernando Valley announces, a FREE website for you to preview your writings and receive critiques. You can submit a poem, a short story, or a chapter from your book!
You will receive critiques from readers around the world! You may even include your publisher's or agent's email address for readers to order your book. A bio, including a photo if you choose, is available for you to be listed under Writers. 
Don't be surprised if a producer or director contacts you! 
An Interview with Our Monthly Open-mic Host, Reach and Teach

Each month (third Wednesday to be exact) a handful of writers assemble for an entertaining evening of readings. We meet at a wonderfully creative place called Reach and Teach founded by Craig Wiesner and Derrick Kikuchi. Reach and Teach is a learning company dedicated to transforming the world through teachable moments. It's located on 25th Avenue in San Mateo. Maurine Killough interviewed the owners. 
What inspired you to embark on this enterprise?
After years working in the tech industry, while also pursuing peacemaking and social justice in our volunteer lives, we became part of a peacemaking delegation to Afghanistan in the wake of September 11th. After speaking at a Palo Alto High School about Afghanistan in 2003, a student approached us and said, "I don't know what you two do for a living, but you should be doing this, teaching people about peacemaking." So we closed our tech educational consulting company and launched Reach and Teach in 2004. We started online, opened our first brick and mortar seven years ago, and moved to our shop on 25th Avenue three years ago. 
What keeps you going? 
We can see that what we do makes a difference in people's lives locally and around the world. When folks enter our shop they can immediately feel a change in themselves, taking even a ten-minute break from the stressful world outside. And, since every product in our shop has a story behind it, about how it somehow promotes a better world, customers feel like they are making a difference in the world just by shopping with us. We love it when someone stops by and tells us how a book we suggested changed his or her life. That keeps us going!
Tell us an interesting story about a vendor.
We sell crafts from Guatemala made by women in communities where poverty and hunger used to rule the day. Now, these women earn living wages managing their own cooperatives and are also able to send their children to school, which is the surest way to break the cycle of poverty. 
What was trending when you first started?
The death of independent/specialty bookstores was the trend seven years ago. Borders, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, through both the breadth of their offerings and their price-slashing, made it nearly impossible to compete. 
What is trending now?
Independent/specialty bookstores are bouncing back, with people realizing that there is a joy to discovering new books through browsing, and knowing that a shop like ours can get a customer virtually any book in print within two days, just as fast as Amazon, yet allowing customers to support a local business. 
NOTE: Reach and Teach is a one-stop shop for books, toys, games, and fair-trade gifts from around the corner and around the world, that make the planet more peaceful and sustainable. Thank you to Derrick and Craig for opening their doors and staying late each month to host our open mic. This store is filled with so many unique gifts and fascinating books! If you haven't stopped in, you will be so glad when you do! With the holidays coming up, we at CWC hope you will all stop in and patronize this independently run book store/learning company.
Reach and Teach features several books by CWC members and other local writers, plus a great selection of other interesting, hand-selected books. They have unique gifts, jewelry, and educational gifts for children. Check them out here.
Member News
Carole Bumpus will present on the final night at LitQuake on Saturday, October 15 at 6 p.m. 
Undaunted Lovers, a novel by Dr. Jac Fitzen, came out on Amazon on September 13. 

Romuald Dzemo, a reviewer with Manhattan Book Reviews, interviews rogue writer James Hanna on his personal blog. Click here for interview.  
Check out Martha Alderson's ezine! 

Submission Opportunities

CWC Members - Click here for Fault Zone submission guidelines 
Non-CWC Members - Click here for Fault Zone submission guidelines
To submit for either, use the Submittable link.

CWC Literary Review 2017 deadline: November 30, 2016. Click here for guidelines .  

Deadline: October 1, 2016. Fiction or nonfiction.

Writers Digest:
Poetry Awards. Deadline: October 3, 2016.
Popular Fiction Awards. Deadline: October 14, 2016.
Short Short Story Competition. Deadline: November 15, 2016.

Chicken Soup for the Soul. You will be paid $200 ($100 for devotionals) and receive ten free copies of the book your story or poem appears in. Several categories of books are open, with deadlines between October 30, 2016 to January 31, 2017. These are just two of the categories currently seeking submission:
Stories about Cats. January 31, 2017.

Twentieth Annual ZoetropeStories About Dogs. January 31, 2017. All-Story Short Fiction Contest. Deadline: October 3, 2016.  
38th Annual Nimrod Literary Awards is accepting submissions January 1 to April 30, 2017: The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. Nimrod Submissions

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts November 1.

Nimrod biannual literary journal. Deadline: November 5, 2016.
Nimrod International Journal is seeking poetry, short stories, and creative nonfiction pieces that explore ideas of home--both leaving home and finding home--for their  Spring/Summer 2017 issue,  Leaving Home, Finding Home. Click here to submit.

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