President's Message
November, 2018 

A Brimming Literary Scene
Our writing club brings in excellent speakers to meetings. We host workshops and author panels and conversations and classes and open mics and weekly writing sessions at coffee shops. We started forming new critique groups. Our Facebook page now features Flash Fiction Fridays. Check it out.

We also attend other readings and events. October was an extremely literary month, what with California Writers Week events in the local libraries, an amazing San Francisco Litquake schedule involving many hundreds of authors, and multiple readings and goings-on up and down the Peninsula and the entire Bay Area.
Several members published books, spoke at meetings and conferences, and won awards.

I hope you participated in as many as these events as you could. Reviewing my calendar, I see I attended at least 15 literary happenings in October! And there were many more I wanted to attend!

But, what is it all for? Hopefully, along with the entertainment and networking value, these events instruct, educate, give inspiration and new techniques, and just plain soak us in the creative juices of the Bay Area literary scene, of which we, as writers and members of the California Writers Club, are an important part.

And what's the best way to put all this juice to use? Write and submit!

And where can you do that? Well, funny you should ask. Right now the time is ripe to submit to two important publications that are exclusive opportunities for CWC members:
  1. Our San Francisco Peninsula Branch Fault Zone: Strike Slip anthology. The submission period is open until December 31, 2018. Don't delay! This will be the 8th installment in our series, and we are very proud of them all! We want your best work! Find Fault Zone Guidelines here
  2. Our statewide CWC Literary Review. Submissions are accepted until November 30. The Literary Review goes out to over 2,000 CWC members across the state. Maybe you will be a part of the next issue. They want your best work as well! Find Literary Review Guidelines here
Don't miss these opportunities to share your words, your stories and your creativity.
Happy writing!

Lisa Meltzer Penn
President,  CWC San Francisco Peninsula Branch
November 2018 Highlights:
  1. President's Message - Lisa Meltzer Penn
  2. November 17, 2018 Meeting - Self Publishing and the Future of Writing - Michael Grumley
  3. Think Tank: Bill Baynes - An Appreciation of Mary O!
  4. Fault Zone: Strike Slip Submissions 
  5. Flash Fiction Fridays, NaNoWriMo, Member Spotlight - Melanie Shook
  6. Member News - Dave Hirzel and Megan Clancy
  7. Literary Review: 2019 Submissions
  8. Volunteering at Litquake - Jeannine Gerkman
  9. Fault Zone Reading at San Mateo Library Saturday 11/10/18


Michael Grumley, Author

The world of writing is changing rapidly for both new and established authors. No longer bound by old rules or control of giant publishing houses, writers today have new and exciting options, thanks to technology such as Amazon's Kindle eReader. 

Writer Michael Grumley, who has used Amazon's platform to publish an impressive array of books, will look at what this new world means for aspiring writers. Learn the true ins and out of self-publishing, what to do and what not to do, and why going it alone can give you a much greater edge than you ever thought.

Michael lives in Northern California and works in the information technology field. For years, he dreamed of writing thrillers the way he thought they should be written-as complex, multi-genre stories with unique plots that move. Enter BREAKTHROUGH, AMID THE SHADOWS, and THROUGH THE FOG: all deeply human stories with endings you will never see coming. His website is

When: Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
Where: The Sequoia Yacht Club 441 Seaport Ct, Redwood City, CA 94063
Think Tank

November 17, 2018 Moderator: Bill Baynes Subject:  Mary O! An Appreciation

This month's Think Tank will focus on Mary Oliver, one of America's favorite poets. Bill Baynes will read some of her works and lead a discussion into how she crafts her beautiful, natural, spiritual themes. Bring a favorite Oliver poem to share.
MEETING WRAP-UP October, 2018

Do This, Not That!  Writers' Panel

October's meeting featured a panel of four authors moderated by Audrey Kalman: screenwriter Kellie Ann Benz, executive/leadership/team coach Pat Obuchowski, freelance writer Geri Spieler, and author Nancy Woody. In the spirit of writers helping writers and in honor of California Writers Week, they talked about a wide range of topics, including:
  • How writing fits with the other things they do 
  • Whether writers need to have day jobs
  • What advice they would give themselves if they could go back 10 years
  • What they wish they could do over in their writing careers
  • Why they chose the publishing route they did
  • The role of agents
  • Building a platform/brand for their writing
  • The differences between writing fiction and nonfiction
If you attended the meeting and would like to provide feedback, please  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).
Sunday, December 2, 2018 
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, November 7, 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, December 5, 2018
Open Mic 
Emcee: Carol Peyser 
 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Fault Zone Reading
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 17, 2018
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Speaker: Michael Grumley 
Topic: Self Publishing and the Future of Writing

Learn the true ins and out of self-publishing, what to do and what not to do, and why going it alone can give you a much greater edge than you ever thought.

Saturday, November 17, 2018
12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.
Think Tank:  Mary O! An Appreciation
Moderator: Bill Baynes

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

Local Author Day at Barnes & Noble

Saturday, December 8, 2018
9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Bill Baynes has coordinated with published CWC authors to read, interact with potential buyers, and have their books on display at the Hillsdale Shopping Center Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Writers Helping Writers
Moderator: Elise Miller
Genealogy - Writing Family History

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, December 19, 2018
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Writers Helping Writers
Moderator: Bill Baynes
 Let Technique Torque Your Poetry
Fault Zone:Strike Slip continues to accept submissions. 
  Submittable Link

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2018  7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Due to Thanksgiving, this month we will meet the 2nd Wednesday instead of the third Wednesday 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.
  Elise Miller 
Subject: Geneology - Writing Family History
Fault Zone: Strike Slip , Our Branch Literary Anthology
Flash Fiction Fridays, NaNoWriMo, and Member Spotlight CALWriterWeek

We're hosting " Flash Fiction Fridays" on our  Facebook page. Each Friday, we post a photo prompt and invite you to create a story of 500 words or less. Just share your story in the comments section so everyone can enjoy. We've had some great entries over the past few weeks and would love to see more. 

November is National Novel Writing Month. Participants write 50,000 words in one month. There's still time to join at The Peninsula Region hosts write-ins, silent writing sessions, and more. Find out more details on their Facebook page ( SF Peninsula NanoNovelists)  or   NaNoWriMo Region Web Page ( 

Member Spotlight: In the coming months we'll be highlighting our talented membership by focusing on a different member each month. Whether you're new to the group or a long-term member, we want to learn more about you. If you'd like to be featured, contact Melanie Shook ( 
Member NewsMemberNews

The  audiobook version of Dave Hirzel's recent book When Your Life Depends on It: Extreme Decision-making Lessons from the Antarctic, (co-written with Brad Borkan) has been nominated for a prestigious SOVAS award

Good Morning America called the Voice Arts Awards "The Oscars of voiceover acting." The annual event is sponsored by the nonprofit Society of Voice Arts & Sciences (SOVAS) will be held November 18 at the Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank, California.

The awards feature nearly 75 categories across multiple genres.   Their book is one of five nominees in the category "Audiobook Narration-History, Best Voiceover." 

The narrator, Dennis Kleinman, lets his love of the spoken word shine through in this audio production.  We are all in notable company in this category, which includes Cosmos by Carl Sagan and Lincoln's Last Trial by Dan Abrams and David Fisher.
Brad and Dave are happy to share the news of their nomination as widely as possible, through the CWC SF Peninsula newsletter and throughout the CWC.  It is one more example of a self-published book rising to national attention!

Megan Clancy's first novel, 
The Burden of a Daughter, will be released on November 1 from Sand Hill Review Press. "Set in contemporary rural Nepal, The Burden of a Daughter tells of a mother's journey through childhood after a tragic accident marked her as damaged. Future marital prospects are slim and so she is sent into an unfortunate marriage. 

Next, we follow her daughter into a life where her hopes and dreams are frequently discarded. When her father promises her away in marriage, the girl runs away from her small mountain village to Kathmandu where she is met with both trials and adventures that test her will to survive. Both women struggle to find their path in the traditional bonds of their world. The Burden of a Daughter not only explores the beauty and wonder of Nepal, but chronicles the reality of being a woman in such a society."



The California Writers Club is looking for great writing from our members for publication in the 2019 CWC Literary Review.

Submissions are now being accepted in four categories: fiction, poetry, memoir and essay. For guidelines and the required submission form, go to the CWC website, Deadline is November 30, so don't delay.

This year instead of the traditional Managing Editor, the Literary Review is chaired by four volunteers: Tish Davidson (Fremont Area Writers), Kimberly Edwards (Sacramento), June Gillam (San Joaquin Valley) and CWC President Joyce Krieg. The team points out that even though the publication has "literary" in its title, genre fiction is welcome, as are pieces that are humorous or deal with lighter themes and topics. The emphasis is simply on good writing that entertains, informs or inspires, regardless of style or subject matter.

The CWC Literary Review offers members the opportunity to showcase their work in a high quality, glossy print magazine that is sent through the U.S. mail to some 2,000 fellow CWC members. Publication of the next edition is slated for May or June of 2019.
Volunteering at Litquake

Well, I did it. I signed up to volunteer at Litquake 2018 and paid to attend some writer events. 

As some of you may know, I wrote a children's book "Spring" and am looking to find a major publisher for other books I've written. So I chose to volunteer at Kidquake (Litquake event for children), met loads of teachers and kids, actually had heart-to-heart conversations with local children's authors and came away with an agent's name, connections with an author with a promise to get together and compare notes, connections with local Litquake organizers, a lovely thank you email, and an invitation to come back next year and do it again!

Then I went to the paid events and listened to agents talk about how to get around gatekeepers; publishers talk about query letters, what pleases them and what annoys them; book sellers talk about the book business; and new authors talk about their journeys in "Instant Success, 10 years in the Making". It was enjoyable and informative and exhausting. I came away with a few cards, but our interactions were rushed. 

The difference? As a volunteer, I was up close and personal with the authors and organizers. In the slow moments, I could just chat one-on-one. I had the official Litquake sticker on my chest. I was a respected member of the team. As an attendee, I was one of at least 100 want-to-be authors in a large audience; waiting my turn to get a question answered; waiting in line to meet the agents, librarians, publisher representatives, book sellers and authors. Waiting for pearls of wisdom to drop. Just a face in the crowd.

The moral? Stand out and be noticed as a volunteer and make real connections, or blend in with the crowd.  Volunteering was fun (and didn't cost me anything). I know what I'm going to do for next year's Litquake. How about you?

Jeannine Gerkman, Newsletter Editor
NOTE: The membership renewal period closed September 30, 2018. However, you may join as a new member any time. 
There are two options:
1) Combined Fee: Pay a combined fee upfront that covers both your annual membership dues and meeting fees through to June, 2019 for $145.00.
2) Separate Fees: Pay the annual membership dues of $65.00 and pay the $10.00 meeting fees when you attend each meeting .  

If you pay by check, make it out to "CWC SF-Peninsula". Either bring your annual membership 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.  

Authors Day 12/8/18

CW C members will stage an Authors Day during the middle of the holiday shopping season on Saturday, December. 8, 2018 at Barnes and Noble, Hillsdale, in San Mateo.

Club writers will staff a table at the front of the store from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., working in shifts. They will conduct readings in an adjacent area on an hourly basis. The purpose is to promote our branch and sell our books.

Members whose books are available through Ingram are eligible for this event. If you're interested, contact Bill Baynes at

On September 29, 2018, the CWC NorCal Group hosted their biennial Building Better Branches Leadership Conference at National University's newest campus in Pleasant Hill. The theme of this year's Conference was one of collaboration - to share our branch strengths as well as seek solutions for branch weaknesses. From the beginning of the Conference, each delegate of the twelve branches (64 delegates in all) was asked to keep track of the 'best ideas', the 'best practices' and the 'best solutions' he or she heard to carry back to their own branch for implementation.

From the fine keynote address by Deborah Jordan Bernal of Tri-Valley, to the three presenters of our track sessions, (Roger Lubeck of Redwood Writers, Kymberlie Ingalls of Napa Valley and Laurie Sheehan of Central Coast) the theme for sharing ideas was expressed: tackle the hard questions and issues which arise in branches today by giving and receiving alternative solutions and ideas from successful branches. Interaction between members of the twelve branches was highly encouraged, so the conversation could continue throughout the year. The Conference is a continuation of NorCal's goal: to provide education, insight and new ideas for the leaders of today's Northern California branches.

After careful analysis of the Conference Evaluations, we have concluded the Conference was highly successful as the majority of delegates requested the next Conference to be held every year.

Carole Bumpus - NorCal Co-Chair 
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. 

We are 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 and/or have questions about upcoming opportunities, please contact our President, Lisa Meltzer Penn at
Critique Groups

Last month we hosted our first Critique Group Matchmaking session session during Think Tank time with over 30 attendees. Thank you to all the brave souls who stepped up to join the fray. And thank you for your patience. More info will be sent soon to attendees. 

If you could not make the meeting but are interested in a critique group, contact Lisa Meltzer Penn at or find out more at our next meeting. If emailing, provide your name, membership status, email address, genre or genres (novel, short fiction, poetry, non-fiction, memoir) and when you can meet (daytime, evenings, weekends.) 

Our branch continues to help facilitate the formation of critique groups, and distributing information about best practices in running such a group.  If you are a member looking to join a critique group, add to your current one, or are looking to try something new; email

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 
Acting SMCF  Literary Stage Coordinator: Sue Barizon  
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