Greetings from Redwood Writers!

September 2022

Board of Directors
Judy Baker, President
Crissi Langwell, Vice President
Jeane Slone, Vice President
Malena Eljumaily, Treasurer
Nancy Martin, Secretary
Shawn Langwell, Immediate Past President
Joelle Burnette, Website Editor
Tommie Whitener, Vault Master, Policies & Procedures
Roger Lubeck, Membership Chair
Adele Layton, Member at Large
Chairs and Editors
Les Bernstein, Poetry Anthology Editor
Skye Blaine, Newsletter Poetry Editor
Fran Claggett-Holland, Poetry Anthology Editor
Robin Gabbert, Writers Salon
Cynthia Gregory, 2022 Prose Anthology Editor
Pamela Heck, Volunteer Coordinator, 2022 Sonoma County Writers Conference
Marie Judson, Critique Groups       
Jeanne Jusaitis, Author Support
Crissi Langwell, Newsletter Editor, Social Media
Shawn Langwell, 2022 Sonoma County Writers Conference Chair
Linda L. Reid, Writers Circle & Poetry Anthology Liaison
Jeane Slone, Author Launch & Fair Coordinator
Deborah Taylor-French, Author Support

Redwood Writers general meeting are held 1-2:30 p.m. on the third Saturday of the month at:

Finley Center

2060 W. College Ave

Santa Rosa.

If you are unable to attend in person, we will be streaming the meeting via Zoom.

Our next board meeting is on Tuesday Sept. 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.


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

Sept. 13: Board Meeting

Sept. 17: Author Support (in person!)

Sept. 17: General Meeting with Kerry Schafer

Sept. 24: RW Salon


Note: This is a transcript of the above video. 

At Redwood Writers, our focus is on writers, helping writers. I've got a short tip for you. I'm a big fan of Tiny Habits by Professor BJ Fogg, PhD. His book is based on neuroscientific research. He discovered something pretty amazing: by taking small steps, we can get big results. And here's how to get started:

This is a recipe, and it's easy for you to follow because it uses A, B, C's. Start with an "A" anchor moment. Something you're already doing. Acknowledge your anchor and then slip something in right behind it. For instance, I'll guess most of you brush your teeth every day in the morning. What if right after you brush your teeth, you say, "After I brush my teeth, I'll take out my pen."

Taking out your pen = "B" for behavior. It's a small, tiny thing that doesn't require willpower. And it doesn't require thinking or require an emotional state. It's just easy to do and takes you less than 30 seconds.

Begin with an anchor moment, follow with a behavior. And after taking out your pen, you want to "C" celebrate. That could mean you do your happy dance. If you're more introverted, like I am, it could just be smiling to myself and congratulating myself for doing that tiny step.

You can build habits using those three things (Anchor + Behavior + Celebrating) and build on each habit. After you get comfortable with "brushing my teeth + taking out my pen + celebrating," you might add on:

Anchor: I brush my teeth

Behavior: I take out my pen

Celebrating: I smile to myself

And build another habit with:

After I take out my pen, I'm going to write one sentence. 

I know this sounds crazy. It works. I'm living proof that this works. We've been using this technique within one program that I belong to. And it was how I could drop over 50 pounds and keep it off for over four years. By taking these small steps, you're rewiring yourself to be successful.

At Redwood Writers, think about how you could apply the ABC's to our community. Maybe it's by raising your hand and saying:

"I'll take on helping at the registration desk," or "I'm willing to be a contest chair," or

"I'm willing to look at contributing to the newsletter, to a contest, to sharing a tip with the other members, using our community resource"

When you put yourself in the place of being generous, thoughtful, and kind, it can come back to help you.

Redwood Writers represent just one chapter of the California Writer's Club. And I'm now our Nor Cal rep, as well as the representative to CWC (California Writer Club parent group.) Check out the website for CWC at

CWC is talking about are how the board members can be better leaders, how to get more involvement in our club, in all of club branches, and how to bring along those new leaders who need support to do their jobs in the best way possible for your benefit.

I'd like to invite you to become more involved with our club. We've got some openings right now where you can make a difference in the club and what you get out of being a member. And you know, when you stand up and say, "yes," good things will come your way. For instance, I volunteered at the San Francisco Writer's conference, as I mentioned last month. And because of that, I got to reconnect with friends. I got to meet some new people. People I had never met recognized me as an asset and introduced themselves. They observed me showing up and being helpful. 

If you are serious about your author career, whether it's part-time or full-time, the more people who know you, the more people there are who can help you get seen, heard, and recognized.

This is Judy Baker, your current president at Redwood Writers. And if you'd like to get in touch with me, just go to our website,

You can reach your leadership team at

As only one of the board members, I can't do everything by myself. I have the help of the great people on the volunteer team. None of our programs, anthologies, contests, or events would happen without our volunteers. We're looking to you to give back to the club, so it can be more of what you want. (All of your board members, chairs, and committee members are unpaid volunteers who donate time and expertise.) 

In September, we welcome the speaker, Debra Halverson. She's going to be talking about writing your book, what's next, and how you can get more attention for you and your book.

Thanks so much.

Judy M. Baker

President of Redwood Writers


  • President's Welcome Video & Message
  • Upcoming Events
  • Membership Renewal
  • Open Volunteer Positions
  • September General Meeting
  • Sonoma County Writers Conference
  • Helene S Barnhart Award Recipient
  • Homegrown Poetry
  • Feature: What Are Your Writing Goals?
  • Article: Why It's Essential To Grow
  • Writing Exercise
  • Member Book Releases
  • Redwood Writers & CWC Events
  • Member News & Events
  • Featured New Member
  • Next Month's Meeting: Costume Party!
  • List of Donors
  • Editor's Note
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.


Members of the Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club must renew their membership each year if they want to be remained as a current member and take advantage of the club’s benefits.

NEW MEMBERS. Applications for new membership began on July 1. The fee for a new member joining the club is $65. New members are assigned the status of Active (full) members when they pay the $65.00 new member fee. The CWC has dropped the distinction between Active vs. Associate writer and no long asks for a writing sample from new members. All writers (published and unpublished) are welcome as Active full members. 

RENEWAL. Membership renewal in Redwood Writers (CWC) began on July 1 and continues through September 30, 2022.  The fee to renew for the year is $45. On Oct 1 if you have not renewed, you will have to pay the $65 new member fee to be reinstated.

EXPRESS PASS. If you join as a new member or renew your membership between July 1 and September 30 you can also purchase an Express pass for all club meetings (July 2022-June 2023). Purchasing an Express pass is a one-time fee of $45 which pays for all 12 meetings (get three free!) and the meeting recordings. Express members do not pay the $5 door fee each month to attend a meeting in person or on zoom.

DONATIONS. When you join or renew your membership, consider an additional donation to the club. Hosting a monthly meeting with professional speakers, publishing two anthologies (prose and poetry), salons, offering three cash prize contests, going to the fair and offering three workshops or a conference each year isn’t cheap. Your membership provides the branch with $25 per year pay for these expenses. Your donations help the club plan for new opportunities, speakers, and club event. A donation can be made any time on the website.

Would you like to be more involved with Redwood Writers? A few volunteer positions have recently opened up and we'd love to have you as part of our team! If you're curious about any of these, email Judy Baker at

  • Website Editor
  • Speaker Coordinator
  • Contest Chair
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Public Relations

Is there something you'd like to do for the club that isn't listed here? Let us know and we'll find a place for you!


You've Written a Book, What's Next?

Writing Queries, Strategizing Submissions & Ways to translate "No" to "Yes"

Presented by Deborah Halverson

Deborah Halverson will present an hour-long webinar for beginners as well as advanced writers — published and pre-published — looking to perfect their submission package and strategy. Includes a master handout, sample query letters, and a quick-reference sheet for translating editorial feedback.

This presentation will be streamed via Zoom. You are welcome to watch from the Finley Center, or stream it from home. A handout will be sent to registrants before the event.

Deborah Halverson is the award-winning author of Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies and Writing New Adult Fiction, as well as numerous teen novels, books in a series for struggling readers, and a picture book. Formerly an editor at Harcourt Children's Books and now a freelance editor specializing in picture books and Young Adult/Middle Grade fiction and nonfiction, Deborah has been working with authors — bestsellers, veterans, debut, and aspiring — for twenty-five years. She is also the founder of the popular writers’ advice site and serves on the advisory board for the UC San Diego Extension “Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating” certificate program.

Saturday, Sept. 17

1 - 2:30 p.m.

at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa

and also online via Zoom

$5 Members / $10 Guests


September's General Meeting Agenda

  • Finley Center opens at noon for networking with other authors
  • Zoom meeting room opens at 12:45 p.m. for open conversation
  • Meeting starts at 1 p.m.
  • Deborah Halverson, "You've Written a Book, What's Next?"
  • Board and Chair announcements
  • Member announcements
  • Adjourn at 2:30 p.m.


95% of us want to write a book. Is that you?

If you want to take your ideas or writing to the next level join us for the 2022 Sonoma County Writers Conference on Saturday, October 8 at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa. Whether you are an aspiring author or a seasoned, published pro, this one-day conference is one of the best values for anyone who wants to become better writer.

Your conference admission will allow you to choose from a variety of topics that suit you in the areas of Craft, Publishing, and Marketing. Learn from experts and seasoned professionals to expand your belief and self-confidence as an author with an important or entertaining story to tell. 

This one-day event will inspire and encourage you to take the next steps in your writing journey. Sample topics include:

  • Finding your True Voice as an Author
  • Powerful Plotting: Causality, Believability and Escalation
  • Overcoming Writers Block
  • What a Free Write Can Do For You: a hands-on free write workshop for healing and transformative writing
  • Podcasting for Writers: Making Podcasting Essential to Your Platform
  • How to Masterfully Show Emotion in Your Characters
  • Indie Publishing: What's the "Big Deal?"
  • Now You're Talking: Voice and Dialogue on the Page
  • Revision strategies: How to read your manuscript like an editor
  • The Audiobook Explosion: How to take your prose to a movie for the ears

EARLY BIRD Registration:

September 6 - Sept. 30, 2022

Member: $95 Non-Member: $125


REGULAR Registration:

October 1 - October 8

Member: $110 Non-Member: $150

Registration includes continental breakfast and lunch and much more.

Check the Website for registration details after Sept. 6.



Thanks to those of you who have already volunteered for the conference. The registration table, PR, food management, and merchandise table are covered. Here’s what we still need:

Speaker Shepherds—make sure your speaker gets where they need to go and receives a little TLC. We’ll need a shepherd for every presenter.

Room Monitors—one for each workshop and session. Room monitors will be assigned to sessions for which they have registered. This job is mostly keeping track of the time for the speaker (5- and 10-minute warnings) and acting as a speaker aide (Did they forget a pen?) You don’t have to introduce the speaker.


It is possible, and often advantageous, for someone to be both a room monitor and a shepherd for a presenter.

Trail Monitors- (2) We will need people in several locations as well as at the information table to guide people to their destinations—rooms are rather spread out.


Signage— (1 or 2 people) Signage will need to be placed throughout Finley Center: Sandwich board outside; RW banner in lobby/registration area; welcome sign; blow-up of master schedule; signs at registration table (A-L & M-Z).


Clean-up—No real cleaning involved. Just see that things are orderly, toss trash, and see that items left behind are placed in a lost and found box.


We will need 6 or 7 volunteers at a 2-hour stuffing party on Oct. 1 at Linda Reid's house. This is to get all the conference materials in order and ready for registrants — programs, name cards, etc.


Thank you in advance for your willingness to serve. With your help, we can make the 2022 conference the best ever! 

Volunteer Coordinator, Pamela Heck, can be reached through or at


Redwood Writers is proud to announce Crissi Langwell as the 2022 recipient of the Helene S. Barnhart award. Named after Redwood Writers’ founding member and first president, Helene Barnhart, this bi-annual award honors members who have offered outstanding service to the Redwood Writers branch. 


Recently voted in as Vice President, Crissi contributes her marketing and design expertise to the branch as our newsletter editor and social media manager. She serves as the branch’s contact person for general meeting registration, and moderator for the Zoom side of our hybrid meeting. And over the past two years, Crissi served as board secretary, plus as editor-in-chief of the 2020 prose anthology Sunset Sunrise and co-editor-in-chief of the 2021 prose anthology, Remember When. She has also served as editor, proofreader, judge, and cover/interior designer of several of RW's prose anthologies.


Crissi created the Redwood Writers Facebook community group to help members connect on social media to share what they know, seek advice, and celebrate good news. She has been a featured speaker for RW workshops and general meetings, including presentations on NaNoWriMo and on the indie publishing process. Crissi is enthusiastic about volunteering for our branch’s many offerings, including the Sonoma County Fair and the Sonoma County Writers Conference. She has also won or placed in several of our branch’s writing contests. 

With as much as she does for our branch, you may be surprised to know she’s the author of twelve books, with genres that include romance, women’s fiction, and young adult. Two of her novels have received honorable mentions in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. You can find all of Crissi’s books at

When she isn’t writing, Crissi offers author support through North Coast Stories (, her author services business that specializes in editing, book interior design, social media guidance/graphics, web design, and more. She also serves as the marketing coordinator for Century 21 Epic, one of the largest real estate brokerages in Northern California. 

For all this and more, we are proud to honor Crissi Langwell with the 2022 Helene S. Barnhart award. Thank you, Crissi, for your extraordinary service to the Redwood Writers branch, and for being a true example of our club motto, “writers helping writers.” 


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.

my father’s closet

By Skye Blaine


I don’t know how 

to write about my father

forty-four years gone

he’s still a puzzle

a large, lonely man 

who drank too much 

and hid it well

but I recall the bouquet

of his walk-in closet 

musky and male

suits and sport coats 

tidy, shoes polished

till they reflected light

and ties—so many ties

myriad colors, wool and silk

I liked to sit in there

under the jackets and

drink in his spice

it all seemed so foreign

I wanted to know him 

but that was not possible

his signature—arctic 

wiry hair, his pride 

amidst balding friends— 

he carried a briefcase

bought plush cars with 

skin-soft seats

but what were his thoughts?

his cares? 

his dreams?

Skye Blaine writes poetry, fiction, and memoir, developing themes of aging, coming of age, disability, and awakening. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Bound to Love: a memoir of grit and gratitude, was released in 2015. Unleashed, her debut novel, came out in 2017. Must Like Dogs, the second in the series, was published in 2020. The third, Passing the Torch, will come out in 2023. She has been included in twelve anthologies.


Last month in I asked members to share about the goals they  set around their writing. Here's what some of you said. 

J.L. Henker:

The goal this year is specific to my current WIP. I’m doing final edits on a high fantasy novel (95K) and hope to have it complete by years end so I can begin the query process. That means finalizing edits from beta readers feedback, researching current best-sellers to find comps and submitting to professional editor for the final round of fine-tuning. It’s going g to be a busy rest of the year.

Thonie Hevron:

Several months ago, I was offered a work for hire deal for three books by November 1. With this tight timeline, I accepted knowing I'd be working most of my day. My usual word count when working on my own projects rarely topped 1000 words per day. With this paying project, I'm inspired to greater output: 1500 to 2500 words per day, 6 days a week. I've finished book 1, working on the climax for book two and thinking about book three. Heady goals? Yes, but you don't know what you are capable of until you're inspired or pushed. This puts a whole new spin on my own writing. 

Linda Bello-Ruiz:

My writing goal is to finish the final editing of BETRAYED and see it published by the end of September. I plan to take a 50-lb suitcase filled with new books to Mexico in late October, ready to fulfill the long list of pre-orders for readers who have been waiting two years to read this new book. 

Skye Blaine:

My goals are: 

finish my third novel. I'm 88,000 words in, so close to the end.

Then, organize and publish a collection of poetry.

Rebecca Rosenberg:

I want to complete my fifth and sixth books! MADAME POMMERY, a Champagne Widows novel, and SILVER DOLLAR. 

Crissi Langwell:

I’m working on my Sunset Bay series, a romance trilogy I plan to release next year. Currently I’m editing the first book and writing the second book. My hope is to have the first two finished by next spring and the third on its way so I can release them three months apart. How’s it going, though? It’s been rough since I’m in a season of mass distraction. But if I can dedicate time to the books each week, giving myself the time to get into the flow, I’ll reach my goal. 

I'm also working on building my author services business, with hopes it can one day soon take the place of my full-time job.

Joan Goodreau:

I hope to finish my play about the struggle of families who live on the autism spectrum. I will work on this during my stay at the Hedgebrook Writers in Residency on Whitbey Island this October.

Natasha Yim:

My goals were to finish my middle grade novel - this one is not going so well. I'm very far behind my target.

Get another publishing contract - my agent is currently finalizing a contract for a picture book, a sequel to my last picture book with Charlesbridge Publishing, Luna's Yum Yum Dim Sum.

Write consistently - I'm in the range. I don't write daily, but I'm writing several times a week. 

Be more productive - I tend to be a slow writer, but I've completed two brand new picture book manuscripts (which is probably why I haven't progressed more with my novel), and one of them is currently on submission.

Want to participate in next month's callout? Keep an eye on!


by Bob Isbill, CWC VP & Director of Public Relations

In the words of Dara Marks, author of Inside Story: The Transformational Arc, there is nothing in the universe that is static. We are either growing towards something (life) or resisting growth, going towards decay and death.

That is true not only of your protagonist, but also of an organization or a writer’s club. Sadly, our members, like other friends, drop out, move away, stop meeting with us—it’s life’s process. We consider ourselves lucky if we can count on one hand the number of real friends we’ve cultivated. We do not need to abandon the familiar and the loyal in order to enlarge our relationships and embrace new ones. We have the obligation to tell other people about our club.

Many people have no idea that on a certain day of every month, a hundred-year-old writers club meets in your town or city! They need to know that. Just take, for example, the latest guests who have joined your club. Each one has a separate and interesting background to bring to your branch.

That’s how we recreate ourselves and develop the quality of our meetings and our structure. Writers, overall, are great people! When was the last time you invited one? Tell them about your website and look at your branch events, past and future.

Quality guest speakers like to speak to big meetings. Attendance reflects vitality of the group and excites those who come to hear about us. Increased membership also increases networking opportunities to meet and learn from those who can and will help us.

We have a larger responsibility than just increasing the numbers and populating our gatherings with lots of people; we have a sizable message to send to our fellow writers and the community:

We are here!

Each month, the Redwood Writer will feature an exercise to help inspire your writing. This can be an exercise you do on your own, or you can send your 300-word (or less) piece to for possible publication in the newsletter.

Avoiding Adverbs & Adjectives

Our speaker in August talked about the Psychology of a character. The DiSC is a system that describes four primary behavioral styles:  Dominance, Inspiring, Steady, and Conscientiousness. 

From The DiSC Styles - DiSC Profile:

Dominance. Places emphasis on accomplishing results and “seeing the big picture.” They are confident, sometimes blunt, outspoken, and demanding. They seek to be in control.

Inspiring. Places emphasis on influencing or persuading others. They tend to be enthusiastic, optimistic, open, trusting, and energetic. They seek to be the center of attention.

Steady. Places emphasis on cooperation, sincerity, loyalty, and dependability. They tend to have calm, deliberate dispositions, and don’t like to be rushed. Most people like and trust this person.

Conscientiousness. Places emphasis on quality and accuracy, expertise and competency. They enjoy their independence, demand the details, and often fear being wrong. They are careful and planful. They seek to be in control, only so things are done their way. 

No DiSC style is "better" than any other, and we all use each of the four styles as we go about our daily lives. DiSC simply helps us find out which style we tend to gravitate toward most — our comfort zone.”


Writing Exercise

The DiSC can be useful in writing about characters. Write a detailed character description using one of the following DiSC styles below. Create this character’s back story.


DI.  This person is confident, and results oriented. She is also enthusiastic, optimistic, and energetic. A great starter——but not a finisher.

SC. This person is steady. He needs rules and procedures. He has consistent habits. What he eats, where he eats. Thinks have to be planed. He like things to be orderly. 

DC.  Creative individuals tend to define the rules, do new things, and want to be in control (Dominant) and yet they are often careful and planful (Conscientiousness). Think of writers, musicians, and artist.

If you like what you wrote, send it to newsletter editor Crissi Langwell at for possible inclusion in next month’s newsletter. 


Survival Time

Poems by Simona Carini

Simona's experience of growing up near Assisi, in the shadow of St. Francis’s spiritual heritage, illuminates the poems, rooted in quiet observations of life events past and present. There is a lot of blue, not all dark. There are stars, not all in the sky. And there is water: ocean, bay, glacier, geyser. The book reflects a life lived fully immersed in spaces born or made sacred.

The book is available at  

Simona Carini's website is

Spectacular Silver Earthling

by Mara Lynn Johnstone

Hubcap used to be a rescue bot, getting humans out of every boneheaded scrape imaginable. His new career as a TV star suits him better: he can poke fun at the humans instead, while harvesting jetpods and tackling alien predators faster than any of them. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also immune to the mysterious “space frenzy” that keeps sending his coworkers into a froth. The robot worries for his human friends, though he would never admit it. Not when it’s much more fun to deploy weapons-grade sass. The pressure ratchets up when a rival show aims to steal their sponsor. Hubcap has to film his most spectacular footage yet, while avoiding dangerous wildlife, plantlife, and emotions. But if anyone is up to the task, it’s the robot with skills second to none, and an ego to match. 

Mara is the author of Sweeping Changes and We’re the Weird Aliens, along with multiple short stories and poems (most of which are eccentric science fiction and/or fantasy). 

Spectacular Silver Earthling is available everywhere, from Amazon to your local bookstore. 

Purified in the Flame

by Elizabeth Quiroz

Elizabeth just published her new memoir, Purified in the Flame, and this book is about Elizabeth’s testimony and how she was able to break from and overcome the effects of human trafficking, addiction, incarceration and a broken foster care system. She is now using her pain for purpose, and showing other survivors that they too can use their voice to make a difference.

Link to non-profit and book:


The Circle's mission is to offer members a constructive and enjoyable environment in which to read their works, among the warmth and support of fellow writers, and to include brief evaluations and short talks on craft and other writing-related subjects.

Redwood Writers Circle will meet at Linda's home.

Agenda for meetings will follow the following format:

  • Meeting runs 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Those to be "readers" will be limited to the first 20 RW members who register
  • Other attendees may participate as "listeners"
  • Each reader will have a total 5 minutes (including, introductory remarks)



Sept. 17, noon - 12:45 p.m.

Held at the Finley Center before the general meeting

Please join us in person 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. 

Registration not required.

Hosted by Jeane Jusaitis and Deborah Taylor-French

The following are announcements from a few of our fellow CWC branches. To see all branch events, visit the CWC events calendar at

Submit your writing news to CWC's The Bulletin!

The deadline to submit to the next issue of The Bulletin is December 1. All submissions should be sent to

For new book releases, short stories, poems or articles, or news of literary honors. 50 words or less. Put “Member Spotlight” in the Subject line. Send a copy of your book cover in JPEG format as an email attachment.

Articles on writing craft, marketing and publication: Send a proposal by email. Contributors will receive a short blurb to promote their books and/or services.

Photographs: JPEG format, sent separately (not embedded in a Word doc or PDF). Please provide complete details in the caption, including names of people pictured.

To see the current issue of The Bulletin or more information on submissions, visit

Note: This is separate from the Redwood Writer newsletter. To submit your news or articles to this newsletter, please email

CWC All-Branch Meeting

California Writing Club branches met recently for an in-person CWC Central Board meeting. Redwood Writers president, Judy Baker, was there to represent our branch, along with Roger Lubeck, CWC president.

Coming in October: California Writers Week

In 2003, the California State Assembly officially declared the third week in October each year as California Writers Week. We invite all authors and readers to celebrate with us. Stay tuned for special events in October! More information at


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.

Redwood Writers Members Spotlighted in Argus Courier

The Argus-Courier wrote an article about 10 new and new-ish books by Petaluma authors, and 4 Redwood Writers members made it on the list! Look for writeups on the following books:

  • The Write Spot: Musings and Ravings From a Pandemic Year, by Marlene Cullen
  • The Story of Jazz and Vihar, by Kathy Guthormsen
  • For the Birds, by Crissi Langwell
  • Ten Seconds of Boldness, by Shawn Langwell

The article is online now at THIS LINK, and will be in print this Friday.

3 Authors To Be Featured at Thumpbprint Cellars

Thursday, Sept. 1, 7 p.m.

Copperfield’s Books welcomes Martha Conway, Cara Black and Rebecca Rosenberg to Thumbprint Cellars in Healdsburg.


Join us for a tasty pour and a discussion on the evening's topic - Women Who Surmount Their Obstacles and How They Do It.

Get a free pour with purchase of one of their books - The Physician's Daughter, Murder at the Porte de Versailles, Champagne Widows

This event will include a QA session and signing and is free and open to the public.

Poetic License Sonoma - “Equinox" with special guest poet, Sandra Anfang on Sept. 15, 7-8 p.m.

Sandra Anfang is a Northern California poet, teacher, visual artist, and editor. Her poetry collections include Looking Glass Heart (Finishing Line Press, 2016), Road Worrier: Poems of the Inner and OuterLandscape (Finishing Line Press, 2018), and Xylem Highway (Main Street Rag, 2019). Her fourth book, Finishing School, will be published in early 2023 by Kelsay Books. 

Presenting poets: Joseph Cutler, Susanne Arrhenius, Leo McCloskey, Steve Trenam, Judith Vaughn, Jaime Zukowski, Kusum Irene Jain

Acting MC: Kusum Jain; Guest Student poet from SRJC: Douglas Anderson

Poetic License Sonoma, a group of 8 poets read each month at Sebastopol Center for the Arts Fourth Tuesday Zoom Poetry Series. Though often a solitary pursuit, the writing of poetry, like all artistic forms of communication, is nurtured through the collaboration and support of others. They encourage and celebrate this form of artistry in our region, and beyond, through poetry readings, like this one; the publication of their work; and a steady stream of new writing.

Registration is $5 and required to receive the Zoom link which will be emailed to you prior to event. Also important to note: Registration is closed at 5pm the day of the event.

Opportunity for Screenwriters

The  BlueCat Screenplay Competition is accepting submissions for our 2023 competition until December 11. The  competition offers cash prizes for winners and a written analysis of each submission. All details can be found at

Sonoma County Literary Update

Have you heard about the Sonoma County Literary Update? Published by Jo-Anne Rosen and Terry Ehret, this free online publication is sent out once a month as a service to writers and those interested in writing-related news and events. For submission guidelines, visit
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.


Say hello to one of Redwood Writers' newest members!

Brian McSweeney writes poetry, memoir, short stories, and across genres in novels. His writing is often inspired by his age twenty-one autistic son, and his career as a special education teacher. Trail running and digging in his burgeoning rose and native plant garden sustain him like mentors Murakami and Orwell. He grew up inspired by Ursula Le Guin and recently, Ted Chiang. His wife is a passionate advocate for nonspeaking autistics. Retirement means more time for writing and publishing!

Brian's upcoming novel, Siobhan’s Song: An Autist’s Way follows the lives of five autistic MIT freshmen pals in the year 2050 led by Ireland’s Siobhan whose psychic/erotic gift from the faeries along with her boyfriend’s AI genius combine to transform human consciousness and the future of humanity.







Note: The October meeting will be in-person only, but a recording will be available for all those who register.


Cynthia Axell

Richard Boyd

Malena Eljumaily

Heather Furnas

Karen Hayes

Pamela Heck

Crissi Langwell

Adele Layton

Roger Lubeck

Halle Pryor

Linda Reid

Kathleen Scavenge

Linda Stamps

An easy way to support Redwood Writers...

Dear friends,

In another episode of life with the struggling writer, we have Crissi Langwell, procrastinator extraordinaire and filler of all time pockets. This last week was not much different than any of the others. My full-time job took up most of every day. A few freelance jobs were nearing deadlines. And the time I did have to write was mostly spent scrolling my phone for ideas (not recommended, by the way). 

The weekend came, and Shawn and I had a day-long retreat already on the calendar – one I was seriously considering skipping as I worried about all the things I still needed to do. Originally, this mini retreat was a chance to escape our stressors, and maybe even have time to write. But as the day approached, it felt irresponsible of me to take time off and recharge. 

Thing is, I desperately needed to unplug. Much of the reason behind why I couldn’t write was because I had failed to give myself proper “margins” – planned downtime to rest and recuperate before heading back into the grind. I had no battery life left. So in the rare occasion I actually could sit with my writing, the words wouldn’t come because I was just too exhausted!

We ended up going on our mini retreat, which included a digital detox from our email, social media, news, notifications, and so on. And for the first two hours, I was still and silent, just soaking up my surroundings as my body and mind completely released. I catnapped. I contemplated the trees. I inhaled the air and watched the clouds. 

And then, when I was ready, I wrote.

At first, the words were slow and clumsy. But soon, my body remembered what we were doing, and I couldn’t write fast enough. For three hours, I was in the flow. My mental editor took a vacation as I wrote without abandon. And now I have a worthy addition to my novel-in-progress, all because I took the time I needed to rest. 

How are your margins? Have you scheduled in downtime to recharge your batteries? 

* * *

If you haven’t already noticed, this newsletter is packed with information and happenings. One event I want to make sure you are aware of is our bi-annual Sonoma County Writers Conference on Oct. 8. We have a fun and inspirational day planned for you, and I just know you will come away from this event with fresh ideas and new ways to approach your writing. Get your tickets early! Another thing not to be missed is the deadline for membership renewal, which ends at the end of this month. If you miss the date, the cost goes up to renew. You will also miss out on important club benefits, like being included in our anthologies or member discounts on special events (like the conference!). 

This month we also welcome Deborah Halverson as our featured speaker at the general meeting on Sept. 17. Deborah will share vital information on how to perfect your submission package and strategy, including query letters and deciphering editorial feedback. 

Last note – if you’re a new member, I know it can feel overwhelming to navigate the many offerings our club has to offer. Keep an eye on your email for our New Member Orientation, coming soon. If you are a new member, or even a seasoned member who could use a refresher course on our club, this is one event you definitely won’t want to miss. Date to be announced soon!

Happy reading, and happy writing!

Crissi Langwell

Newsletter 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.
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