President's Message

Welcome to all San Francisco Peninsula CWC members and interested writers.
There is something about September with the changing of the leaves, the shifting of the sun, and the whiff of Fall in the air, that brings up an uncontrollable obsession of mine for Big Chief tablets and #2 pencils. It is not just the stomping off to school that catches my imagination. It is the anticipation of writing things down--whether lists, names, short stories, poems, or even summer memoirs. And with that I feel an excitement, and even a tingle along my spine, which tells me good things are beginning to happen! And, that actually does happen every time I sit down to write--even now!

Hopefully, you feel a similar excitement about writing and about moving your work forward. Within the CWC this Fall, we have plenty of opportunities for you to whet that nib of a pencil and let the sparks fly. Whether you choose to enter our upcoming Fault Zone anthology contest, join a critique group, work on getting your book published, spend hours researching your next book, or simply feel exhilarated about having your book turned into a movie (that is happening right now to one of our own), I hope your excitement about writing continues to grow. Hopefully, that is why you became a member of the San Francisco Peninsula CWC Branch. We are dedicated to helping you find your way in this most confusing, labyrinthine world of publishing and writing.  

This month we will be making some major moves. The first is in our physical location. We will begin meeting at the Sequoia Yacht Club in Redwood City (same place as our 50 th Anniversary celebration) on the 17 th of September. (See details and the address in other parts of this newsletter.) And in October we plan to set up mentoring groups with Geri Spieler. Mentoring is for those who have brought their work to a certain point, but need more information to advance it further. It is not the same as a critique group, which is a group that works with you to edit your work to further it toward . . . perfection?  (We all need that!) 

And, another thing: We will be promoting the biennial NorCal CWC Leadership Conference "Building Better Branches." It is an all-day conference at DeVry University in Fremont on October 1 st. As you may know, we are part of a larger organization within the CWC called the NorCal Group, which includes all branches from the Monterey Peninsula to the Oregon border. You might be surprised to know that there are about 1,400 of us writers and fellow CWC members here in the North, working hard to bring you better programs and create better branches. So, if learning some new leadership skills piques your interest and you would like to join our team of leaders, all CWC members are invited. Just let us know of your interest and we'll make our way together to this event. This all-day event is free, and includes a light breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks. Plus you'll learn from speakers throughout our CWC branches who have had great successes and want to share them. You can also sit down with your peers to share concerns and construct solutions. It should be a worthwhile and rewarding day! Please put the date --October 1--on your calendar now!

--Carole Bumpus, SF Peninsula Branch President

September 17 Program
Making a Life with Language:
Joy, Mania, and Commitment

What happens when you put writing at the center of your life? For author, poet, and essayist Steven Nightingale, writing has opened doors into worlds he might otherwise never have explored. He'll talk about how his writing has led on to other passions, and read some of his work.
Steven Nightingale writes novels, sonnets, long essays, and is  currently exploring a promiscuous range of projects. His interests include the medieval art of Spain and Italy, the wild country of the American West and the Caribbean, cooking for his treasured wife and daughter, astronomy, venture capital, the quantitative arts, and Emily Dickinson, whom he loves. Find out more at

September 17, 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

August Program Recap

Former Fault Zone editors Lisa Meltzer Penn and Audrey Kalman presented " It's All Your Fault Zone: Submission Tips for Getting Accepted to Our Branch's Anthology." They offered five steps to creating a winning submission: 

1. Read the guidelines carefully.
2. Come up with an idea.
3. Write the story/poem.
4. Edit the story.
5. Proofread the story with the guidelines in mind.

Though current editor-in-chief Laurel Anne Hill and poetry editor Dave Hirzel were unable to attend in person, they were there in spirit, with handouts walking people through the guidelines and giving inspiration to those who might be stuck. Lisa and Audrey also covered a lot of territory, from coming up with ideas to preparing your piece for submission. Audrey gave a live demo for those who may not be familiar with Submittable, the submission system used to easily track submissions and ensure the anonymity of submitters until after selections are made. Audrey offered to assist anyone who has trouble submitting. Just email her at

New this year are prizes for winning stories in each category from club members, as well as the traditional prize for the non-member short story contest. So warm up those keyboards and sharpen those pencils! You can read more about Fault Zone's theme, UPLIFT, at the website, as well as dive into the details of how to submit. DEADLINE FOR MEMBERS: November 30, 2016.
CWC SF Peninsula Calendar
September 17
Making a Life with Language
with Steven Nightingale
at the new Yacht Club location!
September 21 - Open Mic 
7:30 p.m.  Reach & Teach
on 25th Avenue, San Mateo. FREE

Upcoming Meetings

October 15
Kendra Lubalin
 Discover Why You Write:
The Purpose of Writing
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.

Mentor Program after the September 17 Meeting

The first Mentor Meeting will follow the September 17 meeting program and will focus around our  Fault Zone anthology.  Have fun with Lisa Meltzer Penn and Audrey Kalman in this hands-on follow up to the "It's All Your Fault Zone!" August presentation.  Creative exercises to warm up your story brain and inspire this year's batch of Fault Zone submissions! 

For October, and the rest of year, please submit ideas you would like addressed, such as character development, scenes, plot, point of view, or anything you'd like to talk about. At each meeting, we invite a member who has dealt with the particular topic to enhance the discussion. The group is limited to the first ten members who sign up to attend. 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  (408) 315-0271.

Keep up with all the news from other CWC Branches!
The Summer edition of the CWC Bulletin comprising news from most of the 21 CWC branches can be found by clicking here.
Non-SF Peninsula Branch Events
September 10  
How to Get Published workshop in South San Francisco. Presenter is Chuck  
Sambuchino of Writer's Digest Books. He edits the Guide to Literary Agents

In addition, there are 11 literary agents (with maybe a few more to come) at the event to meet with writers and take pitches for books. It looks to be a great one-day event. 

September 18 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Second Annual San Jose Poetry Festival at History Park San Jose, featuring readings and presentations, writing workshops, and a keynote by Alejandro Murguia, San Francisco Poet Laureate. Click here for info.

September 19
Jack London: Apostle of the American West Centennial Celebration, Symposium, and Exhibition at Stanford. Click here for more information.

September 29-October 1, 2016
October 1 -- Save the Date!
Build a Better Branch Conference at DeVry University in Fremont.
FREE to all CWC members. Click here for info.

Member News
Mary Beth O'Connor's story won First Place in the Book-Length Nonfiction/Memoir category at the Mendocino Writer's Conference.
Go, Mary Beth!
Karen Hartley's poem "Dark" was published in the South Bay CWC "Writer's Talk," August 2016.
Manhattan Book Review discusses A Second, Less Capable Head, a collection of stories from rogue writer James Hanna. In these nineteen piercing tales, Hanna skewers the human comedy and makes reading dangerous again. Available now on Amazon Kindle. Click here.  

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.

San Mateo County, 20 lines about poetry and nature.
Submit to between August 15 and September 15.

The CWC Literary Review 2017 edition will be accepting submissions September 1, 2016 through November 30, 2016. Click here for guidelines.  

Live Canon International Poetry Competition 
Deadline: September 12. 

WTAW Press will publish two full-length books of prose in 2017, selecting the best fiction, essays, memoir, etc. Deadline: September 15, 2016.

Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest. Deadline: September 30, 2016.

The Missouri Review: 26th Annual Jeffrey E. Smith Editors
Deadline: October 1, 2016. Fiction or nonfiction.

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

Red Hen Press Graphic Novel Award. Deadline: October 30, 2016.
Red Mountain Press Poetry Prize. Deadline: September 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 three of the categories currently seeking submission:
Stories about Cats. January 31, 2017.
Stories About Dogs. January 31, 2017.
Best Mom Ever! September 30, 2016.

Twentieth Annual Zoetrope All-Story Short Fiction Contest. Deadline: October 1, 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.

Thanks to Eve Visconti for researching so many new contests for us!

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