MAY, 2021
Newsletter of North State Writers (NSW), a Branch of the California Writers Club

NSW promotes the art and craft of writing across genres, connecting writers, editors, illustrators, publishers, reviewers, agents, and others interested in the continual renewal of creative thought and the written word.
President's Message
Dear friends,
Hello, everyone,
We are thrilled to be active again. We have missed you all.

We are again scheduling another NSW Member's meeting via ZOOM. This meeting will be on May 17th, at 6 P.M.
We are aware that most people would rather meet in person than use Zoom (Web-based Video Conferencing). That’s why we are hoping the Veterans Hall will soon reopen and allow us to occupy the same room on the same day and time as we had before the pandemic shut down the use of the Veterans Hall to everyone in April 2020.

Even when we begin meeting in person, we will still broadcast the general meetings on Zoom. This is our way of welcoming and encouraging others that are unable to attend an in-person meeting. Yet, they can still be involved at home, in the car, or at work as an opportunity to watch us every third Monday of the month at 6 pm. As for the month of May 2021, everyone will still be getting the code and logging onto and into ZOOM.

Included in this May Newsletter is a reminder that elections to the board are coming up in June. Ballots and information on candidates will be sent out the first week in June. Results will be announced at the June general meeting.
Those candidates that are elected will begin their terms on July 1, 2021.

No matter when in-person meetings happen again, we will send you a password every month to each of the NSW meetings. Some of our speakers that live far away will also use Zoom instead of traveling long distances to attend our meetings too.

This month our speaker will be Liz Tucker, and the topic Re-engaging Former Drafts: Strategies to Renter and Ressuitate Older Works So They Might Pop Back To Life. We will be sending out the handout from the speaker via email before the meeting. 
Please join us on Zoom.

Jim Henson
President NSW
Re-engaging Former Drafts: Strategies to Renter and Ressuitate Older Works So They Might Pop Back To Life

In this craft talk, we will discuss the many instruments contained in our "writerly toolboxes" that allow us to dust off older works—ones we might have thought dead and without a heartbeat—and find ways to breathe new life into them so our pieces may sing, sizzle and pop back into the world. Whether we write fiction, memoir, poetry, drama, or creative non-fiction, picking up older pieces after a stretch of time can feel daunting, but also a little bit thrilling as we examine them with new clarity. I will provide several generative exercises that we might play around with and apply to past works, either in-class writing or as take-home opportunities.

Liz Tucker is a sixth-generation Californian living and writing in the Sierra Nevada with her husband and two children. She is a two-time finalist with Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. The first chapter of her novel, Fault Lines, was published in The Bangalore Review and the third chapter, Panoramic Highway, received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 JuxtaProse Short Story Contest and published in the JuxtaProse Magazine, Summer 2018. The opening chapter of her second novel manuscript, You Don't Belong Here, was recently published in Ponder Review magazine. And her essay Make Good Choices was a finalist in the 2020 Barry Lopez Prize for Nonfiction. Her other works of poetry and short fiction have been published in a host of literary magazines, including Transfer Magazine, Red River Review, The Aroostook Review, SNReview, and Tahoe Blues an anthology published by Bona Fide Books. Her play, Catch and Release, was produced at the Truckee Community Theater's 10-Minute Play Fall Festival. Liz is a graduate of the San Francisco State University Creative Writing program, the Stanford Novel Writing program, and most recently one of the pioneering graduates of the Writing by Writers Draft program with Pam Houston, Josh Mohr, and Sam Dunn. When not carving words to page, Liz can usually be found anywhere outside: skiing, mountain biking, surfing or just plucking away at her upright bass. She currently serves on the board of Adventure Risk Challenge, a youth leadership non-profit that empowers at-risk teens to make positive change through integrated literary and outdoor wilderness experiences.

NSW News

Board elections are coming soon, we thank everyone that participated in our survey and stepped up to help.
Candidates are:

James Henson

Lynn Tosello
Dave Ivy

Ruben Martinez
Elizabeth Porter
Eric Miller

Nick Hanson

Membership Chair
Ken Olson
Gwen Willadsen
A link to an electronic ballot will be sent by email in June, results will be announced at the June general meeting.

if you are interested in serving or would like additional information, please email the club at
Membership Renewal
To all North State Writers members:

In the near future, you will receive a membership renewal notice.

The NSW board has discussed renewal fees for the 2020-2021 fiscal year which begins on July 1, 2020. After considering the lack of activity due to Covid 19 it was decided to reduce the amount of the yearly membership fees. The normal fee is $45, however, for the current members this renewal cycle only we are reducing the fee to $35.

This one-time reduction applies to current members only. New members will be charged the normal fees to join. This will provide the club with $10 per member as the remaining fees are sent directly to the CWC.

We sincerely appreciate your faith in sticking with us during this difficult year. We are in discussions with the Veteran's Hall and hope to resume in-person meetings in June. Notifications will be sent once arrangements have been made.

We hope you'll join us for another year of interesting presentations and warm fellowship with others who share a passion for writing.

Please feel free to send your renewal payment of $35 payable to North State Writers, P.O. Box 6734, Chico, CA 95927-6734. You may also pay your renewal on our website using Paypal. 
NSW Member News
NSW Member News
Do you have a milestone you would like to share? Send it to using "Newsletter" in the subject line.
**Newsletter Editor needed. After six years, our current Editor has decided to step down from her role and a new editor is needed. She will provide training. This is your chance to participate on the board and advance the future of the club. We have several members who have stepped forward to provide content. If you are interested, please contact President Jim Henson.

NSW author Joan Goodreau recently participated in a panel discussion for OLLI. The discussion is available at

NSW Author Gary Carter's book was recently reviewed by Dan Barnett with Chico Enterprise-Record. The interview is available on "Musable" which is Mr. Barnett's blog.
CWC News
CWC News
We are extending the submission deadline from March 15 to APRIL 15, 2021. CWC members, send in your best work for consideration for the 2021 Literary Review. Click here.

This month's recommended article is from Writers Digest. YA author Natalie Lund gives her top reasons why writers who might be afraid to play with multiple timelines and/or points of view should jump in feet first.

Gary Carter
Membership Chair
I love to write in multiple timelines and points of view. I think it has something to do with my authorial attention span. I get tired of being in a certain character’s head or in a given time and place for too long. I need to escape and write differently for it to feel fresh. My second novel, The Sky Above Us, includes two timelines, six points of view, and several interstitial sections that are composed of a mixture of emails, discussion posts, and interviews. Here are the lessons I’ve learned from writing this way:

Track Your Timelines Visually
I need to see my timelines side-by-side so that I can keep track of what happens in each chapter but also so that I can plan intersections and discover resonances. (More on that below.) I track my timelines using a Google spreadsheet because I’m often bouncing from computer to computer. In a given row, I record the chapter number, character point of view, the date and time of the scenes, and a brief summary. I’ve seen plenty of authors use color-coded notecards with the same effect. No matter what system you use—it’s about creating a visual representation of what the readers are experiencing or learning in each timeline as they read the book in the chapter order you have designed.

Plan Intersections, Alignments, and Contradictions
I think part of the pleasure of reading a book written in multiple timelines is seeing how the author has crafted the timelines to intersect, align, or contradict. For The Sky Above Us, I knew I wanted to start the novel with a plane crash witnessed by my three female protagonists. They quickly learn that the three male protagonists were on board and set off to understand why the crash happened. This then jumpstarts the second timeline, which follows the boys in the month leading up to the crash. So, as the two timelines run side-by-side, the girls are trying to discover the truth behind the crash and the boys are living it. The book then ends where it began—with the plane crash, this time as experienced by the boys.

I suggest thinking about the structure of your timelines ahead of time—or somewhere in the early stages of writing. Are there places—at the climax, for example—where you want something exciting happening in one timeline and something equally exciting to happen in the other so that those sections read back-to-back? Or do you want to pace the book so that those exciting moments in the timeline are spaced out, allowing the reader to bob in and out of climactic moments? If you are not an outliner, then planning these intersections and alignments might come as you write or as you revise, which I’ll discuss below.
Allow Yourself to Be Surprised By Resonances
I knew ahead of time that I wanted the book to be structured so that the ending would bring us back to the same place where the readers started, but I didn’t know what the middle of the book would look like. I allowed myself to discover it as I wrote, which resulted in some resonances between the timelines. For example, two of my characters, Shane and Cass, dated for five years. After Shane dies in the plane crash, Cass visits the beach house where she and Shane first kissed when they were seventh graders. In a later scene, in the timeline a month leading up to the crash, Shane visits that same beach house, just after he and Cass broke up. I think of these scenes as working like a comedian’s call-back. There is new pleasure gained for the reader by experiencing something similar, but in a novel way, with hopefully a different revelation about the characters. Whether or not you are an outliner, I encourage you to keep yourself open to surprise resonances that can help your book to sing.

One of the major reasons I keep a visual representation of my timelines is so that I can easily rearrange the chapters and see if a new order will help the reader experience the book differently. Rearrange the rows on your spreadsheet or the note cards on your wall and see what it feels like to read the points on the timelines in that new order. You may discover new possibilities for alignment or find ways to resolve sluggish pacing. You may also see plot holes better that way.

Give Yourself Time and Space to Experience Revisions
Once I’ve tried out changes in my spreadsheet, I’ll enact the changes in the actual manuscript. I then give myself as much time as I can where I put the project aside. For me, this time and space are key to experiencing the manuscript as a reader might. If I reread the new order fresh off the change, the old order will be too familiar to me and I won’t be able to tell if the changes are working or not. With time and space, I can be a little more objective and evaluate whether I’ve done something that creates magic or if I need to try something different. 

Natalie Lund is the author of The Sky Above Us (April 13, 2021; Penguin Random House/Philomel Books) and We Speak In Storms (September, 2019; Penguin Random House/Philomel Books)a 2020 ITW Thriller Award nominee and an Illinois Reads 2020 selection. A graduate of Purdue University's MFA program, where she served as the fiction editor of The Sycamore Review, she is also a former middle and high school teacher. She lives in Chicago with her husband. You can visit her online at
Officers & Board Members
President:  Jim Henson 
Vice-President: Brian Marshall  
Secretary: Joan Goodreau      
Treasurer: Nick Hanson
Director of Membership: Gary Carter
Newsletter Editor: Linda Sue Forrister
Central Board Rep: Jim Henson
NorCal Group Rep: Jim Henson
Events Coordinator:
Social Media: Nick Hanson
Critique Group: Cathy Chase