Maureen Studer Presents Playtime for Fiction Writers



Date:Saturday, May 21, Time:10 a.m.

Venue: Belmont Congregational Church
751 Alameda De Las Pulgas, Belmont, CA

Register here

Do you get tired of plodding through a plot when you're writing fiction? Do you get lost slogging through a story? Ever improvised your way to an "out of the ordinary" tale? We will do that at this meeting. Together we will weave a yarn out of our collective imagination. Using a variety of improvisation and writing techniques, we will craft an outline for a short play. Then you can use these techniques to soar on your own at home or with friends. It's better than charades at a party. Even pantsers might have fun! Along the way we will stop at the intersection of desire and obstacle, the cornerstone of conflict. We'll see how lack of communication makes for more interesting dialogue. We'll cover the elements of playwriting that make a play stageworthy. Please join us!

Bio: Maureen Studer has spent the better part of four decades in the theatre. She's worked as an actor, director, educator, playwright and producer, and has garnered awards in all areas. She won Best Supporting Actress for Dancing at Lughnasa at Actor's Theatre of Santa Rosa. She's won several playwriting awards, including "Best of Fringe" for Zero to Sixty, a play she directed at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. Maureen cofounded Petaluma Readers Theatre, which brings literature, poetry and dialogue to life through a form of animated theatrical reading. There she's been director, actor and producer and currently acts as a consultant. She developed, founded and facilitated at Playwrights Forum for 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa. In 2012 her achievements in theatre were recognized at 6th Street Playhouse in a public presentation. She performed a selection from "Women's Work," her collaborative play about the contribution women made to the war effort during WWII. Maureen recently received accolades for her performance as Anne Cannon in Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson at 6th Street Playhouse. She's been commissioned to write a one-act play for Pegasus Theatre in Sonoma County. She will wrap up her year directing Dixie Swim Club in Petaluma. And she's soon to publish her first novel, Show Fever, a romance set in theatre.

 

Events-New Location!

Our monthly events are held at the Belmont Congregational Church at 10:00AM on the third Saturday of every month.

An accomplished writer or person in the writing industry speaks, and then we mingle, mingle, mingle.

Directions to the Belmont Congregational Church

Past Events

 


April 2016

Words Alive







How do you make language come to life through prose and poetry for the stage? What are writing basics and techniques for the dramatic medium? Our speaker has written, performed, and composed the music and lyrics for over 16 one-woman shows. You will learn how to bring your own stories -- fact or fiction -- to life through dramatic presentations in a way that connects with your audience. It's FUN!
Bio: Singer, songwriter, actress and recording artist Sam Kauffman is known for her exceptional storytelling ability and memorable lyrics. She has developed over fifty programs that include her original music, stories, poetry, and dramas. Sam has adjudicated national and international vocal competitions for gospel musicians, performed with the San Francisco Family Theater, and produced and directed musical theater performances. She is a roster artist with the Northeast Artists Guild (NEAG). "In This Room," the title song on her first CD, is sung all over the world as the international theme song of the Ecumenical group, Kairos Outside (a prison ministry). While Sam's music has received national radio airplay, it is her work with churches throughout the U.S. that remains her focus. Sam has a BA in Music and English. She is the author of childrens and poetry books and her children's book "The Story of the Little Star" is used nationally in Christmas pageants.

 

 

March 2016

The Pitfalls and Pleasures of Translating Real Life into Fiction






Are you writing something based on real life? My novels are based on real people and real cases. We'll talk about how to determine when reality is interesting, boring, or possibly unethical. What do you do when readers ask if your book is autobiographical? Or when everyone you know guesses correctly about the identity of one of your characters? Feel free to bring questions about your current project.
Bio: Ellen Kirschman has been a police psychologist for thirty years. After writing three non-fiction books, she began writing a mystery series. Her protagonist, psychologist Dr. Dot Meyerhoff, is a spunky fifty-year-old who takes orders from no one, not even her chief, and persists in solving crimes when she should be counseling cops. The latest in the series, The Right Wrong Thing, was a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards and chosen as one of the best books of 2015 by BookReporter.com.

 

50th Anniversary Gala

 

February 2016

CWC SF Peninsula Branch 50th Anniversary Gala

Join our past branch presidents and long-time members as they celebrate the 50-year history with our club. Publisher Tory Hartmann from the Sand Hill Review Press will be our featured speaker on Writing and Publishing in the 21st Century. Be sure to be a part of a once-every-half-century celebration!

 

Susan Gold

 

 

 

January 2016

Tarot for the Writer's Toolbox





While traditionally associated with fortune telling, tarot cards have been inspiring writers for centuries through their rich imagery and archetypal symbolism. Come and learn how you can use the tarot to help you develop character and plot, explore your personal history, and mine imagery for poetry. You will leave this presentation with practical resources and exercises to stimulate your imagination.
Bio: Susan Gold holds an M.A. in Creative Writing and is a fiction writer and poet. She has taught writing, literature, and mythology courses at the college and high school levels and for years has helped writers break through blocks and spark their imaginations in her work as a consulting hypnotist and teacher of the tarot.

 

Karma Bennett

 

November 2015
Karma Bennet

Beyond Facebook: How to Make Social Media Work for You

A special workshop with Karma Bennett In this special workshop, we dig into the nitty gritty of spreading the word about your book with social media. We explore different social networks, find the right one for your book, and help you come up with a personalized plan. You'll learn essential tools that make using social networks more efficient, as well as critical do's and don'ts for social media etiquette.

Karma Bennett Website

 

Adam Plantinga, Author

 

October 2015
Adam Plantinga, Author

400 Things Cops Know: A Police Officer Tells What Police Work is Really Like

Real-life police work is not like what you see on TV -- all too often, mystery writers get the details of how cops and criminals behave embarrassingly wrong. Adam Plantinga, author of "400 Things Cops Know" and a working sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department, spoke on the realities of day-to-day police work. From how to drive safely in a car chase, to how to tell if a suspect is carrying a weapon, to what to do if you find a severed limb in the street, Adam had invaluable information for all writers who want to put more realism in their crime writing and create realistic police characters.

400 Things Cops Know by Adam Plantinga

 

Joshua Mohr

 

September 2015
Joshua Mohr

Plarachterization: Intersection of Plot and Character

The best plots aren't controlled by an authorial presence. Plot springs from the characters themselves. The writer masterminds all of these things, but the more we program ourselves to think of it in this way--that our protagonists are sovereign beings with independent consciousnesses from our own--the better prepared we are to traverse what I'm calling "plarachterization." This talk will be geared around characters' decision-making, the causality between plot points, how to keep a reader excitedly flipping pages. We'll also delve into tactics for constructing a present action and how to fold backstory into it. Plarachterization is a strategy that will help any aspiring writer.

Joshua Mohr

 

Anne Germanacos

 

August 2015
Anne Germanacos

Fiction, poetry, novel, memoir: Demolishing categories, undermining cliché. Included a reading from Tribute (a novel in single-sentence paragraphs), a collaborative exercise, and plenty of Q&A. Reinventing language, resuscitating consciousness.

Anne Germanacos

 

July 18 2015

Annual CWC SF/Peninsula Branch Picnic

July 25 2015

California Writer's Club Annual Picnic

Cathie Glenn Jennings

 

June 2015
Cathie Glenn Jennings

To Blog or Not to Blog: How Blogs Can Help You Write Your Next Book, Even if You Don’t Have a Blog Learn ways to use blogs to improve the research and writing of your current projects. Get to know your target readers long before publication, so you can have a built-in fan base eager to buy when your book launches.

Cathie Glenn Jennings

 

Simon Wood, author

 

May 2015
Simon Wood, author

The 21st Century Author: You don't get a second chance at making a first impression. That's never been truer for writers. While publishing opportunities have increased, so have the demands. Editors, agents and publishers expect writers to be born fully formed to tackle the reading public. You need to have your image, platform and social networking plan in place the second your book hits the market-and in the case of a new author, long before.

Simon Wood

 

Nancy Kurteman, author

 

May 2015
Nancy Curteman, award-winning mystery novelist

How to Create Tension in Your Novel: We all want to write better, win awards, and be published. Write a good story, it’s said, and you’ll not only enjoy the journey, you will reap those other rewards. Stories are created with imagination, the first of two essential ingredients. They are told with craft, the other ingredient, which Curteman would argue is the more important of the two. Tension is an element of craft and likely the most difficult to handle. Curteman will make this element easier for you with her unusual and engaging presentation.

Nancy Kurteman

 

David Kulczyk, author

 

April 2015
David Kulczyk, author

From insane celebrities to wacky religious cults, if it's weird, it happens in California-and pop historian David Kulczyk has documented it in his book, California Fruits, Flakes, and Nuts: True Tales of California Crazies, Crackpots, and Creeps. These are perfect stories for anyone who loves true crime, celebrity gossip, or feeling superior to losers.

David Kulczyk

 

Mary Knippel, writing mentor

 

March 2015
Mary Knippel, Writing Mentor

Fast, Fun and Fundamental

Change your writing, change your life in 15 minutes a day. Fun, fast and effective writing tips, techniques and strategies to connect with your most important reader.

 

For more about Mary Knippel

 

 

Red Pen Secrets

 

February 2015
Lisa Meltzer Penn and Audrey Kalman

Red Pen Secrets: No matter how great a writer you are, there’s a limit to how well you can edit your own work; at some point, you’ll need to work with an editor.

Fault Zone editors, presented a lively hands-on session to help understand the editing process.

 

For more about Lisa Meltzer Penn

For more about Audrey Kalman

 

 

Nick Taylor / T.T. Monday

 

January 2015
Nick Taylor / T.T. Monday

Another You: Working in Two Genres

Nick writes in both literary/historical fiction and crime. From a working author's perspective, Nick discussed pseudonyms, marketing, research, work flow, and prioritization.

 

For more about NIck Taylor and T.T .Monday

 

 

James B. Golden, Salinas Poet Laureate

 

November 2014
James B. Golden, Poet Laureate of Salinas

Protest Through Poetry: A Civil Rights Journey

James read from BULL, his award winning book and talked about journalism, independent / small press publishing and being a Poet Laureate.

 

For more about James B. Goldman

 

 

Caroline Goodwin, poet

 

September 2014
Caroline GoodwinComposition by Juxtaposition

Composition by Juxtaposition

In a poem, it is often the leaps between juxtaposed images that create meaning and energy, inviting the reader into the space made on the page. Caroline is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and currently serves as the first San Mateo County Poet Laureate.

For more about Caroline Goodwin

 

 

Karma Bennett, social media expert

 

August 2014
Karma Bennett
Social Media for Beginners

Karma, a local book publicist who loves to discuss web marketing and all that social media jazz wowed us with her depth of knowledge regarding social media.

For more about Karma Bennett

 

 

Mary-Rose Hayes

 

June 2014
Mary-Rose Hayes
Memoir into Fiction Setting Your Characters Free

Adventurer and author, Mary-Rose showed us how to access a character by mining personal experiences and emotions from the past.

For more about Mary-Rose Hayes

 

 

D. Patrick Miller & Sari Friedman

 

May 2014
Fearless Books:
D. Patrick Miller & Sari Friedman
The Golden Age of Self-Publishing is NOW

Founder of Fearless Books Patrick Miller and Sr. Editor Sari Friedman reveaedl why the time is right to Self-Publish and offered invaluable tips on preparing manuscripts for publication.

For more about Fearless Books

 

 

Sheldon Siegel

 

April 2014
Sheldon Siegel
What Crime Novel Are You Writing?
The Differences Between Mysteries, Thrillers and Suspense

Sheldon Siegel New York Times Best-Selling Author

For more about Sheldon

 

 

Linda Watanabe McFerrin

 

March 2014
Linda Watanabe McFerrin
Pushing the Boundaries Fiction, Non-Fiction and the Great Beyond

Poet, travel writer, novelist and teacher, Linda regaled us with stories about her writing career and shared her views on how, over time, the non-fiction writing world managed to infuse itself with literary phrases and creative narrative to become far more enjoyable. She also offered a few tips and tricks to keep on writing.

For more about Linda

 

 

Michael Koepf

 

February 2014
Michael Köepf
Writing what you know
Out of the boiling pot of experience come the words that work

Michael manages as best he can to avoid the tedium of normal life by writing from the heart. A local boy; he grew up in a commercial fishing family, built his home from scratch and writes what he knows.

For more about Michael: The Fisherman's Son, Random House

 

 

Jim Azevedo

 

January 2014
Jim Azevedo, Marketing Manager Smashwords

Jim regaled us with behind-the-scenes information about Smashwords and showed us a few tricks of the publishing trade. Smashwords has recently revamped its website and added features to help authors get their work published online. It has long championed self/small published authors. We were honored to have Jim show us how best to utilize Smashword's outstanding site.

For more: Smashwords.com

 

 

Scott Thomas Anderson

 

November 2013
Scott Thomas Anderson
Penning Reality with a Pulse

Scott, an experienced literary journalist and author, discussed the difference between crime fiction and literary journalism and how to craft audacious creative nonfiction.

For more: scottthomasanderson.com

 

 

Camille Minichino

 

October 2013
Camille Minichino
Memoir or Novel? Is there a difference?

Camille spoke about how the techniques of fiction writing are transferrable to essays, memoirs, and nonfiction books of all kinds. She shared with us some techniques which have worked for her during her prolific writing career.

For more: minichino.com

 

 

Howard VanEs

 

September 2013
Howard VanEs
Amazon Marketing Expert

Explained how to get a share of the exploding eBook market.

For more: letswritebooks.net

 

 

Victoria Zackheim

 

August 2013
Victoria Zackheim
Author of Exit Laughing
How  Humor Takes the Sting out of Death

Noted author and teacher told us about the Acorn Workshop and how to mold a simple idea into an intriguing story.

For more about Victoria: victoriazackheim.com

 

Meg WAite Clayton

 

June 2013
Meg Waite Clayton
Author of The Wednesday Sisters

Getting to Yes, Polish, PItch, Repeat

Meg shared her secrets about getting a manuscript of any sort to print. She included many stories of her own and how she acquired her hard earned, first-hand knowledge of how to get an agent and how to get published.

For more: megwaiteclayton.com

 

David Corbett

 

May 2013
David Corbett
Author of The Art of Character

Creating Memorable Characters, for Fiction, Film and TV

For more: davidcorbett.com

 

 

Susan Sachs Lipman

 

April 2013
Susan Sachs Lipman
Author of Fed up with Frenzy

The Book's Done, But You’re Not:
Marketing and Promotion for Authors

Susan discussed establishing a platform, writing and pitching releases, blogging, social media, interviews, approaching booksellers, and creating events.

For more: slowfamilyonline.com

 

 

Simon Wood

 

March 2013
Simon Wood: Author of Mystery and Suspense Writer

Simon shared with us his technique for building suspense and how to create a unique and genuinely original plot, twist by twist.

For more: simonwood.net

 

 

Priscilla Royal

 

February 2013
Priscilla Royal: Author of Medieval Mysteries

Priscilla shared with us her methods of research and how she gets the details just right.

For more: priscillaroyal.com

 

 

Cara Black

 

January 2013
Cara Black: Author of bestselling and award nominated Aimée Leduc Investigation series

Cara discussed research techniques that she uses to produce her mystery novels set in the 1990's in Paris.

For more: carablack.com

 

TAnya Egan Gibson

 

November 2012
Tanya Egan Gibson: Author, Editor, Writing Coach

Tanya discussed how she used her research to not only enrich her scenes, but to inspire the events, dialogue and subplots in her novels.

She taught us some tricks on how to make a world exciting, and and how to use objects belonging to that world to strengthen both plot and characterization.

For more: tanyaegangibson.com

 

Lynn Stegner

 

October 2012
Lynn Stegner, Author and Educator


Visit lynnstegner.com

 

 

 

Peg Alford Pursell

 

September 2012
Peg Alford Pursell Writer, Editor and Educator

Peg spoke about the art of writing Flash Fiction.
Visit pegalfordpursell.com

 

 

 

Beth Barany

 

August 2012
Beth Barany; Creative Consultant for Writers
10 Tips to Jumpstart Your Creativity

Writing is much like exercise: the more we write, the better a writer we become. Beth shared much more than her 10 tips and got us all enthused about the writing process. She offered practical advice to keep our creative juices flowing and gave us exercises to help generate new ideas for every stage of the writing process.
Visit bethbarany.com.

Subscribe to Author Entrepreneur Magazine, a monthly online magazine, dedicated to helping author entrepreneurs build a successful and sustainable business.

 

children's books

 

June 2012
Anyone Can Write a Kid's Book and Other Myths
A panel of children's book writers

Anyone can write a kids' book, right? Cynthia Chin-Lee, author of six children's books, lead a panel of children's book writers, including SuAnn and Kevin Kiser and Debbie Duncan, and let us know just how difficult and yet rewarding it is.

 

May 2012
Weaving fiction into a memoir

Fred Setterberg, author of Lunch Bucket Paradise discussed the personal path he has taken to become a writer of a fictional memoir and why. He read snippets of his work and discussed the how, when, and why one should cling to the facts but allow yourself to invent in some instances.

 

 

April 2012
So you want to publish an eBook?

Debbie Duncan recounted her brave exploits navigating the dangerous arena of self-publishing her first ebook. She gave us a wealth of nuts and bolts information and covered everything from formatting an ebook to dealing with copyright issues.

 

 

March 2012
The Art of Emotioneering

Nora Profit of the Writing Loft spoke about how a writer shoud strive to make an emotional impact in every paragraph. And about how readers hear the words in their heads so writers should make their work rhythmic and interesting to listen to. It was a great session. There will be an upcoming boot camp with Nora in June.

Albert De Silver Coaching and Mentoring Services

Visit The Writing Loft to learn more about Nora Profit and her creative writing workshops. Nora is also the author of 10 Glaring Mistakes Amateur Writers Make and How to Avoid Them.

 

February 2012
The Great Completion: Getting the Book Done

Albert Flynn DeSilver, former Poet Laureate of Marin, spoke about the difficulties he has faced in his past and how they influenced his work and fueled his desire to produce and share. His new memoir titled, "Beamish Boy: A Memoir of Recovery & Awakening" is due out this May.

Albert De Silver Coaching and Mentoring Services

20% off Mentoring Services!
For a limited time, Albert is generously offering his services as Coach and Mentor for 20% off to Members of the CWC sf/peninsula branch. Download a pdf for more information. Visit his website.

 

ezra berany

January 2012
How to Go From Unknown to Bestseller

Ezra Barany used his experience in promoting his own book, the Torah Codes to illustrate his points. He advocated carefully choosing a title by using words which are of particular interest to internet search engines. He also suggested paying special attention to the first sentence, first paragraph and first chapter of one's book. He spoke of the importance of how to make a book easy to read. He also suggested making a book trailer (short video) for Youtube.

For more about Ezrah Barany: thetorahcodes.com

 

Speaker publications

 

Right The Wrong Thing

Ellen Kirschman

The RighT Wrong Thing

Ellen Kirschman

 

 

400 Things Cops Know

Adam Plantinga

400 Things Cops Know

Adam Plantinga

 

The One That Got Away

Anne Germanacos

Tribute

Anne Germanacos

 

The One That Got Away

Simon Wood

The One That Got Away

Simon Wood

 

Murder Down Under

Nancy Curteman

Murder Down Under

Nancy Curteman

 

California Fruits, Flakes, and Nuts: True Tales of California Crazies, Crackpots, and Creeps

David Kulczyk

California Fruits, Flakes, and Nuts: True Tales of California Crazies, Crackpots, and Creeps

David Kulczyk

 

The Set Up Man by  T.T. Monday

T.T. Monday

The Setup Man

About T.T. Monday

 

Bull, by James B. Golden

James B. Golden

Bull

About James B. Golden

 

 

Trapline, Caroline Goodwin

Caroline Goodwin

Trapline

About Caroline Goodwin

 

What She Had To Do

Mary-Rose Hayes

What She Had To Do

About Mary-Rose Hayes

 

Meditations on a Blue Vase

Fearless Books presents:

Meditations on a Blue Vase
by Arthur Deikman M.D.

About Fearless Books

 

The Terrorists Next Door

Sheldon Siegel

The Terrorist Next Door

 

About Sheldon Siegel

 

Dead Love

Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Dead Love

 

About Linda Watanabe McFerrin

 

 

The Fisherman's Son

Michael Köepf

The Fisherman's Son

 

About Michael Köepf

 

The Quotient of Murder

Camille Minichino

The Quotient of a Murder
by Ada Madison (pen name)

 

About Camille Minichino

 

Exit Laughing

Victoria Zackheim

Exit Laughing
How  Humor Takes the Sting out of Death

 

About Victoria Zackheim

 

Wednesday Daughters, Meg Waite Clayton

Meg Waite Clayton

Wednesday Daughters

 

About Meg Waite Clayton

 

The Art of Character by David Corbett

David Corbett

Art of Character

 

About David Corbett

 

Fed Up with Frenzy, by Susan Sachs Lipman

Susan Sachs Lipman

Fed Up With Frenzy

 

About Susan Sachs Lipman

 

Terminated by Simon Wood

Simon Wood

Terminated

 

About Simon Wood

 

The Sanctity of Hate

Priscilla Royal

The Sanctity of Hate

 

About Priscilla Royal

 

Murder Below Montparnasse

Cara Black

Murder Below Montparnasse Aimee Leduc Series

 

About Cara Black

 

How to Buy a Love of Reading

Tanya Egan Gibson

How to Buy a Love
of Reading

 

About Tanya Egan Gibson

 

Because a fire was in my head

Lynn Stegner

Because a Fire
Was in My Head

Falkner Award Winner

 

More about Lynn Stegner

 

Henrietta, Dragon Slayer

Beth Barany

Henrietta The Dragon Slayer
Book One

 

More about Beth Barany

 

Lucn Bucket Paradise

Fred Setterberg

Lunch Bucket Paradise
A True-Life Novel

 

More about Fred Setterberg

 

Caller Number Nine, Debbie Duncan

Debbie Duncan

Caller Number Nine

 

More about Debbie Duncan

 

10 Glaring Mistakes Amateur Writers Make and How to Avoid Them.

Nora Profit

10 Glaring Mistakes Amateur Writers Make and How to Avoid Them.

More about Nora Profit

 

Letters to Early Street

Albert Flynn DeSilver

Letters to Early Street

 

More about Albert DeSilver

 

Ezra Barany

The Torah Codes

 

More about Ezra Barany