Greetings from Redwood Writers!

July 2024


Well, hello there! I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be writing this letter to all of you as your new president of Redwood Writers. I remember walking into my first meeting over 11 years ago and feeling in awe of all the established writers around me when I had a hard time even identifying as a writer. For the first time, I learned what it felt like to be in a room full of writers. It felt like home. Here was a group of people who understood the passion around writing, along with the neurosis. People who could spend hours with butt in chair, but also knew every single distraction there was to mankind. 

These were my people. YOU are my people. 

To kick off my presidency, I’d love to invite you to coffee! I’ll be at Cafe Noto in Windsor on Sunday, July 7, 10 a.m. to noon, for an informal drop-in chat over coffee. This is an open invitation, no agenda, no reservation needed. So if you’re free on Sunday, just drop in. And don’t forget to purchase coffee or pastries, and tip your baristas! I’m planning to make this a monthly event, so if you can’t make this one, there will always be a chance to hang out in the future. 

And we can always hang out at our general meeting! This month’s featured speaker is a pretty big deal. Steve Almond, a New York Times Best Selling Author, is sharing his insight about how to tackle all those crippling thoughts and negative voices that lead to writer’s block. I know I’ll be leaning in for this one! The meeting is on July 20 at 11 a.m. at the Finley Center. I hope to see you there!

For those who are wondering, there is still time to submit to our In the Dark call for submissions. This is an exciting opportunity to submit your writing for a chance to have it read by Off the Page Readers Theater in front of a live audience. If you’ve attended any of their performances, you already know how impactful this group is in bringing readings to life. Deadline is July 30. Best of luck to all of you!

And I’m thrilled to know so many of you submitted poetry for our next poetry anthology, One Day. Les Bernstein has her work cut out for her choosing among the many incredible poems submitted this year. I’m really looking forward to this book. 

And finally, if you haven’t renewed your membership for the 2024-25 year, what are you waiting for? This year is going to be full of fun and fellowship among writers, and I’d hate for you to miss out. Be sure to renew now before the membership window closes. 

All this information and more can be found in this month’s newsletter, or on the website at

By the way, with the changing of the guard also comes a change of newsletter editors. Starting August 1, you can welcome Judy Baker as your new Redwood Writer editor. With her creative eye and bounds of enthusiasm, I’m really looking forward to seeing how she celebrates your accomplishments and our club’s offerings in our coming newsletters. 

Happy writing!

Crissi Langwell

RW President


  • President's Message
  • General Meeting: Steve Almond - July 20
  • Meet Your New Board!
  • Coffee with the Prez - July 7
  • RW Circle - July 27
  • In the Dark - Call for Submissions - deadline July 30
  • Membership Renewal
  • Member News
  • Homegrown Poetry




How to Conquer Writer’s Block, Ego Need, Envy and the Other Evil Voices Inside You

July 20, 2024

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Note: We invite you to bring potluck items to share

Steve Almond, author of Truth Is the Arrow, Mercy Is the Bow, will discuss the emotional struggles that we bring to our writing, everything from the anxiety of exposure to the crippling doubts that drive us into writer’s block—without judgment or platitudes. No question is off limits: Can I tell the truth about my abusive parent? Is it wrong to be jealous of a famous friend? What if I’m just not good enough? At the center of our discussion is a radical question: Is it possible to view moments, and even eras, of creative doubt as necessary and even essential to our artistic growth? How can we move from anxiety and self-loathing to a posture of forgiveness and curiosity?

About our Featured Speaker:

Steve Almond is the author of twelve books of fiction and non-fiction, including the New York Times Bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His first novel, Which Brings Me to You, was made into a movie that is streaming on Amazon and Hulu. His second novel, All the Secrets of the World, is being developed for television by 20th Century Fox. His new book, Truth Is the Arrow, Mercy Is the Bow is about the craft of writing, the meaning of stories, and the emotional and psychological struggles we face in telling our stories.

Find him at

Meeting Agenda and Logistics

Cypress Room, Finley Center

  • Meeting starts at 11 a.m.
  • Presentation
  • Potluck Break & Book Sales
  • Board, Chair & Member announcements
  • Optional Writing Q&A
  • Adjourn at 2 p.m.

This is an in-person meeting. The meeting will be recorded and made available to registrants and all membership.

Admission: $5 members / $10 non-members



We are excited to announce our 2024-25 Executive Board!

President: Crissi Langwell

Vice President: Mara Lynn Johnstone

Vice President: Shawn Langwell

Secretary: Barbara Cottrell

Treasurer: Malena Eljumaily



Sunday, July 7, 10 a.m. to noon

Cafe Noto (630 McClelland Dr., Windsor)

Redwood Writers president, Crissi Langwell, invites you to Cafe Noto in Windsor Town Green for an informal coffee date with the prez! Show up anytime between 10 a.m. to noon for a chance to ask questions about Redwood Writers, talk about writing, or just hang out and get to know Crissi and other members of our branch. No reservations required. If you show up, please purchase something from Cafe Noto to support their business and thank them for letting us use their space.

The RW Circle will meet on July 27, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

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.

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)


In the Dark - Call for Submissions

It happens to us all, doesn't it?

Someone comes to us, expecting something, and we feel clueless about the particular circumstance..... or, we find ourselves in a place and time that we don't recognize.

Then there's the literal meaning ...The physical dark holds the unseen, mystery, romance, danger, nightmares and sweet dreams...

... What does it mean for you?

Off the Page Readers Theater and Redwood Writers invites local North Bay writers of all genres to submit up to six pieces of writing that may be selected for a dramatic reading. 

Submission Deadline:

July 30, 2024



Membership renewal is now open until Sept. 30. Don't delay! If you have questions, contact Roger Lubeck at



If you have news to share about your writing, an award, an appearance or other writing-related news, send a short (100 words max) announcement in third person POV to Please attach a photo. Deadline is the 15th of the month.


Jeane Slone's newly published historical novel, She Was An American Combat Nurse During WW II, just won two awards.

The first award was presented by the National Indie Excellence as sole winner in the Historical Biography category. Jeane was also placed in their national speakers directory.

The second award was a 5-star award from the Historical Fiction Company.

If any members would like to buy Jeane Slone's book, visit her website:


Linda Reid is offering Redwood Writers a special tour of Reverberations, the spectacular exhibit that opened June 21 at SebARTS. There are 56 famous artworks and poems by local poets. Linda will be your docent, taking you through the gallery.

Dates: to register go to

  • July 9, 2-4 p.m. = Poets read their poems - fee is zero to $25
  • July 13, 6-8 p.m. = Panel of collectors talk about their experiences - $25
  • July 14, 1-3 p.m.= Repeat of Linda's lecture on artists - $25
  • July 21, 1-3 p.m.= Poets read their poems - fee is zero to $25
  • Aug 3 & 4, 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. = Painting Poetry with Sherrie Lovler - $240

Linda is giving docent tours of the show on the dates listed below.

To join a tour, send an email to lindalreid100 {at}

All the tours are at 11:00 a.m. Discount price is $13. (bring cash or check to SebARTS)

  • July 2
  • July 10
  • July 11
  • July 12


Crissi Langwell announces the release of her next book, Savior Complex, the 3rd book in her steamy romance series, Sunset Bay.

Nina Chance met the man of her dreams. Literally. He matches every single item on a list she made years ago, describing the perfect man. The only problem? He's her cousin's fiancé. Releasing July 19, 2024.

Find it at:



Marie Judson keeps an ongoing list of 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.



To submit poetry for future issues, contact newsletter poetry editor Skye Blaine at Submission should be single-spaced in 12 pt. Times or Times New Roman. No all caps, please. Poems are reviewed by a team of poets. We will acknowledge receipt and advise if your work is accepted or if minor edits are requested.

Just This One

by Margaret Barkley

Ain’t no such thing, she said,

smoothing her flour sack print apron

over her wide knees.

Ain’t no such thing at all,

bein’ as how

we’re all made out of dust and space—

us and the trees and the dogs

and the stars—

all made of tiny specks

with space around them.

Mostly space, that’s right.

She kicked the floorboards

with her toe, making

the old porch swing’s chains 

squeak as it moved.

I curled up content under the fat

of her upper arm,

my skinny girl arm tucked around her,

and watched the swirl

of tiny bugs in the porch light’s halo.

A separate reality?

Ain’t no such thing, she said, 

patting me.

Just this one here.

Margaret Barkley is a poet, teacher, and curious observer of humans and nature. Her first chapbook Ribs was published by Finishing Line Press in 2021. She has an MA in Psychology with a focus on group facilitation, has taught at SSU and USF, and has led a writing group since 1999.


Bob Isbell, an instrumental member of California Writers Club since 2008, passed away in June after a short illness. Every branch of the CWC benefited from Bob's dedication to our club. He has served as the High Desert Branch president, vice president, and was the branch’s programs and publicity chair at the time of his passing. Bob has been a central board representative since 2011 and has also served as forum moderator and administrator and CWC vice president. Bob is the 2009 recipient of the Jack London Award, and in 2017, he received the Ina Coolbrith Award. In 2021, the High Desert Branch awarded him President Emeritus status for his many contributions to the branch.

From Roger Lubeck, CWC President and RW Membership Chair:

I met Robert Isbill in 2018 at my first CWC meeting. He was representing the High Desert Branch. Bob cared deeply about the club and was an experienced board member. He was one of those people who you could ask, “How does this work” or “Why do we do this?” and he would have the answer. In reviewing Bob’s bio, I see he joined the club in 2008 and was awarded the Jack London Service Award a year later. No small feat. Like me, Bob served as a Vice President and President of his branch (High Desert) and also served as the CWC’s and High Desert’s publicity chair. When I asked him, Bob said he was willing to serve as my first Vice President (2022-2023). In addition, Bob served as my nominating chair in 2023 and 2024. If only saw Bob at the annual CWC meetings, however he and I frequently talked on the phone. Bob was a great sounding board and would call with ideas to strengthen and grow the club. Even when we disagreed, Bob listened and was thoughtful in his comments or suggestions. If I needed something done that I couldn’t do as president, Bob was always there. His presence and positive effect on the Club will be missed. I miss him already.


Redwood Writers would not be a possibility without our many wonderful leaders and chairpeople who generously volunteer their time and efforts. We appreciate you!

Board of Directors


Crissi Langwell, President

Mara Lynn Johnstone, Vice President

Shawn Langwell, Vice President

Barb Cottrell, Secretary

Malena Eljumaily, Treasurer

Judy Baker, Immediate Past President

Tommie Whitener, Vault Master, Policies & Procedures

Roger Lubeck, Membership Chair


Chairs and Editors


Les Bernstein, Poetry Anthology Editor

Crissi Langwell, Website Editor

Amrita Blaine, Newsletter Poetry Editor

Robin Gabbert, Writers Salon

Linda L. Reid, Writers Circle, Poetry Anthology Party

Janice Rowley, 2024 Prose Anthology Editor

Marie Judson, Critique Groups 

Laura McHale Holland, Social Media

Shawn Langwell, Speakers, Communications & PR Director, and Conference Chair

Pamela Heck, Conference Volunteers Chair

Board meetings are held 6:30-7:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month unless otherwise noted and are open to any member in good standing. Contact to receive an invitation.


The Redwood Writer

Redwood Writers Club

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.
Facebook  Instagram