No 2016 Authors Fair

Unfortunately, the Writers Forum will not be sponsoring an Authors Fair in 2016.

The issue was discussed at the last board meeting on September 8. We still had no confirmation that the mall would be available for us to use. Alternative venues had been discussed at the June meeting, but we could think of no alternatives that fit our needs (such as high walk-by traffic, which is so important for book sales) that would be within our budget.

There is a silver lining! The money that would have gone towards the Authors Fair for things such as advertising and venue fees will now be redirected towards purchasing some tech equipment for the Writers Forum. We currently borrow some of our tech equipment when we have audio/visual components to the monthly meeting. Sometimes this results in equipment ‘glitches’, such as the one that occurred at the last meeting. The Critique Group panel could not show the video component of their presentation due to technical difficulties arising from borrowed equipment.

Hopefully, we can get the Authors Fair back on schedule next year.

Critique Groups


The Writers Forum meeting last Saturday, September 10, was all about Critique Groups. Board Members Sharon Owen, Ellen Jellison, Laura Hernandez, and Vickie Linnet spoke to the gathering of thirty-three WF members about what they have learned about what makes critique groups work. WF President Laura Hernandez wrote a summary of their presentation for us.

Critique Groups

Laura Hernandez


You can form a group all by yourself or you can infiltrate an existing one with a few important things to remember.  That’s what my very own group was trying to tell you Saturday for our September General Meeting.


sharon1Getting your priorities out in the open is the best place to start.  Are you working toward fiction and publication?  You don’t have to be but everyone in your group should know if you are and you’d be better served being with people who are.  Figure out what genre you are writing in and get in a group that knows a little bit about that genre.  Your pleasure reading should be in that genre often enough so you know what you’re talking about.




ellen1Find/start a group that matches your writing skills.  If you have never taken a writing class, start!  There are many online such as Gotham Writers and UCLA Writers Extension that I have taken and recommend.  Your group shouldn’t be burdened by obvious weakness in your sentence structure, punctuation/grammar, paragraph construction, point of view, tense, and tone because you can’t figure it out.


Form groups and use SKYPE or GO TO MEETINGS online.  Decide how many pages to submit each time and when, and stick to it.


Your group should be looking for character development, story telling, plot pitfalls, consistency, drama and tension craft.  And that’s what you are looking for in their stories.  Look for books that you can keep to refer to these writing essentials.


If you meet in cafés, bring your wallet.  If you meet at someone’s home, bring cookies sometimes.  If you are meeting online, remember to meet the deadlines even though a pile of papers isn’t staring you in the face on the table.  And remember that your facial expressions and voice which usually help mitigate a criticism aren’t there online so read it to yourself and picture how this would read to you before you hit SEND.  There are some online groups included in this newsletter for you to try.  I haven’t tried them all except for Inked Voices, so don’t come cryin’ to me if you don’t like them. Experiment!  You aren’t dating these people, just writing with them!


Each criticism should have a complement, too.  And you, over there, quit defending that point that isn’t working in your story!  Your group wants your story to work and is helping you get there! Your group can be the biggest force in getting your writing where you want it to go!  So get going!

Here are links to the groups Laura mentioned.


If you would be interested in finding a local critique group to join, or even would like to start a local critique group, please feel free to use the WF Critique Group page to find others. Remember, we do not match people with groups. You need to reach out and contact them. Post your writing genre and goals, and contact those who might be a good match for you.

Chloe Winston at Barnes & Noble

DSCN5939Writers Forum member Chloe Winston will be signing books at Barnes & Noble today in Redding at 1:00. Chloe’s third book, China Caper, has been released, and copies will be available for purchase, as well as her first two books, Argentine Assignment and Belize Barter.

Chloe uses her extensive travel experience as background for her Briana Fraser adventures. Much as Louis L’Amour used to do with his Westerns, if Chloe writes about a place in her books, you can be pretty sure that she’s actually been to that place in real life. Her descriptions reflect that sort of detail. Chloe loves to weave real world events into her novels, as well, which adds to the flavor of authenticity. For instance, in Argentine Assignment, Chloe weaves the truth of los desaparecidos, people who simply disappeared during that country’s political upheaval. Chloe’s second book, Belize Barter, opens with the death of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

If you enjoy international thrillers, come and sample Chloe Winston’s tales!

See you at Barnes & Noble.


Redding Writers on the Radio

Today is Friday. Don’t forget to tune into Nancy’s Bookshelf on North State Public Radio this morning. Every week, Nancy Wiegman of Chico State University interviews authors of local interest, and especially writers from our area. In the past, she has interviewed authors such as Christy Largent, Steven T. Callan, and Sharon St. George.

I don’t know who Nancy’s guests will be today, but last week she spoke with Redding-area authors R.L. Seago and Shane Weisman.

R.L. Seago, or Robert, works in Redding and has written several novels, the latest of which is Tears of the Innocent. Seago draws on his military and medical background to craft taut thrillers.

Shane Weissman writes children’s books in rhyme reminiscent of Dr. Seuss. He also has classroom presentations which he gives at local schools. On last week’s program, Shane recited a large section of his work that he uses in his presentations. It was a joy to listen!

I listen to Nancy’s Bookshelf on 88.9 FM at 10:00.

Also, local author Chloe Winston will hold a book signing at the Redding Barnes & Noble tomorrow at 1:00. Her third novel in a series, China Caper, has been published and she will have copies available for purchase. I’ll post another reminder tomorrow, and more about Chloe’s delightful book series.

Have a great day!


A Reading to Remember

Group 2

The venue was perfect as seven local poets gathered to read selections from their writings on Friday, August 19 at the Old City Hall downtown.

Old City Hall

I had missed an earlier reading the previous Friday due to a cold. I still had the cold on this Friday, but I was determined to hear at least a few of the poets read. Once there, I was so drawn in by the depth and passion of the readings that I was there until the end.

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