Replacement Program for November

WF Program Director Sharon Owen has found a program to replace this year’s cancelled Authors Fair. WF members Robb Lightfoot, Charlie Price, and Jim Dowling will be hosting a panel discussion on short story writing for the November meeting.

We will announce more details as they become available.



Local Small Bookshop Closing

all-about-books-picAll About Books, a used bookstore at 1301 Court St, has been a friend to local authors for many years by offering them space to showcase their work. They have been a resource for multiple copies of current books for book groups and have hosted receptions for local authors and artists.

Now however, due to longtime competition from e-readers and online re-sellers, they will be closing their doors mid-November. Beginning October 8th, all books are buy one get two free. All bookcases, displays and fixtures are also for sale, everything must go.

As the final day draws near, the deals will get even better.

There are at least three reasons to go in and buy a few books:  supporting this longtime business, even at this late date, reduces their loss; supporting a business that has supported our writing community is a good thing to do; and getting great deals is always helpful for avid readers.

Owners Richard and Abigail Lucas have accepted that the time has come to move on. “I’ve lived the dream of owning my own bookstore, meeting customers and talking books, what a privilege for my day job,” Abigail said. “Every good book comes to an end, so it’s time to start a new one.”

Richard, a local author in his own right, agrees that, “at this point, the writing is on the wall.”

Hopefully they’ll get a last flood of customers as a great send off for years of service to customers and authors.

Open 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, 9 to 2 Saturdays. Phone: 530.605.4848

1301 Court Street,  Corner of Court and Shasta in Downtown Redding

Submitted by Melinda Brown


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.