October Meeting Date Changed

Howdy. We would like to remind everybody that the Saturday Writers Forum meeting this month has been moved to the THIRD Saturday, NEXT week, the 21st. This was to accommodate the guest speaker, poet Anna Elkins, who was already booked for the second Saturday. We will resume our normal second Saturday meetings in November. Thank you!

Anna’s program will include optional audience participation with writing exercises throughout.

Anna introduces her topic with a quote from Richard R. Nebuhr. Pilgrims are poets who create by taking journeys. She describes her presentation as follows: “What is the difference between see and seek? What is the quest at the heart of the question? This session will explore where writing takes us by delving beneath our surface impressions to the underglimmers, the spirit-aquifers, and the paths of the heart. It is there—deep into the interior roads—where we make pilgrimage to the sacred with our words.”

Anna Elkins is a traveling poet and painter. She earned a BA in art and English and an MFA and Fulbright Fellowship in poetry. Anna has written, painted, and taught on six continents. Her art hangs on walls around the world, and she has published four books, including the poetry collection, The Space Between. Anna lives with her easel and writing desk in the mythical State of Jefferson.

Meanwhile, take a peek at our guest speaker’s website!
Anna Elkins 2MB Crop for print



 Don’t Let Them Get You

Writers Forum member Jennifer Levens has written both historical and contemporary novels. At our March 11 meeting, she speaks about research as it applies to historical novels for accuracy, and to contemporary novels for dates and accuracy of methodology. Levens explains how to avoid the problem of readers who write to the author about the slightest inaccuracies in a novel, or even worse, readers who put the book down unfinished and move on to another author. She will explain how to avoid this by using meticulous research to identify reliable primary and secondary sources. Jennifer Levens is a Master of Education who also holds a degree in English Literature. She is an actress, director, musician, writer and teacher who has been writing most of her life, and thinks making people laugh is the highest form of therapy.

The meeting is this Saturday from 10:30am-12:30pm at All Saints Episcopal Church in the Memorial Hall.  Doors open at 10:00am so that we can get started promptly at 10:30am.  All Saints Episcopal Church is located at 2150 Benton Drive, Redding, CA.

See you there!

Adding to our coffers…

For years, Writers Forum has relied on our Membership for Multi-media Presentations. From borrowing Shasta College’s Digital Projector (and later their Screen) to other members’ Audio Cables and Mobile HotSpots, we are thankful. But one problem was that Advanced Planning was needed. We could not at the drop of a hat (read that as a presenter canceling) substitute a packaged media program from Writers Digest or other online resources.


Scripps Howard Foundation  has awarded the Writers Forum a Volunteer Gift of over a thousand dollars for purchase of equipment that support will enhance Multi-Media presentations.


Retired Scripps Howard Employee and Past Writers Forum President Larry Watters, left, holds check for purchase of Multi-media equipment at General Meeting held February 11, while President Laura Hernadez, right, and Program Chair Sharon Owen, foreground, laugh over the prospect of Owen not “Borrowing” Shasta College’s Projector ever again.



Writers Forum Treasurer Jennifer Levens holds Scripps Howard Foundation check.


Next Program: For the Love of Poetry

On February 11, in the month for love and valentines, Writers Forum offers a much-requested poetry event, presented by a duo of eminently qualified Shasta College English instructors.



Photo courtesy CSU Chico

Dr. Sara McCurry has taught in the English Department at Shasta College since 2007. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University and a PhD in English from the University of Oregon. She writes poems about the natural world, women’s experiences including motherhood, and teaching. She believes deeply in the message written to all of us on the Missoulian poet Richard Hugo’s gravestone: “Believe you and I sing tiny and wise and could if we had to eat stone and go on.”



Scott Yates

Photo courtesy of John Boyden

Scott Yates grew up in Cottonwood, CA, earned an M.A. in English from San Francisco State University, and taught for years in various California community colleges and in Sanaa, Yemen. He now teaches English at Shasta College and lives in Redding with his sublime spouse, four frisky children, and alliteration. In poems about Yemen, family, his bicycle ride to work, and other miscellany, Scott seeks to attend to the sounds of his subjects and explore the mysteries of human experience

This presentation will include a mini poetry workshop. Come prepared to participate in writing exercises if you wish. Writers Forum meetings are held  from 10:30am – 12:30pm at All Saints Episcopal Church located at 2150 Benton Drive, Redding, CA. Doors open at 10am. Guests are free for the first two meetings.

Please note a meeting room change for February only. Writers Forum will meet in Eaton Hall East at All Saints Episcopal Church.

Saturday’s Meeting: Steven T. Callan and Play Tickets


Steven T. Callan

Author Steven T. Callan will speak to the Writers Forum on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at All Saints Episcopal Church in Redding, CA.
Steven T. Callan is the award-winning author of Badges, Bears, and Eagles—The True-Life Adventures of a California Fish and Game Warden, a 2013 “Book of the Year” award finalist (ForeWord Reviews). He is the recipient of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 “Best Outdoor Magazine Column” awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of California. Steve’s sequel, The Game Warden’s Son, was released March 1, 2016, by Coffeetown Press of Seattle, and is the focus of his 2016 book tour.

Steve was born in San Diego, California, where he spent his early childhood. It was there that he first developed his love of nature, spending much of his spare time exploring the undeveloped canyons behind his house and learning to skin dive in the nearby ocean. In 1960, Callan’s family moved to the small Northern California farm town of Orland. Steve spent his high school years playing baseball, basketball, hunting, and fishing. With an insatiable interest in wildlife, particularly waterfowl, he never missed an opportunity to ride along on patrol with his father, a California Fish and Game warden.
Callan graduated from California State University, Chico, in 1970, and continued with graduate work at California State University, Sacramento. While studying at Sacramento State, he worked as a paid intern for the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors—using this golden opportunity to lobby for protected wildlife corridors in the county’s general plan.
Hired by the California Department of Fish and Game in 1974, Warden Steve Callan’s first assignment was the Earp Patrol District on the Colorado River. He was promoted to patrol lieutenant in January of 1978, leaving the desert and moving to the metropolitan area of Riverside/San Bernardino. While stationed in Riverside, Callan organized and led a successful effort to ban the sale of native reptiles in California. He also organized and led a successful campaign to stop a planned recreational development at Lake Mathews— establishing the lake and its surrounding wildlands as an ecological reserve for thousands of waterfowl and Southern California’s largest population of wintering bald eagles.
Transferring north to Shasta County in 1981, Lieutenant Callan spent the remainder of his thirty-year enforcement career in Redding. While supervising the warden force in Shasta County, Callan created and coordinated the Streamside Corridor Protection Plan—working with city and county planners to establish development-free setbacks along the Sacramento River and its tributaries.
In 1995, Lieutenant Steve Callan and Warden Dave Szody conducted a three-year undercover investigation into the unlawful killing of California black bears for their gallbladders, possibly the most successful wildlife related criminal investigation in California history at the time. Callan and Szody received the distinguished Frank James Memorial award for their accomplishment.
Steve and his wife, Kathleen, a retired science teacher, are passionate about the environment. They are longtime members of no fewer than a dozen environmental organizations and actively promote environmental causes. They are avid bird watchers, kayakers, anglers, and scuba divers. Steve is also a wildlife artist, using photographs he takes while scuba diving for inspiration. Callan has played competitive softball throughout the United States since his college days and, in 2004, was inducted into the National Senior Softball Hall of Fame. Steve can be found online at steventcallan.com.

Riverfront Playhouse Tickets

The Play’s the Thing!


Help support Writers Forum, and enjoy an Edgar-award-winning play from Broadway playwright Ken Ludwig.

From the Riverfront Playhouse’s website: The Story: William Gilette has been shot while on stage in a Sherlock Holmes play. We see him two weeks later at home on Christmas Eve entertaining some of the cast members. A murder,an attempted murder, a female detective, Gilette’s mother; Ah yes, the game’s afoot.

Tickets are $20 for one ticket, or $30 for two. Take a date and save ten dollars! Proceeds support the Riverfront Playhouse and the Writers Forum. Tickets are for the Wednesday, February 1 show only and are available through Jennifer Levens, who can be reached at (530) 722-0504, or by e-mail at theatermaven2@gmail.com . Tickets will also be available for purchase at the January 14 Writers Forum Meeting.

Steven will speak and tickets will be available at All Saints Episcopal Church, 2150 Benton Drive, Redding, CA on Saturday, January 14 at 10:30 AM. All are welcome.

This Saturday: Revise Like a Pro

Here is a reminder that the Writers Forum monthly meeting is this Saturday, October 8, at 10:30 at All Saints Episcopal Church, 2150 Benton Drive.

This presentation will explore a variety of revision techniques that will allow writers to see their work with fresh eyes and a new perspective. What happens after the first draft of a novel can be the most difficult part of the writing process. What works? What doesn’t?

ellen1Presenter Ellen Jellison will discuss three easy steps in making the revision process less painful:

  • The Four Basic Elements to your Narrative,
  • Response to Literature,
  • Questioning Strategies

Ellen Jellison earned her degree in Anthropology from Chico State University. She has worked as an Archaeologist for the U.S. Forest Service and as a teacher of English and History in middle school in the Redding area. She now writes middle grade and young adult fiction, and is a member of SCBWI, the Historical Novel Society, and Sisters in Crime. As a teacher turned writer, Ellen understands the importance of revision, or as stated in Latin, revisare, meaning “to look at again.”