Writers of Kern Newsletter | June 2022
Click on the header name to go directly to that part of the newsletter.
In this issue: President's Message | From Your Membership ChairNext Meeting | Last Meeting | From Your WOK Critique Group Chair | Volunteering Opportunities | Monthly Meetings | Mark Your Calendar | From Your Sunshine Chair | From Your Editor | Nuts & Bolts  

President's Message

June is the beginning of summer. For the Santa Barbara me summer means cruise ships and tourists, the Solstice celebration and Fiesta Days, the beach and humidity. For the Bakersfield me those hot summer days and nights are filled with barbecues and cold beer, pools and water parks, and street fireworks on fourth of July. For both cities the kids are out of school and their parents are figuring what to do with the influx of childhood energy: vacations and camps and sports—soccer, lots of soccer. Whatever summer means to you, I hope you have one filled with fun, friends, and family, and a whole lot of love. Be safe, too.

For the Writers of Kern (WOK), June is the end of board terms; voting for the new year takes place, and we begin again in July. I'm fortunate and grateful to have had the opportunity to serve on the WOK Board. I joined the Writers of Kern as an active member in 2017. I began volunteering immediately: I started as the photographer and assisted on two WOK anthologies. Later, I served as treasurer for two years, then became president and program chair. It was challenging work at times, but I enjoyed helping and consider the experience invaluable. I connected or reconnected with a lot of great authors and speakers: Cecil Castelucci, Henry Barajas, Mika McKinnon, Lucy Snyder, Cat Rambo, Clarissa Kae, Peter Clines, Susanne Dietze, Portia Choi, and in August, Alex Segura.

June 30 marks the end of my term as president, and it has been my pleasure to serve. The new board elections will take place at our June Meeting. Please see the nominations below or click here for the ballot. We have several positions that still need to be filled. If you love this club and the community it creates, please consider volunteering. 

This is my last message as president, but I'll be around. Friend me on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. Or say hi at our monthly meetings.

Cyn Bermudez | writer. poet. artist. nerd. | 
Author of And the Moon FollowsBrothersGraffiti Heart, and 
The Dragons Club (forthcoming) | illustrations
twitter, facebook, & instagram @cyncbermudez;  editor @planisphereqyoutube 

Board Appointed Positions and/or Volunteers (open and filled) 

Membership Chair        Sandy Moffett     
Newsletter Editor          Shelley Evans
Member at Large          Gay Chambers 
Hospitality Chair           Stephanie Apsit
Meeting Greeter #1      Bethane Banks
Webmaster                   Cynthia Bermudez

We still need help with the following positions:

Newsletter Assistant
Meeting Greeter #2        
Program Chair            
Publicity Chair    
AV Equipment Help #1
AV Equipment Help #2
From Your Membership Chair:
Writers Rejoice!
Sandy Moffett – Membership Chair

We are an eclectic lot, we writers.  We do things differently – think outside the box. Ah! A cliché. But, it’s true.  Why else would our “new year” start in July?  And, yet it does.

So, let’s get ready for renewal – dues renewal, that is.  

Starting July 1st, and until September 30th is the window for renewing your Writers of Kern membership.  The rate is $45 and puts you in good standing through June 30th, 2023.

If you are not a current member and would like to become part of our writing family, we welcome you as well.  New members pay $65 for the first year, and a portion of that amount ($20) goes to the California Writers Club to cover insurance for our meetings.

Why, you ask would I want to be a member of WOK?  Well, you can’t find a better bunch of people anywhere…my opinion, but I’m right. 😊

Perks of membership include a discounted rate for monthly breakfast meetings at Hodel’s Country Dining, access to incredible speakers, writing exercises, contests and publishing opportunities, and some amazing critique groups.

Most important though, is the chance to help keep our family growing strong by bringing your unique talents and perspectives to our group.  The opportunity to serve on our governing board and volunteer for support positions is only open to members in good standing.

So, put your pen to paper or your fingers to keyboard and make sure to send in your renewal via our website or by picking up an application at the next monthly meeting.  

We welcome you in advance.
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18 June 2022 Featured Speaker: Aimee Liu

Gaining Substance by Composing in Layers
Stanley Kunitz, in an essay called “The Layers” in Next-to-Last Things, writes: “One of the great resources of the poetic imagination is its capacity to mount thought on thought, event on event, image on image, time on time, a process that I term ‘layering.’ The life of the mind is largely a buried life.” Just so, the literary products of the mind are composed through this same process of layering. Scenes, stories, and characters with depth and authenticity are rarely, if ever, created in a single burst. Like great paintings, they come to life bit by bit, as the artist approaches from different angles, bringing a different focus with each pass. In this workshop, we’ll deconstructing the opening of my novel Glorious Boy to see how the scene was built, layer by layer.

Aimee Liu is the bestselling author of the novels Glorious BoyFlash HouseCloud Mountain, and Face, as well as the memoirs Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders and Solitaire. Her books include a Literary Guild Super Release and have been published in more than twelve languages and serialized in Good Housekeeping. She also is the editor of Alchemy of the Word: Writers Talk About Writing, and Restoring Our Bodies, Reclaiming Our Lives: Guidance and Reflections on Recovery from Eating DisordersHer articles have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Ms., Literary Hub, The Rumpus, The Los Angeles Review of Books and other publicationsShe holds an MFA in creative writing from the Bennington Writing Seminars and taught for more than 15 years in Goddard College’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program. More at

Purchase in-person tickets here: $15 members and $18 nonmembers.
Purchase online tickets here: $5 Zoom.
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| 21 May 2022 | Inclusive Characterization: Writing ‘the other’ without Stereotypes or Appropriation

The attendees of this workshop had the opportunity to learn more about advancing skills in real-world characterization and authentic representation. Michelle Cruz Gonzales taught how to write diverse characters in a rich and meaningful way that humanizes them.

Thank you, Michelle, for a great workshop.
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Sunday June 19th is the annual celebration honoring fathers everywhere. The Writers of Kerns wishes all fathers, fathers-to-be, and father figures a wonderful Father's Day. 

Need gift ideas? Check out WOK Press for our anthologies or books by our members
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WOK Critique Group News

Why should I join a Critique Group?  What’s in it for me?

Here’s my story:

When I was preparing my chapbook of poetry to publish during the pandemic in 2020, every month, I presented poems for my critique group to discuss.  They helped me hone my work – making suggestions to improve confusing passages, any grammar mistakes, making my writing clearer and more engaging.

Thanks to their help, I was able to complete my manuscript and put it up on KDP on Amazon and now have my book published and available for purchase!  It is called A Kaleidoscope of Love by Carla Joy Martin.

I encourage you to take the plunge and join a Critique Group!  I have become close friends with all my Critique Group’s members.  I couldn't have published my book without them.  Whether we meet on Zoom or in person, our gatherings are always upbeat and full of happy laughter. 

What kind of writing do you like to do?  Mysteries?  Young Adult?  Children’s?  Poetry?  Screenwriting?  SciFi?  Non-fiction?  Romance?  Memoir?  Let me know and we will connect you with a group and/or create a new Critique Group to suit your needs!


Carla Joy Martin, Critique Group Chair

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Carla Stanley’s play, Point of No Return, selected by Bakersfield Community Theatre, will be performed June 24-July 2, 2022.

In the past two years, WOK member, Carla Stanley, has written a book, multiple memoirs and poems, and, most recently, a one-act play.  Previously a theatre teacher, Stanley had worked on plays and decided it was time to learn the basics of writing them.  She took a playwriting class taught by Carol Wolf through the Leven Institute at Bakersfield College in September 2021. She learned that action and characters can combine to tell a story and “keep people in their seats.”  She and the other students crafted short plays and critiqued them.  

During the four weeks of the class, Stanley created three short plays.  She then reworked them with everyone’s comments in mind and the assistance of Wolf’s book, Playwriting:  The Merciless Craft.  Stanley submitted her plays to the Bakersfield Community Theatre ( in March 2022.  BCT selected her play, Point of No Return, to be performed for the Bakersfield Community Theatre One-Act Festival featuring a total of six new plays by local writers. 
The plot of Point of No Return revolves around a teenager, Frankie, who is gender fluid.  Their mother is accepting, their father believes conversion therapy will put his daughter on the proper path.  The battle for allowing Frankie to follow their path is the center of the story.
Performances are June 24-July 2, 2022 at Bakersfield Community Theatre, 2400 South Chester.

Respectfully submitted,

Carla Joy Martin, Critique Group Chair

Participating as a Volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering for the Writers of Kern, please read the post below. Send an email to if you would like to nominate/participate in this year's board election, or if you are interested in the one of the appointed positions.

Originally written by Natalia Corres and reposted by Cyn Bermudez

How does the Writers of Kern Chapter of the California Writers Club operate?

Everyone from the President to the Member-at-large to the Audio Engineer/Zoom Wrangler - is a volunteer! Whether they are elected or appointed, each position is filled because someone raised their hand and said they'd help.

What are the various positions?

The board consists of: President; Vice President; Secretary; Membership; and Treasurer. These positions are nominated and voted on each year - and the positions require commitment for the full fiscal year (July 1- June 30).

Chairs are appointed for: Sunshine; Newsletter Editor; Webmaster; Public Relations: Critique Group Coordinator; and Member at Large. These positions are appointed and can sometimes be shared.

Readers, Editors, other special project volunteers. These are short-term positions, such as participating as a Judge for the Scholastic Scholarship Entries (which happens at the end of the year); or acting as a "reader" of the entries for the Fall Writing Contest or the WOK Anthology Entries.

WIFM (What's in it for me?)

Aside from "giving back" to the club, many of these opportunities can help you by providing an opportunity to write (for example, articles to the Newsletter often have a "by line" which means you've been published); and experience that can go on your writing resume; and for those of you who have trouble writing your "bio" when required for submissions, it gives you something more to add there, too!

We hope you will be inspired to raise your hand for one or more of these Volunteer Opportunities as they arise!  To help you along that path, the newsletter will be showcasing the positions and their responsibilities in coming editions. 
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WOK’s monthly meetings are both in-person and online. Our in-person meetings will be held at Hodel’s

In-person meeting will be $15 for members and $18 for nonmembers.

Online via Zoom $5 (Recordings will only be available to ticket holders)

Hope to see you there!

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Mark Your Calendar

18 June 2022
Featured Speaker: Aimee Liu

16 July 2022
Featured Speaker: Donnée Patrese

20 August 2022
Featured Speaker: Alex Segura

From Your Sunshine Chair

         The Sunshine Chair sends holiday, get-well, birthday (if we have your birth month), sympathy, and other supportive cards to the Writers of Kern members. Every card each member receives is filled with nurturing, caring thoughts of all the other members of our club. Our cards send rays of peace and comfort to uplift our fellow members' spirits. 
          How do we know when those special occasions, illnesses, or hardships arise? We rely on you, our WOK membership, to alert the Sunshine Chair by sending the information to the special email at

From Your Editor

As Editor of this Newsletter, I sure do hope you will continue being a part of Writers of Kern; get involved in a critique group; take on a leadership role on the board; submit items you would like in future newsletters; submit your work for publication; and most of all: WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!

Write On ~ Shelley J. Evans

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Nuts and Bolts

New members are always welcome, both Active [previously published] and Associate [not yet published].Writers of Kern energetically assists Associate Members who aspire to become Active.

The Write Way
The Writers of Kern
PO Box 22335
Bakersfield CA 93390-2335

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