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

Vice President's Message

We are all recovering from the pandemic isolation. The Writers of Kern are included in that number. As we navigate this new path together, I hope all our members consider how they can help reinvigorate our club, our community and our creativity. Matthew Woodman at Cal State University Bakersfield recently put out a call for poets to submit their work to “Writing Covid Anthology”. I am inspired to see the number of WOK members who contributed their work to make this important book possible. In a way, the poetry found within helps us document the experiences we shared and helps us find a way back to our creative centers. 

As you reflect on the past two years, I hope you consider how you want your club to grow and reunite. I look forward to seeing our members in the flesh, with real pens and paper at the table, sharing a communal meal and telling our stories. Let’s celebrate our submissions, rejections, acceptances and publications. Think about how you might help your board recreate the vibrant community we were before these sequestered times. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please contact us through the website. Leave a message. We are all ears (with pens). 


Anke Hodenpjil

Important Announcements

Board elections are approaching fast! Nominations are due by this month's meeting, May 21, 2022. Elections take place at the June meeting. The Writers of Kern is a chapter of the California Writers Club and is a non-profit, community-based organizations. Volunteers are what keep are organization alive. If you love this club as much as we do, want to help keep it running, and are interested in volunteering, please contact Sandy Moffett at See below for more information about participating as a volunteer

May is WOK Honors. We will be celebrating winners of the Peggy Connolly Scholarship, honoring new active members, and more.
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Inclusive Characterization: Writing ‘the other’ without Stereotypes or Appropriation

Course description
This workshop will advance your skills in real-world characterization and authentic representation. Gonzales will teach you how to write diverse characters in a rich and meaningful way that humanizes them.
Michelle Cruz Gonzales is an English professor and author of the memoir, The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk which is taught in in colleges and Universities in colleges all over the United States. She has essay and fiction in anthologies by Putnam, PM Press, Seal Press, and Literary Kitchen, and she has published online in Longreads, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Latino Rebels, and Mitu. She recently completed a satirical novel about near-future-California that secedes from the US and forces intermarriage between whites and Mexicanos for the purpose of creating a race of beautiful, intelligent, hardworking people, and she is currently at work on a screenplay.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Gonzales was a member of three all women punk bands, Bitch Fight, Kamala and the Karivores, and Spitboy. Never interested in playing music with men, Gonzales, primarily a drummer and lyricist, toured nationally and internationally with Spitboy whose lyrics focused on women and gender issues. In 2016, Gonzales published The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk Band, about her experiences as the only person of color in Spitboy and what it was like being a person of color in the predominately white Bay Area punk scene. Gonzales and Spitboy are featured in the 2017 documentary, Turn it Around: Story of East Bay Punk. 

Purchase in-person tickets here: $15 members and $18 nonmembers.
Purchase online tickets here: $5 Zoom.
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|16 April 2022 | Writing Childhood

When writing memoir about childhood, or fiction with a child protagonist, how do we convey a child’s point of view and experience? What are the particular characteristics of child consciousness we need to capture? Do we use a child’s language or an adult’s? If we are writing in the voice of a first person child narrator, how do we transmit information beyond what the child understands? Author of the coming of age memoir, Don’t Go Crazy Without Me and Antioch college instructor, Deborah A. Lott, addressed these questions and others, enabling us to create memorable and specific child characters, and to convey the perspectives, fantasies, and dilemmas of childhood. Thank you, Deborah, for a lively discussion.
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April Poetry - Thank you to all the contributors for sharing your poetry with the Writers of Kern. We will let you know when the ezine is available.

Wendigo by Mateo Perez Lara
Longing for Peace by Portia Choi
How Simply God Shows His Care by Shelley Evans
Sounds of 2020 by Christie Finley
Of Pockets And Words by Christie Finley
Like a Lotus, Open by Christie Finley
Poetics by Christie Finley
Crossing the Finish Line by Jacqueline Thomas
Naptime for Justin by Jacqueline Thomas
Rain Lady by Ramona Acree Burnham
Cotton Candy Delight by Jennette Green
Sirena by Cyn Bermudez
Nucleosynthesis by Cyn Bermudez
Sparkling Like Dust by Dianne Buxton
Forgotten & Remembered by Jennette Green
Baby Bud by Julie Bonderov
Message On the Notepad by Julie Bonderov
Walking In the Rain by Julie Bonderov
Thinks that Stink (in the style of Dr. Seuss) by Julie Bonderov
Mourning Dove Evans by Shelley Evans
In the Ocean by Shelley Evans
July 4th at Pismo Beach by Gary Evans
Looking for the Art in Myself by Gary Evans
Three Haiku Concerning…by Darlene Stotler
Bed-Time Stories by Mark Fisher
Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday celebrating the victory at the Battle of Puebla of the Mexican army on May 5, 1862, against the French army during the Franco-Mexican War.

The Writers of Kern wishes all of you a safe and happy Cinco de Meay celebration.
Sunday May 8 is the annual celebration honoring mothers everywhere. The Writers of Kerns wishes all mothers, mothers-to-be, and mother figures a wonderful Mother's Day. 

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

WOK Critique Group News

WOK Critique Groups are up and running!  The new Screenwriters Group has room for more members, and so does the Mystery Writers Group. There is room for one more in Portia’s Poetry Group as well.  I encourage new WOK members to join – it will really improve your writing and you’ll make some new friends!  Interested?  Contact Carla Martin at 

Respectfully submitted,

Carla Joy Martin
Critique Group Chair

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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

21 May 2022 
Featured Speaker: Michelle Cruz Gonzales

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

Created to be an encourager, that's what I'm going to do!
If you are reading this right now, I encourage you
to get your pen and paper, or pencil if you prefer,
open your laptop or iPhone notes and Write On through
whatever your circumstance. Let your words dance
on the page or on the screen, as long as they ring true.
Then submit it for publication ~ just imagine your elation
when you see it in print! So don't be hesitant:
Let your voice be heard via the written word.

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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