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Writers of Kern Newsletter | February 2022
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In this issue: Vice President's Message | Next Meeting  | Last Meeting | WOK Critique Group News | WOK Open Mic Monday | Submission & Volunteering Opportunities |  Monthly Meetings | Book Club Update | Mark Your Calendar | From Your Sunshine Chair | From Your Editor | Nuts & Bolts  

Vice President's Message

When I procrastinate or get stuck in my unproductive self, I remind myself of Karen Drucker's song, "I Will Be Gentle with Myself." My favorite lyric of the song: "I will only go as fast as the slowest part of me feels safe to go." Following these words of wisdom, I try to pace myself. Maybe today, I can only add one line or edit one word or (if you are a poet) move one comma. I may work up to a paragraph or a stanza of poetry, then increase as I am able. Other days, it may help to walk away, read a good book, or play pickleball with some friends. Often, exploring a new writing prompt helps. To that end, let me offer the following: (Inspired by

Creative Nonfiction Prompt: Write an essay about a prized possession with a storied history How did you acquire it, and what new life does it breathe?

Fiction Prompt: Write a story that begins with a character finding a secret trinket - a necklace, a teacup, or a medal of honor. Who does the object belong to, and what feeling does this discovery conjure in your protagonist?

Poetry Prompt: Write a poem about the feeling you get when entering a new year. What are you taking with you and what are you leaving behind?

Find Karen Drucker's song here:    

Anke Hodenpijl

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| 19 February 2022 | Featured Speaker: Clarissa Kae

Regardless of whether you’re self, traditionally or yet to be published, here’s a step-by-step guide to a successful and sustainable career in the publishing industry. With her experience at Writer’s Digest, Storymakers and as a Pitch Perfect Conference Coordinator, Clarissa pulls back the curtain on the industry while sprinkling in her personal hits and misses as an award-winning author.

Clarissa Kae is a preeminent voice whose professional career began as a freelance editor in 2007. She's the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director. A stint at Writer’s Digest and a Pitch Perfect Conference Coordinator, Clarissa had dedicated countless hours to mentoring fellow authors. Since her first novel, she's explored different writing genres and created a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her upcoming release. With numerous awards to her name, Clarissa continues to honor the role of storyteller. Aside from the writing community, she and her daughters founded Kind Girls Make Strong Women to help undervalued nonprofit organizations—from reuniting children with families to giving Junior Olympic athletes their shot at success. Clarissa lives in the agricultural belly of California with her family of horses, chickens, dogs and kittens a plenty. A graduate of Animal and Veterinary science, Clarissa helms Annie’s Aussies, a kennel providing companion, emotional and medical service dogs. She and her daughters also rescue horses, aiding All Seated In A Barn to help 200+ horses. 

Purchase your in-person ticket here. $15 members and $18 nonmembers
Purchase your Zoom ticket here. $5 online
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|15 January 2022 | Cat Rambo

There was a last-minute cancellation for the in-person meeting. However, the Zoom meeting with continued with success. If you attended the Zoom meeting, purchased in-person tickets, or showed up at Hodel's to pay at the door, please email me, Cyn, at to receive the private link to Cat's workshop. I apologize for any inconvenience. 

Getting to the Heart of the Story: Great stories have a heart, an emotional core that both resonates deeply with the reader and says something about the human experience. How do you discover what lies in your story's heart, and how do you revise to make its beat even stronger and more compelling? Join Cat for a workshop on how to examine your draft and find out what's really inside.

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Their 250+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. In 2020 they won the Nebula Award for fantasy novelette Carpe Glitter. They are a former two-term President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Their most recent works are space opera You Sexy Thing (Tor Macmillan, November 2021), as well as an anthology, The Reinvented Heart (Arc Manor, February 2022), co-edited with Jennifer Brozek.
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Your Poem on the Writers of Kern Blog
For the past few years, Writers of Kern has celebrated National Poetry Month in a unique way. Each day in April, an original poem is published on our WOK website. Established poets, emerging poets, and would-be poets all have the possibility of being published during the month.

But, hey, we need YOU to submit your poetry for consideration! Beginning February 20th and throughout March, please send your poems to

  1. Poem line limit: 30 lines or fewer
  2. Submit poems as a Word Document; 12-point font, Arial
  3. Include a short bio (50 words or fewer)
  4. Include a head shot
  5. Send to ; In the subject line: NPM “Title of your Poem”
You have questions? Please send them to:


2020 WOK Annual Dan McGuire Blog Challenge

What: Our annual Blog Challenge for our writing community honoring our dear friend, and prolific blogger, Dan McGuire.

Who: Anyone can participate (membership in Writers of Kern not required)

When: Start posting Monday, Feb. 10. Final posts by Sunday, May 10.

Why: To develop a habit of regular writing and sharing it with a like-minded community of writers.

Where: Your personal blog online

The Fine Print: (Requirements to finish and be recognized at WOK Honors, our annual awards and recognition dinner. To be held this year on May 16th):

  • To participate, please email: with your name and blog web address by Feb 9, 2022.
  • Write 26 posts in 13 weeks
    • Subject/theme is up to you
    • We suggest two posts per week, but there is no minimum or maximum, just so all 26 posts are completed by the end date.
  • Leave 2 comments/week on other participants’ blogs
    • Each participant will be given a list of the other participants’ blogs for easy access
  • Though not required, we prefer you share a link to your blog posts on the Writers of Kern Facebook Group page (link below). It makes it easier to everyone to read and leave comments.
  • After publishing all 26 posts, please email to confirm you’ve completed the challenge.
    • Note: Pace yourself. While it seems simple, many will start, while not everyone will finish and that’s okay. We celebrate everyone who starts!

If you do not have a blog, now is the time to start one! This video will help:

  • If. after watching the video, you are still struggling, please contact We have two very patient volunteers who are willing to answer your blog set-up related questions.

Questions? Email

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

19 February 2022
Featured Speaker: Alex Segura

19 March 2022
WOK Annual Event: Spring Conference

16 April 2022
Featured Speaker: Deborah A. Lott

21 May 2022 
Featured Speaker: Michelle Cruz Gonzales

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

Writers of Kern needs YOU! Especially if you have an interest in sound equipment! We are seeking a member volunteer to run sound at the monthly meetings held in Hodel's the 3rd Saturdays. For your service, your membership dues will be paid by the Club.

Duties include: pick up from storage unit, deliver to Hodel's, set up and run during the meeting

Please contact Cyn Bermudez,

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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