2018 Meetings

Don't miss any Redwood Writers meetings

Visit the Meetings page for the latest updates on upcoming meetings,
and all the wonderful speakers and events.


Sunday, January 14, 2017, 2 – 4:30 p.m.

Agents Day & Pitchfest!
Agents Panel / General Meeting: OPEN TO PUBLIC

Malena Eljumaily

Start the year off with a bang? How do you find the perfect agent? Meet Kimberly Cameron and four of her top agents for a panel discussion and Q & A, followed by a Pitching session, exclusive for Redwood Writer members.



Following the panel discussion, beginning at 5 p.m., each agent will entertain 5-minute pitches from Redwood Writer members. Pitching takes place in same room.


A $20 fee will be collected at the Pitchfest. 


Signups are first-come-first-serve. Sign up early so you don't miss your opportunity to pitch. Scroll down to find out how.



Kimberley Cameron has been a literary agent for over 26 years, starting the careers of many debut authors. In 1993 she became partners with Dorris Halsey of The Reece Halsey Agency, founded in 1957. In 2009 the agency became Kimberley Cameron & Associates. She resides and works from Tiburon, California and France, with many visits to New York to make the rounds of editorial offices. She is interested in writing that makes a reader feel something, whether it be fiction or non-fiction. Some of the genres she particularly enjoys are mystery and crime, thriller, science fiction, women’s fiction, horror, and literary fiction. Nonfiction genres are health, science, biography, memoir and history.

Amy Cloughley
Amy Cloughley


Amy Cloughley came to Cameron Agency with a background in editing, writing, and marketing. She coaches a Writer’s Digest online course, designed to help authors craft and strengthen their submission materials. She is looking for literary and commercial fiction and has a special interest in mystery/suspense, near historical, and upmarket women’s fiction. She also seeks narrative nonfiction projects. Kimberleycameron.com / Twitter @amycloughley.

Dorian Maffei
Dorian Maffei


Dorian Maffei began at the Kimberley Agency in 2013 as intern, and has become a junior agent looking to build her own client list. While she appreciates most fiction that traverses across multiple genres, she is especially interested in magical realism, fabulism, reimagined fairy tales, speculative fiction, literary science fiction, upmarket women’s fiction, unique voices, and innovative storytelling.



Lisa Abellera joined Cameron Agency in 2013 with marketing a writing background. She is seeking literary, women's, and historical fiction, mystery, suspense, thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, literary horror (no paranormal or demons, angels, vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc.), all YA and middle grade fiction genres. She is especially looking for stories by #ownvoices authors and writers from marginalized or underrepresented backgrounds.



Mary C. Moore has been with Kimberley Cameron & Associates since 2012. She loves voice-driven narratives and plots with wild adventures. She is currently seeking adult and young adult fiction in all genres and SFF middle grade. She prefers clients who are online-savvy and have more than one book in the drawer. Find out more at marycmoore.com and kimberleycameron.com.

Sunday, February 11, 2018
Hooked on Page One, Committed on Page Twenty
Donna Levin

What keeps a reader reading? We often hear about the need for a dramatic opening, but a look at many bestsellers will reveal descriptions of surprisingly ordinary events. There’s no formula to ensuring a novel’s success. But we can examine devices that other authors have used, consciously or unconsciously, so as to add them to our toolbox. On this afternoon, we’ll talk about pacing, the rising stakes, foreshadowing, and yes, the narrative hook, as ways to hold a reader’s attention on the noisiest BART ride.

Donna Levin is the author of three novels, Extraordinary Means (William Morrow) and California Street (Simon and Schuster), and There’s More Than One Way Home (Chickadee Prince Books), as well as two books on the craft of writing, Get That Novel Started and Get That Novel Written. Her papers are part of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University and her novels are part of the “California Novels” collection in the California State Library.

Sunday, March 11, 2018
A Self-Guided Guide to the Self
Kevin Fisher-Paulson

Kevin Fisher-Paulson talks about a creative life, and the commitment required for that creativity. Writing is a search for meaning, and he gives a series of prompts for the real life that morph into prompts for the visionary life. Kevin discusses structure, genre, and voice but most importantly, how to tell a story.

Kevin Fisher-Paulson studied writing at the University of Notre Dame, with continued coursework at the University of Iowa. His short story, "Virtue Enough for Miss Grrrl," appears in the anthology When Love Lasts Forever, by Pilgrim Press. His memoir, A Song for Lost Angels, was a finalist in the Ben Franklin Independent Publishing Awards. Kevin writes a weekly column for the San Francisco Chronicle. He lives in San Francisco with his husband, two sons, and rescue dogs.

Sunday, April 8, 2018
Everything You Learned About Writing is a Lie: Here’s the Truth
Nora Profit

Learning how to use words to make a powerful sentence and create a strong emotional engagement will get your writing noticed by the right people. The writing industry has perpetuated a falsehood about writing that condemns 98% of all writers’ work onto the trash heap of failure. What are agents and publishers looking for in your writing? Description, as you have learned it, doesn’t work. You must achieve emotional impact. Nora Profit will help you achieve this necessary goal.

Nora Profit, award-winning journalist, feature writer, columnist, editor, author, and ghostwriter, is also the owner of The Writing Loft, specializing in teaching writers how great writing is actually achieved. Nora is a featured author in Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul and Chicken Soup: Living Your Dreams. Her own books include 10 Glaring Mistakes Amateur Writers Make and How to Avoid Them, and The Ultimate Novel Writing Workbook. Nora graduated with honors from San Jose State University with a bachelor's in journalism.

Sunday, May 20, 2018, 2 – 4:30 p.m.
Developing Your Story for Stage or Screen: Formats, Hints & Secrets
Felice Picano 

Writing for performance arts (TV, cinema, theater) requires a more formal approach. In order to have your work read and noticed by professionals in these fields, you must follow the clear-cut requirements for exactly how to present your work. There are handbooks galore and software (Final Draft, and so on) for screen writing. Hopefuls can spend plenty on expert opinions and boot camps. Here, Felice offers a sensible, intelligent, and proven way to prep your script in the three formats to which producers, actors, and directors will most pay attention. He will present examples and take-away handouts. This is a condensed version of Felice's 5-week Writers Workshop in Los Angeles. Don’t miss it!

Felice Picano has authored over 25 books translated into 17 languages. Several were bestsellers—four plays have been produced. Picano’s first novel was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award in 1975. Since then, he’s been short-listed and/or received awards for poetry, plays, short stories, and novels in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany. He recently received a Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award, and The City of West Hollywood’s Rainbow Award. He has worked in television and film with top directors and producers. Picano’s recent non-fiction, Art & Sex in Greenwich Village, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His memoirs, Nights at Rizzoli and True Stories, have received glowing reviews and awards. An adjunct professor of literature at Antioch University, L.A., Felice, asked by the West Hollywood Public Library, has founded a popular Writing Workshop.

Sunday, June 10, 2018, 2 – 4:30 p.m.
The Woes and Hows of Memoir
Linda Bello-Ruiz

We all have a story. Not every story needs to be written. How do you know if your story should be written and if it should, how do you write it?

Award-winning author, Linda Bello-Ruiz brings her own story to life in her memoir, From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope. How did a impressionable young woman from the vineyards of Northern California end up in the Red Light District of San Jose, Costa Rica? Learn why she decided to dig deep, be honest and write her story and then, most importantly how she went about doing so.
"I wasn't a writer," Linda shares with her audiences. "I was a woman with a story. And a story untold is forgotten.”

Linda Bello-Ruiz co-founded House of Hope—the first safe-haven for street girls and sex-trafficked minors in Costa Rica. She was a 23-year-old college dropout when she took on the project, and relied on her faith and determination which was much bigger than her curriculum vitae. After her return to the States in 1976, she returned to college for a master’s degree in psychology from SSU. Linda worked in the vocational rehabilitation field as a bilingual counselor for 26 years. She wrote her memoir, From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope, and is an inspirational speaker on faith, hope, and service. She is an Ambassador for Courage House, a safe-haven for sex-trafficked girls in Auburn, California, and is an active member of the United for Barra Association in Mexico.


Sunday, July 9, 2018
2 – 4:30 p.m.
Flamingo Hotel

Author Launch 2018!

Celebrate the success of Bay Area authors at the annual Redwood Writers Author Launch event.

Listen to excerpts from new books published by our members since last July, meet local authors and pick up signed copies of their books. Below, check out the stellar lineup of featured authors during the 2018 Author Launch.

Sunday, August 12, 2018, 2 – 4:30 p.m.
Marketing — Editing — Marketing: It's All One Process
M.M. Allen

As writers we experience euphoric moments when our words are flowing; it seems there is no stopping a great creative writing day. Then the drudgery sets in. It’s the dreaded editing and marketing. What I discovered is that writing, editing and marketing fit into a single process. It is getting into the same rhythm mentally. When we give editing and marketing the same respect we do our writing time, we experience the joy of our work. The changes we make and the discoveries we experience give our writing more depth.

M.M. Allen's career started as an English teacher which led to communications at the university level. In 1999, she published a children’s book, Let’s Play Ball, and soon began working in consulting and marketing with Dream Flight Productions on musical CDs for children, and then with Walt Disney Buena Vista Records, where they produced The Floppy Sleep Game, The Inside Out Blessing Game, and The Christmas Dream. A middle grade fantasy, Wishapick Tickety Boo, and The Black Trunk, were published in 2015 in collaboration with composer Deborah Wynne, who created a companion musical CD to accompany the book. Together, they received awards from The Readers Favorite Award and the Moonbeam Gold Award for Book and Music. She has an extensive background in marketing, working with a variety of businesses for both profit and non-profit. She enjoys all things that spread goodwill which presently includes collaborating on a musical production of Wishapick.

Sunday, September 9, 2018, 2 – 4:30 p.m.
Third Annual Hot Topics
Event chair
Sandy Baker

Marketing Your Nonfiction Book

Judy Baker

Marketing a book is like marketing a product. Replace Coca Cola with your book and see that visibility sells books. You can grow your audience by being relentlessly generous, memorable, discoverable, and branded. Learn how to craft a clear message, get people talking, sharing, and supporting your author brand, and getting blurbs.

Judy Baker would rather walk than drive. She met her husband on a railroad car on July 4, 1976. She and her business partner share the same first name and middle initial. They created Book Marketing Mentor to help authors reach more readers.

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Using Facebook Effectively for Your Author Platform

Crissi Langwell

Most authors have a love-hate relationship with Facebook when it comes to using it as a promotional tool for their books. Crissi shares ways to use this social media platform effectively to draw readers in, and possibly gain lifelong fans.

Crissi Langwell has more than ten years of professional social media experience and is the author of ten books, including her women's contemporary fiction trilogy, the Hope series, and her nonfiction guide to fitting creativity into a full-time life. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and their blended family. Find her at CrissiLangwell.com.

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NaNoWriMo and How to Do It

Roger C. Lubeck

Write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Possible? Take advantage of this program dedicated to November, and write your new novel. Yes, it's possible!

Roger C. Lubeck, PhD, is the president of Redwood Writers board of directors. He was the editor on four anthologies and a memoir. His published works include articles, poems, short stories, seven novels, two business books, and a ten-minute play. Roger is working on two new novels and a movie screenplay. He has successfully written 14 NoNoWriMo novels in 14 years as a NoNowriMo participant.

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Sunday, October 14, 2018, 2 – 4:30 p.m.
What You Need To Know About Self-Publication
Panel chair
Skye Blaine

Your Publishing Path Should Be Unique

Laura McHale-Holland

What is your self-publishing goal? Have fun? Leave a legacy? Gain recognition? Supplement your income? Make a killing on Amazon? The combination of factors driving you is unique; your publishing path should be, too.

Laura McHale-Holland captures stories long and short, true and untrue in multiple literary forms. Having published four award-winning books—two memoirs, a collection of flash fiction and an anthology—she is now at work on a magical realism novel set in Illinois.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Cover Design

Roger C. Lubeck

Discussion on images, typeface, and composition.

Roger C. Lubeck is the publisher of It Is What It Is Press. Roger’s published works include seven novels, two business books, stories, poems, articles, reviews, a produced 10-minute play, and a prize-winning flash fiction.

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Interior Design: Important as the Cover, But Different Purpose

Skye Blaine

The text must be so clear and well-designed that it does not attract attention to itself, but allows the story or memoir to shine.

Skye Blaine writes fiction, memoir, and poetry: themes of aging, coming of age, disability, and awakening. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Bound to Love: a memoir of grit and gratitude, was published in 2015; her debut novel, Unleashed, November, 2017.

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Video Trailer

Robbi Sommers Bryant

Add visibility and excitement with a video trailer.

Robbi Sommers Bryant’s award-winning books include a novella, 4 novels, 5 short-story collections, and a book of poetry. Published in Readers Digest, Redbook, Penthouse, college textbooks, and anthologies. Her work was optioned for television. Robbi is editor in chief of Redwood Writers 2018 anthology. She’s a developmental, content, and copy editor.

Sunday, November 11, 2018, 2 – 4:30 p.m.
Killer Suspense
Simon Wood

You’re reading. Your heart is slamming against your rib cage, your fingertips are moist, and you turn another page. If you’ve ever felt this way reading a book, then the writer has done a great job at creating suspense. This doesn’t happen by accident. Simon outlines the key differences between suspense and mystery and discusses the techniques for building suspense and creating thrills.

USA Today bestselling author Simon Wood is a California transplant from England. He's a former competitive race car driver, a licensed pilot, an endurance cyclist, an animal rescuer, and an occasional PI. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie. Their lives are dominated by a long-haired dachshund and six cats. He's the Anthony Award winning author of The One That Got Away, Accidents Waiting to Happen, Paying the Piper, Terminated, Deceptive Practices, and the Aidy Westlake series. His latest book is Saving Grace. He also writes horror under the pen name of Simon Janus. Curious people can learn more at SimonWood.net.

Sunday, December 9, 2018, 2 – 4:30 p.m.
Secret to a Page-Turner
Elizabeth Stark

What hooks your readers and won't let them go? Some people say plot, some say character, but it is where these elements are inextricably linked that we find the secrets to the most powerful of stories. Discover the authentic internal and external struggles—and the necessary relationship between them--that drive your character, your tale and your reader inexorably toward a conclusion no one can foretell and everyone has to reach.

Elizabeth Stark is the host of Story Makers Podcast (StoryMakersShow.com), author of the novel Shy Girl (FSG, Seal Press) and co-director and co-writer of several several films, including "FtF: Female to Femme," a creative documentary, and "Little Mutinies," a short (both distributed by Frameline). She earned an MFA from Columbia University in Creative Writing and has taught at the Pratt Institute, UCSC, St. Mary’s, where she was the visiting distinguished writer, and elsewhere. She is currently producing a feature film called "Lost in the Middle," and finishing a novel.


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