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Member Newsletter — August 2020

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

~Maya Angelou~

Dear WWW Member—

We thought we’d meet on Zoom a couple of months. August will be our fifth videoconference meeting. The beat goes on.

Isolation and uncertainty can create feelings of restlessness, which Buddhists refer to as, “monkey mind.” Distraction and self-doubt can hamper creativity. Consider reading this helpful Psychology Today essay geared for writers, “Calming the Monkey Mind.”

Women Who Write is a community with one common interest—the written word. All genres. All skill levels. All writing aspirations are welcome at our table!


Our next Zoom meeting is Tuesday, August 4, 6:30 to 8 PM

We’re actually getting much better as hosts of these videoconferences— screensharing manuscripts for peer critiques, minimizing the amount of time we are muted, making sure we have the opportunity to connect in new ways.

On August 4, we’ll begin our meeting with a playful writing prompt, engage in a brief discussion on the peer critique process, and provide peer commentary on up to five pieces (no more than 1200 words each). Please send a manuscript by 5 PM Monday, August 3 to as a Word attachment.

Meeting links are available in the newsletter or by emailing us at

A Writing Retreat in the Time of Coronavirus

Our member writing retreat at the Valaterra retreat center was just what we needed during this epic pandemic—to be together. To sit quietly and think/read/write. To share our writing and comments on a diversity of stories—essay, memoir, fantasy, crime, realistic fiction. Comments by retreatants gave us what we needed to move forward with our writing projects.

Welcome to our newest member, Cara Snyder, and renewing member Polly Moter. Both joined us for the retreat. Thanks to Amy Shah, Holly Hinson, Joan Dubay, Alisa Childress and Laura Johnsrude who tuned in for the Zoom videoconference with author Ellen Birkett-Morris. You can view and listen to the Ellen’s reading and discussion here.



We learned so much from Ellen, who read from her book of short stories, Lost Girls, and discussed craft, process and publication. Here are some of our take-a-ways—

  • Your ultimate goal is to find an audience
  • Pay attention to the particulars of scene;
  • Give your character some quirky qualities.
  • Don’t give up. Publishing is a numbers game. Submit each story/poem to many different journals.


Ellen gave us a writing prompt based on the story she read, “Religion,” about a lonely young woman who attends a lactation club by mistake.

  • The prompt: Write about a character who ends up in the wrong place.

Membership Renewals are due—

How do you know if you are due for renewal to Women Who Write?

  • Persons who joined or renewed June through December 2019, are due to pay their $50 membership fee.
  • People who recently paid their dues—January through May 2020—won’t pay renewals until June 2021. We realize some will benefit from this process, and others will pay a bit extra. Please let us know if you want to receive a pro-rated refund of dues. Otherwise, we’ll consider the surplus a donation! Join or renew today! Email us if you want to know the date of your most recent renewal.

Visit this Month’s Favorite Links for Writers—

Writers on Writing—an archive of New York Times columns by famous writers

The Electric Typewriter: Great articles and essays by the world’s best journalists and writers.

Writer’s Digest Magazine a premier resource for craft, publication, contests, etc.

Consider submitting to the Women Who Write blog—

Our website now features a blog that posts writing by the membership. We’ve begun with past directors of WWW and will soon move on to general membership. Essays about the writing life, craft or process are preferred, but we’ll consider prose and poems as well. Members are welcome to pitch a blog idea by e-mail by writing to

As a community, WWW strives to nurture your writing life. We hope you’ll participate in our monthly meetings, author talks, retreats and workshops. Please contribute your ideas for future programming.


Be safe. Stay strong. Write forward!

The Leadership Team,

Kimberly Crum, Alisa Childress, Melony Dixon, Pam LaFollette and Terri Lindsey



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