It must’ve been fate as I’ve had two completely different
President’s Message be deleted over the course of a week. The first was an
apology over a miscommunication with the last speaker, the second was an
all-out beggar’s plea for volunteers and now this—a newfound gratitude for the
My daughters began a kindness campaign roughly two years ago
and although publicly it appears their message has resonated but behind closed
doors and through the veiled darkness that only anonymous emails and profiles
can provide, there’s been a deep ugliness. Pure, unadulterated kindness somehow
threatens the very souls of people—not unlike raw and well told stories. Books
take readers outside of themselves, asking them to stop looking through their
own glasses but their neighbors’.
One by one, authors, editors and agents have extended
beautiful messages of hope to my daughters. It’s this community (that is sadly
is used to being silenced) that has linked arms with this rising generation and
their Kindness Revolution. It is November, the month we tend to stop and
glorify gratitude—and today, I am no different.
I am grateful for the stories, the lives and the books we
read and write—and more importantly, share. We are the storymakers, the
“changer of lives” as my youngest daughter likes to say. And so, I say, thank
Thank you for chugging along on the uphill battle to
Thank you for submitting despite the mountain of rejection
And thank you for rallying around the under dogs and the
As a board we’re in
constant communication, our members at the forefront of every decision.
With that, we’ve taken extra care this year in helping our members, beginners
or advanced, in their publishing journey—including our Young Writers of Kern,
students from sixth grade through high school.
The YWOK Essay Competition
is Writers of Kern’s flagship community service project. The purpose of the
competition is to promote critical thinking, writing, and research skills. Up
to twenty awards of $150 (middle school) and $200 (high school) are given each
In addition, winning essays
are published in an annual anthology (a publishing credit before the student graduates high school).
Ava, one of our budding
young writers, has enlisted the help of her sisters and Kind Girls Make Strong
Women volunteers to strengthen YWOK’s foundation. During the month of October
KGMSW will donate all proceeds from their apparel sales and online donation
For parents, students and
teachers interested in joining/inviting writers to participate, click here or sign up for our newsletter here. You
do not need to be a YWOK member to participate.
Ever so slowly, the temperatures dip along with our daylight hours and we welcome the season's change. It’s tempting to toss our writing goals aside with the starting of school (whether it be for our children or grandchildren—or even ourselves) and holiday season just around the corner.
Tempting—yes, but not for the publishing industry. Fall is when agents and editors are coming back from vacations and tackling projects with gusto. While most authors are sitting back with a steaming mug of cocoa, the industry is gearing up for their end of the year mad dash. Just like authors are ranked by their book sales, agencies are ranked by their book deals.
To help, I’m kicking off Word Crush Wednesdayand Monday Madness. Every Wednesday I’ll give a set amount time with a word count goal while every Monday we’ll do the reverse—instead of writing, we’ll be editing.
Join in via Facebook or right here with your own set time and goal. Together, we’ll finish (and polish) your manuscript.
Great storytelling relies on great characters. And now there’s a fun system to help you develop yours.
Join Writers of Kern and creative writing instructor, Joan Raymond, for our September meeting and workshop.
Joan will walk writers through all the easy steps and fun questions that lead to those realistic characters in breakout stories. She’ll show you “how to get inside a character’s head and discover hidden secrets and emotions” that go beyond basic description and outer appearance.
Joan Raymond teaches creative writing through Bakersfield College’s Levan Institute and served as Writers of Kern president for four years. Her short stories have been published online and in print.
When: September 15, 2018 8:45 - 11:30 a.m. Where: Hodel's, 5917 Knudsen Drive, Bakersfield CA Tickets: $10 for members, $15 for guests, includes a buffet breakfast and can be paid at the door or online.
For years I’ve visited clients and conferences alike. The greatest frustration writers expressed was the lack of community in local cities. It’s easy for those of us here in California. We to take for granted our WOK family and all that it entails. Writers pretend to be lone wolves but we secretly crave that pat on the back from our fellow bibliophiles. To create characters worthy of sharing is a passion—or cross to bear, depending on the writing day. It's what binds us as authors.
Yet in the last month, I received nearly thirty emails from shocked Bakersfield residents. Each and every email expressed pleasant surprise that California’s Central Valley had a writing group of its own. It’s a little ironic that an organization uniting writers has yet to “spread the word” to our own family and friends.
And so, I challenge you (and myself) to open our mouths, extend an invitation and invite budding writers to a meeting. We’ve revamped our Student Membership with a lot $10 annual fee. For those eighteen and younger, they won’t pay for meeting fees. Not now. Now ever.
We hope to expand our reach and include members from all walks of life whether they are young in years, young in spirit or on the verge of society—Writers of Kern has a place you.