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Attention Monterey Area High School Seniors & Juniors

Welcome! Please take a moment to get to know us better, as your local branch and as part of an amazing state-wide organization of writers.

Hello January. Holiday decorations, so recently festively festooned, are packed away, the excuses for overindulgent eating have passed, and radio stations have changed the line-up to exclude Christmas carols. I think I'm going to miss the sometimes overly sentimental stanzas and the head-bobbing sing-along that comes with knowing all the lyrics. So, I made a decision: I'm keeping "We Need A Little Christmas" for my very own. I was singing along to this ditty on my way to work a few weeks ago (full disclosure: I only sing when I'm totally alone and the chance of torturing anyone with my voice is at a minimum), and some of the words resonated. Of course, there's the usual bit about Santa coming down the chimney, candles in the windows, and fruitcake (although, I've never truly understood the allure of fruitcake), but there's also this part:

"For I've grown a little leaner, Grown a little colder, Grown a little sadder, Grown a little older, And I need a little angel Sitting on my shoulder, Need a little Christmas now."

I found myself thinking—Yeah, that's right. I am a little older, sometimes I feel a little sadder, and with all the disparate voices in the world today, couldn't we all use a little angel sitting on our shoulders? Why should she only visit at Christmas? So, while the ornaments and ribbon will once again be relegated to a box on a shelf, I hope the metaphorical angel will continue to grace all of us with her presence throughout the year.

Excerpted from Laurie's January newsletter article
Laurie Sheehan, CCW President

Executive Board - Members - Quick 2018 Calendar
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CCW's 2018 Short Story Contest
for High School Seniors & Juniors

Submissions accepted Feb 1 thru Feb 28

CCW's contest team is gearing up to bring Monterey area high school seniors and juniors another opportunity to show their writing chops and to have their writing skills rewarded not only by the bragging rights but with cold cash, too!

Again this year, participating young writers will let their imagination run with this year's evocative photo prompt complements of noted Pacific Grove photographer, Brooks Leffler.

January's Program

January 16, 2018: Amy Ettinger 
Making the Most of a Personal Obsession

Amy Ettinger spent a year traveling across the country eating ice cream and talking to the people who make it for her book Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America. She'll discuss how a personal obsession can have universal appeal for readers and how she channeled her lifelong love of ice cream into a larger narrative.  She'll talk about the importance of finding characters in non-fiction, incorporating interviews with memoir and how to merge fun and fact into an absorbing read. She'll also answer questions about publishing a non-fiction book, from finding the right agent to crafting a booknon-fiction book proposal that sells.

The Wall Street Journal hailed Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America as "a surprisingly serious, impressively thorough treatment of ice cream's cultural significance, fabrication, economics and history, not to mention its effect on human brain chemistry." Sweet Spot has been featured in Time magazine,  Bustle, Parade, and on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, Here and Now, Marketplace, as well as the California Report. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, and the Huffington Post. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

Upcoming Programs

February 20, 2018: Scott Thomas Anderson
A Threat Past the Pages: The Future of Reading and Writing in the Digital Age

Award-winning journalist Scott Thomas Anderson will explore how prose, poetry and creativity will make or break the English language in the digital age. He will discuss the danger of our youngest generations learning linguistic impulses through hyper-abbreviated platforms like Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. He'll consider what happens to the brain's ability to focus when we trade a book's imaginative doorway for the swamp of fragmented, multi-media distractions. He'll also look at the future of the written word if today's writers, poets, artists and teachers don't recognize a threat against it. For more than a decade Anderson has worked as a crime, culture and travel journalist, writing in the center of a media metamorphosis that continues to alter how Americans share their everyday experiences.

Scott is a staff writer for the Sacramento News & Review. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Future Travel and The Irish Independent, Dublin's largest daily newspaper. He's been interviewed about homicide investigations nationally on the Travel Channel and internationally on Ireland's Radio 1: Drivetime. His nonfiction book, Shadow People: How Meth-driven Crime is Eating at the Heart of Rural America, is an exploration of nation's modern methamphetamine crisis. In 2015 his newest nonfiction book was released, The Cutting Four-piece: crime and tragedy in an era of prison overcrowding. To learn more about Anderson, visit his website at

March 20, 2018: C.S. Lakin
Shoot Your Novel: Cinematic Secrets to Supercharge Your Story 

We live in an era where readers are used to the fast-paced, visual play-out of movies and TV stories. How can a writer utilize the techniques of screenwriting—specifically a variety of camera angles—to play out a story so the reader can "see" it and experience it as powerfully as a film? We'll explore terms like Zoom, Match Cut, Close Up, Pan, Pull Back, Establishing Shot, and others with examples from successful novels to show how it's done.

C. S. Lakin is a novelist, copyeditor, and writing coach. She has penned twenty novels, including a relational drama, a seven-book fantasy series for adults, and a series of writing craft books called The Writer's Toolbox Series. She works professionally as a copyeditor and writing coach and guest blogs on top writing blogs, such as Writers' Digest and Grammarly, and teaches workshops around the US.

Visit her website:











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The third Tuesday of the month. Mark your calendar and join us.

Point Pinos Grill
77 Asilomar Boulevard
Pacific Grove
At the golf course
(831) 648-5774

Dinner Hour: 5:30pm
For our meetings,
there is now a
set menu.

Meeting Begins: 6:30pm

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