Meet Our Members
South Bay Writers
Kelly Gomez | Trenton Myers | Tatyana Grinenko | Chess Desalls | Carolyn Donnell | Robert Balmanno | Bill Baldwin | Carina S. Burns | Betty Auchard | Hi-Dong Chai | ArLyne Diamond | Valerie Estelle Frankel | Robert (Bob) Garfinkle | Leslie E. Hoffman | Marjorie Bicknell Johnson | Victoria M. Johnson | Linda Myro Judd | R.L. King | Dave LaRoche | Tom Mach | Edie Matthews | Jana McBurney-Lin | Madeline McEwen-Asker | Patrick McQueen | Helen Vanderberg | Luanne Oleas | Genevieve Heritier | Kelly Miller
I played viola with various Bay Area groups both here and back in Houston for many years. I wrote a poem about it. Silenced won a prize and is published in the Carry The Light 2013 Anthology.
Short stories and poems have been published in the following:
- San Mateo County Fair Literary Arts Division Carry the Light 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
- CWC Literary Review 2014 issue
- West Winds Centennial Published by California Writers Club (CWC) *
- Who Are Our Friends? 2009 Published by South Bay Writers Club *
- Sand Hill Review 2007
- Celtic Women Winter 2007
- SBW’s WritersTalk
|CWC Leadership Positions|
|2012-2015||Yahoo Group Administrator|
|2013-2015||Facebook Page Administrator|
|2016||2016 South Bay Writers Club Writers Talk Critics Choice - Poetry|
|2015||San Francisco Writers Conference, 1st Fiction|
|2015||San Mateo County Fair Literary Arts Division, 1st Short Story|
|2014, 2015||San Mateo County Fair Literary Arts Division, Exhibitor of the Year Award and first place in Short story, Novel Start, and Childrens' Story Start|
|2013||San Mateo County Fair Literary Arts Division, 2nd sci-fi/fantasy, 3rd short story fiction, 2nd poetry|
|2012||South Bay Writers Club WritersTalk Challenge, winner in poetry|
|2012||San Mateo County Fair Literary Arts Division, 1st short story fiction and HM sci-fi/fantasy|
|2010||Frontiers in Writing, Amarillo, Texas, Honorable Mention in short story|
|2009||Winner, CWC South Bay Branch WritersTalk – essay|
|2008||Frontiers in Writing, Amarillo, Texas, Honorable Mention memoir|
|2007||24-hour online short story contest, Honorable Mention|
|2007||Frontiers in Writing, Amarillo, Texas, 1st and 3rd place short story|
|2007||South Bay Writers Club WritersTalk challenge, 1st place memoir/short story|
|2006||SouthWest Writers, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2nd place short story/western|
Not but a few months after joining, I decided to help the Board of Directors as the intermediate Secretary. Assisting with Board Meeting minutes and Presidential needs, I felt impassioned to donate back to the club that reinvigorated my ardor. In the recent elections, I have now taken on the role of Treasurer wherein I plan to implement my organization and sales experience to help expand our club’s influence. I hope to have my first novel published within the next year and am exited to share my journey with like minded storytellers.
The Call to Search Everywhen is a YA serial series of novel-length installments. The first book, Travel Glasses, is available for Kindle, Nook and iBooks.
He has written poetry, novellas, stories and plays. He has created Unitarian worship services and Pagan ritual dramas.
Bill contributes to several monthly newsletters, and his work appears from time to time in Loving More magazine. His writing reflects his interest in relationships, sexuality, science, and human rights. He tries to present sexual, cultural and religious themes in a way that is non-sensational, non-threatening and compassionate.
He has been prominent for several years in the California Writers Club. He is also a Wiccan priest. He facilitates a monthly discussion group on polyamory, a local Amnesty International group, and something approximating a Pagan congregation.
Bill lives with his wife and daughter in Sunnyvale, California. In addition to writing, he enjoys music (classical, jazz, Broadway, rock) and dancing (Folk, English, Contra). He is currently at work on a novel.
Bill won Third Prize in the 2000 Sacramento CWC Short Story Contest for his story, “Love’s Children”.
Bill has been awarded the Jack London Award, “for outstanding service to the California Writers Club” for 2002.
“Love’s Children” also appeared in the July-August issue of Loving More.
Robert E. Balmanno
He served in the Peace Corps in Dahomey in West Africa (now known as Benin) from 1973 to 1975. He worked training bulls to plow fields and pull carts in a region where no outsiders have ever been before—the place where the New World practices of voodoo originated among the Adja people (the forest people) of West Africa.
Between 1975 and 1978 Balmanno traveled extensively through Europe and Asia. Over a period of two decades, he dedicated his life to producing contemporary literary fiction. He has written seven full-length novels. Recently he switched to the genre of science fiction. During the last 19 years he also worked as a library specialist in the Sunnyvale Library. His novel titles include Gist from the Mill, Day from Night, The Calf of Anatolia, Julian Street, Strike the Match, September Snow, and Dog Hair Island. Balmanno has also written some short stories.
Balmanno has two published novels, September Snow (2006) and Runes of Iona (2010), and the third novel in the series, Embers of the Earth, will be coming out in early 2016. All are published by Regent Press in Berkeley, California.
He was recognized as a leading authority of magnetic actuator design. He is the author/coauthor of 40 technical papers. He is the inventor/co-inventor 52 inventions that were either published in the IBM Invention Disclosure bulletin or filed for U.S. patents. He is also the author of a book, Electromechanical Motion Devices, Prentice Hall, 1998.
Since retiring in 2002, as one who had lived through the four political systems and the two wars, he decided to direct his time and efforts to share his life stories. My Truest Hope was published in the 2012 August issue of the Guideposts magazine. Other articles appeared in Writers Talk, Monthly Newsletter of the South Bay Writers Club. Also Blossoms and Bayonets coauthored with Jana McBurney-Lin was self-published in 2012; Jana has turned the life of his family under Japan during World War II into a historical novel. In January, 2013, he self-published a short love story, Cindy and a Korean Boy. In November, 2013, he self-published Shattered by the Wars, the story of his family during WWII under Japan and during the Korean War. Christine Anderson Publishing will publish Shattered by the Wars in the coming months.
Dr. Diamond is a Leadership, Management, Organizational and Professional Development Consultant specializing in people and processes in the workplace. Multifaceted, she combines a background in business, psychology, education, business ownership and consulting to help her clients bring out the best in themselves and others. She founded her consulting firm, Diamond Associates in 1981.
As an educator she taught MBA courses in Leadership, Change Management, Conflict Resolution, Quality and Performance Excellence and Service Marketing (including marketing books) and many other master’s level business and management courses.
An internationally recognized writer and public speaker, she is known to be practical, warm, friendly, direct and to the point – and enormously helpful to her audiences and clients.
She has spoken to writers’ groups and worked with individual writers to help them understand the psychology, background and motivation of their characters.
Dr. Diamond’s clients range from individuals to groups, to executives and even boards of directors. She serves a variety of industries and works with small businesses and professional practices, large businesses and even government agencies.
|CWC Leadership Positions|
Many of her books focus on women’s roles in fiction, from her heroine’s journey guides From Girl to Goddess and Buffy and the Heroine’s Journey to books like Women in Game of Thrones and The Many Faces of Katniss Everdeen. Once a lecturer at San Jose State University, she’s a frequent speaker at conferences.
From February 1996 through July 1999, Bob created the monthly “SkyChart” and “SkyTalk” pages for Mercury, the bimonthly magazine of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. His astronomical writings have also appeared in national and international astronomy magazines and journals. He is the Book Review Editor for The Journal of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers. Bob also serves as the Historian for the Lunar Section of the British Astronomical Association. In the early 1980s, he was a contributing editor for Business Software magazine. Mr. Garfinkle is an elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of London.
Bob has also won awards for his short stories. “When Are You Going to Cry” won first place in the Las Positas College fiction contest and second place in “Writers Talk Challenge 2005.” The story was published in The Sand Hill Press (Stanford University, 2006). His “Up and Over” was the cover story for the December 1992 issue of Seedling Short Story International.
From 1981 to 2002, Mr. Bob worked as a full-time Senior Technical Writer. Since 2002, he continues to write as a full-time freelance author. Bob holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in History (1975) and English Literature (1994) from California State University, Hayward.
|CWC Leadership Positions|
|2010-2013||President, California Writers Club|
|2009-2010||Founding President, Fremont Area Writers (FAW)|
|2007-2009||Founder, Fremont Area Writers|
|2009-2015||FAW Membership Chairman & Historian|
|2003-2007||Central Board Rep for SBW|
|2004-2008||East of Eden Conference Committee member|
|2014||Ina Coolbrith Award|
|2009||Jack London Award (Fremont Area Writers)|
Currently, dividing her time between San Jose, CA and Las Vegas, NV, Leslie is an independent copy editor of fiction and nonfiction who moonlights as a poet. She is a member of California Writers Club, South Bay Chapter; Poetry Center San Jose (Co-editor of Caesura 2015: Fusion); and Henderson Writers’ Group, sponsor of the annual Las Vegas Writer’s Conference.
Poetry publication credits include: WritersTalk, South Bay Writers Club newsletter; The California Writers Club Literary Review; Writer’s Bloc, Henderson Writers’ Group anthology; Helen: Friday Night Specials; 300 Days of Sun: A Journal of the Nevada State College Humanities Department; Mused: BellaOnline Literary Review; Third Thursdays: The Willow Glen Poetry Project; and Caesura: The Journal of Poetry Center San Jose.
Leslie’s current writing projects include a chapbook of her poems and a nonfiction book containing interviews of others drawn to Clark County, Nevada.
Marjorie dreamed about writing fiction and joined Edie Matthews’ creative writing class in 2002 and California Writers Club shortly thereafter. Marjorie’s 2007 novel, Bird Watcher, traces an airplane stolen from Palo Alto Airport. The fast paced novel, available on Amazon, will surprise you with its plot twists and humor.
Marjorie also loves to travel. She and Frank have visited Mayan ruins in Guatemala and Mexico and attended archaeological symposiums there. Her second novel (2011), Jaguar Princess: The Last Maya Shaman, is the story of a modern-day Maya princess who grows up at a ruin in rural Yucatán. Chanla Pesh receives a college scholarship to study archaeology, but the gods will punish her if she refuses their call to be a shaman. She defeats a looter and uses her talents as a shaman to trace stolen artifacts.
Marjorie’s third novel, Lost Jade of the Maya, will appear on Amazon late in 2015. Where the ancient Maya found jade has been a mystery for 500 years. When Chanla Pesh searches for jade in Guatemala, she angers the gods of the underworld and attracts the attention of greedy thugs. But you knew she wouldn’t have an easy time.
|CWC Leadership Positions|
|2013||Jack London Award|
McGraw-Hill and General Publishing Group published her in non-fiction. She is also the writer and director of four short films and two micro documentaries. Her first book, All I Need To Know In Life I Learned From Romance Novels, received favorable mention in People Magazine, Mode Magazine New York, Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, Library Journal, National Women’s Review, and many others.
Victoria has presented workshops on a variety of writing topics in the Bay Area; Chicago; Washington, DC; New York; Vancouver, Canada; and currently in Germany. She served as WritersTalk contributing editor from 2008 to 2015.
Before delving into book publishing, Linda worked for software companies in Silicon Valley, testing computer and networking software applications. She was an early designer of Web content. With a degree in drama, acting and directing, from CSU at Hayward, Linda once replied to an interview question about how that degree was used in testing software.
“Presentation is an aspect of all human endeavors whether it’s a conscious effort or not.” She alluded to the adage, garbage in, user friendly out, the usual source of software problems. Linda has a knack for finding glitches in software, and awkwardly flowing sentences. “I enjoy helping folks become empowered in using their words and computers. I’m a self-taught computer user. Hopefully there will be many opportunities to help the next person I meet to continue writing, and become self inspired to write flowing words.”
Her first novel in the Shadowrun universe, Borrowed Time, was published in Spring 2015.
When not doing her best to make life difficult for her characters, King is a software technical writer for a large Silicon Valley database company. In her spare time (hah!) she enjoys hanging out with her very understanding spouse and her small herd of cats, watching way too much Doctor Who, and attending conventions when she can. She is an Active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the Horror Writers’ Association, and the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.
I grew up in the Midwest, not too distant from Huck and Tom; school there, the Air Force, and later California on a lark. Finding a broader horizon here, I elected to remain, dig in, and become a good citizen: family, job and community ties—“National Geographic” and “Sunset.” Tradition set in, the Jones arrived, and I purchased a station wagon. At an appropriate time, five kids through California Universities, I traded my gray worsted for Levis, joined the club and began the lyrical dance. The music’s terrific, and I’ve been at the ball ever since.
|CWC Leadership Positions|
|2015-present||Managing Editor, Literary Review|
|2009-2015||Central Board Rep|
|2012-2015||Vice President, South Bay Writers|
|2009-2012||President, South Bay Writers|
|2009-2012||NorCal Group Chairman|
|2009-2014||NorCal Group Representative|
|2006-2009||Newsletter Editor, South Bay Writers|
|2013||Ina Coolbrith Award|
|2009||Jack London Award|
Sissy! won the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award in 2003, and All Parts Together, the second book in the trilogy, became a Best Books Award Finalist in 2006. Both books were listed by the Kansas State Library as among the 150 best Kansas books ever written. The third book ,Angels at Sunset, was published in 2012 and became an International Book Award Finalist. In 2012, the State of Kansas issued a proclamation recognizing the 100th anniversary of the passage of the bill extending equal voting rights to women, officially calling it the Kansas Angels at Sunset Centennial in honor of his book, which deals with Jessica’s involvement with the women’s suffrage movement.
His first children’s book, The Invisible Twins, was published in 2015. It received five-star reviews on Amazon, with one elementary school teacher who said “I would highly recommend this book to any child that likes a good adventure.”
Tom also writes poetry, and his collection The Uni Verse won the Nelson Poetry Book Award. In addition, one of his poems was ranked ninth among 3,000 poems submitted to the Writer’s Digest Poetry Contest. His highly praised second poetry collection, The Museum Muse, was featured in the Fall 2015 edition of Lawrence Magazine. Two of the short stories that appear in his collection Stories to Enjoy were published in national magazines.
He is a past president of District Two the Kansas Authors Club (KAC) and past president of two branches of the California Writers Club (CWC). He was awarded the London Award from CWC as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the KAC.
|CWC Leadership Positions|
|1986-1987||President, South Bay Writers|
|1988-1989||President, CWC Peninsula|
|1988-1989||Jack London Award|
While living in Los Angeles, she finagled a story in the LA Times (fifteen comedians living in an old Hollywood apartment building). With her comedy neighbors, she helped co-write several pilot scripts, met with producers, a production company and took a meeting with the vice president of TV development at Columbia Studios. But showbiz is finicky, and executives keen on the idea were replaced, promoted or entered rehab. She created and toured across the US and Canada in the comedy show, Mothers & Other Goddesses (especially for women and the men who love them).
Inspired by her experience raising four children, she penned the humor book, You’ve Been Around Children Too Long When … She co-directed four successful East of Eden Writing Conferences. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from SJSU and teaches English and Fiction at De Anza College. She’s currently working on a novel inspired by her odyssey in the World of Comedy.
|CWC Leadership Positions|
|1999-2006, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008; Co-Director East of Eden Writing Conference||Vice President|
|2002, 2004, 2006, 2008||Co-Director East of Eden Writing Conference|
|Aug. 2012||Writer's Talk Challenge|
|2002||Jack London Award|
Jana currently lives in the Santa Cruz mountains with her husband and one of their four children. (The others have flown the nest.) She’s a dedicated participant in the Bay Area writing community. She served five years as President of the Peninsula Branch, founded the Writers Camp for Kids, volunteers annually in local schools to teach creative writing, and happily works on the Southbay Members Anthology.
|CWC Leadership Positions|
|2001-2005||President, Peninsula Branch|
|2001-2005||Vice President, Peninsula Branch|
|2005||Jack London Award|
|2008||Recognition in Letters, PEN Women|
|2007||National Best Book Awards (Finalist)|
|ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award (Honorable Mention)|
|2007||Benjamin Franklin Award for Popular Fiction (Finalist)|
|2007||Eric Hoffer Book Award(Notable)|
|2007||Byline Magazine's Short Fiction Award Winner|
|2006||ABA Booksense August Pick of the Month|
Patrick’s passion for community led him to serve South Bay Writers as President in 2015. As he pursues publication of his manuscripts, he hopes to learn from, inspire, and journey with other professional writers with similar goals.
|CWC Leadership Positions|
|2015-16||President, Board of Directors|
|2015-16||Standards Chair, California Writers Club|
|2015-16||Central Board Board Representative, California Writers Club|
Suzy’s poetry has been published in local poet laureates’ anthologies, in the South Bay Writers newsletter, “WritersTalk,” and as part of a community poem created by the county’s first poet laureate, Nils Peterson. Two of her poems are included in the South Bay Writers anthology, “Who Are Our Friends?” For six years, Suzy Paluzzi’s articles were published in the “Santa Clara Weekly.”
Suzy Paluzzi has been a member of South Bay Writers for nine years and served as a volunteer in several capacities. She also joined Poetry San Jose, International Women’s Writing Guild, and the National Association of Memoir Writers during that time.
This time the family moved to New York, where she continued to paint and design jewelry, until stumbling into a position as a columnist on a syndicated local newspaper.
But the warmth of Dallas and an idea summoned her. She moved her family to Dallas again and began publishing “Dallas in a Nutshell” and “Liberation Through the Marketplace.”
Finally she moved to Silicon Valley in California, where she became a consultant technical writer. She became a member of two California Writers Clubs (South Bay & Fremont) in preparation for publishing her novels, and given many public speeches through Toastmasters.
The first of her novels, The Domino Deaths, is set in an English village similar to where she grew up. The book is available on Amazon and was featured in the 2013 Writers Conference in Los Angeles. Her lifelong passions, in no particular order, are sailing, Yoga and J. S. Bach. (Photo: Moshgan/Kiana Haydon Photography)
Luanne Oleas was born in Steinbeck’s Salinas Valley, the setting for FLYING BLIND, A Cropduster’s story. Her previous novel, A PRIMROSE IN NOVEMBER, a family saga, is set in England and France. Her upcoming novel, WHEN ALICE PLAYED THE LOTTERY, takes place in the Silicon Valley where she currently lives with her husband and two cats.
Jack London Award
The Jack London Award is the only formal acknowledgement provided by the California Writers Club (CWC) to a CWC branch member “whose service at the branch level has been exemplary, meriting the award independent of writing accomplishments.” The honor is awarded every two years with a luncheon presentation during the July meeting of CWC’s Central Board. Each branch winner is selected by that branch’s board of directors.
|Past Jack London Awards |
|Marjorie Bicknell Johnson ||2013|
|Pat St. Lawrence||1995|
|Karen E. Hinger||1993|
JACK LONDON AWARD 2019: CAROLYN DONNELL
On Sunday, July 21, Carolyn Donnell received the 2019 Jack London Award for her years of service to South Bay Writers. Joyce Krieg, President of California Writers Club, presented the plaque to Carolyn at a luncheon attended by representatives of every branch of CWC.
California Writers Club is the largest and oldest professional writing club on the West Coast. By awarding the Jack London Award every two years, CWC recognizes the value of dedicated, outstanding, and in many case sustained, service to their mission to support members pursuing writing, publishing, and marketing goals.
Carolyn, retired from the tech world, has been a dedicated member of SBW since 2002. She is behind her camera at all South Bay Writers functions. She makes a photo collage for every issue of WritersTalk, and she also finds an extensive list of current contests for our writers every month. Carolyn is a regular contributor to WritersTalk with both her contest column and occasional recaps and articles on grammar. Every month, she helps to proofread WT. Behind the scenes, she collects the data to update the WritersTalk cumulative index. Yes, all back issues of WritersTalk from 2005 are on our website, southbaywriters.com, and Carolyn has helped with that for years.
Besides that, when the club needs something done, Carolyn can be depended upon to work on it. She has worked as a volunteer at our East of Eden Conferences and has helped set up and photograph workshop meetings.
JACK LONDON AWARD 2017: SALLY MILNOR
The Jack London Award is given every other year to outstanding members of the branches of the California Writers Club, the oldest and largest professional writing club on the West Coast. The club recognizes the value of dedicated, outstanding, and in many cases sustained, service as a mission to support members pursuing their writing, publishing, and marketing goals. This year’s awards were made on Sunday, July 23, as part of a CWC Central Board meeting at Holiday Inn & Suites Airport Hotel, 77 Hegenberger Road, Oakland. Sally A. Milnor is the 2017 Jack London Awardee from South Bay Writers. Sally, a retired lawyer who writes poetry, has been an Active Member of CWC for twelve years. She joined the SBW membership committee in 2005, greeting people at the door and taking money at the registration table. Sally has been SBW Membership Chair since 2011. She is such a friendly face welcoming new members that they comment upon her hospitality. Her service leads to the feeling of goodwill and willingness in new members to volunteer. She writes a column introducing new members and serves on the WritersTalk editorial board. She’s one of those quiet people who just makes a club better.
Named for two long-time driving forces of our club, Edie Matthews and Bill Baldwin, this annual award is given to a South Bay Writer in recognition of exemplary service to the branch.
|Frank Johnson and Jim Matthews||2016|
The South Bay Writers board of directors selected branch Vice President Dave LaRoche as the 2015 Matthews-Baldwin Award recipient in recognition of exemplary service to the branch.
Dave’s dedication and service to South Bay Writers has been beyond exemplary. He has served in the following club positions:
- President, July 2009-June 2012
- Vice President, July 2012-June 2015
- WritersTalk Editor, October 2006-June 2009
- Founder and Chairman, NorCal Group, April 2009-March 2012
- Representative, NorCal Group, April 2009-November 2014
- Representative, California Writers Club Central Board, July 2009-June 2015
- Founder and Editor, California Writers Club Literary Review, June 2012-present
Congratulations and thank you, Dave, for your outstanding leadership and service to South Bay Writers and the California Writers Club!
Ina Coolbrith Award
The Ina Coolbrith Award is named for poet laureate and California Writers Club co-founder Ina Coolbrith. The California Writers Club Central Board periodically awards this honor to a CWC member for exemplary service to the CWC and/or the Central Board.
|Past Ina Coolbrith Awards|