FAW News

ABB founder Andrew Benzie has spent over thirty years in the design/print industry. Andrew grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from the University of California with a fine arts degree. He has worked as a freelance designer as well as for large corporations including Transamerica, Deloitte & Touche, WR Hambrecht+Co and Sybex Books. Andrew formed Andrew Benzie Creative Design in 1991 and launched his book publishing business Andrew Benzie Books in 2010. Andrew is a board member and online administrator for the Mount Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club.



This event will be held at 2PM on Saturday May 25th. Admission is free to the public ($5 donation is requested from members) and will take place in Room 106  of  42 Silicon Valley (formerly known as DeVry University), 6600 Dumbarton Circle, Fremont CA 94555. 








President’s Message

May, 2019

We’re having fun and learning stuff! Lots of plans being made and executed. People working diligently for the fulfillment of “writer’s helping writers.” Talent being shared and honed to sharp edges.

How can it be May, already? We’ve had the HPB events going on for a good while now and I want to thank our published authors and fellow members for participating in getting the word out about our group and this event. We especially want to give BIG SHOUT OUT to the mastermind behind the project, Nancy Guarnera, who has worked non-stop to ensure the success of this endeavor. Additional SHOUT OUTS to our Publicity and Hospitality teams for spreading the word and then assuring our visitors that they are most welcome to join us moving forward.

Progress is being made, and lives are being changed as we have the opportunity to encounter some of the best talent in the writing and publishing field.  Thank you, Knuti VanHoven for your continued efforts in this search for excellent speakers! Congrats to Art Carey and Anita Tosh for their short stories being selected for inclusion into the CWC Literary Review! There was a ton of competition, and only room for 28 stories, out of 250+ entries!! Honorable mentions for three other of our members who were on the shortlist for inclusion, Chris Dews, Evelyn LaTorre, and Nancy Guarnera! I understand their stories may be included in the CWC website edition—still not determined as of this writing.

New critique groups are forming, and additional “Open Mic” sessions are being planned, as well as book signings, workshops and panel discussions. Our branch is roaring!

Our year-long celebration of 10 years in “business” speeds along like an express train, gaining speed    as we approach our July Picnic! Hope to see many of you there. Come and enjoy a time of relaxation and reminiscence as we gather on July 6th at Lake Elizabeth Park, in Fremont. (Look for details in our Ink Spots newsletters and on our website.)

Reminders: Board elections are coming up in June and it’s time for membership renewal in July.

Here’s to the next level in our climb to literary success!





Book Signing at Half Price Books


Fremont Area Writers is now partnering with Half Price Books in Fremont to present “Meet Your Local FAW Authors” monthly readings by FAW published authors on the second Saturday of each month.  Readings will be scheduled from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.  A different author will be featured each month.  Authors will have the opportunity to read and answer questions about their work, as well as sign and sell their books.

This “free” opportunity is available to FAW members who are published authors with books to sell.  Time slots for the year are filling up—so act now.  Keep an eye on your email for more information or contact Nancy Guarnera

Saturday June 8th 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Half Price Books Fremont Hub

Join author and artist
Jo Ann Frisch for the June FAW “Second Saturday” event at Half Price Books in the Fremont Hub, as she reads from her beautifully illustrated book Plant Uses by California Native Americans Rumsien and Mutsun Ohlone.

Jo Ann will answer questions and discuss her interest in the HPB at the Fremont Hub
Saturday June 8th 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.


FAW’s Guest Speakers for 2019

Information supplied by Knuti VanHoven

May 25-  Andrew Benzie on Self Publishing &, Marketing Your E-Book    

June 22-  Shelley Adina on Planning and Plotting Your Own Book Series

July 27-  no meeting, 10th Anniversary Picnic, July 6, see newsletter for details

August 24- 

September 28-

October 26-

November 23-

December 28- Potluck, no Speaker



Collected by Knuti VanHoven

FAW Moves to Room 106

Here we are in our new location: 


Jan Small nominated for Jack London Award!

Congratulations to Jan Small, who won Fremont Area Writers nomination for the CWC’s highest honor for local group accomplishment: The Jack London Award.
Jan has been searching out sites for FAW book-signings and organizing everything from setup, take down, author recruitment  and publicity.  She’s even designed the promotional posters.
The Award recognizes outstanding service to a CWC branch and will be presented at the regional meeting later this year.  
Thank you, Jan, from all of us!


Carmen VonTickner has agreed to fill the vital Board position of Secretary. 

Carmen began her new position at the last meeting on January 26, and has hit the ground running. Thank you Carmen!

Remember to bring your used books to the Book Exchange Table at FAW Meetings.

 Books you bring are free to members.  Take any you like, but at the end of the meeting, if yours have not been selected, please take them home and bring them back next month.

If you especially recommend a book, put a marker in it with a brief note to let folks know why it’s special! 

Members  can save a fortune by recycling books instead of buying news ones!

Get Involved with FAW

Fremont Area Writers has lots of great volunteer opportunities! 

If you’d like to to make a positive contribution to these projects please, contact our President.

Send your Book Cover jpgs to webmaster@’this website URL’ for our Members’ Book Display, then check out other members books and if you can give them a 5 star rating, go online to Amazon, Goodreads or other websites and post your review for them.  This is one of the most important ways that we can help each other out! 

Shutterbug Alert!  We have an on-going need for active, in-focus Photos of FAW speakers and events for Press releases and Ink Spots & this website.   Faces should be as large a portion of the photo as possible with expressions of active interest in the project that’s depicted.  If you get a  good shot, send it to webmaster

Elevator-Speech-Polishing Event, at every FAW Meeting

FAW has a 45 minute membership meeting.  15 of those 45 minutes are set aside for up to thirty members to practice their 30-second “elevator speech”, introducing themselves and their projects.  An elevator speech isn’t social chit chat or  a biography.  It’s a quick teaser to use at professional events, like conferences, where agents and publishers are looking for product to sell.  Each of them is looking for specific types of product that they have a market for.  If they don’t need what you have to sell, you need to move on and keep moving until you find your possible connections. 

Once you’ve each introduced yourself with your name and role (Author, Agent, Publisher) you have 30 seconds to let them know what you have to offer: Your book’s genre, target audience, plus a couple of interesting details  and what support you’re seeking.

IF that’s what they’re looking for, you exchange more information.  If not, you exchange quick pleasantries and move on until you find a more suitable match.

You may need to present to many, many people before you meet one who’s after exactly your project.  with the right needs.  While it’s important to be congenial, it’s not time for normal socializing .

After thirty seconds, if you haven’t already moved on, your contact will either be interested or be scanning the room for their next prospect.

THIRTY SECONDS!  At Every FAW meeting you can polish and refine this vital skill and get feedback afterward, at  break.  Going over that time at a conference  risks losing your new contact’s interest or creating a situation where they feel like they can’t get away from you. 

Going over that time at an FAW meeting will only get you buzzed, because, though we love you,  we have other agenda items and only if everyone sticks to thirty second introductions, afterwards we’ll only have 30 minutes of meeting time left! 

So start planning your next elevator speech now.  Time it out, and we’ll see you at the next meeting!


Anyone have a productive Agent that would be a good speaker for an FAW meeting?  We need someone who’s current and can give productive tips to our members about how to choose the right agent, then how to work with them.  Please email Knuti.


Are you looking for fame and fortune? While you’re working on that, how about learning the ins and outs of websites? Please offer to help maintain this site. Training given. Contact the webmaster.




Fremont CWC Bay Area Writers


kudos-nice work

In this area we record writers’ awards and successes. Keep your eye on this page as awards are received all the time.

(Please send shout-outs and Kudos to the webmaster.)


Shout-outs from FAW Members to Other Members

Respected recipients-  

I’d like to post a shout-out for Nancy Guarnera’s inspirational work in infusing energy and innovation into the FAWG organization, in particular, her transitional affiliation with Half-Price Books, where she has founded second-Saturday Local Writers Reading meetings, as well as her work on renovating the FAWG logo, webpage and public persona. 

Tony Pino 


KUDOS to FAW Members

Tish Davidson has been selected to judge the historical nonfiction and regional nonfiction categories for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. This is an international competition sponsored by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group. Books written in English from small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors are eligible. Winners are recognized with cash awards and review by a literary agent at a ceremony in Washington, DC during the American Library Association Conference in June.

Penelope Anne Cole has had three pieces published in the Tri-Valley Writers Anthology: Voices of the Valley.  Her published pieces are a poem, “Captive of Love,” a memoir, “Escape from Honolulu,” and a short story, “Roamer’s World.” She is most proud to have been so honored.

Jan Small was nominated by FAW board for the Jack London Award on January 26.

Shirley Ferrante won 3rd place for her piece “Togetherness” in the Half Price Books Flash Fiction Contest held on the 22nd of September.  (Check out Shirley’s contest winner in the FAW Writers’ Corner of the October2018 issue of FAW’s newsletter Ink Spots.)

Nancy Guarnera won 1st and 2nd place in the Half Price Books Flash Fiction Contest held on the 22nd of September.  Her “Home Coming” took 1st place and “Three Times” took 2nd place.   (Check out Nancy’s contest winners in the FAW Writers’ Corner of the October2018 issue of FAW’s newsletter Ink Spots.)

Art Carey’s modern, tongue-in-cheek version of Jonathan Swift’s classic satire, A Modest Proposal, appeared in an August issue of The Satirist, America’s Most Critical Journal (Since 1999).

The following authors who participated in the FAW Book Signing at the Newpark Mall on Saturday, July 14thArt Carey sold 1 book; Penelope Cole sold 11 books; Paul K. Davis sold 1 book; Chris Dews sold 3 books; Jo Ann Frisch sold 5 books; Urmila Patel sold 4 books; Jan Small sold 2 books and 1 art print; Dave M. Strom sold 1 book; Anita Tosh  sold 1 book; and Helen Vanderberg sold 3 books.  A total of 32 books and 1 art print were sold for total sales of $402.  Sales per author ranged from $2 to $95. 

Chris Dews has recently published a new book – Antler Jinny and the Raven, and has revised and republished his previous book, The Druid and the Bracelet.  His books will be available at Coastside Books and Ink Spell Books in Half Moon Bay. You can also find them online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Evelyn LaTorre, an FAW founding member, will have her memoir titled, No Guardrails, From Montana to Machu Picchu, A Peace Corps Romance, published in 2020 by She Writes Press. 

Clevermag.org has notified Evelyn LaTorre that her piece about her recent trip to Ireland, “Is Ireland Really Heaven,” will be published in the Fall 2018 issue of their e-zine.

Dave M. Strom recently updated his book, Super Holly Hansson in Super Bad Hair Day to roughly 120 printed pages of stories, audio scripts, and Super Holly artwork.  At Worldcon, the annual convention of the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) recently held at the San Jose Convention Center, Dave shared a table with authors from the South Bay Writers branch of CWC.  He sold nine paperback copies and one Kindle eBook.

A long-awaited anthology about the life of a dollar bill has been published by South Bay Writers. FAW’s Dave Strom was an editor and has a story in it.

Tish Davidson’s non-fiction piece “Miss Tish and the Okree Ladies” has been published in the 2018 California Writers Club Literary Review.

Evelyn LaTorre’s non-fiction piece “The Potato Caper” has been published in the 2018 California Writers Club Literary Review.

Judy Taylor’s poem “A Trail of Pap Crackers on the Beach has been published in the 2018 California Writers Club Literary Review.

Fremont CWC Bay Area Writers


An Open Mic for writers to read their work is held from 7-9 p.m. at Suju’s Coffee and Tea, 3620 Thornton Ave., in Fremont, on the fourth Monday of the month.