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Members who wish to submit a blog entry should send it to A review committee will consider each submission for membership interest and may suggest edits before publishing the submission to the blog. For more information, see Blog or Be Blogged.

  • 17 Jun 2021 4:35 AM | Deleted user

    by Sandra Yeaman

    The United Nations designated June 20 each year as World Refugee Day in order to highlight the needs, rights, and desires of refugees who have fled their homes in order to escape persecution and conflict. The goal is to keep the focus on the plight of refugees until ways to improve their lives are found so that they not only survive but thrive.

    The first observation of World Refugee Day was in 2001, to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees.

    Refugees face a number of challenges even after they have managed to escape the countries they left because of persecution, conflict, natural disaster, or other circumstances that interfere with public order. Outside of the environments they knew, finding a doctor or schools for their children or safe areas for their children to play are new challenges. Resettlement to a permanent location may take years, putting refugees in a state of limbo with regard to their education, health, and safety.

    This year’s UN Refugee Agency’s theme for World Refugee Day is Together We Heal, Learn, and Shine which emphasizes the power of inclusion. Whether refugees are in temporary camps or have been resettled into permanent residences, making sure they receive high quality health care, education for both children and adults, and opportunities to participate in sports and other creative activities is essential to creating a path for them to contribute to society.

    World Refugee Day offers us all an opportunity to build our empathy for others through sharing the stories of refugees, especially the stories of their successes, such as those linked below.

    For more information about how you can get involved in observing World Refugee Day in a meaningful way, check out the UNHCR’s website. You can also join in a Facebook Live Panel Discussion, Welcoming Refugees on Friday, June 18, at 9 a.m. PDT.

  • 13 Jun 2021 4:36 PM | Leon Lazarus

    Submissions open for the Memoir Showcase on June 20. Please follow the submission guidelines.  Pieces that are too long will not be considered.

    IMPORTANT: Give your piece a unique title. DO NOT title it the theme. The judging process is blind and we use the unique title to identify your piece.

    Submissions are open: June 20

    Submissions are closed:  August 15

    Theme for 2020:  But I’m Still Here 

    Note:  Feel free to interpret this theme in any way that sparks your interest.

    Length:  Pieces should be 5 pages or less.  Double spaced, 12-point font.

    Submission Fee:

    $30 for 1

    $50 for 2

    $65 for 3

    $85 for 4

    To Submit: Go to , click on the Memoir Showcase page and you will be prompted to upload your information and your piece. 

    How the Memoir Showcase works:

    Submissions will be read and judged by a panel of judges.  The winning pieces will be selected (top 10 submissions) and notified by the middle of September.

    Winning Writers will be assigned a writing coach.  Writers will work with their writing coach to refine their theme, and then cut or polish their piece for approximately one month. Note:  If you do not want to refine, cut or polish your piece with a writing coach, then this is not a good contest for you to enter.  

    The director will hold auditions and select actors and actresses. Writers will then meet for a roundtable read of their pieces with their selected professional actor/actress and their director.  Writers will have the opportunity to hear their piece read and offer input during a collaborative discussion.

    The director will take the notes from the collaborative roundtable and work with the actor/actress.  

    The pieces will be performed in October at North Coast Repertory.

  • 8 Jun 2021 3:25 PM | Deleted user

    Do You Want to Be On the Zoom Portion Of the June 15 Book Club?

    Just click on the submission button below, send us a YES, and we will get you all signed up!



  • 5 Jun 2021 8:10 AM | Deleted user



    The Writers' Workshop offers in-person and online classes for beginning and experienced writers. Classes meet on Saturdays, 10-3:30 pm, with a lunch break. Registration is in advance only at www.twwoa  Classes are $80 each, and financial assistance is available for low-income writers in exchange for volunteering. 



    JUNE 12: FICTION WRITING & REVISING with Karen Ackerson            


    Writers of fiction and creative non-fiction books and stories will learn how to revise and polish their works before submitting to an agent or publisher. Techniques will be taught on how to grab the reader's interest by eliminating unnecessary details, building tension, and fine-tuning dialogue and descriptions. Participants may bring five pages (double-spaced) to the class for discussion. Ackerson is Senior Editor at The Renbourne Editorial Agency (, and has edited hundreds of novels, memoirs and creative non-fiction stories.  




    Humor Me Writing Contest    Deadline: Postmarked or emailed by June 30, 2021


    1ST Place:  Your choice of a 2 night stay at our Mountain Muse B&B in Asheville; or 3 free workshops (in person or online); or 50 pages line-edited and revised by our editorial staff

    2nd Place: Two free workshops; or 35 pages line-edited

    3rd Place:  One free workshop, or 25 pages line-edited

    10 Honorable Mentions



    Email or snail-mail a humorous story (fiction or non-fiction) of 5,000 words or less. Use of witty, dry humor is encouraged. Pages should be paper clipped, with your name, address, phone and title of work on the first page. Double-space, and use 12 point font. Mention if this is fiction or not.

    The entry fee per story is $25/$20 Workshop members. Multiple entries are accepted.   Enclose self-sealing SASE for critique and list of winners.

     Make check or money order payable to The Writers’ Workshop, and mail to: Humor Contest, 387 Beaucatcher Road, Asheville, NC  28805. Emailed submissions may be sent in Word doc attachment to, with “Humor Contest” in the subject. The entry fee is payable online at, or by mailing a check. No sase is required – comments will be emailed.  


    * * * * * 

  • 3 Jun 2021 6:55 AM | Deleted user


    By Margaret Harmon
    Read by David Fenner

    Click to listen - 4.5 minutes

    Margaret Harmon is a local author who is, lucky for us, also a fan of Write Out Loud. We are delighted that she has given us permission to read some of her stories for Listen To This. This little amuse bouche sized piece might be reminiscent of Ray Bradbury, who said of her work - Fantastic! We're glad to once again bring you a reading by my nephew, David Fenner. If you'd like to learn more about Margaret click here.

    Listen to This is made possible in part by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, County of San Diego, Doctor Seuss Fund and the Conrad Prebys Foundation.
  • 31 May 2021 6:40 AM | Deleted user

    We are delighted to share our full lineup for the first day of programming on Saturday, July 17, 2021.

    Stay tuned for more information about signing up to pitch an agent (for free). The slots will be first come, first served. We treasure you and can't wait to connect this summer!

  • 24 May 2021 7:17 AM | Deleted user


    Why do I need to know about Microsoft templates?

    MS Word templates are like cookie cutters. Everytime you begin a new document in MS Word, formatting options such as the indentation of each paragraph, the spacing between paragraphs, the spacing between lines within a paragraph, the font style and size, and much more are determined by the Word template you chose when you created the new document. Each new document is a copy of the template that cut it.

    Even if you think you didn’t make a choice, you did. If you start typing without choosing anything, MS Word makes the choice for you by providing a default template, normal.dotm. The template is like a map or pattern for every new document. Each new document is a copy of the template’s formatting, all of which can be changed in your new document. But the template remains the same, available to be used again later.

    The default settings for the normal.dotm template on my Mac laptop are as follows:

    • US letter-sized paper
    • Calibri font, 12-point size
    • single spacing within paragraphs
    • no extra points of space after each paragraph
    • no indentation of the first line
    • no tab stops set, but default stops every .5 inches
    • 1-inch margins at top, bottom, left, and right
    • portrait orientation

    Unless I change the formatting of a new document, these formatting instructions will apply. And even if I change the formatting of the document I am editing, the next one I create will go right back to the default formating of normal.dotm.

    The settings for normal.dotm on a Windows PC may differ. You can discover the settings for normal.dotm by reviewing the page layout, paragraph layout, font choice, and other formatting information after you create a new document before you begin typing on it.

    Can the default settings be changed?

    You can change any of these default settings, but those changes will only apply to the specific document you are creating or editing—the specific copy of the template. If you make the changes before you begin typing, the changes will apply to everything you type on that document. But, if you make changes after you have already begun creating the document, the changes will only apply from the point where your cursor is anchored. If you move the cursor to another place in the document, the changes you made will not apply. I hope the chart below will help make clear the impact of changes you make to the format of the current and other documents.

    Action Effect on Template Effect on Current Document Effect on Previous Documents Effect on Future Documents
    Create a new document none matches format of the selected template none none
    Change margins before adding text none margins will change for the entire document none none
    Change margins after typing has begun none margins will change for either the document, page, or section, depending on the author’s choice none none
    Adding tab stops before adding text none tab stops will apply across the document none none
    Adding tab stops after typing has begun none tab stops will apply from the point at which the cursor is anchored and for any text typed afterwards* none none
    Changing the font before adding text none font type and size will match the change throughout the document none none
    Changing the font after typing has begun none font type and size will match the change from the point at which the cursor is anchored and for any text typed afterwards* none none
    Changing the paragraph style before adding text none paragraph format will match the changed paragraph style throughout the document none none
    Changing the paragraph style after typing has begun none paragraph format will match the change from the point at which the cursor is anchored and for any text typed afterwards* none none
    Changing the settings on normal.dotm everything will change to match the new settings see information below about how to change normal.dotm none all future documents will match the new formatting of the changed template

    *If you make changes to any of the settings and wish them to apply to the entire document, you must highlight the entire document before changing the settings so that the changes apply to everything that is highlighted.

    May I have more than one template on my computer?

    Yes, you may have multiple templates, but if you do not choose one, the normal template will be applied. If you choose New Document from the File options in the main menu, you are choosing normal.dotm as the template. To choose a different template, you must choose New from Template from the File option menu and then choose one of the templates that appear. MS Word comes with many templates preloaded.

    You can also create a new template, or change normal.dotm so that new documents are created with a different style or size of font or line spacing or tab settings, if you want to use different settings for every new document you create. Using the cookie cutter analogy again, if you want round cookies, you’d rather use a round cutter from the beginning than have to cut off the edges of a square cookie and then reshape the edges of every new cookie.

    First, understand what normal.dotm does. If you decide you want different formatting features to be standard for every document you create, you may want to change normal.dotm. If, in contrast, you decide it would be helpful to have a specific set of formatting features available when you start a specific set of documents, such as new manuscripts for your read-and-critique group or for submitting to contests, you may want to create a new template with a unique name for that set of documents.

    Because the means to change normal.dotm vary from release to release as well as from PCs to Macs, I recommend searching for instructions until you find what works for your computer.

    Creating a new template is easier. When you have formatted a new document with all the features you want for it, use Save As Template or Save As and select Word Template (.dotx) in the File Format drop down list. Give your template a name that you will recognize whenever you need to create a new document with those formatting features.

    The video below shows how to create a new template as well as how to update an existing template, including normal.dotm, for Microsoft Word 2016 for Windows. If these instructions do not work for your computer, search for “creating templates for MS Word 20xx” with the release year of your MS Word replacing xx.

    Sandra YeamanSandra Yeaman retired from the US Department of State in 2007 after 23 years as a Foreign Service Officer. As a management officer, she served at US embassies in Qatar, Barbados, Moldova, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Madagascar, Zambia, and Eritrea. In addition, she served in consular positions in Germany and Barbados and previously taught English as a Foreign Language in Iran and Romania.

    She is familiar with Arabic, Farsi, German, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. Her experiences overseas brought her in touch with underserved minorities and religious groups out of favor with the current government. These experiences provide her with a sensitivity in her writing and editing not easily attained by others.

    These changes in environment and cultures challenged her notion of what success is. What made it possible for her to thrive in the midst of the change is the solid foundation she received in her childhood years in northern Minnesota.

    Since retirement, Sandra has been writing her story and her journey from a young woman seeking adventure to a mature woman who found her mission. She hopes to complete her novel in 2021 and looks forward to gaining the expertise in the full range of pre-publication book preparation and marketing.

  • 13 May 2021 9:26 AM | Deleted user

    by Mardie Schroeder, Past President, San Diego Writers and Editors Guild

    In olden days, writing surfaces were so rare that they were often used more than once. "Palimpsest" originally described an early form of recycling in which an old document was erased to make room for a new one when parchment ran short. Fortunately for modern scholars, the erasing process wasn't completely effective, so the original could often be distinguished under the newer writing. De republica, by Roman statesman and orator Cicero, is one of many documents thus recovered from a palimpsest. Nowadays, the word palimpsest can refer not only to such a document but to anything that has multiple layers.

  • 12 May 2021 4:20 PM | Anonymous


    The Writers' Workshop is offering online classes for beginning and experienced writers. Each class meets online on Saturdays, 10-3:30 pm, with a lunch break.

    Registration is in advance only at www.twwoa Classes are $80 each, and financial assistance is available for low-income writers in exchange for volunteering.


    Writers will learn innovative ways to generate fresh material, avoid writer’s block, and tap into their creative side. The class will be guided towards accessing the inner voice through KaizenMuse Creativity methods, evocative “timed writes”, and lively class readings and discussions. Hart is a writer and creativity coach trained in the Kaizen Muse method. She is also certified by the Gateless Method – “a method of teaching the art and craft of writing using creative brain science, allowing writers to access the creative genius inside”. Her first collection of short stories, Somewhere in a Town You Never Knew Existed, was a finalist in Foreword Review Book of the Year Award.

    MAY 29: SCREENWRITING WORKSHOP with Nathan Ross Freeman

    The class will learn all aspects of writing the screenplay, including formatting, characterization, sequence structures, and how to adapt any genre to a screenplay. Freeman's credits include the feature films Gem and Mr. Bones, the official selection of major film festivals; and Authoring Action, awarded 2010 Best Documentary in the U.K. He has taught at UNC-C and Salem College.

    JUNE 12: FICTION WRITING & REVISING with Karen Ackerson

    Writers of fiction and non-fiction books and stories will learn how to revise and polish their works before submitting to an agent or publisher. Techniques will be taught on how to grab the reader's interest by eliminating unnecessary details, building tension, and fine-tuning dialogue and descriptions. Participants may bring five pages (double-spaced) to the class for discussion. Ackerson is Senior Editor at The Renbourne Editorial Agency (, and has edited hundreds of novels, memoirs and creative non-fiction stories.

  • 1 May 2021 9:07 AM | Deleted user

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    Library ConnectionsSan Diego Public Library | Library Locations & Hours | Library Foundation | Library Shop |Calendar of Events | Donate

    Learn Something New at the 6th Annual How-To Festival

    How-To FestivalIn partnership with California Coast Credit Union, the Library is hosting its 6th Annual How-To Festival online on May 22. A curated collection of how-to videos created by Library staff and community members will premiere online and will remain available for later viewing. Round up your family and learn something new together, like How-To Make a Banana Dog, How-To Meditate for Busy People, or How-To Create a Kokedama. There is something for everyone and all ages! 


    Free Seed Distribution at All Open Libraries

    Seed LibrariesSpring is a great time to start a new vegetable garden! All open Libraries now have seeds available for the public to grow their own healthy food. Available seeds include melons, carrots, squash, and more. This is made possible through a generous donation from Vlada's Seeds for Life and the Ahern Seed Company. Visit your local branch today to get your free seeds and inquire about available gardening books. 

    Learn more
    Take a Library NExT Course in May

    Library NExTLibrary NExT is a series of workshops on STEAM topics for elementary, middle, and high school students. Sign your student up for a course specifically aimed at grades 3-5, 6-8, or 9-12. Upcoming topics include Medicine and the Heart, Physics of Fidget Spinners, Intro to Python Programming, Screenwriting, Wellness in the Digital Age, and Beginner's SketchUp. All classes are virtual and held on Zoom.

    Register now

    Support Your Library
    Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage

    Celebrate AAPIThe Library celebrates the rich heritage, cultures, experiences, contributions, and resilience of our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander-identified (AAPI) communities. Join us in the celebration by checking out our diverse program offerings or reading a book from our staff-created AAPI Heritage Month book list. Program highlights include Cooking Around the World on May 3, Storytime with Señor Chon on May 14, Polynesian Paradise Dancers on May 20, and Hmong Culture & Craft on May 26

    Learn more
    SD Access 4 All: Reducing the Digital Divide in San Diego

    SD Access 4 AllTogether with the City of San Diego, the Library is taking action to close the digital divide that leaves residents without internet access. Through the SD Access 4 All program, the Library is offering outdoor computer labs, public WiFi, and mobile hotspots for library card holders to check out in select locations. The mobile hotspots are easy to use and allow you to connect your laptop, tablet, and other WiFi-enabled devices to the internet.

    Learn more
    Listeners' Advisory: The San Diego Public Library Podcast

    Listeners' Advisory PodcastEpisode two of Listeners' Advisory: The San Diego Public Library Podcast is out now and the theme is books! Learn about the new reader's advisory service Matchbook; meet the creative team behind the Library's first children's book, Odi's Library Day; and discover some great reads from the hosts of the Library's web series, Read More. Listeners' Advisory is available anywhere you get your podcasts.  

    Listen now
    Media Literacy Series: How the Media Covers Race

    How the Media Covers RaceFrom police shootings of unarmed Black people, to the recent rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, to debates over the ongoing crisis at the U.S. border—stories about race and race relations have dominated recent headlines. Join the Library on May 10 for an open and honest discussion about how journalists approach these difficult issues, how newsroom diversity impacts coverage of race, and what role the media should play in creating more equitable, inclusive communities.

    Digital Resource Spotlight: SimplyE

    Simply E Library eReader AppDeveloped by the New York Public Library, SimplyE is a free, open-source e-reader app that allows the library to bring together a collection of eBooks and audiobooks from cloudLibrary and enki Library to make them accessible all in one place. Search the Google Play or Apple app store for "SimplyE." To begin using the app, open it and log in with your full library card number and PIN. 

    How it works
    Author of the Month: Lilita Zvejnieks Hardes

    Author of the MonthA Memoir of Home, War and Finding Refuge - Biruta's Story is a heartwarming story just in time for Mother's Day. On May 8, join first-generation American, Lilita Zvejnieks Hardes, as she presents a loving tribute to her mother in this compelling, well-researched memoir about her journey for refuge as a young Latvian war refugee during World War II. Fleeing Latvia, Biruta's path takes her through Nazi-occupied Germany as she searches for peace, love, and a place to call home. 

    The Library Shop's Curbside Caravan Returns for One Last Encore Tour

    Library Shop Caravan TourThe Library Shop is back in May for its last Curbside Caravan Tour! The Shop will be visiting 11 Library branches and stopping by Verbatim Books in North Park with a convenient, safe, and socially distanced pop-up shop curbside. Check the schedule and visit the Caravan to pick up a new book or literary-themed gift. All proceeds support the Library system.

    See the schedule
    Financial Wellness Webinar: Managing Your Retirement Accounts

    Retirement PlanningAs part of an ongoing collaboration with California Coast Credit Union, the Library is excited to offer a series of financial wellness webinars. On May 12, financial experts from California Coast Credit Union will explore account solutions designed to fit your life, whether you are planning for retirement or looking to grow and preserve your wealth. 


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