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Debra Wallin, President welcomed all the new members.  She thanked outgoing board members Susan Wilson (Critique Group Chair) and Dennis Carrigan (Newsletter) and gave a special thanks to Jack Hemphill (Past President) for his years of service to the club and his guidance and counsel.

Graham Smith and Jennifer Hurlburt were welcomed as new chairs for the Newsletter and Critique Groups and thanked for stepping into these roles.

Debra expressed her service as President as an honor and privilege.

Caroline Kenna, Vice President, announces the winners of the Elizabeth Simpson Smith Short Story Contest.

David Poston, Contest Chair, Reads  3rd Place winner Les Brown's entry The Poker Game.

The judge had these comments: "The Poker Game."  Here is an author who is a master of dialogue.  The game itself is but a device to treat the reader to an intimate look at four old curmudgeons -- past their prime, but continuing to hang on to their abiding relationship.  As a reader, I loved them despite the notion to smack each one in the head.

Zachary Brown reads from his 2nd place entry Days of Rest.

The judge had these comments: "Days of Rest."  What price memory?  In an artful and often stunning way, the author leads us into the tortured soul of a man haunted by a life, and the people in it, that might have been.  Elegantly written.

Roger Colberg reads from his 1st Place entry Dark Ride.

The judge had these comments: "Dark Ride."  A mesmerizing and vividly told story of two men, long-ago friends, meeting again with one intending to help the other.  In a subtle but profound way, the writer probes each man's demons, leaving the reader to decide which one most needs help.  I felt I was on the ride with them.

Judy Goldman talked to the members about 'voice in memoir'. The voice of innocence is the horizontal plot line that shares what happened. The voice of experience is the vertical plot line that reflects on events and what it all meant.  Innocence shows how we are vulnerable when the emotions are new and what was felt when the event happened.  Experience illustrates what you know now that you didn't know before.

You are creating a character of yourself in memoir.  Pick a particular part of yourself and expand it.  Through the writing you will learn the deepest patterns of your own behavior.   Self understanding is the reward for writing a memoir or essays.  When you stick with it long enough you may undergo changes on how you see your own past and the 'picture' you had of yourself.  Memoir lets the authentic self come out. Not knowing is vital to memoir, and you disclose what you know as you write it.

The details matter.  The little things that break our hearts matter. We all have stories to tell.

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