Current Meeting



Kellie Ann Benz, Pat Obuchowski, Geri Spieler, and Nanci Woody


Audrey Kalman


What Works and What Doesn’t for Your Writing Career


October 13, 2018


10 am


The Sequoia Yacht Club 441 Seaport Ct, Redwood City, CA 94063(map)

FREE* to first-time attendees! $10 Members; $15 Non-Members; $5 Students/ID
Click here to register.

A panel of published authors will discuss what works and what does not when it comes to your writing. Panelists include Kellie Ann Benz, Pat Obuchowski, Geri Spieler, and Nanci Woody. Moderator is Audrey Kalman.

The session will be followed at noon by a special Think Tank: Critique Group Matchmaking at noon. We’ll try to connect members to new critique groups to review their writings-in-process.

Note that our meeting date is a week earlier than normal.

Four authors on what works—and what doesn’t—in a writing career

In honor of California Writers Week, we are plumbing the experience of four published authors from different backgrounds and genres who have worked hard and learned along the way about what works and what doesn’t. Join us to hear from this panel about their triumphs and mistakes. Each will share their biggest “what works” moments so you can make decisions that will get you closer to your writing and publishing goals. Come with your questions for a Q&A. Note that the speaker portion of this program start a half hour earlier than usual, at 10:45, so we have time to hear from the panelists and get your questions answered.

Panel: Kellie Ann Benz, Pat Obuchowski, Geri Spieler, Nanci Woody. Moderator: Audrey Kalman


Kellie Ann Benz studied Corporate Communications at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver, B.C., Canada in 1991, but quickly ignored that education to write screenplays. She debuted as a writer/director with a 13-minute comedy that led to a commission by Canada’s Comedy Network. Benz has worked as a script doctor, director, and film festival jury member. Her third short earned her the 2009 Writers Guild of Canada award for best short screenplay after screenings at nearly 45 festivals, an experience that inspired her to create an online resource for short films. During all this, she found time to make her fourth short film. In 2014, Benz returned to the U.S. after living in Canada since childhood and returned to journalism as an editor. She has worked as a weekly newspaper editor for the Mercury News since March 2017. In her spare time, she has returned to writing, now as an author of steamy romance novels under a pen name. She has self-published two and is currently working on her third.

Pat Obuchowski is the founder of inVisionaria, an executive, leadership and team coaching company. She is also the creator of Gutsy Women Win (, which is dedicated to supporting and encouraging women leaders around the world. She is author of the best selling books Gutsy Women Win: How to Get Gutsy and Get Going, Gutsy Leaders: 140 Bits of Wisdom to Build Great Teams with Vision and Compassion and Success Starts Today featuring Pat and Jack Canfield. As Chief Empowerment Officer of inVisionaria, she guides clients in honing their leadership, interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills. Invoking her “unorthodox rational optimistic” style, Pat demonstrates to individuals how to realize their own unique power and bring their deepest professional and personal vision to life.

Geri Spieler is a full-time freelance writer in Silicon Valley. She creates dynamic copy in the areas of business, technology, health, and as a generalist based on her years of experience as a newspaper reporter. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Forbes and she has been a signature blogger for Huffington Post. She was a research director for Gartner Group an editor of two publications at Philips Publishing in Washington, D.C. Her book, Taking Aim at the President: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Shot at Gerald Ford, was published by St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan. It has been optioned for a movie by independent writers and executive producers Andrew Logan and Taylor Allen. She is a regular contributor to, an investigative reporting company.

Nanci Lee Woody was a college professor, author of math and accounting textbooks, and Dean of Business at American River College before writing Tears and Trombones. Her novel won an IPPY (Independent Publishers) medal for Best Fiction in the Western Pacific Region and a 5-Star Review and medal from Readers Favorites. Nanci’s short stories and poems appear in both print  anthologies and online. She wrote the book and lyrics for a musical, Hello to Life!, and produced it in collaboration with her husband, a musician. Her artwork has appeared in numerous juried shows in the Sacramento area and in the KVIE annual on-air fundraising auctions. Her photo, “Supermoon,” won the Juror’s Award in 2017 at the California State Fair in the Fine Arts Category and the Curator’s Award at the juried KVIE on-air fundraiser and auction in 2018. Find out more at