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Rough Writers

By Stephanie Rosenblatt

It’s finally 2021. Did you resolve to become a better public speaker? Work on your writing? Meet new people? If you did you’re in luck because Long Beach has a club just for you: Rough Writers Toastmasters Club.

Rough Writers was founded in 2015 to help members strengthen their writing as well as their public speaking skills.

The club meets Monday nights 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm, currently via Zoom, normally at the firehouse on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore. Members present prepared speeches and receive feedback from each other. Some weeks this is followed by impromptu speaking exercises where members quickly craft short speeches in response to a prompt. On alternate weeks this segment is replaced with what club president Cynthis Gellis calls flash fiction -- members workshop short pieces of writing in response to a prompt that has been sent out in advance.

The club has published three anthologies of members’ writing. Gellis has edited the last two editions.

The current anthology, Rough Writers 2020 Anthology: A Field Day for Creativity, presents the short fiction of 15 club members created in response to a photo prompt.

Members of the Rough Writers pose together to commemorate their collection “Rough Writers 2020 Anthology: A Field Day for Creativity.” from left to right: Terrell Harrison, Benjamin Horak, Lola! Love, Cary Kellems (in front), Susan Cameron, Cynthia Gellis, Anna Ziss-Patton, Rick Shigio, James Kinstle (front), Lydia Martinez

The book is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle format.

You can learn more about the anthology and the Rough Writers Toastmasters Club at



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