Welcome to The Club!

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The Berkeley Branch is the founding branch of one of the oldest professional writers’ clubs in the country.

CWC Berkeley Branch welcomes all California Writers Club members and guests to our monthly speaker program and affordable workshops on the art and business of writing.

Our events are open to the public!

Join us on Sunday, February 21st, 2016 for

 Scott James:

“It Takes a Village to Get Published”

February and other bits

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Hi, everyone! Here’s what’s coming up this month and a recap of January…

Thanks to everyone who came to see our new home! We received a lot of positive feedback on the venue, our new author support group, and our ever popular marketing group. I want to say thank you to Tim Jollymore and Alon Shalev for leading the two groups, and a shout out to Kristen Caven and Michael Larsen for their great presentations. I also would like to acknowledge past President and current Write Angles editor Tanya Grove. Every month she puts together our newsletter and this month was an abundant issue – it’s so fun to see all of the contributions!

This month, we have our featured member James Wiseman, and the fabulous Scott James, who also writes under the name Kemble Scott. He has a lot to say about the industry and has a diverse body of work. He also knows the importance of community and support in the literary world. You can read all about it here:


Also, there will be a Board of Directors meeting this coming Monday, February 8th at 11 a.m. at Café Leila in Berkeley (1724 San Pablo Ave). All members are always welcome to attend. Just please RSVP to this address ahead by Sunday at 5pm if you intend to come so that we can let the restaurant know how much space we need. It’s a great chance to see how the club works and to lend your voice.

We will be reaching out soon to fill in key volunteer and board positions for the coming year. It may seem early to be talking about it, but it does take time. Most immediately, we are still in need of a Secretary and a Treasurer.

Joanna Phoenix has gotten our annual 5th Grade Writing Contest off and running, she’ll be looking for help; we’ll need readers/judges and people to help set up at the awards ceremony (first weekend in June) – it’s such a fun project to be a part of!

Lastly, we are looking for volunteers to help with sign-ins at the next meeting and someone to set out the refreshments. Please contact me if you can assist.

I look forward to hearing from you – you can also let me know what you thought about the meeting and venue – and to seeing you at February’s meeting.

30th Annual 5th Grade Story Contest OPENS!

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5th grade flyer

click to open and print flyer

Please spread the word far and wide to East Bay fifth-grade students and teachers that our 29th Annual Fifth Grade Story Contest is now open for entries! Information about this contest can be found on our website here.

Students can work on polished pieces of writing (a reward in itself) and win cash prizes. The winning story is posted on our website. Special Alert: The deadline has been extended to May 1st, 2015!

See our contest page here for more information.

Good luck to all our promising young writers!



“It Takes a Village to Get Published” with Scott James – 2/21/16 at CWC

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Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 4.45.35 PMThere are more options than ever for getting your book published, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Bestselling novelist and former New York Times columnist Scott James talks about his non-traditional path to publication, including innovations in digital publishing and book marketing, and explains the key role writing communities can play in helping authors succeed at every step of the process.

Scott James is best known for his columns in The New York Times about San Francisco. He’s a veteran journalist with three Emmy Awards for his work in television news.

He also writes fiction under the pen name Kemble Scott, and is the author of the bestselling novels The Sower and SoMa, finalist for the national Lambda Literary award for debut fiction.

Scott is on the board of directors of Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival, and is the co-founder of The Castro Writers Cooperative, a co-working space for two-dozen writers.

Visit these sites for more information:

castrowriterscoop.com and

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 8.31.26 PMOur featured CWC author this month is James Wiseman, author of Tales of a Wise Man.

Meeting Schedule for Sunday, February 21st, 2016:

12-1 Author Support Group*
1-2 p.m. – Marketing Group*
12:30-2 p.m. –Social Hour
2-2:30 p.m. – Club Business & Announcements
2:30-3 p.m. — Break & Book Sales
3 p.m. – CWC author James Wiseman
3:15-4 p.m. – Scott James
* Guests may visit any of our author support groups once before joining.

Click here for more information about location and time.

Michael Larsen’s 10 Commandments That Guarantee Success

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Everyone – Here you can download the PDF handout from SFWC’s Michael Larsen. Thanks for your interest!

Michael Larsen – 10 Commandments.pdf

Sunday’s meeting – 1/17

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Hello, everyone! I hope this note finds you warm and dry – unless you’re like me and love this rainy weather.

This month is a big one for the CWC Berkeley Branch. After several years, we move into what we hope will be a new home. ConneXion@JLP works with many non-profits and has been very generous with us regarding space and cost. The hope is that we will develop a long term relationship with them. Please do let us know what you think after the meeting. If you haven’t been in awhile, come and see what’s new.

This month, we are proud to feature Michael Larsen. Not only has he been a friend of the California Writers Club, he is a prominent figure in the literary world as an agent and co-founder of the annual San Francisco Writers Conference, coming up soon in February. Michael will use his humor and vast knowledge to talk to us about why this is such a great time to be a writer, and how to take advantage of all of the tools available to us. This will be an amazing opportunity for you to meet and talk with someone so influential. The information is all right here:


We’re also kicking off our new Author Support group, prior to our ever-popular Marketing Success group. This addition is at your request, so I hope to see you there! The support group begins at 12pm, the marketing group remains at 1pm. The atrium will be available for social networking, starting at 12:30 until the general meeting begins at 2pm. You’ll have the chance to talk, get to know fellow members, and take a look at our authors’ books. If you are a member and have a book for sale, please bring it! We’ll have a table available for sharing.

We’ll be looking for volunteers to help with various tasks this weekend; specifically the sign-in table and setting up refreshments. Please do email me by replying to this if you are able to help with these tasks. Even if only for part of the time.

Linda Brown is very excited to tell you about the upcoming year long celebration honoring local favorite Jack London. You won’t want to miss out on hearing about the planned events.

We are currently looking to fill some board positions and other important volunteer tasks, including Secretary, Treasurer, and Nor-Cal Rep. If you think you might be interested, contact me or talk with any of our current board members at the meeting. These jobs are integral to the maintenance of the club and we cannot operate without them. It’s not only a great opportunity to work together in building something, it’s your chance to have a voice in the direction of our branch. You can make a difference in more ways than imaginable. Plus it looks great on any writer’s resume. The California Writers Club is a premier organization and known not only here but across the nation.

New venue information: ConneXion@JLP, 520 Third Street in Oakland. There are entrances at both Third and Fourth Streets. It is a 13 minute walk from City Center BART, and there is parking on the street and in the garage by the movie theater. (The entrance on Fourth street is ADA accessible). Please note new meeting fees of $5/members and $10/non-members!

Looking forward to sharing new adventures with you!

1/17 SPEAKER—Michael Larsen “Thriving in the Golden Age for Writers”

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click to open or print pdf

click to open or print pdf

We are excited to kick off the new year with an old and dear friend  of CWC—literary agent Michael Larsen! As directors of the San Francisco Writers Conference, Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada know everything there is to know about dealing with publishers. Michael is as well-known for his comedic presentations almost as well as for his knowledge of the industry.

And we begin this year with great news: Larsen believes this is a “golden age” for writers!

Lots of “NEW” in 2016…

New HOURS: The author support group meets at noon. Our marketing group meets at 1pm. We start CWC Business at 2pm, and the speakers take the stage at 3.

New LOCATION: We are moving our meetings this year to ConneXionJLP near Jack London Square. It is a 13 minute walk from City Center BART, and there is parking on the street and in the garage by the movie theater. (The entrance on Fourth street is ADA accessible.) Check the map!

New FEES: To cover our costs for the new venue, which we believe will be a much more comfortable home-base for all the club’s needs, we will be asking members to pay $5 and non-members to pay $10.


kc super

Kristen launched this book at the CWC!

Our featured CWC author this month is Kristen Caven, author of Perfectly Revolting and The Bullying Antidote. (Check out her end-of-year MUSEletter, recorded by Davie Simmons, at the CWC Holiday Social.)

Meeting Schedule for Sunday, January 17th, 2016:

12-1 Author Support Group*
1-2 p.m. – Marketing Group*
12:30-2 p.m. –Social Hour
2-2:30 p.m. – Club Business & Announcements
2:30-3 p.m. — Break & Book Sales
3 p.m. – CWC author Kristen Caven
3:15-4 p.m. – Elizabeth Pomada & Michael Larsen
* Guests may visit any of our author support groups once before joining.

Click here for more information about location and time.

May we thrive as writers in 2016!

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