Please share this post with ALL 5th grade teachers in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties! The 5th grade story contest deadline has been extended to the end of the month. Flyer is attached.
March 9, 2014
February 24, 2014
Our speaker series will feature something new this month! Vicki Hudson, author of No Red Pen: Writers, Writing Groups & Critique and sponsor of the SFWC Emerging Writer Scholarship, will be moderating a panel that features leaders of four of our club’s critique groups. David Baker and Anne Fox (5-page group), Walter Price (Middle Grades/YA), and Bruce Shigeura (Sixteen Eyes group) will talk about their experiences as group leaders.
Come and learn more about what CWC has to offer!
Vicki Hudson writes short stories, longer fiction, and narrative non- fiction. Her book, No Red Pen: Writers, Writing Groups & Critique, is for writers looking for information on what to consider when forming or joining a writers’ group and for writers seeking tools for critiquing work in progress.
“Everyone has a story. No one else can tell your story. The process of creating, refining and ultimately releasing it into the wild that is pub- lication in the world needs to be a respectful one.”
Vicki Hudson earned an MFA from Saint Mary’s College in creative writing/nonfiction. In 2007, she was a Fellow at the inaugural Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Retreat. Her website is www.vickihudson.com.
About our Panel:
Our panelists lead critique groups for CWC’s Berkeley branch. David Baker and Anne Fox run the Five- Page Group, which meets year- round on the third Saturday of each month, 1-5 p.m., in the 2nd-floor meeting room of the Rockridge library in Oakland. This group reviews fiction, nonfiction, query letters, proposals, etc.
Walter Price hosts writers of middle- grade and young-adult fiction at his house once a month on Wednesday evenings.
Bruce Shigeura runs the Sixteen Eyes Group, whose members write novels, short stories, and narrative nonfiction. They meet every other Thursday, 7–9 p.m. in cafés or members’ homes in Oakland or Berkeley.
Click here for information about location and time.
January 27, 2014
On the third Sunday in February, Mary-Rose Hayes will discuss the pitfalls and rewards of translating personal experience into fiction, as well as the organization and design of a multilayered novel.
A desperate choice made by young Imogene Sayle during the rigors of post-war England triggers shockwaves through three generations of a family.
Fifty years later in San Francisco, Imogene’s daughter Penelope learns of her mother’s terminal illness. Despite a toxic child- hood, she is driven by love for her beautiful and destructive mother. She returns to England to care for her and try to discover, before it’s too late, the secret shadow in Imogene’s past that has impacted so many lives.
What She Had to Do, originally planned as a memoir, is a universal story of family fault lines and the complex bonds between a mother and daughter.
What She Had to Do maintains a solid 5 stars on Amazon.
British-born Mary-Rose Hayes is the author of eight previous novels, including the TIME/LIFE best-seller Amethyst, and two political thrillers coauthored with Senator Barbara Boxer.
Click here for information about location and time.
January 16, 2014
Learn How to Present Yourself
–David Baker on Kymberlie Ingalls, excerpted from Write Angles
Literary agents want to hear about our platform and expect to be directed to our blog. Should we conceive of one presenting the electrifying premise of our work, excerpts that stimulate the reader’s curiosity, and laudatory comments submitted by reviewers? Yes, but Kymberlie Ingalls can help us do much more.
Ingalls, our featured speaker for the January 19 meeting, is a writer, freelance editor, and class instructor who has been blogging since 1997. She currently has several sites in operation. One of them includes a section titled “My Former Self,” in which she recalls starting out as a disk jockey during her brief career in radio: “So many switches” on the mixing board—“big ones that lit up bright orange, small metal ones that did who the hell knows what.” Only a few seconds left until. . . “I had to say something into that bulky microphone that would be heard by thousands of listeners. Crap was all I could think. The song was wailing to a close. Oh man! I’m up! Is this the right switch? Ah, hell, here goes nothing!”
Obviously, Ingalls knows how to build tension. A literary agent would also see that she knows what she’s writing about and takes her work seriously. After reading her concluding promise to “make those rock ‘n’ roll fantasies come true,” the agent would sense as well that Ingalls loves music and treasures the connection between the DJ and the listener.
Introducing a different blog, “Stories in the Key of Me,” she writes: “This is my playground, where I get to frolic with language, tease with words,
and flirt with the reader’s mind in the form of memoir, prose, and flash fiction.” In another, “Neuroticy = Societal Madness,” Ingalls takes aim at hypocrisy in present-day America. Her “Bay Area Collective” is a venue for local events, news, and stories that interest her.
What does it all add up to? Not only agents but potential readers want to know who we are as writers. At the January meeting, we’ll find out how to present ourselves.
December 15, 2013
Yes, an author’s work should speak for itself, but authors are as important a character as any we create. In today’s pop culture, people want to know more about the artist behind the work. If you want your work to be seen by a larger audience, making a splash is essential, and being personable is key. Blogging has become such a widespread trend that it’s hard to find a starting place. Once you do, driving traffic there is even harder. We’ll talk about creative ways to make your site one readers will want to find.
Kymberlie Ingalls has a long history with words. She earned her comedic chops at a young age by putting characters in precarious situations. From there she found herself desperately scribbling poems filled with angst. Thinking everything had to have structure, she floundered, trying to squeeze her chaotic life into that box.
At the age of 16 Kymberlie won entry to a workshop with an award-winning poet and found her freedom. Writing became more reason than rhyme, but it wasn’t her passion. Acting, comedy, and radio broadcasting all called to her, but eventually she came back to the written word.
With her first blog appearing in 1997, she garnered a small following. Kymberlie moved into the exciting arena of short-track stock car racing in 2003, creating a highly successful community website uniting fans with drivers. Her current network of blogs began in 2009, featuring personal essay, memoir, opinion, and short fiction. She writes on themes of love, loss, humanity, and her struggles with amnesia, all from her little corner of the world. A memoir novel is in progress.
Kymberlie is also a freelance editor, personal writing coach, and class instructor.