“Insider Tips for Navigating the Publishing Process” with Brenda Knight — May 18th, 2014

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From the outside, book publishing can seem mysterious, but from the inside it is really quite simple.

Twenty-two-year publishing veteran Brenda Knight will teach you how to sell yourself and your book idea, who you are really selling, the importance of “comp titles,” how to craft the perfect proposal, and trend tracking. “I have acquired over one thousand books in my career, including a few New York Times best sellers. One of the great joys in my life is to help authors get their work into print and published successfully,” says Knight.

Brenda Knight started her career at HarperCollins, where she fell in love with publishing. Today she is the publisher of Cleis Press and founder and publisher of Viva Editions, an imprint of Cleis Press.

Knight is also the author of Women of the Beat Generation, which won an American Book Award, and The Grateful Table: Blessing, Prayers and Graces for the Daily Meal.

Click here for information about location and time.

APRIL SPEAKERS — “An Atomic Love Story” with Streshinsky and Klaus — Sunday, April 20, 2014

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Robert Oppenheimer was the man most responsible for the remarkable scientific development of the atomic bomb, which significantly shortened the Second World War. An Atomic Love Story is the story of the three extraordinary women in his life who helped shape the man. He loved each with a loyalty that lasted all his life, and each loved him.

Superbly researched through a rich collection of first hand accounts, this intimate portrait shares the tragedies, betrayals and romances of an alluring man and three bold women. It reveals how they pushed to the very forefront of social and cultural changes in a fascinating, volatile era.

Shirley Streshinsky is the critically acclaimed author of three works of nonfiction and four historical novels.

Patricia Klaus received her Ph.D. in Modern British History from Stanford where she specialized in women’s studies. 

Click here for details about location and time.

“Is a Critique Group Right for You?” A Forum for CWC Writers & Guests – March 16th 2014

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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.

“What She Had To Do” with Mary-Rose Hayes, Sunday, February 16, 2014

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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.

See You Sunday! Blog Talk with Kymberlie Ingalls

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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.

The location of the talk is the Oakland Public Library (enter on Madison Street); see flyer for meeting schedule.

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