A “Writerly Event” — August 2nd

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Open Mic for Members 800px-Gerry_Adams_reading_into_mic– Bring a Work in Progress

Details: Come to share orally part of a story, article, essay, memoir, or other prose. You will have a few minutes to read a section (depending on how many participate). Time will be allotted to accommodate as many people as possible. If you want to read, sign in when you arrive.

  • Plot problems?
  • Weak character?
  • Undeveloped scene?
  • Unenticing opening?
  • Unclear purpose in your nonfiction?
  • Other problems?

This is an opportunity to use a microphone and let other writers hear a part of your work. Listeners often hear problems in a work that the writer may miss. You can ask for feedback or not (your choice). If you want to read without feedback, that’s fine. If you choose to receive some feedback, you get to hear what listeners think works in your piece (positive feedback first), and what doesn’t (suggestions for improvement). The feedback is given in a supportive environment with other writers who are working to improve their writing.


Maybe you have a finished piece and you want to share a snippet of your success with us. That’s fine too.

When: Saturday, August 2

Where: Oakland Public Library – Main, 125 14th Street, Bradley C. Walters Community Room (same location as our 3rd Sunday meetings), entrance directly to meeting room from Madison Street

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Break time for mingling and refreshments

Hope to see you there!

Save the Date! Our Annual Picnic is Saturday, July 19, 2014

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Watch for your invite to the CWC Statewide picnic in July! This wonderful tradition brings writers from all over California to Joaquin Miller’s back yard for good food and good stories.

Pick something you’d like to read to the group, and start your dreaming and scheming for our celebrated LitCake contest, too… some talented decorator will take home the coveted Golden Fork Award!

When:  Saturday July 19, 2014, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Where:  The Fire Circle in Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland.

What else?

  • Bring a dish to share
  • Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Veggie Burgers and condiments provided by the CWC
  • Watch for info about the Open Mic

Questions: Contact Linda Brown 510-530-1261

Add the event to your Google Calendar!  

The Coveted Golden Fork Award

The Coveted Golden Fork Award (photo by Elaine Webster, Dual Member: Marin & Redwood Branches)

WRITE ANGLES – February, 2014

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In this month’s Write Angles: 

Building a New Board • Mary-Rose Hayes • Call for Personal Narratives • Poetry • Book Review • Central Board Report • Other Branches • Taking Stock of our Club • Tidbits • Member News • Member Marketplace

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See You Sunday! Blog Talk with Kymberlie Ingalls

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Ingalls flyer sm

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.

September 2013 Write Angles

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Happy Labor Day! I hope everyone had a wonderful summer.

The September issue of Write Angles has news from CWC’s Central Board; lots of photos from CWC’s annual picnic; a tribute to one of our members who recently died; an article from our past president, Al Levenson; a call for submissions; and information about our upcoming speaker, Brooke Warner.

And be sure to see the article about the upcoming writing conference at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum. The conference director is our very own Charlotte Cook. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Write Angles September 2013.pdf

Write Angles Awards First Contest Winner


Congratulations to one of our newest members, Helene Knox, who won Write Angles’s October Writing Contest for her story “Mouse.” She will be awarded her prize at our next general meeting, which is this Sunday, October 21, at 2:00. Come to see her accept her prize.

Of course you’ll want to come to our next meeting anyway because you’ll want to hear CWC author Judith Marshall talk about Publishing Pathways.

Hope to see you there!

Time to join the CWC (or renew), y’all!

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What better way to ask for dues than with a short story? Our ever-creative membership chair, Cliff Hui, penned a hilarious western-themed dues reminder that makes you want to whip out your shooter… I mean, checkbook. You can also join or renew online at http://cwc-berkeley.org/about/join-us.

The Tab
By Clifford Hui

The saloon doors swung open and a dark shadow fell across the rectangle of light on the floor. The shadow was almost as dark as the death-black clothes of Big Bart who strode across the wooden floor. Each “clump” of his boots was accompanied by the “chung” of his spurs and a cloud of dust leaping from his boots and cuffs. When he got to the bar, he pushed two cowboys apart to make more room for himself. They spun around crouched and ready for action, but when they saw it was Big Bart, they just quietly moved farther down the bar.

Bart tilted his black hat back on his head, and then, in a voice etched by too much cheap whiskey and scorched by too much cigarette smoke, he growled to the bartender, “Whiskey, barkeep.” And he put a big coin on the counter.

Ned the bartender glanced at the sawed-off shotgun he kept under the edge of the bar and reached for a whisky bottle and a shot glass. He filled the glass and pushed it toward Bart.

Bart tossed down the drink. “Gimme ’nother.” He wiped his mouth on his shirt sleeve, his dark beard stubble making a scratching sound.

Ned poured him another. Then, with his drooping mustache barely moving, Ned asked, “You wanna settle up your tab now, Bart?”

“Tab? I don’t got a tab here.”

“Oh, I don’t mean a bar tab. I mean pay your dues for the Writers Club.”

“I ain’t in no riders club. I ride alone.” He drank half his whiskey.

“I mean the club you joined so that the western novel you’re writing could get critiqued.”

“Oh, that club. Yeah. What’s the damage?”

“Active, Associate, and Supporting members pay forty-five dollars for the year starting July first; emeritus pay fifteen; students pay twenty. Just make your check payable to ‘CWC-BB’ and give it… ”

“A check?! Hah! I don’t put money in banks, I take it out.” He reached across the bar, grabbed Ned by the front of his shirt, and pulled him over until they were nose to nose. “Are you funnin’ me, barkeep?” Ned groped for his shotgun but it was just out of reach.

Then a firm voice from Bart’s right, “Let him go, Bart.”

The cowboys at the bar stepped back. Bart slowly turned to his right, his eyes narrowed and his jaw set. He saw a clean-shaven cowboy in a white shirt and hat, his elbows on the bar, sipping a mug of sarsaparilla. A five-pointed star was pinned to his chest.

Bart half-smiled, and let go of Ned. “Well, if it ain’t Sheriff Buck Chastity. If you woulda been a snake, I woulda got myself bit.”

“I wouldn’t put it that way, Bart. That’s a hackneyed expression… poor writing technique.”

Bart scowled. “You in the writin’ club?”

“Yep. I’m handing my dues to Madelen at the meeting on June seventeenth. If I miss it, I’m sending my check (made payable to CWC-BB) to P.O. Box 6447, Alameda, CA 94501. You going to the meeting?”

“Maybe I am; maybe I ain’t; maybe I’m going to the critique group; maybe I ain’t; maybe it’s none of your #%@^*&! business.” He tossed down the remainder of his whiskey and slammed the glass down on the counter.

“That’s a lot of semicolons, Bart. You can’t handle that many semicolons.”

“I’ve had enough of you, Chastity. We’re havin’ it out right now.” Bart stepped back from the bar and squared himself to Buck. His right hand slid down to rest by his gun. “I’m callin’ you out. Fill your hand, Chastity.”

The sheriff put down his sarsaparilla, stepped back, and faced Bart with his right hand at his gun.
The sound of chair legs scraping against the floor as they were pushed back from the poker tables was accompanied by the sound of boots rushing out of the saloon. Ned grabbed his shotgun and ducked down behind the bar.

Bart and Buck faced each other; their eyes narrowed.

[to be continued…]

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