Welcome to The Club!

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The Berkeley Branch is the founding branch of the oldest professional writers’ club West of the Missisippi.

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!

Our next program is

We are accepting new members!  Click here to commit to your writing career.

 

4 Publicity Tips from Sunday’s Speaker, Cristina Deptula

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Cristina Deptula

Cristina Deptula speaks at 4 pm, come at noon for our working groups.

This Sunday at Connexion in Jack London Square, publicist Cristina Deptula is going to give us tips on creatively reaching traditional media. Rather than a passive lecture, Cristina is looking forward to having an interactive discussion, based on the best advice for the authors in the room.

I asked Cristina to give us some general tips on publicity, and here are four that she mentioned that should apply to most any author.

Publicity Tip 1

Go Where Your Audience Already Is

Find your audience where they already gather, reach them how they already communicate. Ask your readers how they found out about you. Then ask them how they normally find out about new books and where they spend time. Go to those places and find more readers like them.

Publicity Tip 2

Traditional and Social Media Work Together

For example, use social media to announce and post photos from your signings and events (posting live is even better). Share links to reviews you’ve landed in print publications. Host in-person events where you invite your social media followers.

Publicity Tip 3

Do Your Research

When you reach out to traditional publicity venues like radio shows and newspapers, figure out how they want to be contacted and follow the rules and submission guidelines. Pay attention to preferred genres and areas of interest. For example, if you are calling a live outlet like radio and television, it’s critical that you not call them close to shooting hours. A newspaper journalist is more likely to take your phone call if you don’t call her before deadline.

Publicity Tip 4

In Your Pitch, Include Previous Speaking/Reviews

Let the outlet you are contacting know where you’ve spoken before or been reviewed or interviewed before. Especially for radio and television, it’s critical to demonstrate that you aren’t camera/radio shy! So even if you gave lectures on a different topic, it is good to let them know you have experience with public speaking or appearing on TV or radio.

Better to give them the name of a little-known reviewer and quote an interesting bit from their piece than to claim that some people think you’re the next big celebrity and wonder if your relatives or friends paid you to say so!

To find out how to apply these to your book come out to this Sunday’s meeting.

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Feb 19: Creatively Reaching Traditional Media with Publicist Cristina Deptula

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cristina-deptula-head-shotCristina Deptula is a former journalist and founder of the literary publicity company Authors, Large and Small. On February 19th, she will share practical advice on getting your work reviewed in traditional media like newspapers, literary magazines and radio shows. She will also offer advice on promoting your book through bookstores, reading groups, festivals and more. Deptula’s specific,creative and sensible advice will help your writing get you heard and mentioned.

Deptula specializes in helping writers identify what’s unique about their books and find and communicate with the people who would most be interested in reaching them. Every book has an audience—it’s a matter of finding them!

About the Speaker

Cristina Deptula’s company Authors, Large and Small has provided affordable and resourceful publicity for authors of all genres since January 2013. They leverage both traditional and online/social media.

MEETING SCHEDULE

MEETING SCHEDULE
12:00–1:00 – Craft Support Group
1:00–2:00 – Author Support Group
Simultaneously:
12:30–2:00 – Social Hour
2:00–2:30 – Break, Book Sale
2:30–3:00 – Announcements
3 :00–3:15 – CWC Featured Member: Tim Jollymore
3:15–4:30 – Cristina Deptula

MEETING LOCATION

We meet at ConneXion in Jack London Plaza at 520 3rd Street (View map). Our location is a 13-minute walk from City Center BART, and there is free street parking on the street plus we are very near the garage by the movie theater. The entrance on Fourth street is ADA accessible.

Admission
CWC Members: $5
Non-Members: $10

PDF Flyer of This Event


Upcoming Meetings

April 16 (Easter Sunday)

What They Never Told Me About Being a Writer
With Connie Hale

featured member: Tim Jollymore

June 18th

Marketing Your Book with Social Media
With Frances Caballo

featured member: JoAnn Ainsworth

Member Book Launch: The Vesuvian Affair

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Long-time member Kristen Caven has published four books since she joined the CWC. One of her measures of creative success is a great launch party, and her next one promises to be unforgettable. On February 11th, she will be debuting a limited-print edition of an erotic/paranormal/spiritual romance at an elegant and extravagant costume party.  

The Vesuvian Affair (Mystic Editions) takes place at a sci-fi-themed Carnevale party in Venice, where flickering lights, outrageous costumes, and flowing alcohol create a beautiful but unsteady reality.  An American schoolteacher has become possessed by a nature spirit, and a Wiccan priestess tries to protect her from the psychological toll of consummation.

cover2As in most of Caven’s fiction, the narrator becomes real and the author becomes a character. The lines will blur even further when this award-winning playwright appears as Cosima Zanardi, international woman of mystery. The Prosecco (not Champagne) reception at the finale of a private Carnevale-themed party, is open to the public. Costumes and masks are admired but not required.

When: Saturday, February 11th, 2017, 5-6p.m. 

Where: The Bellevue Club in Oakland, 525 Bellevue Avenue (across from the playground at Lake Merritt)

How much: $20 in advance covers admission, a collectible book, and a glass of bubbly.  Purchase the “Venetian Affair” package at www.generousmuse.org. (If you love dressing up, then get the “Venetian Adventure” package and come at 2pm.) Please note you are coming and invite a friend on the Facebook Event page!

The CWC is proud to share big news from our members!
Members, please send blog posts to the president.
Would you like to become a member? Join in January or February for half price!

SAT: Jack London Family Lore and Tree Rededication

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jack-london

Did you miss some of the Jack London Legacy Celebration 2016 events last year? Did you know that Jack London is a California Writers Club (CWC) co-founder? (Whether he was an actual founder or an honorary founder is lost in the mists of history. Historical records describe him as both.) Regardless, he inspires us all and the CWC initiated last year’s Jack London Celebration.

Please join our Celebration partners at the Jack London Tree Rededication Ceremony this Saturday. Jack’s great-great granddaughter Tarnel Abbott will share family lore.

Laurel Bookstore owner and Celebration partner Luan Stauss will then host a reception. She is always looking for authors to read at her store. If you do not know her, this is a great way to meet her.

Rededication of the Jack London Oak Tree

in Frank Ogawa Plaza

Saturday January 28th 11 a.m.

followed by a reception at Laurel Bookstore

 

Jan 15: Best-Selling Writer Joshua Mohr’s Innovative Approach to Plot and Character

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The Kiss between Plot and Character
with Best-Seller Joshua Mohr

Sunday Jan 15th 12-4 p.m.

Learn an exciting new approach to writing from an author whose books have been praised by The New York Times, The SF Chronicle, and O magazine. Josh Mohr’s unique voice won him the Northern California Book Award. This Sunday he teaches what he calls plaracterization (plot + characterization).

The best plots aren’t controlled by the author. They spring from the characters themselves. The writer masterminds all things, yes, but the more we as writers realize that our characters are sovereign beings with independent consciousnesses, the better prepared we are to traverse plaracterization. The third Sunday in January, let Josh Mohr show you how to apply this technique to your own writing.

About Joshua Mohrbest-sellinga author Josh Mohr

JOSHUA MOHR is the author of five novels, including Damascus, which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He’s also written Fight Song and Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as Termite Parade, an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times. His novel All This Life recently won the Northern California Book Award. He is the executive editor at Decant Editorial, and his first book of nonfiction, a memoir called Sirens, is due out January 2017. Check out his site joshuamohr.net for more info.

Meeting Schedule for Sunday, Jan 15th, at
Connexion in Jack London Square

MEETING SCHEDULE

12:00–1:00 – Author Support Group
1:00–2:00 – Craft Support Group

Simultaneously

12:30–2:00 – Social Hour
2:00–2:30 – Break, Book Sale
2:30–3:00 – Announcements
3:00–3:15 – CWC Featured Member: Bobbie Kinkead
3:15–4:30 – Joshua Mohr

Admission

CWC Members: $5
Non-Members: $10

* Guests may visit any of our author support groups once before joining.

Click here for more information about location and time.

Here’s a flyer for this event you can download and share: cwc-flyer-joshua-mohr-edited

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Writing Memoir with Laila El-Sissi Nov 20th

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The Road to Writing Memoir with Laila El-Sissi

November 20th, Laila El-Sissi will guide us through her journey in writing a memoir about arranged marriage in Egypt. Topics include:

  • how to transcend cultural barriers in your writing
  • working with editors—how not to get flustered or discouraged or ripped off!
  • creating fictional characters to tell nonfictional stories

Laila El-Sissi will offer frank discussion on the challenges writers face and how to be clear in your conscience about presenting the true story.

Marketing and Craft Support Groups

Whether or not you ever plan to write a memoir, every CWC meeting offers a chance for you to improve your writing and our book sales.

Craft Support for Writers 12-1 p.m.

Our craft support group is a space for writers to discuss challenges in their manuscripts. Your best friend and your sweetie are sick of hearing about that story, essay, character or plot you just ite figure out. Here’s a space where you can crack open your toughest issues, and become a better writer.

Marketing Support for Writers 1-2 p.m.

In our Marketing Support Group, we discuss and problem-solve various issues with book marketing and publicity. Not clear on social media? Wondering what you should blog about? Curious about press releases? Bring your book marketing questions and our experienced authors will help you get to the bottom of it.

Meeting Schedule for Sunday, November 20th, at
Connexion in Jack London Square

12-1 Author Support Group*
1-2 p.m. – Marketing Group*
12:30-2 p.m. –Social Hour
2-2:30 p.m. –Break & Book Sales
2:30-3 p.m. — Club Business & Announcements
3 p.m. – CWC featured member
3:15-4 p.m. – Martha Alderson

* Guests may visit any of our author support groups once before joining.

Click here for more information about location and time.

Oct. 16th: The Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson

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How to Best Use Major Moments to Create Excitement
and a Deep Emotional Bond with Your Readers

Martha Alderson plot whispererSunday Oct 16th We Plot, and
The Plot Whisperer Will Answer
Our Plot Quandries via Skype

Five major scenes or moments in a story carry energetic surges that are powerful enough to turn the dramatic action of the story in an entirely new direction, create an entirely new level of intensity in the story, and contribute to its thematic significance. Whenever possible, identify these four energetic markers early in the writing process.

At Sunday’s meeting Martha Alderson, AKA the Plot Whisperer, will show you how to identify and make the most of these crucial energetic markers in your plot. She’ll teach us to “show” plot and school us in the Universal Story.

About Sunday’s Speaker, Martha Alderson

Martha Alderson is a historical novelist and the best-selling author of The Plot Whisperer. More recently, she has expanded her work to include helping people transform their creative lives. She has authored 6 additional plot books, including her newest release Writing Blockbuster Plots: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Plot, Structure, and Scenes, and produced 4 online video programs for writers.

She just released her historical novel Parallel Lives. Martha takes readers and writers alike beyond the words and into the very heart of a story. She lives and writes in Santa Cruz and blogs about writing and a writer’s life at the award-winning Plot Whisperer blog.

A Tech Milestone for CWC!

We Gather, But Martha Skypes

Please note, we will gather at the usual location in Jack London Square, but our speaker will be answering our questions on the big video projection screen, via Skype. We’re excited about the ways we can use this technology to bring more and better speakers. Hate this idea? Love this idea? Then you’ll have to come to the meeting to let us know!

Meeting Schedule for Sunday, October 16th, at
Connexion in Jack London Square

12-1 Author Support Group*
1-2 p.m. – Marketing Group*
12:30-2 p.m. –Social Hour
2-2:30 p.m. –Break & Book Sales
2:30-3 p.m. — Club Business & Announcements
3 p.m. – CWC featured member
3:15-4 p.m. – Martha Alderson

* Guests may visit any of our author support groups once before joining.

Click here for more information about location and time.

Click here to download a printable PDF flyer of this info

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