Welcome to The Club!

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

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.

Join us for our upcoming event:

“From Print to Performance”

Adapting Books to Film & Theater

with Victoria Zackheim

Sunday, March 17, 2019

We also have a comprehensive workshop April 3rd:

Setting that Works

Click here to commit to your writing career.

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Plan Your Novel Like a Pro with Beth Barany, April 21st

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Join Us April 21st to Plan Your Novel

In this interactive lecture, we’ll help you brainstorm the steps to create your novel—from character development to plot structure to story themes and world building—so you can start writing your novel with clarity and confidence.

We’ll do bite-sized exercises step-by-step to help you stretch your imagination and get excited about the writing process.

If you have never written a novel, still feel lost on how to go from brilliant idea to The End, or always hit that sagging middle and lose focus, this event will help you dream up exciting ways to torture—er, challenge—your characters all the way to the resolution of the story.

About Beth Barany

Beth BaranyAward-winning novelist, Master NLP Practitioner, and certified creativity coach for writers, Beth Barany specializes in helping genre fiction writers experience clarity, so they can write, revise, and proudly publish their novels to the delight of their readers. Her courses are packed with useful hands-on information that you can implement right away. She runs Barany. School of Fiction, an online school for fiction writers, including a 12-month group coaching program to help them get published. She’s the editor of the Writer’s Fun Zone blog, for and by creative writers, where you can download her free reports on book marketing and novel writing. She’s also the author of books for writers, including The Writer’s Adventure Guide, Overcome Writer’s Block, Twitter for Authors, and Plan Your Novel Like A Pro: And Have Fun Doing It!. Ready to embark on the next step in your writer’s adventure? Then sign up for her free 5-day Writer’s Discovery Mini-course here: http://bethb.net/discover.


But Wait, There’s More!

Get Marketing Support, Get Your Craft Questions Answered, and Network with Other Writers…

Preservation Park

Be sure to arrive early to participate in the Craft and Marketing support groups. These are interactive conversations where you can talk to other writers to resolve the issues in your writing and your writers career. Make the commitment to be join us every third Sunday; your writing career is important and you deserve this. Non-members and guests can audit any of our critique & support groups before joining. 

Enjoy the buzz of our networking time from 2-2:30 p.m. Have some coffee and make some great connections!


MEETING SCHEDULE

12:00–1:00 – Craft Support Group
 1:00–2:00 – Marketing Success Group

 2:00–2:30 – Writer Networking
 2:30–3:00 – Welcome, Raffle & Club Announcements

 3:00–3:15 – CWC Featured member 
 3:15–4:00 – Keynote Beth Barany

NEW: 4:15 – CWC Open Mic! Bring up to 5 minutes to read outside, weather permitting

Meetings are $5 for members, $10 for non-members*

  • Coffee is provided, bring cookies and treats to share!
  • Admission includes 1 free raffle ticket; bring a few bucks to purchase additional tickets at $1 each or 6 for $5. Support the club and win a book written by our club authors!

*Empty pockets? Ask about our sponsored guest program at the door. We are committed to supporting writers.

1204 Preservation Park Way, Oakland, CA 94612

Our meetings are right off 980 in downtown Oakland, at beautiful Preservation Park. Just off 12th Street, naturally you can get there from the 12th St. BART station. Those with limited ability can use the parking lot off of MLK Way; otherwise there should be plenty of FREE parking within the park and on surrounding streets.

Say you’re coming on Facebook!

SAVE THE DATES!
Our Forthcoming Events:

Interview with Victoria Zackheim, Author of The Bone Weaver and This Sunday’s Guest Speaker

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Victoria Zackheim

Victoria Zackheim, our keynote speaker for Sunday’s meeting.

Victoria Zackheim wrote The Bone Weaver, and edited six anthologies, including the bestselling The Other Woman, and her most recent: FAITH: Essays from Believers, Atheists, and Agnostics. She teaches creative nonfiction in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and is a frequent speaker and instructor at writers’ conferences and organizational events in the US, France, Mexico and Canada.
She will be our keynote speaker at this Sunday’s meeting, on the topic of adapting your work to stage and screen. So you may wonder, what does she know on this topic? Well, she adapted her first anthology, The Other Woman, to a play that enjoyed a simultaneous reading at more than twenty theaters nationwide. Her newest play, Entangled, adapted from the memoir by Lois Goodwill and Don Asher, is now under development, with readings in California theaters. She adapted Caroline Leavitt’s novel, Meeting Rozzie Halfway, to a screenplay, as she did with Anne Perry’s international bestseller Southampton Row. Victoria’s screenplay, Maidstone, is in development with Anderimage, in collaboration with SJ Murray. Victoria wrote the documentary film, Where Birds Never Sang: the Story of Ravensbruck and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camps, which aired on PBS nationwide. We look forward to her sharing her expertise on adaptations.
She is interviewed by Cristina Deptula of Authors Large and Small.

Intereview with Victoria Zackheim

How do you know when your book is something that could be adapted for film or theater?

When you’re writing, do you SEE the action? Can you visualize the characters moving about, sitting on trains, crossing the meadow? Is it a story that moves through a classic arc for characters and story? Can it be adapted with minimal dialogue and maximum action?

What has to be different in a screenplay/script versus a novel? And what do you do with your lovely descriptions of setting?

In a screenplay, the audience can see the action, facial expressions, body language, sunsets and hurricanes. In a novel, these must be described. As for those lovely settings…show them! That’s what cinematographers do so well.

How did you decide to edit anthologies? Did that experience help or inform your play writing?

I created one anthology almost by accident, The Other Woman, and discovered something magical. As the essays arrived from the twenty authors, I began to see a play unfold, a conversation between five women, verbatim, taken from five essays. That experience WAS my playwriting. The second book-to-play was done as the request of a theater director…also an act of love.

You’ve turned an anthology into a play? How did that work? I think of the Vagina Monologues with speakers representing a variety of characters, was it something like that?

Eve Ensler wrote all the parts in The Vagina Monologues, whereas I used the essays of five women represented in the anthology. The process I used is, I realize, unusual and unique…and I’m happy to discuss this during our event!

Where and how do you learn to write for film and stage, and where do you go to get your novel or memoir adapted and produced?

My screenwriting began quite by accident: I overheard a story and absolutely had to turn it into a film…which is happening now. Today, it’s nearly impossible to get any book published without an agent. My agent has sold all of my anthologies, now numbering seven. As for a writer getting a memoir or novel adapted to film…I honestly don’t know! I come to…me!

Join Victoria Zackheim at our Sunday meeting, where she will speak on taking your work from print to performance.

She will be joined by featured member Leena Prasad. As always, members should come at noon to participate in the craft and marketing workshops. Click the link above for further details.

A Few Words about Haiku Poet Leena Prasad

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Leena's Photo

Leena Prasad writes to find comfort in her foibles and her triumphs, to take snapshots of her thoughts and emotions, to explore the beauty and the ugliness of the world, to leave a legacy… and, most of all, to connect by finding resonance with her readers.

Leena will be our featured reader on Sunday before Keynote speaker Victoria Zackheim. Here’s a little bit about her:

Born in India, Leena grew up in Louisiana, lived in San Francisco for 15 years now lives in El Cerrito with her husband and soon-to-be-born daughter! She has a full-time professional career in Computer Science which feeds her intellectual life and has allowed her to live the life she wants. She enjoys writing and art as a way to explore her creative spirit. Leena has written a book on urban art, a neuroscience column, scripts for short films, profiles, blogs, and much more. She likes to explore all genres of writing from facts to fiction to poetry.

Leena says, “We are all poets. We just need to remind ourselves and practice practice practice to fine-tune how we express our poetry.”

CWC members, Leena is interested in:

  • Getting together to send out submissions
  • Critique groups, and
  • Promoting each others’ works

Check out Leena’s FishRidingABike.com writing portfolio, and buy haiku book, not exactly haiku.

Write Angles: March 2019

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Read the entire newsletter here

The Wind in Your Sails

I woke up one morning and thought: What if I woke up one morning knowing we only had twelve years to save the planet? What else could I do that I’m not doing now?

At the CWC Berkeley board meeting this month, there were five talented writers sitting around the table going through the painstaking business of keeping this club going. As I struggled to get to the end of the agenda before we all had to rush off, this agitated inner voice yelled, “If we only have twelve years to keep global warming below 1.5°c, why am I bothering with this? Is this the best use of my time and energy?” Everyone stared at me. I guess I had kind of said it out loud?

Then someone else said, “I was just thinking the same thing.”

There was a rush of emotion in the room, and for a minute we all considered putting a “closed until the world is saved” sign on the CWC website, so we could turn our full attention to climate activism. But then someone mentioned Thomas Paine, and someone else mentioned the Prague Uprising, and before we knew it we were having another meeting to discuss the role our local and statewide club might play in changing this dangerous course of history. 

Jack London’s a libris

Sometimes as writers we do our best work with a deadline. Let’s work under pressure, together. Someone suggested the name “Wolf Pack Writers” for our club’s new writers action group, inspired by Jack London’s love of nature and activist writings. How can we encourage our members to work individually and together on creating understanding and action around this unfolding climate catastrophe? Billions of past decisions created this crisis. What if the writers in our club could help all of our our readers and leaders through the billions of decisions we must make now? 

Here come the lyrics. I wrote, once, about the “Seven C’s of the CWC” and here are seven more for humanity: through conservation, connection, and community, we can fight problems created by consumption, convenience, consumerism, and conveyance. In the next twelve years, every planetary traveler will need the encouragement of our motto, “Sail On,” in some form or another, to persevere through desperate times and keep focused on the human strengths that can transform society and stabilize our home planet.

Kristen Caven is author of The Souls of Her Feet 

Watch for announcements on how to get involved. In the meantime, please leave a comment about the writing YOU are doing to help calm the climate.

We’ll see you at this month’s events!

                                           Sail On,
Kristen Caven
Berkeley Branch Captain a.k.a. President

4/3 WORKSHOP: “Setting that Works” with author John Byrne Barry

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How Memorable Setting Can Advance Plot, Reveal Character, Echo Theme, and More!

April 3rd 6-8 p.m.

WeWork 2120 University Ave. Berkeley

The best setting is more than a pretty, or gritty description. It’s lean and strong, because it’s working two or more jobs—pushing your story along, helping us get to know your protagonist better. Join us for Setting That Works on April 3rd at WeWork (2120 University Avenue, Berkeley).

In this hands-on workshop, John Byrne Barry, author of Wasted: Murder in the Recycle Berkeley Yard, and Bones in the Wash: Politics is Tough. Family is Tougher, will review the different ways setting can strengthen your story, and lead a writing exercise putting what we learn into action.

Topics Covered at April 3rd Workshop

  • Studying the different ways setting can strengthen your story.
  • Do writing exercises putting what we learned into action.
  • Capturing the essence of a place in a few short sentences—a strategic snapshot, not a wikipedia entry.
  • Drip-feeding description into your story so it doesn’t slow the momentum.

Get Your Tickets Now

Workshop Led by John Byrne Barry

John Byrne Barry
John Byrne Barry

John Byrne Barry writes novels, designs websites and book covers, and leads bicycle tours in San Francisco. He is author of two “page-turners with a conscience”—Wasted: Murder in the Recycle Berkeley Yard, and Bones in the Wash: Politics is Tough. Family is Tougher, which won the 2015 Best Book award from the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA). His third novel, coming in 2019, is an assisted-suicide family thriller, tentatively titled Why I Killed My Father. Learn more at johnbyrnebarry.com.

Ticket Info for this Workshop

Advance tickets for members are only $15. If you wait until the day of the workshop, member tickets are $20.

Advance tickets for non-members are $30, but if you wait until day-of the tickets are $40. If you are not a member, you can purchase tickets at the member price, and buy a membership at the workshop.

GET TICKETS NOW

SPEAKER 3/17/19— “From Print to Performance: Adapting Books to Film and Theater” with Victoria Zackheim

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Adapting Books to Film and Theater with Victoria Zackheim

When you read a book and think, “This would make an excellent movie (or play)!” where do you go from there? In this program, Victoria will discuss what makes a good adaptation…and how to go about doing it! It doesn’t matter whether your write fiction or non-fiction, Zackheim will school us on film adaptations at our March meeting.

About Victoria Zackheim

Victoria Zackheim wrote The Bone Weaver, a novel, and edited six anthologies, including the bestselling The Other Woman, and her most recent: FAITH: Essays from Believers, Atheists, and Agnostics.  She adapted her first anthology, The Other Woman, to a play that enjoyed a simultaneous reading at more than twenty theaters nationwide. Her newest play, Entangled, adapted from the memoir by Lois Goodwill and Don Asher, is now under development, with readings in California theaters. She adapted Caroline Leavitt’s novel, Meeting Rozzie Halfway, to a screenplay, as she did with Anne Perry’s international bestseller Southampton Row. Victoria’s screenplay, Maidstone, is in development with Anderimage, in collaboration with SJ Murray. Victoria wrote the documentary film, Where Birds Never Sang: the Story of Ravensbruck and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camps, which aired on PBS nationwide. She teaches creative nonfiction in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and is a frequent speaker and instructor at writers’ conferences and organizational events in the US, France, Mexico and Canada. For more info, check her out at VictoriaZackheim.com

But Wait, There’s More!

Get Marketing Support, Get Your Craft Questions Answered, and Network with Other Writers…

Preservation Park

Be sure to arrive early to participate in the Craft and Marketing support groups. These are interactive conversations where you can talk to other writers to resolve the issues in your writing and your writers career. Make the commitment to be join us every third Sunday; your writing career is important and you deserve this. Non-members and guests can audit any of our critique & support groups before joining. 

Enjoy the buzz of our networking time from 2-2:30 p.m. Have some coffee and make some great connections!

MEETING SCHEDULE

12:00–1:00 – Craft Support Group
 1:00–2:00 – Marketing Success Group

 2:00–2:30 – Writer Networking
 2:30–3:00 – Welcome, Raffle & Club Announcements

 3:00–3:15 – CWC Featured member Leena Prasad 
 3:15–4:00 – Keynote Victoria Zackheim

NEW: 4:15 – CWC Open Mic! Bring up to 5 minutes to read outside, weather permitting

Meetings are $5 for members, $10 for non-members*

  • Coffee is provided, bring cookies and treats to share!
  • Admission includes 1 free raffle ticket; bring a few bucks to purchase additional tickets at $1 each or 6 for $5. Support the club and win a book written by our club authors!

*Empty pockets? Ask about our sponsored guest program at the door. We are committed to supporting writers.

1204 Preservation Park Way, Oakland, CA 94612

Our meetings are right off 980 in downtown Oakland, at beautiful Preservation Park. Just off 12th Street, naturally you can get there from the 12th St. BART station. Those with limited ability can use the parking lot off of MLK Way; otherwise there should be plenty of FREE parking within the park and on surrounding streets.

Say you’re coming on Facebook!

SAVE THE DATES!
Our Forthcoming Events:

See you Sunday!

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We are so excited to welcome Aquelia Lewis-Ross as our speaker on Sunday. Come and get inspired by this energetic and open-hearted poet, radio producer, journalist, activist, community storyteller. We’ll talk about the healing power of poetry to bring up emotions that need to be heard. Aqueila has been reading all over the East Bay of late, often in support of a good cause or to illuminate social injustices, and usually with an adorable baby on her hip! Here’s all the details…

Lucille Bellucci will be opening for Aquelia with her story,  Flammable Grudges, about dealing with injustice & emotions in a NOT so good way…. The story will be published in the West Texas Literary Review. Here’s more about Lucille!!

Meanwhile, our many club members who are soaking up (and creating) literary vibes at the San Francisco Writers Conference this weekend say HELLO!

Finally, don’t forget it’s our half-year special! Join the club between January 1 and April 15 for half-price.

$22.50 + $20 enrollment fee = $42.50

We also need your Application!

Read more about membership benefits and details on the membership page.

Three ways to join:

  1. Fill out the online membership form and pay via Paypal (includes bank fee), or
  2. Download a paper membership form and mail in with a check (see bottom of membership page), or
  3. Come to a meeting and join on the spot!

With questions or special membership categories, send an email to members.cwc.berkeley@gmail.com.

See you on Sunday!

Coffee and tea are provided, bring something to share!

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