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.

NEW LOCATION: PRESERVATION PARK!

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.

Taking a break until January!

Click here to commit to your writing career.

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Jan 21: How to be a Publishing Success Story with Literary Agent Ted Weinstein

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Literary Agent Ted Weinstein Knows a Secret: All Publishing Is Self-Publishing

After a year of dramatic changes in book publishing, the larger media world, and the entire nation, authors must be more entrepreneurial than ever to maximize their chances of success. At our Sunday, January 21st meeting, literary agent Ted Weinstein will give an overview of recent publishing developments and offer guidance on the best routes to publishing success, whether you’re seeking traditional publication or the indie route.

But That’s Not All!

Get Marketing Support, Get Your Craft Questions Answered, and Network with Other Writers…and Check Out Our New Location in the Heart of Oakland

Be sure to arrive early to participate in the Craft and Marketing 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.

preservation-park-480pxMEETING SCHEDULE

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

Simultaneously

12:30–2:00 – Social Hour
2:00–2:30 – Break, Book Sale
2:30–3:00 – Announcements

Featured Speakers

3:00–3:15 – CWC Featured member gives a short reading
3:15–4:30 – Featured Speaker Ted Weinstein

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

We are meeting at Preservation Park

Our next meeting will be 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.

 

#GivingTuesday and giving back

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Thank you to an anonymous donor who has offered a $200 challenge grant for our branch of the California Writers Club! Let’s maximize this contribution to energize our mission to support and educate writers. Our continued work brings fresh voices to literary culture and creates a stronger arts community in the East Bay.

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Our ongoing fundraising program is our monthly raffle. One lucky person who attends our monthly meetings wins a book by one of our authors! Another lucky person wins a bottle of wine or specialty consumable. Club authors, please donate a book or a bottle. One raffle ticket is FREE with meeting fee ($5 members/$10 public) and more are for sale for $1 each or 6 for $5.

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A small sample of our member offerings!

Our members donate books, time, writing, and money to help other nonprofits.

  • One of our members just donated in the name of CWC to Chapter 510 & the Land of Make Believe, which supports youth writing and voices. Another of our members started a support group to nurture young writers.
  • Several members have been published in anthologies that are fundraisers, like this one with proceeds going to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, and the ACLU.
  • Our president, Kristen Caven, arranged the donation of 3000 copies of her book to parent organizations to help understand and end bullying.
  • Our speaker chair, Kymberlie Ingalls, is hosting an annual comedy show and auction to fundraise for Toys for Tots and the Bay Area Collective… Donate toys and books and get your tickets now ($20) for this fun, Sunday, December 10 event at PF Changs in Walnut Creek!

 

Please post other donation opportunities in the comments. Happy Giving Tuesday!

12/17: Winter Social at the Bellevue Club

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Usually we prefer a flyer to have people in it, but these empty chairs are waiting to be filled with… YOU! Thanks to a caring patron of the arts, our holiday social is at one of the most beautiful venues in Oakland.

Instead of our regular meeting, on the third Sunday in December please join us at the historic Bellevue Club for a relaxing social event. We’ll be meeting a little later in the evening than we usually meet, to sip and enjoy the sunset on Lake Merritt. After the reception, stay for dinner in the club’s formal dining room. Building tours and an open mic will follow dinner. Please bring no more than two printed pages if you would like to read.

Meet us in the Wisteria Lounge at 5 PM by the elevator on the 4th floor for the members-only reception. Please invite your writer friends to join us for an elegant dinner at 6pm.

The cost for the member reception is $10+ donation, and a-la-carte dinner prices range from $15 to $35 with beverages. Lack of funds a problem? CWC members can contact the President to volunteer.

Reservations required—Register on Eventbrite!

Sunday December 17th: 5pm members, 6pm all writers

Here’s the event on FaceBook.

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Getting to the Bellevue Club (map)

525 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland

The Bellevue Club is nestled on the north side of Lake Merritt, across from the playground and the labrynth. Parking is free and safe in the Bellevue’s private lot—buzz to say you are coming for dinner. If you want to carpool, please contact one of the board members.

Interview with Joel Friedlander on Indie Publishing

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Berkeley CWC volunteer Cristina Deptula caught up with the speaker of this Sunday’s meeting for some questions about independent publishing. If you don’t know Joel, he is an award-winning book designer, blogger, and writer. He speaks regularly at industry events and is the author of A Self-Publisher’s Companion and coauthor of The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide. Joel is a columnist for Publishers Weekly, and was named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 10 people to follow in book publishing. He runs a number of helpful websites such as TheBookMakers.com, offering full service book production for authors and publishers.

Come out to our Sunday meeting to ask Joel your own questions about indie book publishing.

Joel-2014-headshot 300xHow does an author decide when to self publish and when to seek an agent and a traditional publisher? What sorts of books do you think are best served by each form of publication?

​Several elements go into this decision. Traditional publishers will be looking for books that will be sufficiently profitable to justify the expense of publishing them. Some authors may not want to wait the 1 to 3 years this process takes, and others want more control of their publications than is afforded in typical publishing contracts. Authors who have ready access to an audience for their books, or who are innately entrepreneurial, are likely to have the best results from self-publishing.

What are some big mistakes to avoid when self-publishing that make your book look unprofessional?

​The worst mistake is to publish a book with an “amateur” cover. It will mark your book as an amateur production before anyone even has a chance to open the book.​ Similarly, publishing a book that hasn’t been edited by a professional book editor isn’t a good practice.

What are some tips to make your self-published book stand out?

​Again, do yourself a favor and hire a professional cover designer and editor. Beyond that, look at the market you are entering. What does your book contribute that is not available? Does it do something better than any other books in the market? Or do it better, more extensively, or in greater depth? Why do people need this book?​

How can authors get self-published books noticed by media and bookstores? Are there hacks to the process or is it still a matter of calling and emailing place after place and dropping off copies?

​There’s no shortcut to marketing a book. Self-publishers can run review campaigns to print, electronic, and online media just like any other publisher. They can advertise on social media sites, build community through blogging or sharing their stories. There are no “magic bullets.” Most self-publishers will not have the assets to attempt a national marketing campaign with offset-printed books, a marketing budget, and a national distributor, all of which are necessary to go beyond consigning books to your local bookstores.​

What’s worth spending good money on as an author and where can a self-publishing author save cash?

​Use free reviews before you pay for any. You can find cover designers who charge very reasonable fees. Editing and cover design are the places to spend your cash. Use a template for your book interior, it will save you a lot of time and money with designers and formatters.​ Partner with other authors who publish books that appeal to the same audience and run promotions where you split the cost. Develop a blog and grow an email list, nothing you can do will pay off as well.

Whether or not you have questions for Joel, we hope to see you this Sunday at our monthly meeting at Preservation Park. Remember, though Joel speaks at 3:15, the meeting starts at noon with support groups to help you resolve issues in your writing or your book marketing…or just network with other writers over tasty snacks and coffee. Doesn’t your writing career deserve a little time this week?

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Nov 19th: Author Platform, Branding, and Monetization with Joel Friedlander

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november-Joel Friedlander-Author-Platform-Branding-MonetizationAre you confused by all the talk about “building your platform,” about “author branding,” or how authors today make money from their work? At our November meeting, Joel Friedlander will walk us through how to establish a following and build a career for your work. You’ll learn how to:

  • use your expertise to build a valuable online asset,
  • turn your content into an amazing variety of multimedia products using the latest technology, and
  • reach the readers just waiting to hear your message.

About Our Featured Speaker, Joel Friedlander

Joel-2014-headshot 300xJoel Friedlander is an award-winning book designer, blogger, and writer. He speaks regularly at industry events and is the author of A Self-Publisher’s Companion and coauthor of The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide. The blogger behind TheBookDesigner.com, Joel is a columnist for Publishers Weekly, and was named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 10 people to follow in book publishing. Joel also operates BookDesignTemplates.com, where he provides predesigned interior book templates for Word and InDesign; AuthorToolkits.com, where authors find digital products to help in their marketing and business activities; BookPlanner.com, the only project planning tool specifically designed for indie authors; and TheBookMakers.com, offering full service book production for authors and publishers.

But That’s Not All!

Get Marketing Support, Get Your Craft Questions Answered, and Network with Other Writers…and Check Out Our New Location in the Heart of Oakland

Our featured member this month is Henry Hitz. His latest book combines politics, racial justice and S&M. Rawr! I can’t wait to hear an excerpt. Be sure to arrive early to participate in the Craft and Marketing 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.

preservation-park-480pxMEETING SCHEDULE

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

Simultaneously

12:30–2:00 – Social Hour
2:00–2:30 – Break, Book Sale
2:30–3:00 – Announcements

Featured Speakers

3:00–3:15 – CWC Featured member Henry Hitz gives a short reading
3:15–4:30 – Featured Speaker Joel Friedlander

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

We are meeting at Preservation Park

Our next meeting will be 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.

 

California Writers Week 10/15-10/21

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WHEREAS, The California Writers Club was founded in 1909, with Jack London, Ina Coolbrith, George Sterling and others as members; and

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WHEREAS, California’s literary tradition dates back to the works of Mark Twain, Bret Harte, Mary Austin, Nobel prize and Pulitzer prize winner John Steinbeck, Delilah L. Beasley, Joaquin Miller, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Barrio, Gertrude Atherton, Raymond Chandler, Pulitzer prize winner William Saroyan and a great many others, and

WHEREAS, The California Writers Club honors all California writers, past and present, and continues to nurture the talents of new writers as well as established authors, and to provide a forum for the sharing of their writing experience, and

WHEREAS, The California Writers Club’s mission is to teach, mentor and encourage all writers for the good of our society; and

WHEREAS, California libraries are the forum where the writing of Californians is preserved and provided to the public, and

WHEREAS, the California Writers Club encourages all California libraries to showcase the works of California writers through displays, author programs and reading clubs; and

WHEREAS, The California Writers Club urges all educational institutions to place more emphasis on developing the writing and reading skills of everyone; and

WHEREAS, The California Writers Club is observing the third week in October as California Writers Week; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED BY ASSEMBLY MEMBERS TIM LESLIE, JOSEPH CANCIAMILLA, GUY S. HOUSTON, BILL MAZE, GENE MULLIN, JOE NATION, AND PATRICIA WIGGINS AND PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE JOH

N L. BURTON AND SENATORS NELL SOTO AND JACKIE SPEIER, That they recognize the third week in October as California Writers Week, and encourage the people of the State of California to reflect upon the contributions that California writers have made to humankind.

Members Resolution No. 2170.     Dated this 4th day of September, 2003.

See more information and signatures

 

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