Welcome to The Club!

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CWCLogowithR

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.

Join us Saturday, November 24th, 2018 for WRITE NOW, a write in at the Octopus Literary Salon, from 1-6 p.m.

WRITE NOW Nov 24th

Click here to commit to your writing career.

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1/5 Workshop: “Create a Marketing Plan” — Start Your New Year Right!

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Create a Marketing Plan Workshop promo image

Sign up for our Workshop January 5th, at Preservation Park in Oakland.

January is the time of new beginnings, so we’re starting the year off with a workshop that will give you the chance to make this the best year ever. If you’ve fallen behind in promoting your work, get clear on your goals to get ahead!

Walk Out of This Workshop with Your Own Personalized Marketing Plan for 2019 

This is no mere lecture but a fully detailed planning session with time to work on your own picture. 

In this workshop, we’ll cover:

  • Timing of a traditional PR campaign
  • Creating a blog/website editorial calendar
  • Event promotion
  • Creating a social media post calendar
  • Useful online tools to manage your plan

Whether you are planning a to reach out to traditional media with a PR campaign, submitting articles for print or promoting your own website with social media and blogging, this workshop will give you the tools you need to plan your year.  Learn useful web apps that make digital marketing and PR easier, in a setting where you can ask questions if you run into frustrations. And as with all our events, meet other writers who will be looking for opportunities to collaborate on promoting one another’s works. 

Don’t delay! You know you need a marketing plan, and you know January is the best time to do it. Why not sign up for our workshop now

SIGN UP: Create a Marketing Plan Workshop [eventbrite]

The workshop will be located at the same place as our regular meetings, beautiful Preservation Park in Oakland. Bring a laptop for maximum productivity, and a bag lunch. Coffee will be provided.

The workshop is $20 for members, $40 for non-members. If you are a writer facing financial hardship, please contact us about receiving support via the Jack and Jenny Fund. 

About Workshop Presenter Karma Bennett

Karma Bennett
Marketing Guru Karma Bennett

The workshop will be presented by CWC Berkeley’s webmistress Karma Bennett. You certainly already know her from our meetings, and may even know that she is a content writer and digital marketing strategist, and a former book publicist. But did you know has spoken on social media and digital marketing at the University of the Pacific Writers Conference, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and PubCamp Seattle? The classes she teaches at Academy X and Bay Area Video Coalition receive rave reviews.

Karma has handled social media for Current TV and Alibris, among others, and has more than 40,000 social media followers. Her clients are mostly authors or small business owners, who look to her to build their platform and professionally represent their brand.

At her January 5 workshop for the CWC, you can expect a boatload of useful tips packaged with funny cartoons, vibrant imagery, and real-life anecdotes about what she’s learned from a decade in publishing and marketing. 

Winter Social for CWC Members

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Sunday December 16th

Feast & Share Your Best Holiday Writing

CWC Writers! It’s time to gather for our our second Winter Social at the swankiest club in town! Cover charge for members & guests is $10, but if you pre-purchased our discount meeting package this year, entry is included.

Reception at 5, Dinner at 6 & 7 p.m.

We’ll bring the wine for the reception at 5 p.m., and additionally you can purchase dinner seatings for 6 or 7 p.m. There are two options for the three-course dinner: red snapper or Indian tagine over quinoa (vegan).

Bring Writing of Good Cheer for our Contest!

Polish up your best holiday writing for our party contest! Fresh or previously published poems, short stories (under 1000 words), songs, skits, and letters of good cheer, especially about “the gifty part of the year” are what we are after!

MEMBERS: RSVP & Get Your Ticket today!

Pre-purchase your ticket and dinner via Paypal, or RSVP and pay at the door. Members may invite up to 4 guests.

Please dress to fit the opulence of the Bellevue and the spirit of the season—no jeans! 

Write with Us Next Saturday

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November 24th at 1 p.m.
Octopus Literary Salon
2101 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94612

Join us Saturday at the Octopus Literary Salon for an afternoon of quiet writing. Bring your favorite writing tools and order drinks, lunch, or stay afterwards for dinner. At 6 p.m., the Octopus will host a Small Business Saturday. As we write, the Octopus Salon will be decorating, hosting a gift bazaar, and getting festive for an evening bluegrass jubilee.

Thanksgiving out of the way, this event is the day after Black Friday/Plaid Friday/Buy Nothing Day, a perfect Saturday to focus on GETTING SOME WRITING DONE. 

This event is free and open to the public and co-hosted by Authors Large & Small.

A Few Questions for Software Pioneer and Author, Gary Durbin

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This month’s featured CWC member is Gary Durbin, a retired serial entrepreneur and software industry pioneer. Instead of writing computer code and starting software companies, he now writes, hikes, and advises young entrepreneurs. He has published short stories and his first novel, Nano-Uncertainty.

Gary led a research project into the use of artificial intelligence for business systems and an experimental project in computer-aided tutoring. Mr. Durbin holds four software patents, one for distributed inference on massively parallel computers. He has published several technical articles in magazines and journals and authored a special publication of the National Bureau of Standards.

Sample Durbin’s writing at GaryDurbinWriter.com/work-in-progress/

Five Questions for Gary Durbin

What’s the most important piece of writing advice that you could give to other writers?

Beg, plead, or coerce people to read your stuff and give you honest feedback.

What one thing has helped promote your writing most?

Workshops like the Mendocino Writers Conference.

What other writers inspire you?

Isaac Asimov, Stephen King, Evan Currie, Salman Rushdie, Alfred Bester, Clifford Simak, Robert Heinlein

Where are you from and where do you live?

Native Californian. Born: Santa Monica, Raised: Oakland

What other facts would you like to share?

Married to Lori otherwise known as “Love of my life” for 50 years

Meet Gary Durbin and our Featured Guest Patricia Ravasio this Sunday, November 17th

Remember that our members are your community, so treasure this opportunity to get to know Gary and find out how he can help your writers career, and vice versa. Members, don’t forget to come at 11 a.m. to participate in the craft and marketing support groups!

Say you’re coming on Facebook.

Nov 18th 2:30-4 pm Patricia Ravasio to speak on "Mission Utopia--Writing to Share an Urgent Vision."


Interview with Pat Ravasio

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Literary publicist and CWC member Cristina Deptula interviews our November speaker, Patricia Ravasio. Ravasio is the author of The Girl from Spaceship Earth, a book about Buckminster Fuller. She will speak to the Berkeley CWC about pushing past your comfort zones, finding your voice, and writing with a mission.

pat ravasio

November speaker, Patricia Ravasio

How do you handle it when you feel very strongly inspired by a project and it seems to go nowhere or have no outlet to get published?

You are describing my life! It has been very hard to drum up interest in Buckminster Fuller, even though he has brilliant answers to some of humanity’s most pressing questions. I handle it by never ever ever giving up.

Would you suggest that writers hang on to their unfinished drafts, or to their research notes from unfinished projects?

Definitely hang on to old research notes, but unfinished drafts better to let them go. Some of my best writing has come after I tossed old drafts of chapters and started over.

FrontCover-Spaceship Earth copy

How do you know when what you have to say is important enough to interrupt your regular life? How did you know that for your Buckminster Fuller book?

If you’re listening there’s usually a powerful voice inside you that holds these answers. You just know. It’s your intuition talking and if you don’t listen to it you’re making a big mistake.

Did Buckminster Fuller have any wisdom that you think would especially apply to writers?

All of Bucky’s wisdom applies to writers. Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

The future of humanity rests upon our individual integrity and whether or not each of us has the integrity to only go along with the truth.

Another quote that’s easily relatable:

When something is broken, don’t try to fix it. Instead create a new model that renders the old one obsolete.

(This applies to writing and to government!)

Join us Sunday, November 18th for a lively discussion with Patricia Ravasio.

Nov 18th 2:30-4 pm Patricia Ravasio to speak on "Mission Utopia--Writing to Share an Urgent Vision."

SPEAKER 11/18: “Mission: Utopia—Writing to Share an Urgent Vision” with Pat Ravasio

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Nov 18th 2:30-4 pm Patricia Ravasio to speak on "Mission Utopia--Writing to Share an Urgent Vision."

As a young journalist, Patricia Ravasio was electrified by a day with iconic American genius and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), who urged her to share the vision of his urgent messages with the world, hoping to help humanity awaken in time. When Fuller’s dire predictions came true on 9/11, Ravasio realized she must face up to her commitment, and began her writing journey in earnest. Her memoir, The Girl from Spaceship Earth, launched on 9/11/17 to celebrate the Buckminster Fuller Institute moving to San Francisco, and was praised by Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. Anyone who is writing with a mission to change the world knows that sometimes this path of intensity can threaten your relationships and sanity. Any writer who has experienced an epiphany will benefit from hearing Pat’s struggle to climb out of comfort zones, find her voice, and live up to her promise.

Patricia’s book, The Girl from Spaceship Earth, brings forth the largely forgotten wisdom of a late American genius often called the Leonardo da Vinci of the twentieth century. It is a true story of her encounters with Buckminster Fuller; the urgent messages for humanity he shares with her during a 1982 meeting in Chicago; how she promises to share his messages and wisdom with the world; and how discoveries along the way challenged her to the core.

About Pat Ravasio

Ravasio has won awards for her radio reporting, advertising copywriting, and community volunteerism. She wrote a long-running weekly column for her community newspaper, and writes occasional guest opinion pieces for the Marin Independent Journal. Pat is the mother of three grown daughters and lives with her husband of thirty years in Corte Madera.

Learn more about Buckminster Fuller, Pat Ravasio or her book at BuckyIdeas.com.

But Wait, There’s More!

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

Preservation Park

Preservation Park, where Patricia Ravasio will speak this Sunday

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. 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 Gary Durbin
3:15–4:00 – Featured Speaker Patricia Ravasio

NEW: 4:15 – CWC Open Mic

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

  • Coffee is provided, bring cookies and treats to share!
  • Admission includes 1 free raffle ticket; additional tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. Win a book written by our club authors!
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*Empty pockets? Ask about our sponsored guest program at the door. We are committed to supporting writers.

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!

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