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 programs begin on September 18th with a


Hosted by historical novelist Francine Howard

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

Statewide Picnic Saturday!

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The CWC Annual Picnic is this weekend! Are you excited?

Writers club members from all over the state will be joining us on July 23rd at Joaquin Miller Park. Members and their guests will

  • Eat, drink, and catch up with fellow writers
  • Read at the open mic (3 minutes or less, please)
  • Win fabulous prizes… and/or the coveted Golden Fork Award with your clever literary dessert!

Plus: bring a book for the member share basket… take a book to read and review!

Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Veggie Burgers and condiments are provided by the club. Locals, please bring a side dish to share and/or pitch in… sign up here!

CWC Picnic Flyer 2016

Picnic Particulars
Map and Directions
Lit Cake Contest

Click here for information about location. Time is 1pm to 4pm.


Members are also invited to stay for the after-party, a social gathering to network with writers belonging to other East Bay literary communities. To Build a Fire with The Heart of The Muse is part of the 2016 Jack London Legacy Celebration. Guests are invited to bring readings by early CWC authors (Jack London, Joaquin Miller, Ina Coolbrith, etc.), or works inspired by them. More info/RSVP on Facebook! 

Sunday 6/19 and lots of other tidbits!

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Hi, everyone! Happy almost summer vacation!

Remember that there are no meetings in July and August, but we’re hoping to still bring you some activities so keep an eye out via email, our site and Meetup. We also always want to hear from you, and what you’d like to see happen in our club in the coming year. Because it’s our club. Please send us your feedback and wishlist!

One such activity is the CWC Annual Picnic – it’s July 23rd. This is a members only event, plus our families. It’s a chance to meet members of other branches throughout the state, and just to hang out in a relaxed setting for some fun and celebrating our art. After the picnic, the fun doesn’t stop – there’s an evening ahead of more literary greatness, and it’s open to all so invite your friends and make it a party! Get all you need to know here: https://cwc-berkeley.org/2016/05/23/save-the-date-july-23-gatherings-at-joaquin-miller-park/

Back to what’s currently happening, this Sunday we’ll be getting some tips on shopping for an editor with David Colin Carr. Come hear what he has to say, and come a little early to discuss craft topics and sit in on the marketing group too. It all starts at noon. Details here: https://cwc-berkeley.org/2016/06/01/speaker-619-precisely-what-editors-do-with-david-colin-carr/

I also want to take this opportunity to thank the team that has kept us going this past year and years before. Volunteerism is what keeps us going, we couldn’t have done this without you. And thank you to all who showed up to represent the CWC at the Oakland Book Fair in May, and the Bay Area Book Festival. You can find the highlights here: https://cwc-berkeley.org/2016/05/31/cwc-at-local-book-festivals/

Be sure to read the winners too of our annual 5th Grade Writers Contest. It makes for great summer reading: https://cwc-berkeley.org/2016/06/06/writers-of-tomorrow/

And to introduce our new slate of officers; Karma Bennett – President, Francine Howard – Vice President, Henry Hitz – Treasurer, and David Simmons – Secretary.

As you take some time to consider and share your thoughts, please take the time to renew your membership. Your dues allow the club – locally and statewide – to bring us the valuable resources that you’ve come to expect. It’s still just $45 for the year, $25 for dual members but $65 if you miss the deadline. So, send in your renewal now because we need you to keep our community strong.

Whew! I think that’s everything. Hope to see you Sunday.

Writers of Tomorrow

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Congratulations to the winners of the 30th Annual
CWC 5th grade story contest!

Read “I Survived” by Irene H. O., our first-place winner.

The stories we receive are tremendous, year after year. Read more about our contest winners and check out all of our past winners.

Thank you to member Joanna Phoenix for your wonderful administration of this contest!

Congratulations 5th Grade Story Winners!

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May 15 SPEAKER— “Increase Your Exposure” with Brian Schwartz of SelfPublish.org

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Brian Schwartz of www.selfpublish.org

Learn what it takes to create effective author profiles pages at Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and more. Tap into simple ways to promote your work and enable others help spread the word about your book. This month’s speaker, Brian Schwartz, explains why you need to establish a presence on social media and how to get links from high traffic sites like Wikipedia, Youtube, and Reddit.

The former president of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association, Brian Schwartz has assisted hundreds of authors self- publish since 2009. He has authored and published two books: 50 Interviews: Entrepreneurs Thriving in Uncertain Times and Finding Speaking Success (Wise Media Group). He was featured in Wild Ink: Successful Secrets to Writing and Publishing in the Young Adult Market (Prufrock Press) and wrote a column for the Northern Colorado Business Report from 2012-2013. His YouTube Channel has over 100,000 views. As a recognized expert in digital publishing and book marketing, Brian is a popular speaker at Writers’ conferences around the country. Brian is the founder of SelfPublish.org, a community dedicated to helping authors succeed as publishers by raising the standards of self-publishing.

Visit www.SelfPublish.org for more information.

$10 Public ~ $5 for CWC Members

Our featured CWC author this month is Chris Harris.

Meeting Schedule for Sunday, May 15th, 2016:

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. — ELECTION
3 p.m. – CWC member Chris Harris
3:15-4 p.m. – Brian Schwartz

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

Click here for more information about location and time.

Sunday, 4/17 and other tidbits

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Hellooooo everyone! How are you in this month of April? My goodness, it’s really a third of the way into the year, isn’t it? I’m looking forward to telling you about some of my recent adventures in the May newsletter, and I’d love to hear about some of yours too.

This Sunday, we’re getting a historian and a poet all in one! Come hear Aleta George talk to us about CWC Founder and California’s first Poet Laureate Ina Coolbrith. The more, the merrier so let’s get together to support and socialize. If you haven’t checked out our Author Support Group that meets at 12pm, come on out. It’s best when we have a mix of experience and novice because we all learn from each other. The published authors may find they have common struggles in the ever changing world of publishing that perhaps someone new to the game has already figured out.

https://cwc-berkeley.org/2016/04/05/417-speaker-ina-coolbrith-the-saving-grace-of-poetry-with-aleta-george/ for all the details

Marketing Group – this month we’re having a guest speaker from the South Bay branch who is going to come talk to us about her recent experience with BookBub, a discount e-book distribution site. Her name is Chess Desalls, and you can find out more about her on her site: http://www.chessdesalls.com/ She’s going to have great information that you’ll want to know.

We’re still looking for volunteers for key positions, and Jane Glendinning has done a fantastic job of reaching out to everyone to culminate a list of people you have nominated. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with her.

The CWC needs you! And it’s your golden opportunity. Please consider volunteering as a club representative at the Bay Area Book Festival in June. You can come talk with Kathleen Orosco, our current NorCal representative, or send her an email if you’d like more information. The best part, besides getting to meet industry professionals and other authors, is that you will be able to sell your book at the CWC booth (CA sellers permit required).

Guess what? We’re having a workshop! It’s going to be in Alameda (thank you, Vernon Dolphin, for being our gracious host) and will feature CWC favorite Brooke Warner of She Writes Press and Warner Coaching. She’s going to talk to us about the current landscape today of the industry, and you’ll be able to ask her all of your burning questions so come prepared. It’s going to be amazing, I promise. See the attached flyer. Our workshops are open to all CWC members as well as the public, so please spread the word. Let’s work on our platforms and social media – this is the way to do it. Network, share, and support.

I sure hope to see you at the workshop, and mostly I hope to see you this Sunday.

CWC – Workshop – Brooke Warner.pdf

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