1/19/20 — General Membership Meeting


Gust of Wind

A Gust of Wind

Full membership meeting 1/19/20

“When Jack London said you have to go after inspiration with a club, I think he meant a writing club.” — Kristen Caven, author, president of CWC Berkeley 2017-2020

Dear Members,

It’s time for us to hold council at a general meeting about the state of our branch. Please join us for a very special monthly meeting where, in lieu of a speaker + announcements, we’ll have a chance to talk together about what we want from each other our association.

After our announcements & featured reader, The meeting will have three parts:

Where We’ve Been

Historians Therese Pipe and Linda Brown will do a brief (10-minute) presentation on the history of the California Writers Club. If you don’t know much about us, this is a MUST-SEE! This club has been operating, and run by volunteers, for  110 years.

Where We’re At

As the century swings into gear, we employ various technologies to run the intricate business machinery of our metaphorical sailing ship. But the ship is only as strong as it’s sailors. President Kristen will give an overview of who pulls the ropes and pushes the oars, and help you see YOUR place in the crowd & crew.

Where We’re Going

Reflecting on the overview, club leaders will host breakout groups where we will all brainstorm about: 1) something the club is doing well, 2) what we get from the club, 3) what we want from the club, 4) what we can each contribute to the club, and 5) the club’s greatest concerns.

We’ll close by sharing priorities from each group, and selecting task groups for our crucial next steps and future.

We are a Participatory Democracy (or better yet, a DO-ocracy!), so do plan to come to this important group event and participate—this is YOUR club. Until then, please give some thought to these existential questions:

  • Who/what is the CWC?

  • What do we all, as a group, want to do?

  • Why does having a club matter to you?

  • What are you willing to contribute so that you get the benefit you need?

We are an eclectic assembly of strong writers who are all very interesting people. So…

  • How can we best work together to help each other and ourselves?

Here’s the day’s schedule. (If you’re attending the 5-page group the day before, we still hope to hear from you!) Please send notes to berkeley.cwc@gmail.com if you cannot attend.

12:00 pm Setup
12:30 Doors open & member services
1:00 Raffle & Announcements
1:30 Featured Member: Judith Offer, poet & playwright
2:45 Break & Networking
3:00 Marketing Group (Kymberlie Ingalls)
4:00 Craft Group (Terry Tierney)

Happy New Year to all writers, editors, publishers, publicists who follow this blog. Please take time to savor all of your writing and personal accomplishments! I look forward to us all giving each other energy on our writing goals for 2020.

Kristen Caven

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

  • Coffee is provided, bring cookies and treats to share!
  • Admission includes 1 free raffle ticket

PLEASE PLAN TO PURCHASE AN EXTRA RAFFLE TICKET! Only $1 each or 6 for $5, every ticket supports the club’s equity program. You can win a book written by our club authors!

* Support groups are members-only but guests may audit
Empty pockets? Ask about our sponsored guest program at the door. We are writers helping writers, a welcoming community.

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!

Our Forthcoming Events:

Check for support groups and more member events on our Calendar.

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.

Happy New Year!

Join us for a General Membership Meeting on 1/19/20

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


Upcoming speakers Spring 2020: Jan Steckel, Tanya Egan, Andy Ross & a Panel Discussion featuring local Small Press publishers



CWC Writers at LitCrawl Saturday Night, 10/19

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We are so proud of all of our members who are reading at or hosting at LitCrawl this year! One of the most anticipated literary nights of the year, San Francisco’s Lit Crawl is a massive, one-night literary pub crawl throughout the city’s Mission District. Lit Crawl SF brings together 500+ authors and close to 10,000 fans for the world’s largest free pop-up literary event. Started in 2004, Lit Crawl cultivates a unique, resonant brand: smart and silly, worldly and wacky events presented in venues usual (bars, cafes, galleries, and bookstores) and unusual (police stations, tattoo parlors, barbershops, and laundromats).

Grab a map and we’ll see you at one or more of these events!


Amos White hosts Bay Area Generations, which presents "Two Turntables and a Microphone": six writers and poets read their poetry and tell their stories before a live DJ mix at Harrington Galleries Furniture Store, 599 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

Gark Mavigan reads at LitCamp: the Comeback at Four Barrel Coffee, 375 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA


Cristina Deptula hosts Synchronized Chaos: Five published authors read short new pieces they have written inspired by the work of an aspiring author, who joins them in reading onstage. CWC readers include Christine Volker, Aqueila Lewis, Kristen Caven, Henry Hitz & Sheryl Bize-Boutte!


Paul Corman-Roberts hosts Babar in Exile, Gents Barber Club, 3041 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

Thaddeus Howze reads with Time Travel: A Literary and Poetic Exploration to The Next Dimension at Fingersnaps Media Arts 3527 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

Aqueila Lewis also reads with Women Who Submit at Haus Coffee 3086 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

See the full schedule here.

See You Sunday! CWC Speaker Series & Meeting 10/20/19

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Our October meeting is just around the corner. Say you’re coming on Facebook!

Writers can get into legal trouble without knowing it. Learn best practices and get the basics about libel, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, subpoenas, confidential sources, and the California Shield Law from Literary Lawyer Nicholas J. Jollymore.

Come for the whole meeting or part of it! Cover charge for the whole afternoon is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.*

Admission includes 1 free raffle ticket but PLEASE PLAN TO PURCHASE MORE! Only $1 each or 6 for $5, every ticket supports the club’s equity program. You can win a book written by our club authors!

Speaking of which, members please bring one of YOUR published books (‘hurt’ and proof copies ok) to donate to our raffle. We decorate the room with US! Last year’s books will be donated to the Prisoner’s Literature Project this year.

Please note our NEW SCHEDULE!

12:00 pm – come help set up, or volunteer for the front table.
12:30 Doors open for coffee, snacks & networking. Thank you Trader Joe’s for donated snacks! (Extra treats are always lovely!)
1:00 Tim Jollymore is our "Opening Act" — we finally get to a glimpse at his new book, People You’ve Been Before!
1:15 Tim’s brother Nick Jollymore is our keynote speaker.
2:00 Club Business, Networking & transition to our breakout groups*
3:00 Marketing Success Group with Kymberlie Ingalls – check your to-do list and report your achievements!
4:00 Craft Discussion Group with Henry HItz – what deep dive will we take with Henry today?
Note: if you aren’t staying for the breakout groups, please respectfully take your networking outside and keep voices low. We’d also love a few volunteers to help with QUIET cleanup tasks!

* Support groups are members-only but guests may audit once
** Empty pockets? Ask about our sponsored guest program at the door. We are writers helping writers, after all!

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!

Was Nick Jollymore REALLY in People magazine? Bring all your questions to our meeting!

9/23/19 – Mini-WORKSHOP with Kathy Meis of Bublish

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Help Your Audience Find You

Tips for Writers on Book Positioning

A Dessert Discussion with Bublish Founder + CEO

Kathy Meis

Monday, September 23, 2019

7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Lungomare Restaurant, Jack London Square (map)

Join us for a casual conversation with a leading light in the new book industry.

Kathy Meis is passionate about helping authors break through the noise. Come hear her advice for creating a  strong marketing foundation at any stage of writing your book—from first draft to reboot. Bring your books and your questions for kind guidance.   

Kathy Meis is the founder and CEO of Bublish, the world’s first complete publishing platform with built-in marketing where authors can write, promote, publish and track their work in one place. Kathy has worked for iconic editorial brands as CBS and Forbes, Inc. and is a sought-after expert on independent publishing, author branding, book marketing and disruption in the publishing industry, Kathy has spoken at Book Expo America, San Francisco Writers Conference, Women in Media, ALLi’s Indie Author Fringe conference, GrubSteet, PubSmart, AuthorYOU, and IndieRecon, among others.

$10 for CWC members, $20 for non-members. No-host dessert, coffees & cocktails. Cash, check, or Paypal. Reservations required, write to berkeley.cwc at gmail.com.

Kathy Meis 9-19

PSA – Stop Laptop Snatchers!

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WRITERS BEWARE! There is a rash of laptop raids going on right now. Small groups of unarmed thieves are bursting into coffee shops and snatching 1-3 laptops then dashing out again. They use the element of surprise and make their escapes in rented Gig or Zip cars. The perpetrators are typically teenagers. Male and female. If you are a writer or someone who uses your laptop in a public place, here are some guidelines for protection:

  1. BE ALERT for for groups of 2-3 teens looking in windows of, or gathering in doorways of coffeeshops. Watch their eyes – they shift from side to side, scanning the room. They do NOT look relaxed and social or work-focused like most people entering coffee shops.
  2. If you see this happening, CLOSE YOUR LAPTOP. If you require a password to open it, this will slow them down from accessing your information. (Be sure you are backing up to the cloud so you don’t lose work.) CLUTCH ONTO IT or put it out of sight.
  3. TAKE OUT YOUR CAMERA if you feel safe doing so, and aim it at the group. If they see several cameras on them, they may leave.
  4. SIGNAL other writers to be on alert with a sound (think of groups of meerkats or other prey animals)—a whistle, a loud cough, a word or phrase like “Heads up” or “Watch out” or “Hey.” Listen for signals from other writers.
  5. ENGAGE. If you are close to a doorway and see a group forming, a friendly hello can go a long way in prevention. Remember these are teens who might be about to make a bad choices, and it takes a village to say “we don’t put up with this, kids.” Relax and say “Hi, What’s up?” Say something embarrassing like “Hey, don’t I know your mom?” Or, “Cool hoodie, dude! Love the camo!” Say something loud that draws attention to them, so if something does happen, you have more witnesses, and  can describe them. Sometimes baristas, if they are not busy, will all go out and talk to these groups. It works.

Also keep your eyes out for idling cars parked on sidewalks with open doors. Alert the staff if you see this, tell them to call the police. Coffee shops know about this and are looking for ways to protect their customers without scaring them off. Pay attention when they give warnings. This is a situation where the community can create defensive/protective energy, and stop crime before it starts. Sometimes it takes a village to make kids think twice about what choices they are making.



This Public Service Announcement is brought to you by the California Writers Club. Please share!


—Written by Kristen Caven, co-author of The Bullying Antidote. We believe in Prevention and Restorative Justice. Learn more at the Zorgos Reader and our FB Page.


See You Sunday! Kickoff with September Williams + GARK!

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Don’t miss our speaker series kick-off!

The Wind In Our Sails

Some words from your captain president

Kids are back in school, and what that means for me is my husband, a teacher who blogs (or a blogger who teaches?) is back in school. Which means, with no one to talk to, and the music of my choice on in the background, words are now flying from my fingers for hours at a time! I hope your summer was productive or, on the flip side, a nice break.

We’re ready to start up our monthly meetings, and there are some big changes happening, some that we’ve been talking about for years! The first big change is that  Write Angles will now be dropping in “nuggets” into member email boxes through our Google Group.

The second big change is that our meetings are “flipped around” now: we’ll be starting with our speakers, and doing our support group breakouts afterwards. Hopefully this will not inconvenience anyone too much. We weighed the pros and cons carefully, and are always sorry we can’t please everyone.

The third big thing is a huge triumph: we have booked every month of our Speaker Series! (Notice we’ve also renamed our monthly meetings “speaker series,” because that’s what it is, and has been for 110 years!). We have a wide range of topics that we hope will appeal to our members.

Now is a great time to pre-pay all of your meetings to commit to your writing career. Don’t plan to come to them all? Any unused fees will help other writers. Jack London would have been proud. More information here.

Our membership is at a nice fat 104 right now, let’s keep it that way! If you haven’t renewed your dues yet, please do so today by check or Paypal. Renew on or before our September 15th meeting, or risk having to pay extra to reinstate your membership! Here’s the renewal link.

Hello to our new members Gark MaviganAnn Harleman, and Penn Hughes. They’re all pretty dazzling. Gark (like Mark with a G) is unafraid to hit the mic as our first featured member in September — I think he’s our first rapper! Ann is already enjoying an inspiring literary career, and Penn has just published his first book, about Oakland history. 

We are looking for ways to involve every member in the life of the club this year, both giving and receiving support. There will be a volunteer opportunity sheet on the sign-in table at every meeting. Shoot a message to Gary at members.cwc.berkeley@gmail.com if you can help on the Member Relations Team this year, creating a smooth and friendly flow. Write me if you can join the Wolf Pack at the Watershed Poetry Festival on October 5, 12-4pm, focusing on environmental writing. Contact Fred at Fdodsworth@comcast.net if you want to talk about publishing a Literary Magazine in our branch or holding a contest. And if you love and support kids, we would still love to revive our 5th Grade Writing Contest!

Sail On!

Kristen Caven

BB President 2017-2020


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