Get Inside Your Reader’s Brain with Novelist and Scientist Ransom Stephens

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Ransom Stephens speaks March 19 CWC - "Be a better writer...with SCIENCE!"

The Neuroscience of Reading

How to Make Readers Laugh and Cry

Neuroscience is like looking under the hood to see how It works. When you know how readers process your writing you can figure out what grabs readers, what bores them, and why. In this presentation, we’ll investigate how to write in ways that administer dopamine when you want readers happy and withholds it when you want readers sad. We’ll explore the roots of what people like and why bestsellers aren’t always critical favorites. Art is subjective, but our subjectivity has a lot in common. Join us for this exciting approach to writing March 19th!

About Ransom Stephens

Ransom Stephens, Ph.D., is a scientist, science writer, and novelist. He’s written hundreds of articles on subjects ranging from neuroscience to quantum physics to parenting teenagers. In his first novel, The God Patent (47North, 2010), a troubled father is caught in the science-religion culture war and in his second, The Sensory Deception (47North, 2013), scientists and venture capitalists use the relationship between the senses and the mind to give people the experiences of endangered animals. His first nonfiction book, The Left Brain Speaks but the Right Brain Laughs (Viva Editions, 2016), is an irreverent and accurate look at neuroscience for a lay-audience with emphasis on innovation in art and science. Ransom has given thousands of speeches across the US, Europe, and Asia and has developed a reputation for making complex topics accessible and funny.

RansomStephens.com

MEETING 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 reads
3:15–4:30 – Keynote Speaker Dr. Ransom Stephens

 

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4 Publicity Tips from Sunday’s Speaker, Cristina Deptula

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Cristina Deptula

Cristina Deptula speaks at 4 pm, come at noon for our working groups.

This Sunday at Connexion in Jack London Square, publicist Cristina Deptula is going to give us tips on creatively reaching traditional media. Rather than a passive lecture, Cristina is looking forward to having an interactive discussion, based on the best advice for the authors in the room.

I asked Cristina to give us some general tips on publicity, and here are four that she mentioned that should apply to most any author.

Publicity Tip 1

Go Where Your Audience Already Is

Find your audience where they already gather, reach them how they already communicate. Ask your readers how they found out about you. Then ask them how they normally find out about new books and where they spend time. Go to those places and find more readers like them.

Publicity Tip 2

Traditional and Social Media Work Together

For example, use social media to announce and post photos from your signings and events (posting live is even better). Share links to reviews you’ve landed in print publications. Host in-person events where you invite your social media followers.

Publicity Tip 3

Do Your Research

When you reach out to traditional publicity venues like radio shows and newspapers, figure out how they want to be contacted and follow the rules and submission guidelines. Pay attention to preferred genres and areas of interest. For example, if you are calling a live outlet like radio and television, it’s critical that you not call them close to shooting hours. A newspaper journalist is more likely to take your phone call if you don’t call her before deadline.

Publicity Tip 4

In Your Pitch, Include Previous Speaking/Reviews

Let the outlet you are contacting know where you’ve spoken before or been reviewed or interviewed before. Especially for radio and television, it’s critical to demonstrate that you aren’t camera/radio shy! So even if you gave lectures on a different topic, it is good to let them know you have experience with public speaking or appearing on TV or radio.

Better to give them the name of a little-known reviewer and quote an interesting bit from their piece than to claim that some people think you’re the next big celebrity and wonder if your relatives or friends paid you to say so!

To find out how to apply these to your book come out to this Sunday’s meeting.

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Feb 19: Creatively Reaching Traditional Media with Publicist Cristina Deptula

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cristina-deptula-head-shotCristina Deptula is a former journalist and founder of the literary publicity company Authors, Large and Small. On February 19th, she will share practical advice on getting your work reviewed in traditional media like newspapers, literary magazines and radio shows. She will also offer advice on promoting your book through bookstores, reading groups, festivals and more. Deptula’s specific,creative and sensible advice will help your writing get you heard and mentioned.

Deptula specializes in helping writers identify what’s unique about their books and find and communicate with the people who would most be interested in reaching them. Every book has an audience—it’s a matter of finding them!

About the Speaker

Cristina Deptula’s company Authors, Large and Small has provided affordable and resourceful publicity for authors of all genres since January 2013. They leverage both traditional and online/social media.

MEETING SCHEDULE

MEETING SCHEDULE
12:00–1:00 – Craft Support Group
1:00–2:00 – Author Support Group
Simultaneously:
12:30–2:00 – Social Hour
2:00–2:30 – Break, Book Sale
2:30–3:00 – Announcements
3 :00–3:15 – CWC Featured Member: Tim Jollymore
3:15–4:30 – Cristina Deptula

MEETING LOCATION

We meet at ConneXion in Jack London Plaza at 520 3rd Street (View map). Our location is a 13-minute walk from City Center BART, and there is free street parking on the street plus we are very near the garage by the movie theater. The entrance on Fourth street is ADA accessible.

Admission
CWC Members: $5
Non-Members: $10

PDF Flyer of This Event


Upcoming Meetings

April 16 (Easter Sunday)

What They Never Told Me About Being a Writer
With Connie Hale

featured member: Tim Jollymore

June 18th

Marketing Your Book with Social Media
With Frances Caballo

featured member: JoAnn Ainsworth

SAT: Jack London Family Lore and Tree Rededication

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jack-london

Did you miss some of the Jack London Legacy Celebration 2016 events last year? Did you know that Jack London is a California Writers Club (CWC) co-founder? (Whether he was an actual founder or an honorary founder is lost in the mists of history. Historical records describe him as both.) Regardless, he inspires us all and the CWC initiated last year’s Jack London Celebration.

Please join our Celebration partners at the Jack London Tree Rededication Ceremony this Saturday. Jack’s great-great granddaughter Tarnel Abbott will share family lore.

Laurel Bookstore owner and Celebration partner Luan Stauss will then host a reception. She is always looking for authors to read at her store. If you do not know her, this is a great way to meet her.

Rededication of the Jack London Oak Tree

in Frank Ogawa Plaza

Saturday January 28th 11 a.m.

followed by a reception at Laurel Bookstore

 

Writing Memoir with Laila El-Sissi Nov 20th

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road to writing memoir cwc laila el-sissi.jpg

The Road to Writing Memoir with Laila El-Sissi

November 20th, Laila El-Sissi will guide us through her journey in writing a memoir about arranged marriage in Egypt. Topics include:

  • how to transcend cultural barriers in your writing
  • working with editors—how not to get flustered or discouraged or ripped off!
  • creating fictional characters to tell nonfictional stories

Laila El-Sissi will offer frank discussion on the challenges writers face and how to be clear in your conscience about presenting the true story.

Marketing and Craft Support Groups

Whether or not you ever plan to write a memoir, every CWC meeting offers a chance for you to improve your writing and our book sales.

Craft Support for Writers 12-1 p.m.

Our craft support group is a space for writers to discuss challenges in their manuscripts. Your best friend and your sweetie are sick of hearing about that story, essay, character or plot you just ite figure out. Here’s a space where you can crack open your toughest issues, and become a better writer.

Marketing Support for Writers 1-2 p.m.

In our Marketing Support Group, we discuss and problem-solve various issues with book marketing and publicity. Not clear on social media? Wondering what you should blog about? Curious about press releases? Bring your book marketing questions and our experienced authors will help you get to the bottom of it.

Meeting Schedule for Sunday, November 20th, at
Connexion in Jack London Square

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. — Club Business & Announcements
3 p.m. – CWC featured member
3:15-4 p.m. – Martha Alderson

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

Click here for more information about location and time.

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.

Our events are open to the public!

Our next program is

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! 

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