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.

April 19th, 2020

Our next meeting will take place on ZOOM.
Register today!

Think Like an Editor:
7 Self-Editing and Revision Tips
with Tanya Egan Gibson

It’s our half-year/half-price membership special!
Click here to commit to your writing career.


Upcoming speakers Spring 2020: Jan Steckel on activism, Tanya Egan on editing, Andy Ross on finding an agent, & a panel discussion featuring local Small Press publishers.



3/15 – Our first Virtual Meeting!

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As the world shifts into a new gear… please join us ONLINE for our meeting tomorrow, not in person!

You’ve seen the interviews with Jennifer Joseph of Manic D. Press, Daniel Zarazura of Pochino Press, and J.K. Fowler of Nomadic Press. Bear with us tomorrow as we attempt to bring them all together on the small screen!

At 1pm, please open the Facebook Event and look for the Livecast event. https://www.facebook.com/events/500708377382765/permalink/644271793026422/ Feel free to post questions in the comments.

After the panel wraps up around 2:30, we will take a short break and then come back again for the “Journalology” presentation by Terry at 3pm. Watch for a link to his powerpoint presentation.

Payment online will be on the honor system. (—Germs like paper money!) 
• Here’s the payment link for members: http://paypal.me/cwcbb/5 and
• Here’s the one for guests: http://paypal.me/cwcbb/10

A HUGE shout-out to our hard-working board members who have not only pulling together this year’s panel but worked flexibly through the panic!

Like never before,
Sail On!

Kristen Caven

President 2017-2020


“Lit in the Time of Corona”



Hello writers!

Many are asking if our meeting is canceled. The answer is NO, but we hope it will be a small group. We all need to work together to create “community immunity” against this virus, but we also recognize the importance of being together as we can, and doing our work. Books are everyone’s best friend in “self-isolation,” and great writing happens in isolation as well. To this end, we are still having all THREE of our events this busy weekend, with a few cautions and changes.

On Saturday, 3/14, our Wolf Pack WAG Write-In at The Local in Alameda with To Live and Write in Alameda and 100K Trees for Humanity will be “body optional.” Join us at the café, or stay where you are to write. Check in on our FaceBook event when you “arrive” (open your laptop at 2pm) and click the posted link for an information & inspiration document. You can work on whatever you like with us, with a focus on solving the climate crisis.

On Sunday, 3/15, our Panel on Small Press Editors will be recorded for YouTube and live-streamed on our Facebook Page. Our Marketing Success Group will meet online in our CWC Marketing Support Group. And we’ll change the time of our afternoon craft workshop, Journalology with Terry Tierney, to 3-5pm (instead of 4-6.)

At the meeting (which we expect to be well under 20 people), we’ll all keep space between ourselves, keep our hands clean, and try to only touch our own stuff. If you have any concerns or are feeling at all unwell, please stay home and take care of yourself! 

Now more than ever…
Sail On!

Kristen Caven

President 2017-2020


3/15 WORKSHOP—”Journalology” with Terry Tierney


SPECIAL EVENT: Journalology: Submitting Your Work to Literary Journals 3-5p.m. at our meeting location in Preservation Park.

At our next monthly meeting, we have a unique offering in lieu of our 4pm CRAFT GROUP. Craft group leader Terry Tierney will be offering a 2-hour, hands-on workshop on the literary submission process to kick-start our club’s new identified goals of supporting writers in this crucial task.

PRICE: Included with meeting: $10 public/$5 members More info here.

Literary journals are the proto-stars of the literary universe. Most famous authors appear first in journals, and established authors often use journals to “try out” new or experimental work. Many journals are open to new authors and genre-stretching creative work that might not have a chance with mainstream publishers. This includes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. There are thousands of online and print journals looking for contributors, and all you need is one editor to like your submission. By publishing in journals you can kick off your literary career, build up some credits, and experience the thrill of publication. This workshop will discuss how to research journals, prepare your work for submission, and track your submissions, along with some useful tips.

Terry Tierney is a writer who hails from the Midwest, but has planted roots in the San Francisco Bay Area. After serving in the Seabees, he completed his BA and MA at Binghamton University, and earned a PhD in Victorian Literature at Emory University. He taught college composition and creative writing courses, and survived several Silicon Valley startups as a software engineer. Tierney’s work has appeared in over fifty publications. His poetry collection, The Poet’s Garage, will be published in May by Unsolicited Press. His irreverent Vietnam-era road novel Lucky Ride (Unsolicited Press), is set to release in 2022.

Learn more about Terry at terrytierney.com.

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.

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!

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