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


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.

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


Write Angles: May 2019

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Read the entire newsletter here

The Wind In Your Sails

Some words from your captain/president

In the big book of work-life balance, writing fits in both categories for most of us. In Chapter seven of my memoir, Perfectly Revolting: My Glamorous Cartooning Career, “Doodling for Dollars,” I write: 

There are five or six ways to have art in your life when you’re living in the real world.

1) drawing for free
2) drawing on the job
3) drawing as a job
4) drawing off the clock
5) getting successfully published
6) becoming independently wealthy.

Insert “writing” for “drawing” and you’ve got the setup for our May panel, The Working Writer. Come meet our interesting panelists on May 19th, and share your p.o.v..  Sheryl Bize-Boutte is the first to chime in… check out her piece in “The Writing Life,” in the newsletter.

Now, volunteering for the CWC is both work-related for those of us working writers, and life-related for those of us who find any sort of happiness in helping and working with others. 

posing with the Jack London Award & CWC sealEvery other year, the CWC gives out an award to one volunteer in each of its branches who has gone “above and beyond” in supporting the club. When I received the 2017 Jack London Award, it felt SO good to be recognized for my efforts that I volunteered even more! 

> With uber-volunteers JoAnn Ainsworth and Kymberlie Ingalls, plus fellow Jack London Award Winner Linda Brown, I pose with the 1913 woodcut that became our club seal. Other Jack London Award Winners from this branch include David Baker, Anne Fox, and Lucille Bellucci.

And at a board meeting earlier this spring, it was such a pleasure to ask Karma Bennett to leave the room for a second so I could nominate her for this year’s award. The consent was unanimous and uproarious!

Karma has been your web mistress, your workshop host, and even your president! She sets up our meetings, month after month! Karma is the first and last person to hold up her hand when volunteers are requested, whether or not she’s got the time. She’s always eager to explain something or juggle something or hold the door. Karma has been a force of playfulness and possibility in this club since the day she arrived, and is always willing to offer her advice and support. Karma will be honored by the Central Board at a luncheon here in Oakland on July 21st.

More calendar notes: May 19th is our last meeting at Preservation Park this year. (It’s also our election! Come cast your vote!) Reserve NOW for our June 5th workshop on setting and plan to attend our club party and book launch at the Octopus on June 15th before we break for summer. We might be looking for a new home come September…. Then it’s California Writers Week in October and Litquake and then who wants to run away to the islands with me in November? The Kauai Writers Conference has offered our club members a 20% discount off attendance fees. Let me know if you’re interested.

                                           Sail On,

 —Kristen Caven
 Berkeley Branch Captain a.k.a. President, 2017-2019

 Author, The Souls of Her Feet
 Co-author, The Bullying Anditote

See You Sunday + Monday is EarthDay

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SUNDAY! Bring a notebook or laptop and get clear on your next novel!

MONDAY! IT’S TIME. Post your climate commitment statements online, add #wolfpackwriters. Get and give inspiration.


Members craft & marketing groups start at 12pm;
networking from 2-2:30.
Our speakers begin at 3 and …
we wrap things up at 4.

Catch our speaker, the amazing Beth Barany, online! Dial in after the meeting right here!.


Members of the Wolf Pack Writers Action Group will be releasing their climate commitment statements on social media. Please join us! Here’s all you have to do:

  • In one paragraph, include your reasons for joining the pack, your intentions as a writer, and a call to action or encouragement for other writers to raise our voices about changing the course of our climate catastrophe.
  • Record yourself reading your climate commitment statement, with or without video, and post it on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Soundcloud, anywhere… on, before, or after Earth Day on Monday, April 22. (Declare every day as Earth Day!) Use the tag #wolfpackwriters and feel free to share links to other actions.
  • We also invite you to join the Wolf Pack WAG FB Group and share your statement, plus resources for other writers. Memes, links, ideas, movements…start howling!

Write Angles: April 2019

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Read the entire newsletter here

The Wind In Your Sails

Some words from your captain/president

It’s spring and today for some reason I am thinking about eggs. Eggs! There are good ones and bad ones; they come before and after chickens; they are delicate and ubiquitous, beautiful in form, mysterious in their inscrutability, and downright miraculous in their function. Eggs are potent symbols in literature, and inspiring poetry prompts! They are both delicious and nutritious. (Also, have you ever given your dog an egg to play with? They get all wolfy. Hilarious.)

I once even had a mystical egg experience! On New Years Day, 2016. I split open a dozen boiled eggs to bring to a party, only to find they were already “bedeviled” —eight of them had double yolks! What an omen that was for the astonishing and divisive year that followed! (And yet, I must add, they were quite delicious.)

For some reason I was thinking about eggs while reading Chapter Four of Gary Durbin’s sci-fi novel, Nano-Uncertainty, which features intelligent little orbs but really has nothing to do with any of the above. However, in a way, cracking the cover of a book is like cracking an egg. You get to all this good stuff inside, for it to take life in your own mind. And cracking open a book is like cracking open a writer. In our club we all know each other as people but until we crack open each other’s books, each other’s writings, we cannot really begin to fully understand each other. We find out how truly diverse and interesting each one of us is, behind our smooth (or brightly colored) exterior.

Meanwhile, the Catholic church always seems to schedule Easter in direct conflict with our monthly 3rd-Sunday meeting, no matter how many letters I write asking them to change it! This year, though, we’re outsmarting the system with technology! For years, people have been asking if we could put our speakers and meetings online, and we’ve finally “cracked the code” thanks to the up-and-running business of another incredibly capable writer and teacher who is also now a club member. So if you need to spend Sunday, April 21 doing egg-related activities, no worries! Thanks to Beth Baranyyou can see the lecture online, at your convenience! Scroll down for details, or just register NOW at this link.

April, what else? Showers! Flowers! Taxes! Endless reasons to write. If you write NOTHING ELSE this month, write a note to the nomination committee (below, in yellow), with the name of that person whose book you read (or want to read) who you think is smart and could really help this club sail smoothly. Even if it’s YOU. And if you get a phone call that YOU’ve been nominated, think seriously about it. If you have to say ‘no’ to the position, please consider what else you could contribute. 

Ask not what your club can do for you, ask what you can do for your club.

I am about to complete my second year as your captain president. There are some who are egging me on to continue. I would be honored to serve another year so that I can continue to shape and strengthen the club (we want to expand our membership, create more connection and community)—BUT life is hinting that it might soon pile more surprises on my plate. I don’t want to end up with egg on my face, so I’d love to find a successor to groom into taking a turn at the helm. Do you see yourself stepping into my shoes? (They’re pretty fabulous…) Call me if you have any questions. 

                                           Sail On,

 —Kristen Caven
 Berkeley Branch Captain a.k.a. President, 2017-2019

 Author, The Souls of Her Feet
 Co-author, The Bullying Anditote

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