Write Angles: March 2019

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The Wind in Your Sails

I woke up one morning and thought: What if I woke up one morning knowing we only had twelve years to save the planet? What else could I do that I’m not doing now?

At the CWC Berkeley board meeting this month, there were five talented writers sitting around the table going through the painstaking business of keeping this club going. As I struggled to get to the end of the agenda before we all had to rush off, this agitated inner voice yelled, “If we only have twelve years to keep global warming below 1.5°c, why am I bothering with this? Is this the best use of my time and energy?” Everyone stared at me. I guess I had kind of said it out loud?

Then someone else said, “I was just thinking the same thing.”

There was a rush of emotion in the room, and for a minute we all considered putting a “closed until the world is saved” sign on the CWC website, so we could turn our full attention to climate activism. But then someone mentioned Thomas Paine, and someone else mentioned the Prague Uprising, and before we knew it we were having another meeting to discuss the role our local and statewide club might play in changing this dangerous course of history. 

Jack London’s a libris

Sometimes as writers we do our best work with a deadline. Let’s work under pressure, together. Someone suggested the name “Wolf Pack Writers” for our club’s new writers action group, inspired by Jack London’s love of nature and activist writings. How can we encourage our members to work individually and together on creating understanding and action around this unfolding climate catastrophe? Billions of past decisions created this crisis. What if the writers in our club could help all of our our readers and leaders through the billions of decisions we must make now? 

Here come the lyrics. I wrote, once, about the “Seven C’s of the CWC” and here are seven more for humanity: through conservation, connection, and community, we can fight problems created by consumption, convenience, consumerism, and conveyance. In the next twelve years, every planetary traveler will need the encouragement of our motto, “Sail On,” in some form or another, to persevere through desperate times and keep focused on the human strengths that can transform society and stabilize our home planet.

Kristen Caven is author of The Souls of Her Feet 

Watch for announcements on how to get involved. In the meantime, please leave a comment about the writing YOU are doing to help calm the climate.

We’ll see you at this month’s events!

                                           Sail On,
Kristen Caven
Berkeley Branch Captain a.k.a. President

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See you Sunday!

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We are so excited to welcome Aquelia Lewis-Ross as our speaker on Sunday. Come and get inspired by this energetic and open-hearted poet, radio producer, journalist, activist, community storyteller. We’ll talk about the healing power of poetry to bring up emotions that need to be heard. Aqueila has been reading all over the East Bay of late, often in support of a good cause or to illuminate social injustices, and usually with an adorable baby on her hip! Here’s all the details…

Lucille Bellucci will be opening for Aquelia with her story,  Flammable Grudges, about dealing with injustice & emotions in a NOT so good way…. The story will be published in the West Texas Literary Review. Here’s more about Lucille!!

Meanwhile, our many club members who are soaking up (and creating) literary vibes at the San Francisco Writers Conference this weekend say HELLO!

Finally, don’t forget it’s our half-year special! Join the club between January 1 and April 15 for half-price.

$22.50 + $20 enrollment fee = $42.50

We also need your Application!

Read more about membership benefits and details on the membership page.

Three ways to join:

  1. Fill out the online membership form and pay via Paypal (includes bank fee), or
  2. Download a paper membership form and mail in with a check (see bottom of membership page), or
  3. Come to a meeting and join on the spot!

With questions or special membership categories, send an email to members.cwc.berkeley@gmail.com.

See you on Sunday!

Coffee and tea are provided, bring something to share!

Write Angles: February 2019

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read the entire newsletter here

The Wind In Your Sails

Some words from your president

February is the month of love, and it’s also Black History Month, a time to expand our focus on who has really shaped the world. The California Writers Club, going strong (or strong-ish) since 1909 (yes, it’s our 110th birthday), has been traditionally made up of mostly white writers, but we represent many cultures now, and the future is what we make it. Muses don’t discriminate based on color, race, or particular body parts. All of our voices are important, and all of us in this club support each other in getting our writing read, our voices heard.

We tend to use the iconic Jack London and Joaquin Miller as symbols, but this club has been shaped by many many others. Our amazing Karma Bennett has created a new marketing image for our Facebook and Twitter banners that better represents the diversity of historic East Bay writers, and of our club, today and moving forward.

How many faces can you name in this crowd? Take the quiz and see if you’re right. While you’re there, you can VOTE on a new slogan as well! You could win a prize!

If you’re going to the San Francisco Writers conference this month, stop by the CWC booth and say hi! If you’re not there on Sunday, I hope it’s because you’ll be at our February 17th meeting. I met this month’s speaker, the impressive Aqueila M. Lewis-Ross, at Joaquin Miller Park a few years ago, when our club did an open mic in collaboration with another arts group. She read a poem as the sun set, and just radiated with love and beauty—turns out her story about finding that magic is quite powerful. We have another open mic collaboration set up for May, who knows what will come of that? Scroll to the bottom for info.

Don’t forget we are running our annual half-year half-price membership special! Through April 1, only $42.50Be sure to fill in your application before you send payment! You can also pay with a check.

Check out all of the news this month in the full version of Write Angles.

Feel and share the love this month!

                                           Sail On,

Kristen Caven
Berkeley Branch Captain a.k.a. President

See You Tomorrow! Start the Year Right with a Marketing Plan.

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Is your writing poised for flight this year? There are still a few spots left in tomorrow’s Marketing Calendar workshop with Karma Bennett!

Create a Marketing Plan Workshop promo image

Hello Writers,

We’re gearing up to start a year of great support for writers! Don’t miss tomorrow’s planning workshop! 

A Workshop for Writers: Create a Marketing Plan with Karma Bennett

A few last minute details:

1) TIME CHANGE – the event will go from 11-2pm, not 3pm as stated in the flyer. This won’t affect the length of the presentation and workshop; it just means we’ll work through lunch rather than breaking for lunch. (Room will be closed at 2:30pm)

2) Come a little early to find street parking. If there are no spaces IN Preservation Park, you will find one on surrounding streets (MLK and 12th is the closest corner.) We are just 3 blocks from 12th Street Bart – a very nice walk.

3) There are still some spaces open if you would like to bring a friend! Who do you know that is working on getting their writing poised for flight this year? Tickets are $40 at the door/$20 for members. 

4) We are having our half-year Membership Special starting now! Only $42.50 and if you are not a member yet we can apply your ticket price appropriately at the door.

Ready to plan 2019? Let’s do this!

See you tomorrow!

Kristen Caven
www.kristencaven.com

President 2018-2019
berkeley.cwc@gmail.com

CWC-Berkeley.org

Time to Renew… or to Join!

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Hello Writers!

We had a lively kick-off last Sunday, learning lessons from the roller coaster of Marty Nemko’s prolific career and imagining a different world with featured member Patricia McBroom. Let’s sail into the season and get our words heard!

Our membership renewal window is closing, so please renew now if you have not done so already. After October 1, those renewing will have to pay the $20 initiation fees to reinstate.

If you haven’t joined yet, now is the best time! (and here are the payment link and application!) Our monthly speaker series provides information that every writer can use, and our ongoing support groups, critique circles and collectives help us all write better together. (We have some pretty great parties, too!) This year, watch for more writing retreats and workshops, plus our presence at the San Francisco Writers Conference and the Bay Area Book Festival.

At our next meeting on October 21 we’ll hear longtime CWC mover and shaker Linda McCabe talk about the delights and demands of writing historical fiction. Anyone who loves to travel for research should enjoy this talk!

We know you love to write, so if you prefer to write a check, our address is CWC Berkeley, P.O. Box 11269, Oakland, CA 94611. It’s $45 for membership plus a one-time $20  initiation fee. (It’s better than drinking a gallon of pickle juice, you have to admit.)

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 —Kristen Caven, president

See You Sunday! Bookstore Owners Panel

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No one knows the book biz like the people who handle books every day. Come and hear what local bookstore owners have to say about their life behind the counter, in the stacks, reading the industry rags and catalogs catalogs catalogs. How does YOUR book fit in to the bookstore universe? Bring questions and be prepared to take lots of notes! Now here’s President Kristen’s column from this month’s newsletter….

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Wind in Your Sails

Some words from your president

One of my happiest moments as a writer was my first book launch at Laurel Bookstore. There were so many lumps and bumps to the process, but Luan was so encouraging. “Fun will not be denied,” she declared! I learned so much from her, and continue to learn. Now you can, too!

Instead of having one speaker at our March 18th meeting, we’ll have three local bookstore owners. Our speaker chair, Kymberlie Ingalls, will be moderating a conversation between Luan Stauss of Laurel Bookstore, Kathleen Caldwell of A Great Good Place for Books, and Bob Fisher of Walden Pond.  All of these beloved business leaders are incredibly supportive of local authors!

We’ll be talking about their roles as bookstore owners/buyers, and their relationship with authors. They will offer tips and advice for writers who wish to cultivate a relationship with a bookstore, how they deal with Amazon authors, and much more.

Then mark your calendars for Saturday, June 16th, when all of our club authors will celebrate recently published titles at our end-of-year party at Laurel Bookstore!

Between now and then, we will continue to grow our club in leaps and bounds. (Did you know we started the year with 60 members and now have 90?) It’s time to select the new leaders who will help our branch work smoothly and happily next year. What are your skills and how can they help the club? What would you like to learn? Hosting events? Talking to people? Are you any good at writing? There are lots of jobs for that! Contact Nomination Committee chair Christine Volker for information.

Sail On,

Kristen Caven

Kristen at the Helm… hang on!

 

#GivingTuesday and giving back

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Thank you to an anonymous donor who has offered a $200 challenge grant for our branch of the California Writers Club! Let’s maximize this contribution to energize our mission to support and educate writers. Our continued work brings fresh voices to literary culture and creates a stronger arts community in the East Bay.

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Our ongoing fundraising program is our monthly raffle. One lucky person who attends our monthly meetings wins a book by one of our authors! Another lucky person wins a bottle of wine or specialty consumable. Club authors, please donate a book or a bottle. One raffle ticket is FREE with meeting fee ($5 members/$10 public) and more are for sale for $1 each or 6 for $5.

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A small sample of our member offerings!

Our members donate books, time, writing, and money to help other nonprofits.

  • One of our members just donated in the name of CWC to Chapter 510 & the Land of Make Believe, which supports youth writing and voices. Another of our members started a support group to nurture young writers.
  • Several members have been published in anthologies that are fundraisers, like this one with proceeds going to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, and the ACLU.
  • Our president, Kristen Caven, arranged the donation of 3000 copies of her book to parent organizations to help understand and end bullying.
  • Our speaker chair, Kymberlie Ingalls, is hosting an annual comedy show and auction to fundraise for Toys for Tots and the Bay Area Collective… Donate toys and books and get your tickets now ($20) for this fun, Sunday, December 10 event at PF Changs in Walnut Creek!

 

Please post other donation opportunities in the comments. Happy Giving Tuesday!

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