Half-Year Membership Special

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Join the club for half-price!

between January 1 and April 15

$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.

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SPEAKER: 1/20/19: “Creative Awakening in the New Year” with Albert Flynn DeSilver

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How do we take our writing to that next mysterious level? What are the steps we can take to stay focused, to stave off fear, doubt, and procrastination? What happens when life gets in the way? How does our writing practice open us up emotionally, psychologically, and even spiritually? What about editing, completion, agents, and publication? These questions and more will be discussed open-heartedly and deeply with poet, memoirist, and novelist, Albert Flynn DeSilver.

Marin County’s first poet laureate and our featured guest January 20th, Albert Flynn DeSilver

Albert Flynn DeSilver is an American poet, memoirist, novelist, speaker, and workshop leader.  Albert served as Marin County California’s very first Poet Laureate from 2008-2010. He is the author of several books of poems including Letters to Early Street, and his work has appeared in more than 100 literary journals worldwide. Albert is also the author of the memoir Beamish Boy, which was named a “Best Book of 2012” by Kirkus Reviews. His recent nonfiction book, Writing as a Path to Awakening: A Year to Becoming an Excellent Writer and Living an Awakened Life—based on his popular writing workshops by the same name—was published by Sounds True in 2017. Albert is also a master mindfulness meditation teacher and speaker having shared the stage with U.S poet laureate Kay Ryan, bestselling authors’ Cheryl Strayed, Elizabeth Gilbert, Maxine Hong Kingston and many others. He teaches writing and mindfulness workshops at the 1440 Multiversity, The Omega Institute, The Esalen Institute, Spirit Rock Meditation Center and literary conferences nationally. He lives in Northern California.

Learn more about Albert Flynn DeSilver at his website AlbertFlynnDeSilver.com

But Wait, There’s More!

Get Marketing Support, Get Your Craft Questions Answered, and Network with Other Writers…

Preservation Park

Be sure to arrive early to participate in the Craft and Marketing support groups. These are interactive conversations where you can talk to other writers to resolve the issues in your writing and your writers career. Make the commitment to be join us every third Sunday; your writing career is important and you deserve this. Non-members and guests can audit any of our critique & support groups before joining. 

Enjoy the buzz of our networking time from 2-2:30 p.m. Have some coffee and make some great connections!

MEETING SCHEDULE

12:00–1:00 – Craft Support Group
1:00–2:00 – Marketing Success Group

2:00–2:30 – Writer Networking
2:30–3:00 – Welcome, Raffle & Club Announcements

3:00–3:15 – CWC Featured member TBA!
3:15–4:00 – Keynote Albert Flynn DeSilver

NEW: 4:15 – CWC Open Mic! Bring up to 5 minutes to read out.

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

  • Coffee is provided, bring cookies and treats to share!
  • Admission includes 1 free raffle ticket; additional tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. Win a book written by our club authors!

*Empty pockets? Ask about our sponsored guest program at the door. We are committed to supporting writers.

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!

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

Winter Social for CWC Members

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Sunday December 16th

Feast & Share Your Best Holiday Writing

CWC Writers! It’s time to gather for our our second Winter Social at the swankiest club in town! Cover charge for members & guests is $10, but if you pre-purchased our discount meeting package this year, entry is included.

Reception at 5, Dinner at 6 & 7 p.m.

We’ll bring the wine for the reception at 5 p.m., and additionally you can purchase dinner seatings for 6 or 7 p.m. There are two options for the three-course dinner: red snapper or Indian tagine over quinoa (vegan).

Bring Writing of Good Cheer for our Contest!

Polish up your best holiday writing for our party contest! Fresh or previously published poems, short stories (under 1000 words), songs, skits, and letters of good cheer, especially about “the gifty part of the year” are what we are after!

MEMBERS: RSVP & Get Your Ticket today!

Pre-purchase your ticket and dinner via Paypal, or RSVP and pay at the door. Members may invite up to 4 guests.

Please dress to fit the opulence of the Bellevue and the spirit of the season—no jeans! 

Write with Us Next Saturday

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November 24th at 1 p.m.
Octopus Literary Salon
2101 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94612

Join us Saturday at the Octopus Literary Salon for an afternoon of quiet writing. Bring your favorite writing tools and order drinks, lunch, or stay afterwards for dinner. At 6 p.m., the Octopus will host a Small Business Saturday. As we write, the Octopus Salon will be decorating, hosting a gift bazaar, and getting festive for an evening bluegrass jubilee.

Thanksgiving out of the way, this event is the day after Black Friday/Plaid Friday/Buy Nothing Day, a perfect Saturday to focus on GETTING SOME WRITING DONE. 

This event is free and open to the public and co-hosted by Authors Large & Small.

See you Sunday! + Interview with Historical Fiction Novelist Linda McCabe

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It’s California Writers Week! This is an annual observation to “encourage the people of the State of California to reflect upon the contributions that California writers have made to humankind,” since 2003.

We will be meeting this Sunday, like every 3rd Sunday, for our monthly day of writerly activities. Networking at 2 p.m., Club meeting at 2:30, Featured club author Alice Jurow at 3 p.m., and our Keynote speaker Linda McCabe at 3:15. Come early for our Craft Group at 12 p.m. and our Marketing Success Group at 1 p.m., and stay late for our new Open Mic at 4:15! (The support groups are for members but guests may audit before joining the club.)

Interview with Linda McCabe

 

Our October speaker, Linda McCabe, is inspired by classical works, particularly the story of Orlando Furioso, a 16th century Italian work that is connected to the 10th century French “Song of Roland.” What do laboratory science, magical creatures, Harry Potter, a Muslim/Christian holy war, Kick-ass heroines and beta readers have to do with each other? Our speaker chair Cristina Deptula did a lengthy interview on her website Lois Lane Investigates Authors, and we’ve excerpted some highlights here.

How do you know when you’ve done enough research and you’re ready to write? 

linda-mccabe-quote-octThis is a gut feeling. There’s a point when I feel like I am procrastinating more than I am doing research. Sometimes I just have to shift gears and stop researching if the aspect I am trying to understand isn’t “knowable” or maybe isn’t all that important. I spent over a week wondering about diapering in the middle ages. This was all because I wanted to have a character do some action in a scene with her baby. I started imagining the characters in my setting and thought of where would the dirty diaper would be placed. Then I wondered how the diaper would be closed, (did they have diaper pins?) How often would they wash them? How many diapers would a noble household have for a baby?
Some research suggested that babies might not have been put in diapers at all. Instead, the parents would watch them carefully and hold them at arm’s length over straw to absorb urine flow.

I considered this matter for too long. I was obsessing over a minor detail that did not enhance or further the plot. I decided to take it out and not “go there.” Instead, I described the baby as been freshly bathed in the scene.

I notice you also write essays and editorials in addition to your  historical fiction. Would you agree with the advice I myself heard as an aspiring novelist, to get other pieces of writing published before you  go out there to agents and publishers with a first novel?

linda-mccabe-quote-tall-octWhile I believe that publication credits are important to demonstrate your authority as a writer, they aren’t as important to an agent as the sample pages of your completed novel. Writing an article or short story is like running a 100 yard dash while writing a novel is more like running a marathon.

Perfecting the art of the query letter or verbal pitching to an agent in order to get the request to submit sample pages is a different skill set than regular writing. Once you get the go-ahead to send your manuscript and synopsis, your overall craft will be on full view. The agent and subsequent potential publishers will only green light a publishing contract based on the strength of your finished product and not because you had an op-ed published in the LA Times.

Honestly, I think getting a pithy book description will do more for you with agents and publishers than having multiple credits to your name. However, it is a different matter if you are writing non-fiction. If you had publication credits in magazines or peer-reviewed journals and you were submitting a book proposal on the same topic – it might help influence the decision of the agent/publisher to sign you as a client/author.

 

Ask Linda McCabe your own questions this Sunday, October 21st at our monthly meeting.

linda-mccabe-oct-cwc-berkeley

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

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