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.

feb-writing-event-oakland-traditional-book-publicity

 

 

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

Jan 15: Best-Selling Writer Joshua Mohr’s Innovative Approach to Plot and Character

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Josh_mohr_CWC_plaracterization_event

The Kiss between Plot and Character
with Best-Seller Joshua Mohr

Sunday Jan 15th 12-4 p.m.

Learn an exciting new approach to writing from an author whose books have been praised by The New York Times, The SF Chronicle, and O magazine. Josh Mohr’s unique voice won him the Northern California Book Award. This Sunday he teaches what he calls plaracterization (plot + characterization).

The best plots aren’t controlled by the author. They spring from the characters themselves. The writer masterminds all things, yes, but the more we as writers realize that our characters are sovereign beings with independent consciousnesses, the better prepared we are to traverse plaracterization. The third Sunday in January, let Josh Mohr show you how to apply this technique to your own writing.

About Joshua Mohrbest-sellinga author Josh Mohr

JOSHUA MOHR is the author of five novels, including Damascus, which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He’s also written Fight Song and Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as Termite Parade, an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times. His novel All This Life recently won the Northern California Book Award. He is the executive editor at Decant Editorial, and his first book of nonfiction, a memoir called Sirens, is due out January 2017. Check out his site joshuamohr.net for more info.

Meeting Schedule for Sunday, Jan 15th, at
Connexion in Jack London Square

MEETING SCHEDULE

12:00–1:00 – Author Support Group
1:00–2:00 – Craft 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: Bobbie Kinkead
3:15–4:30 – Joshua Mohr

Admission

CWC Members: $5
Non-Members: $10

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

Click here for more information about location and time.

Here’s a flyer for this event you can download and share: cwc-flyer-joshua-mohr-edited

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Oct. 16th: The Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson

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How to Best Use Major Moments to Create Excitement
and a Deep Emotional Bond with Your Readers

Martha Alderson plot whispererSunday Oct 16th We Plot, and
The Plot Whisperer Will Answer
Our Plot Quandries via Skype

Five major scenes or moments in a story carry energetic surges that are powerful enough to turn the dramatic action of the story in an entirely new direction, create an entirely new level of intensity in the story, and contribute to its thematic significance. Whenever possible, identify these four energetic markers early in the writing process.

At Sunday’s meeting Martha Alderson, AKA the Plot Whisperer, will show you how to identify and make the most of these crucial energetic markers in your plot. She’ll teach us to “show” plot and school us in the Universal Story.

About Sunday’s Speaker, Martha Alderson

Martha Alderson is a historical novelist and the best-selling author of The Plot Whisperer. More recently, she has expanded her work to include helping people transform their creative lives. She has authored 6 additional plot books, including her newest release Writing Blockbuster Plots: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Plot, Structure, and Scenes, and produced 4 online video programs for writers.

She just released her historical novel Parallel Lives. Martha takes readers and writers alike beyond the words and into the very heart of a story. She lives and writes in Santa Cruz and blogs about writing and a writer’s life at the award-winning Plot Whisperer blog.

A Tech Milestone for CWC!

We Gather, But Martha Skypes

Please note, we will gather at the usual location in Jack London Square, but our speaker will be answering our questions on the big video projection screen, via Skype. We’re excited about the ways we can use this technology to bring more and better speakers. Hate this idea? Love this idea? Then you’ll have to come to the meeting to let us know!

Meeting Schedule for Sunday, October 16th, 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.

Click here to download a printable PDF flyer of this info

9/18 CWC EVENT—”Pitch Slam” with Francine Howard

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cwc logo - b/wThe California Writers Club—Berkeley Branch

     WELCOMES YOU BACK

to a Brand New Year (2016-17)

with a

PITCH SLAM!

Well, maybe not a “slam” per se but this mini-workshop will be your chance to perfect that one minute speech that opens the door to publication!

WHO’S IT FOR? All Writers. Have you ever been asked, “What’s your novel, non- fiction book, magazine article, journalism piece about?” Sure you have. And how have you responded? “Uhh,” or worse yet, you ramble on for ten minutes while the ears of your listener long for a thick wad of cotton.

But I’ve Not Finished My Project Yet: Great! If you can crystalize the point of your project into one minute, your writing will flow both better and faster. You NEED a pitch.

WHY IS A PITCH IMPORTANT? If you want to publish your book, convince a newspaper editor to accept your article for publication, or complete your project, then you’ve got to convince that decision-maker of the strength/uniqueness of your special offering.

                                            We’re Here to Help!

WHEN: Sunday, September 18, 2016. Meeting 12:00-4:00 (Pitch Practice 3:00-4:00)

WHERE: ConneXion: Third Street, Jack London Square,Oakland

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bestselling author, CWC Member Francine Thomas Howard

HOW DO YOU PREPARE? Come to the meeting with your pitch condensed to ONE minute. (Yes, I’ll have a stop watch.) After you’ve delivered your words of supreme intelligence, your fellow writers will give you feedback. You will remain silent. You can then judge if your pitch has conveyed your writing intentions.

WHO WILL MODERATE THIS FUN EVENT?” Me, Francine Thomas Howard. I’ve had a little bit of practice at this sort of thing. My latest traditionally published novel reached #3 (released August 1, 2016) in the paid Kindle Store and, yes, I had to pitch it.

ALL ATTENDEES INVITED TO PARTICIPATE!

$10 Public ~ $5 for CWC Members

Our featured CWC author this month is John Byrne Barry.

Meeting Schedule for Sunday, June 19th, 2016:

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
3:15-4 p.m. – Pitch Slam!

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

Click here for more information about location and time.

Daughter Official Cover

 

Francine Thomas Howard is the author of four novels—three of them published by Lake Union, the historical fiction wing of traditionally-published Amazon Publishing.  Ms. Howard’s latest novel, The Daughter of Union County, won top billing as the lone representative for Historical Fiction in Amazon’s prestigious Kindle First program for July.  This program reaches millions of select readers on five continents.  Ms. Howard’s novel, touching on controversial topics—racial passing in turn-of-the-20th-century-Arkansas, oil and grab, mistreatment of women, betrayal, greed, and murder—ranked as high as #3 in the paid Kindle store.  Daughter sold over 17,000 copies in its first seven weeks to readers in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, Denmark, and the United States.

Ms. Howard is current Vice President of the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club.   She credits lessons learned at a CWC-BB sponsored critique group as key to her pitch submission leading to her first Amazon contract.  Page from a Tennessee Journal, released March 2010, has sold nearly 35,000 copies and continues to sell monthly to readers around the world.  Though Ms. Howard is a novelist, she has also crafted a non-fiction pitch—one that landed her a literary agent.  She feels privileged to share lessons learned at the CWC-BB with her fellow writers.

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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