CWC Summer Social—July 23rd at Heinold’s

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There will be no statewide picnic in Joaquin Miller Park this year, our club’s original “home base,” but we will once again be holding an “open house” for all “California Writers.”

(That’s a lot of “quotation marks.” We writers sure know how to use our tools, don’t we?)

Join the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club at Jack London’s favorite hangout, Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon in Jack London Square, from 3:30-5:30pm on Sunday, July 23rd. No-host bar & lots and lots of writers.

We welcome all California Writers, and invite you to come and see if joining the club will benefit your writing career.

happy hour-kristen-copy

P.S. Although this is an “open house,” Jack London’s cabin won’t actually be open but you can learn about this important founding member of our branch.

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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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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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

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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! 

Magic of Memoir—SPECIAL for CWC members

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The MAGIC OF MEMOIR 2016 conference is happening October 15-16 in beautiful downtown Oakland at the Marriott Hotel—overlooking San Francisco and the Bay—an amazing venue with panoramic views and fantastic food. 

This conference is being co-led by memoir experts Brooke Warner and Linda Joy Myers. They also have two expert panels—with renowned memoirists and three agents who will give individuated attention and advice as part of the Pitch-a-thon. Read all about it on MagicOfMemoir.com.

One of the best things about an event like this is the networking and connection with fellow memoirists. Last year’s participants made friends for life, and Brooke and Linda Joy are excited to offer CWC members this deep discount on the weekend.  

Don’t hesitate to be in touch with Brooke Warner directly if you have any questions: brooke@warnercoaching.com

SATURDAY

Getting Started with Your Memoir

  • Find your category and themes, create a structure that works, and discover techniques to get started.

5 Key Elements of a Successful Memoir

  • Straight to the point, here’s what you need to master: scenes, narration, theme, characterization, and takeaway. We are going to hit the ground running.

How to Map Your Memoir

  • This session is focused on proven strategies to turn your memories into scenes.

THE MAGIC OF MEMOIR: Why We Write Memoir

  • Three courageous panelists (all published memoirists) talk about this craft we all love—and what keeps them coming back for more.

SATURDAY, 7-9 PM

RECEPTION AT DESCO (nearby bar)

  • Join Linda Joy, Brooke, and your fellow memoirists for drinks and conversation at Desco, just two blocks from the Oakland Marriott.

Register Today | CWC Member Discount Link

“An awe-inspiring weekend! The valuable information and resources were amazing. The connections, inspiration and motivation invaluable.” —Jean Wells, Magic of Memoir 2015
“The event was really well planned—everything ran smoothly and I learned so much. I was challenged to rethink structure and to really get at my truth.” —Marianne Rossi, Magic of Memoir 2015

SUNDAY

Scene Intensive

  • There is nothing more important in memoir writing than mastering scenes. Understanding scene is the key to writing your whole book—and this intensive is geared toward locking in this skill set for good.

Writing Exercise

  • This one-hour writing session opens with a prompt and is designed to get you practicing some of the elements of craft you will have absorbed during the weekend.

Platform and Pitching

  • How important is platform really? This session will explore why agents and publishers care so much about author platform—and why it’s easier than you might think to start building the foundation of your own right away.

PITCH-A-THON!

  • Yep, we’re doing it. A real-live pitching session to practice your skills on agents. Participants will be drawn from a pool of interested memoirists.

WHAT AGENTS ARE LOOKING FOR: Agents Talk about the Secrets to Getting Published

  • Three agents talk about what they’re looking for—and give tips to help memoirists better prepare themselves for the experience of shopping to the pros.

Raffle

  • We’ll be giving away tons of great prizes, including a Kindle Fire, consulting time, and many other valuable prizes for writers. You get 2 free raffle tickets when you register for the Summit!

Register Today | CWC Member Discount Link

“I learned how difficult and brave it is to write your best work. A great experience all around!” —Lori Nicholson, Magic of Memoir 2015

PANELS & INSTRUCTORS

We are excited to announce a talented and experienced roster of guests who will be joining us for two lively panels about the writing process and getting publishing your memoir.SATURDAY PANEL: THE MAGIC OF MEMOIR: WHY WE WRITE MEMOIR

SUNDAY PANEL: WHAT AGENTS ARE LOOKING FOR: AGENTS TALK ABOUT THE SECRETS TO GETTING PUBLISHED

READ MORE ABOUT ALL THE PRESENTERS.

YOUR INSTRUCTORS

LINDA JOY MYERS, PhD
ljm-bio-photo_smLinda Joy Myers is the president and founder of theNational Association of Memoir Writers. She is the author of The Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, Becoming Whole, and the award-winning memoir Don’t Call Me Mother, which won the BAPIA Gold Medal prize. Her workbook Journey of Memoir was published by She Writes Press in 2013.
BROOKE WARNER
Warner-headshotBrooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press,president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Green-Light Your Book, What’s Your Book?, and How to Sell Your Memoir. She sits on three boards: the Independent Book Publishers Association; the National Association of Memoir Writers; and the Bay Area Book Festival. She blogs for Huffington Post and SheWrites.com.
“Linda Joy and Brooke give such value. I learned that you can take steps that will cut years off the memoir writing process.” —Peggy Thomson, Magic of Memoir 2015

CWC at Local Book Festivals

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obf-logoCWC’s presence was felt for the first time at the Oakland Book Festival on May 22nd. Fairies sang songs for the kids on one end of Frank Ogawa Plaza, and at the other end, words flowed from poets. In between, publishers, writing clubs, the library and even an art store smiled and talked with people stopping by their booths, and inside City Hall, ideas flowed. A dozen or so writers from our club gathered at our very large booth, which was overflowing with literature created by our members.

JoAnn Smith Ainsworth, Anne Berlak, Sheryl Boutte, Stephen Cataldo, Henry Hitz, Francine Howard, Solari Jenkins, Tim Jollymore, Ginny Graham Scott and Helen Sullivan all displayed books, and the group was wonderfully supported by volunteer Kathleen Orozco.  Linda Brown was around, too, supporting the Jack London Legacy event. The 100-Year Call of the Wild, the Litquake-sponsored panel discussion, was well-attended, including several club members.

 


babflogowithchronlogoCome visit us next weekend, June 4 & 5th, at the Bay Area Book Festival in Downtown Berkeley! The CWC state booth will be on “Writer’s Row” (Center Street) just off of Shattuck. Get a program guide, see what’s happening, and figure out how to get there at www.bayareabookfest.org. Berkeley Branch members Tim Jollymore (Sat 10-12), JoAnn Ainsworth (Sat 4-6), Kristen Caven (Sun 10-12), and Ann Berlak (Sun 12-2) will be selling their books, but stop and meet writers from other branches all day both days! Berkeley Branch membership forms will be available.

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