67 posts in category Speakers

Our speaker series is the highlight of Berkeley CWC meetings (third Sunday monthly).

The Amazing Life of Feisty Ina Coolbrith, America’s First Poet Laurate – October 18th

Writers often need courage, whether it is to meet a national event, a personal challenge, or just to face a blank page. In these instances we can look to our own history to find the inner strength to face our most profound challenges. At the culmination of California Writer's Week, historical author Aleta George will give us the details on the fierce and iconic Ina Coolbrith. Ina Coolbrith was not only California's first poet laurate and Oakland's first public librarian, she was also one of the founders of the California Writers Club. But these factoids merely scratch the surface of this ground-breaking rebel. Author and journalist Aleta George will share the moments in Ina Coolbrith's life when she was called upon to respond with courage and other fascinating stories of Coolbrith in the East Bay. Learn more or get your tickets now.

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Finding & Working with an Agent with Literary Agent Andy Ross – September 20th

Our speaker series returns on Sunday, September 20th with Oakland literary agent Andy Ross. Ross will detail the steps you need to take before beginning work with a literary agent. Ross will help you determine whether your project is right for commercial publishers and he'll explain how to write effective query letters and book proposals. You'll learn how to research the best agent for your book. He'll even go over how agents negotiate book contracts.

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May 17th SPEAKER—Paul Shirley—”Writing Like an Athlete to Build Creative Focus”

Building an Athlete's Discipline and Focus into Your Writing Practice In the midst of a global pandemic, when there's so much time on our hands staying at home, writers are having trouble getting things done. Paul Shirley, a former professional basketball player, will speak about how he applied an athlete's focus to his writing career, and has since helped hundreds of writers achieve their goals through building habits, routines and systems that work for them. The founder of Writers ...

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March small press editors event

3/15 – PANEL DISCUSSION with Bay Area Small Press Editors

What's the difference between working with a small press and a large mainstream publisher? Should I submit my work to a small press? Do local publishers want local authors? Why pitch to a small press if I can be a small press? Learn about it in our panel discussion with small press editors.

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2/29 – "Call of the Wild" History Walk & Reading with CWC Writers

See the new Jack London movie and learn about its history at the location where London became a writer.

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February 16th SPEAKER—Jan Steckel on Poetry and Activism

On February 16th the California Writers Club - Berkeley branch welcomes award-winning poet and activist Jan Steckel as a featured guest of the club. Steckel will speak on how poets and writers can effect change through their writing. She will speak on advocacy, representation, and documenting social conditions. Steckel has experience to share on using your writing to inspire empathy and using your notoriety to draw attention to injustice. She will share the ways poets and writers can participate in acts of resistance and move others to action.

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"We're All in Freefall" — Interview with 11/17 featured author Lily Iona MacKenzie

In Freefall: A Divine Comedy, Lily Iona MacKenzie zeroes in on a fundamental truth: We’re all in freefall, and that’s the real divine comedy. No matter how old we are, we’re still trying to “find ourselves” and discover what we want out of life. Meet Lily Iona MacKenzie, a new member this season, at the November 17th meeting, opening for Joan Gelfland. Lily writes: I don’t have hayseed clinging to my trousers, but growing up on a Canadian farm gave me a unique foundation as a ...

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11/17 SPEAKER – "You Can Be a Winning Writer" with Joan Gelfland

In this participatory workshop, author Joan Gelfand will discuss her 4 C’s approach to becoming a successful author. Joan will discuss how to incorporate craft, commitment, community, and confidence into a writing practice. Joan and her clients have produced significant results by incorporating this approach into their own writing practices. Accompanied by a thirty-minute Power Point, Joan will open the workshop for questions about writing and publishing challenges. Based on “You Can Be a ...

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10/20 SPEAKER – "How Writers Can Avoid Legal Trouble" with Nicholas Jollymore, esq

Writers can get into legal trouble without knowing it. Learn best practices and get the basics about libel, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, subpoenas, confidential sources, and the California Shield Law from Literary Lawyer Nicholas J. Jollymore.  About Nick Jollymore Nick Jollymore has run a legal practice out of a home office since he moved to San Francisco in 2010.  Prior to that he was a litigator at Rogers & Wells (now Clifford Chance) in New York, a staff lawyer at ...

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Interview with Featured Member Gark Mavigan

Get to know he first featured member of our 2019-2020 speaker series: poet and hip-hop artist Gark Mavigan. Originally from Stockton, he was a founding member of the city's first slam team to compete the world's largest youth poetry slam. He has performed at The White House and the National Poetry Slam, sharing stages with the likes of Common, DMC (of Run DMC), Watsky, and MC Jin.

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