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 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.

A “Writerly Event” — August 2nd

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Open Mic for Members 800px-Gerry_Adams_reading_into_mic– Bring a Work in Progress

Details: Come to share orally part of a story, article, essay, memoir, or other prose. You will have a few minutes to read a section (depending on how many participate). Time will be allotted to accommodate as many people as possible. If you want to read, sign in when you arrive.

  • Plot problems?
  • Weak character?
  • Undeveloped scene?
  • Unenticing opening?
  • Unclear purpose in your nonfiction?
  • Other problems?

This is an opportunity to use a microphone and let other writers hear a part of your work. Listeners often hear problems in a work that the writer may miss. You can ask for feedback or not (your choice). If you want to read without feedback, that’s fine. If you choose to receive some feedback, you get to hear what listeners think works in your piece (positive feedback first), and what doesn’t (suggestions for improvement). The feedback is given in a supportive environment with other writers who are working to improve their writing.


Maybe you have a finished piece and you want to share a snippet of your success with us. That’s fine too.

When: Saturday, August 2

Where: Oakland Public Library – Main, 125 14th Street, Bradley C. Walters Community Room (same location as our 3rd Sunday meetings), entrance directly to meeting room from Madison Street

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Break time for mingling and refreshments

Hope to see you there!

Save the Date! Our Annual Picnic is Saturday, July 19, 2014

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Watch for your invite to the CWC Statewide picnic in July! This wonderful tradition brings writers from all over California to Joaquin Miller’s back yard for good food and good stories.

Pick something you’d like to read to the group, and start your dreaming and scheming for our celebrated LitCake contest, too… some talented decorator will take home the coveted Golden Fork Award!

When:  Saturday July 19, 2014, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Where:  The Fire Circle in Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland.

What else?

  • Bring a dish to share
  • Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Veggie Burgers and condiments provided by the CWC
  • Watch for info about the Open Mic

Questions: Contact Linda Brown 510-530-1261

Add the event to your Google Calendar!  

The Coveted Golden Fork Award

The Coveted Golden Fork Award (photo by Elaine Webster, Dual Member: Marin & Redwood Branches)

WRITE ANGLES – February, 2014

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In this month’s Write Angles: 

Building a New Board • Mary-Rose Hayes • Call for Personal Narratives • Poetry • Book Review • Central Board Report • Other Branches • Taking Stock of our Club • Tidbits • Member News • Member Marketplace

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 1.00.05 PM

See You Sunday! Blog Talk with Kymberlie Ingalls

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Ingalls flyer sm

Learn How to Present Yourself


–David Baker on Kymberlie Ingalls, excerpted from Write Angles


Literary agents want to hear about our platform and expect to be directed to our blog. Should we conceive of one presenting the electrifying premise of our work, excerpts that stimulate the reader’s curiosity, and laudatory comments submitted by reviewers? Yes, but Kymberlie Ingalls can help us do much more.

Ingalls, our featured speaker for the January 19 meeting, is a writer, freelance editor, and class instructor who has been blogging since 1997. She currently has several sites in operation. One of them includes a section titled “My Former Self,” in which she recalls starting out as a disk jockey during her brief career in radio: “So many switches” on the mixing board—“big ones that lit up bright orange, small metal ones that did who the hell knows what.” Only a few seconds left until. . . “I had to say something into that bulky microphone that would be heard by thousands of listeners. Crap was all I could think. The song was wailing to a close. Oh man! I’m up! Is this the right switch? Ah, hell, here goes nothing!”

Obviously, Ingalls knows how to build tension. A literary agent would also see that she knows what she’s writing about and takes her work seriously. After reading her concluding promise to “make those rock ‘n’ roll fantasies come true,” the agent would sense as well that Ingalls loves music and treasures the connection between the DJ and the listener.

Introducing a different blog, “Stories in the Key of Me,” she writes: “This is my playground, where I get to frolic with language, tease with words,

and flirt with the reader’s mind in the form of memoir, prose, and flash fiction.” In another, “Neuroticy = Societal Madness,” Ingalls takes aim at hypocrisy in present-day America. Her “Bay Area Collective” is a venue for local events, news, and stories that interest her.

What does it all add up to? Not only agents but potential readers want to know who we are as writers. At the January meeting, we’ll find out how to present ourselves.

The location of the talk is the Oakland Public Library (enter on Madison Street); see flyer for meeting schedule.

September 2013 Write Angles

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Happy Labor Day! I hope everyone had a wonderful summer.

The September issue of Write Angles has news from CWC’s Central Board; lots of photos from CWC’s annual picnic; a tribute to one of our members who recently died; an article from our past president, Al Levenson; a call for submissions; and information about our upcoming speaker, Brooke Warner.

And be sure to see the article about the upcoming writing conference at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum. The conference director is our very own Charlotte Cook. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Write Angles September 2013.pdf

Write Angles Awards First Contest Winner


Congratulations to one of our newest members, Helene Knox, who won Write Angles’s October Writing Contest for her story “Mouse.” She will be awarded her prize at our next general meeting, which is this Sunday, October 21, at 2:00. Come to see her accept her prize.

Of course you’ll want to come to our next meeting anyway because you’ll want to hear CWC author Judith Marshall talk about Publishing Pathways.

Hope to see you there!

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