See You TOMORROW! End-of-year BOOK LAUNCH!

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Our final meeting of the year will take place TOMORROW at 3pm at our Member Book Launch! Here is information on the event and links to purchase all the books!

  • Thank you to Fred Dodsworth for emcee-ing the event…
  • Welcome to new member, Jane Anne Star, author of Small: The Little We Need for Happinesswho will be joining us last-minute…
  • Say you are coming on Facebook HERE! Please bring a friend!
  • Plan to come a little early to find parking… and stay after for another book event and/or some socializing!
And now a word from Laurel Bookstore:
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Featured Member: Poet Fred Dodsworth

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Fred Dodsworth will open for Amos White’s The Art of Giving Live Readings tomorrow. We asked him a few questions… this is what he said!

What’s the most important piece of writing advice that you could give to other writers? It’s hard to start writing but if you don’t start everything anyone might tell you about writing become wasted words.

What one thing has helped promote your writing most? Actually taking the time to promote yourself. That means submitting everyplace you can. I learned this in sales. You don’t make a sale unless you make a pitch and if you make enough pitches you’re guaranteed to make a sale.

What are your writing habits? I really learned to write in a newsroom. At the time I was pulling down about $70,000 a year as an editor and my new boss, the Executive Editor wanted to fire me but he couldn’t so he tried to drive me out by making me a front page columnist [column one above the fold, six times a week]. I liked the money so I worked in the middle of the complete madhouse of a major daily, folks on the phone shouting, several TVs running, people standing around chatting about their work or this sex lives, and did what had to be done. A year later I took my first creative writing class. My writing habit is simple. I type on a computer anywhere I can but only when I have a goal. I know I need to write everyday and I write whenever I sit down to write, whether I’m on a computer in an office or on a composition note book (I buy them on sale for 50¢ to $1 each) but .

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to grow up. As I grew older my goal became moving away from home. I first moved out when I was 15. I had my first salary job at 14 and shortly thereafter I moved out.

If you could truly be the writer you wanted to be, what would your career look like? I’d be Joyce Carol Oates, able and willing to write every day relentlessly. When I do that it scares me. I lose touch with everything else for days at a time.

What other writers inspire you? George Elliot, John Gardner, Virginia Woolf, Aimee Bender, Haruki Murakami, Alain Robbe-Grillet (le voyeur), Miguel de Cervantes, Mary Gaitskill, Julie Otsuka (Buddha in the Attic), Leslie Marmon Silko (Ceremony), so many.

Come hear Fred read his poetry tomorrow!

Making the Most of Nature in Your Writing: Interview with Featured Member Judith Newton

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A discussion between CWC members Linda Joy Myers, President of the National Memoir Writers Association and Judith Newton, Professor Emerita, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at UC Davis

Editor’s note: Judith Newton is the featured member at next month’s CWC meeting. Catch her reading from her new book, before our keynote speaker LeeAnne Krusemark Sunday May 21st.

Making the Most of Nature in Your Writing

Linda: We both have new books coming out this spring. My book, Song of the Plains is a memoir about a family of women who abandon their daughters and about the ways their history contributed to this. Your book, Oink, is a mystery about the struggle between corporate and communal values in the university. I think it’s striking that we both chose elements of the natural world for our titles. What does it mean that you chose “Oink” for a title?

Judith: In writing Oink, a send up of the university for its increasing devotion to self-interest, competition, and profit, I also wanted to emphasize a counter perspective on life: a belief in the importance of values that are more about the common good. I planned to do this, in part, through my positive characterization of the protagonist’s campus community. It is comprised of faculty in women’s and ethnic studies who have come together to support each other and to resist having their programs defunded by an increasingly More

CWC Marin One-Day Writing Conference April 2

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CWC Berkeley member John Byrne Barry alerted us to the CWC Marin Conference on April 2.

The day-long conference will cover fiction and nonfiction writing, with three literary agents available for five-minute pitches. Registration includes morning coffee and rolls, along with a bag lunch. Vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available.

Presenters include keynote speaker Constance Hale on “The Seven Stages of Manuscript Grief,” Linda Watanabe McFerrin on “Writing About Places Real and Imagined,” Tanya Egan Gibson, Robert Pimm, Teresa LeYung-Ryan, Krissa Lagos, Mary C. Moore, and David Colin Carr.

Find out more at cwcmarin.com/writerslife.

Flyer for April 2 CWC Marin event

Member Book Launch: The Vesuvian Affair

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Long-time member Kristen Caven has published four books since she joined the CWC. One of her measures of creative success is a great launch party, and her next one promises to be unforgettable. On February 11th, she will be debuting a limited-print edition of an erotic/paranormal/spiritual romance at an elegant and extravagant costume party.  

The Vesuvian Affair (Mystic Editions) takes place at a sci-fi-themed Carnevale party in Venice, where flickering lights, outrageous costumes, and flowing alcohol create a beautiful but unsteady reality.  An American schoolteacher has become possessed by a nature spirit, and a Wiccan priestess tries to protect her from the psychological toll of consummation.

cover2As in most of Caven’s fiction, the narrator becomes real and the author becomes a character. The lines will blur even further when this award-winning playwright appears as Cosima Zanardi, international woman of mystery. The Prosecco (not Champagne) reception at the finale of a private Carnevale-themed party, is open to the public. Costumes and masks are admired but not required.

When: Saturday, February 11th, 2017, 5-6p.m. 

Where: The Bellevue Club in Oakland, 525 Bellevue Avenue (across from the playground at Lake Merritt)

How much: $20 in advance covers admission, a collectible book, and a glass of bubbly.  Purchase the “Venetian Affair” package at www.generousmuse.org. (If you love dressing up, then get the “Venetian Adventure” package and come at 2pm.) Please note you are coming and invite a friend on the Facebook Event page!

The CWC is proud to share big news from our members!
Members, please send blog posts to the president.
Would you like to become a member? Join in January or February for half price!

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.

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.

OR

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!

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