Speakers Series

Notable speakers are the highlight of our monthly meetings. We showcase industry leaders — writers, editors, publishers, agents, and teachers of all kinds — who inform our members and guests about topics related to the art and craft of writing, the publishing industry, and the business of writing.

The “Member Spotlight” features members sharing their good works. We recognize published and emerging CWC members with a few minutes at the mic before each speaker to talk about their journey, read their work, and answer questions. Contact us if you are a member and are ready for your literal fifteen minutes of fame!

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Interviews with Recent Speakers

More Speaker Interviews

Speaker Series Events

“Story Telling Crossover” with Chris Hennessy on November 20th, 2022

“Story Telling Crossover” with Chris Hennessy on November 20th, 2022

Attendees of this event will learn: The How and Why of incorporating film & video into your writing projects— How your writing skills can help you craft an award-winning film; How to make quality film/video projects at little or no cost; How to use film/video to get a book deal with a traditional publisher; How…

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“Intergenerational Dialogue” with Lyndsey Ellis on October 16th, 2022

“Intergenerational Dialogue” with Lyndsey Ellis on October 16th, 2022

The 3rd week of October is California Writers Week! This year we celebrate California’s deep, historical diversity with an exciting conversation with an up-and-coming West Coast & Midwest author. Regardless of race and class, many attitudes, behaviors, and belief systems stem from values hat are specific to our age groups. Exploring intergenerational exchanges helps us…

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“Breaking the Book” with Michael Lucker on September 18th, 2022

“Breaking the Book” with Michael Lucker on September 18th, 2022

Wanna turn your book into a movie? Now you can! But adaptation is a craft unto itself. Step one is: Breaking the Book. Distilling 400 single spaced pages into 100 double-spaced. What do you use? What do you lose? Join us for an hour of fun-filled discussion learning how to crack the spine on your novel…

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Local Author Showcase at our Annual New Book Celebration on June 18, 2022

Local Author Showcase at our Annual New Book Celebration on June 18, 2022

On Saturday, June 18th, the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club will honor its members who have published a new title in the past year. This is a proud moment for this century-old writing club, highlighting the diverse literary accomplishments and talents of this notable group. A wide range of literary genres will be…

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Taking Your Book from Unknown Entity to Bestseller – A conversation on May 15, 2022

Taking Your Book from Unknown Entity to Bestseller – A conversation on May 15, 2022

On May 15th, our annual book marketing panel will feature Quinn Ward (Six-Figure-Selling Author), Keri-Rae Barnum (Director of New Shelves Books), and Jane Ubell-Meyer (BedsideReading.com). The conversation will be moderated by Karma Bennett, Berkeley Branch president. Feel free to join for a chance to meet our panelists. Board Election this Sunday Members take note that…

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“Sustainable Storytelling” with Kristen Caven April 24, 2022

“Sustainable Storytelling” with Kristen Caven April 24, 2022

Some of us write to process difficult times in our lives. Some of us write to help others out of difficulty. Some of us do the job of sending our characters to hell and back! In this interactive storytelling workshop, novelist/playwright/cartoonist/psychology writer Kristen Caven will teach four positive psychology principles of post-traumatic growth that will…

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Honor the Earth with Sustainable Storytelling & Literary Action 4/24/22

Honor the Earth with Sustainable Storytelling & Literary Action 4/24/22

Join us April 24th for a festival of outdoor lit in Joaquin Miller Park! Our April meeting will be set among a day full of springtime activities and networking. All events are free except the meeting/speaker series, for which we ask that you purchase a ticket. (Free tickets are available for those who need them.…

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Editing Your Manuscript – The Whys, Whats and Hows (March 20, 2022)

Editing Your Manuscript – The Whys, Whats and Hows (March 20, 2022)

In this talk, freelance editor and Writer’s Digest writer and editor and former Editor-in-Chief Ericka McIntyre will explain to authors what the different types of editing are, when and why you need each for your work, and how to find quality editors. She’ll also talk about the types of editing you can potentially do yourself…

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Agent 101: How to Land the Agent of your Dreams with Amy Collins [Feb. 20th]

Agent 101: How to Land the Agent of your Dreams with Amy Collins [Feb. 20th]

Why do some authors get an agent and others do not? Why do some manuscripts and pitches garner huge advances and a juicy publishing contract and others just languish? It is possible to create a successful career as an author, but there are hard truths about what it really takes to “make it.” Authors who…

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Writing Dialogue that Sings with Jane K. Cleland

Writing Dialogue that Sings with Jane K. Cleland

Sunday, January 16th We Level up Our Dialogue Skills Dialogue is one of three narrative tools to move the plot along and reveal character (in addition to description and action). Each character must speak with a unique voice—an amalgam of style, tone, intonation, and word choices. (And it must be formatted and punctuated properly). This…

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Making Podcasts Work For Writers [SPEAKER SERIES Sunday Nov. 21st]

Making Podcasts Work For Writers [SPEAKER SERIES Sunday Nov. 21st]

Join Us Sunday November 21st on Zoom to Learn What Podcasting Can Do for Writers Podcasts are for people who would rather listen than read, right? Not necessarily. Every writer should know the three powerful ways that podcasting can boost their literary life: as a listener, as a guest, and as a podcast creator. Award-winning…

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Researching a Historical Figure: Bringing Charmian Kittredge London to the Page

Researching a Historical Figure: Bringing Charmian Kittredge London to the Page

  October 17th as Iris Jamahl Dunkle Takes us Into the Life of a Trailblazer, Author, and Adventurer At our Sunday, October 17th meeting, award-winning literary biographer Iris Jamahl Dunkle will take us on the adventure of Charmian Kittredge London’s life. We’ll learn about her time living in Oakland and Berkeley, working in San Francisco,…

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5 Insider Secrets to Show-Stopping Novel Beginnings

5 Insider Secrets to Show-Stopping Novel Beginnings

Join Us on Zoom September 19th to Learn Annalisa’s Parent’s Insider Tips to Get Readers Hooked on your Novel You know you’ve got a great story idea, but how do you make it so great that it rises from slush pile to publication? Author and Writing Coach Annalisa Parent has helped hundreds of writers to…

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Race as Context: BIPOC California Writers on How Race Informs Writing—May 16th PANEL

Race as Context: BIPOC California Writers on How Race Informs Writing—May 16th PANEL

We are so excited to wrap up our 2020-2021 speaker series with a unique opportunity for members to join in this timely discussion. Panelists are California BIPOC writers from many vantage points including:  A Millenial with his first complete manuscript. Authors with years of experience helping others in their craft. A recent award-winning MFA graduate newly arrived…

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April 18th Join Emily Cotler on Author Websites that Really Work

April 18th Join Emily Cotler on Author Websites that Really Work

Your website is the only place online where YOU control the narrative. It’s the definitive word on your career, and this month’s speaker will help you make it the best it can be. Emily Cotler, founder and creative director of Waxcreative Designs, which boasts over 100 acclaimed author websites, shares best practices of a high-end…

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Grantwriting for Writers

Grantwriting for Writers

More and More Funders Are Giving Support to Individuals Experienced Grant Strategist Denise Pate Shares Insider Tips on Winning Funding March 21st at 1 p.m. Historically-most grant support was given to nonprofit organizations. Denise Pate manages the Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program, one of the few places where INDIVIDUALS can find support for their work. She…

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Focus and Finish the Writing that Matters with Sage Cohen

Focus and Finish the Writing that Matters with Sage Cohen

Join us on Sunday, February 21st, as Sage Cohen, author of The Productive Writer, shares her tips for writing When you don’t know what matters most in your writing life, it’s hard to focus—and finish. In this live 60-minute keynote address, you will identify your top priority writing project. Then, you’ll create a simple strategic…

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Deep Revision with Laurel Yourke

Deep Revision with Laurel Yourke

Join is January 17th when author and award-winning writing professor Dr. Laurel Yourke will show us her deep revision techniques. “’Vision’ is the heart of revision—it’s not just polishing or substituting one word for another.,” Yourke says. “Instead, look at revision as viewing at your own words in a completely new way: re-envisioning them.” Yourke…

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Get Known Everywhere for Authors featuring Jill Lublin: November 15th

Get Known Everywhere for Authors featuring Jill Lublin: November 15th

Many authors have a great message but haven’t learned how to use a book to leverage expertise and generate revenue. As an author, it is important to understand the real purpose of publicity – to boost credibility and amplify your visibility. If you want to be known as an author of influence, you’ve got to…

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

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…

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A concise list of previous CWC Berkeley Speakers

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Do you have a suggestion for a speaker?  We are always on the lookout for lively presenters, people with unique perspectives.  Send us your suggestions!