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

What They Never Told Me about Being a Writer

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what-they-never-told-me-being-a-writer-connie-hale

Are you ready to get serious about your writing career? Whether it’s your first book or your fiftieth, whether you write poems or parables, penny dreadfuls or pensive memoirs, every kind of writer is welcome at the oldest organization for writers west of the Mississippi.

This month in addition to our regular marketing and craft groups, we welcome Constance Hale.

Through remarks that are frank, sometimes funny, and often inspiring, Constance Hale reveals some of the ups and downs of her 30-year career as a writer. She’ll tell you the surprising story of her first piece in print, how she later became an “accidental grammarian,” and how she recently resolved to break out of the pigeon hole she found herself in and write from her deepest passions—the market be damned. Along the way she’ll share some tips on how to make sentences sing and how to make it as a freelance writer.

About Constance Hale

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Constance Hale is a San Francisco–based journalist and the author of three books on language and literary style, including Sin and Syntax. She has been called “Marion the Librarian on a Harley, or E. B. White on acid.” Her profiles, essays, and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Afar, and Honolulu. In 2016, she published a book on the evolution of hula, The Natives Are Restless, and a children’s book, ‘Iwalani‘s Tree. She covers the writing life at SinAndSyntax.com.

But Wait, There’s More

As always we offer two interactive groups to boost your writing career. In our craft group, we discuss how to tackle challenges in our writing. In the marketing group we help you spread the word about your books and build your platform. We also provide tasty snacks and plenty of opportunities to network with other writers.

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 Karma Bennett reads
3:15–4:30 – Keynote Speaker Constance Hale

Meetings are $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

Calling all Fifth Graders (and Fifth Grade Teachers!)

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click to open / download flyer

click to open / download flyer

Please spread the word far and wide to East Bay fifth-grade students and teachers that our 29th Annual Fifth Grade Story Contest is now open for entries! Information about this contest can be found on our website here.

Students can work on polished pieces of writing (a reward in itself) and win cash prizes. The winning story is posted on our website. Special Alert: The deadline has been extended to May 1st, 2015!

See our contest page here for more information.

Good luck to all our promising young writers!

Tis the season for…The Snowflake Method!

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What do snowflakes have to do with writing? Come find out at our January meeting! Author Sarah Sundin will explain how she uses Randy Ingermanson’s famous Snowflake Method with her own adaptations.

When: Sunday, January 18th, 2015, 2pm

Where: Oakland Public Library, Main Branch.

Building your story from a one-sentence summary up to an intricate outline helps you work out the details of your characters and plot and pull them into a cohesive unit. Even if outlines give you hives, you’ll find techniques you can apply to the writing or editing process.

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click to view or download flyer

Sarah Sundin is the author of six historical novels, including In Perfect Time (Revell, August 2014), plus a novella in Where Treetops Glisten

(WaterBrook, September 2014).

In Perfect Time :“Well-crafted novel infused with substance and light”—Publishers Weekly

Her novel On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards.

Sarah’s website can be found at www.sarahsundin.com.

Click here for information about location and time.

Announcing the 27th Annual 5th Grade Story Contest!

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Please tell all the 5th grade teachers you know in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties that our contest is open! Students can win cash prizes, and the winning story is posted on our website. Deadline is March 15th, 2013. Click here to download the flyer.

5th Grade Story Contest 2013See our contest page here for more information.