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Write Angles April 2011

Write Angles April 2011

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cover: John Rollin Ridge
cover: John Rollin Ridge

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Published by: California Writer's Club - Berkeley Branch on Apr 16, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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John Rollin Ridge
(1827–1867) Using his Cherokee Indian name, Yellow Bird, Ridge wrotewhat is considered both the first Native American novel and the first novel written inCalifornia. He wrote about racism in
The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta, theCelebrated California Bandit.
Ridge was also a poet, reporter, and newspaper editor forthe
Sacramento Bee
and the
San Francisco Herald 
“…whether it arise from prejudice of color or from any other source; that a wrong done to one man is a wrong to society and to the world.” 
The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta
a wrong done to one man is a wrong to societyand to the world.” [
The Life
Linda Brown, president
President’s Message 1April Speaker 2CWC Literary Review 2Poetry Page 3Survey Results + April Survey 4NorCal News 5Workshop Highlights 6Twist on Art of Networking 6Book Review 7Guest Column + Member News 8Tidbits & Meetings 9Leadership Conference 10Workshop & Speaker’s flyers 11+
April is National Poetry Month!4/2 NorCal Meeting
Alon Shalev"Social Change in Fiction"
4/19 Speaker:
Matt Stewart
“Status Update”
National Library Week
View from the Mountain Top: 
The Business Side of Writing
By Linda Brown
With this column, I address the importance of goal setting. For what is a goal, but adesire in the form of a written statement with an accomplishment date. Putting thatdesire in words on paper is the first step to making the goal a successful reality. Often,though, a goal can be unrealistic.For example, the goal of “I will write and publish a novel in 12 months” mayoverwhelm the writer and lead to paralysis.This month’s message begins by considering what is effective goal-setting and then therelationship of plans and numbers to goal achievement. Effective goal-setting forwriters includes knowing the needs and desires of your prospective readers andbusiness partners—your agent, editor, and publisher—and your own limitations.Another aspect of writing effective goals is to break down each goal into specific andbite-size objectives. Like the overarching goal, objectives include a realisticaccomplishment date and numbers.Numbers, often seen as an enemy by creative people, are also a shortcut for planningand assessing your progress on your goals. For example, how many hours a day did youplan to write, and then how many hours did you actually write? How many pages orwords do you aspire to write daily? How many elements need you consider in develop-ing each character? How many words per submission are allowable by each company’sguidelines? How many query letters should you write per week without going crazy?How does one write and keep a pitch about a book, essay, or article to 25 words orfewer? How do you know when enough is enough?In the for-profit business world (where I spent over 20 years) choice assignments,raises, and promotions depended largely on how one set and met the annual goals,especially the cost and revenue goals. In the literary world, I see goals as necessaryfor the writer to improve writing skills, get published, and, if desired or possible, shovthe day job and earn a living writing.Berkeley’s Office of Letters and Light sponsors two challenges with specific writinggoals. April’s ScriptFrenzy has the goal of a 100 pages of script in the month of April.National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November sets the written word bar at50,000 words in 30 days (or 1,667 words per day). These goals are different from whatI learned from experienced writers, which is “write [something-anything] for 15-30minutes every day.”As we approach the summer, please talk to your board members about your goals forthe CWC-BB. Specifically, what programs have you have liked this fiscal year(September 1, 2010-June 30, 2011), and what programs would you like for the future?If you would like to learn more about the business side of writing—how the CWCleadership can build on the Club’s rich legacy—please consider attending the May 7CWC-Northern California Leadership Workshop. It is open to all CWC members and willbe held on a Saturday in Pleasant Hill. A flyer is attached to this newsletter. Forguidance on goal setting and simple business planning, check out
The One-PageBusiness Plan
by Berkeley’s Jim Horan (www.onepagebusinessplan.com).
Write Angles
April Speaker: 
Building Your Online Platform
By David Baker 
Esmerelda Van Twinkle, the protagonist of Matt Stewart’s debut novel
The FrenchRevolution,
weighs a quarter of a ton. When she moves, her “gumdrop-shaped body” quivers“like a landed bass.” Her twin sons, born on Bastille Day, are named Robespierre and Marat.Stewart, our featured speaker for the April 17 meeting, hoped these characters and aninteresting plot—a modern-day San Francisco family goes to extremes to forge its place inhistory—would catch the eye of acquisitions editors. Disappointment followed.According to Stewart’s Web site, his agent shopped his manuscript around, but the responses
Matt Stewart
 were mostly variants of “too risky” and “not for us.” Wasn’t there a better way, he wondered.“In the shower one morning in late June 2009, the idea hit me—why not put the novel on Twitter? It’s no way to read anovel, but it’s a terrific way to connect with people fast, and give them a taste of the book so they can buy the wholething later.”On Bastille Day, July 14, 2009, Stewart broadcast
The French Revolution
via @thefrenchrev and thefrenchrev.com. Heexpected to be ridiculed for putting out his book in snippets, or accused of using Twitter as a gimmick, but was “aston-ished when the feedback was overwhelmingly supportive.” He made headlines worldwide and landed a book deal withSoft Skull. His novel went on to make the
San Francisco Chronicle
Best Book List of 2010.Stewart’s stories have been published in
Instant City 
The Millions
Opium Magazine
, and more. He blogsfor the
Huffington Post
and the
Nervous Breakdown.
At the April meeting, he’ll draw on his experience as he explores“demystifying social media and building an online platform that supports writers’ work.” We’ll ask him what’s effectiveand what isn’t when “new school” media invades “old school” publishing. We’ll listen to his answers and go home readyto experiment.
CWC Launches New Literary Review 
A New Publishing Opportunity Knocks 
The California Writers Club will launch a literary review late this spring and thereafter three a year—spring, fall, andwinter. Our magazine-style publication—think
New Yorker 
but yet to be named—will host writing from membersthrough a blind selection process and will include fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Unique graphics and photography mayalso sneak in on a limited basis. Your co-editors, Joyce Krieg of Central Coast Branch, and Dave LaRoche of South BayBranch, solicit your work for inclusion. Your submissions may have been previously published or fresh from your vividimaginations, and, of course, sent with single-use rights.The
CWC Literary Review 
(working title) will be mailed to all members in hard copy and, in time, made available fornonmember subscription. We intend a prestigious publication, both shining light on the included authors and bringingcachet to the club. You will want to be included.Submission requirements and deadline dates will be repeated each issue and apply to the next. For our first issue thefollowing applies:
Submit email attachment, MSWord, doc or rtf format, 1.5 line spacing, 1-inch margins, New Times Roman 12pt—no specialformatting.
Maximum length is 2500 words, fiction; 1500 words, nonfiction; 50 lines of poetry. These may be adjusted in future issues.
All work should be error-free and must include a cover sheet with author’s name, email address, number of words, and title.The remaining pages to be free of all ID except title: upper right, and page numbers: bottom center.
Submissions for the first issue must be emailed not later than April 15, 2011.
Include in your transmittal email the statement, “I (your name) own and convey the right to publish this work(s) (name it/them)one time in the CWC Lit-Review.”
Our first issue will include rules for a Name-the-Lit-Review Contest and identify a prize for member whose name ischosen. Send your work—only one e-mail submission, with no more than two included attachments (essay, poem,fiction, or nonfiction narrative)—to Dave LaRoche,dalaroche@comcast.netby April 15, 2011, then sit back and watchour
CWC Literary-Review 
grow. We are excited about this venture, another value in club membership, and haveaspirations that will see the review on shelves in bookstores and in e-distribution. Of course you are a big part of it,so join in and have fun.

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