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Write Angles November 2010

Write Angles November 2010

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cover: Helen Hunt Jackson

cover: Helen Hunt Jackson

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Published by: California Writer's Club - Berkeley Branch on Apr 16, 2011
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November2010
Helen Hunt Jackson
(1830–1885) wrote poetry, novels, and children's stories. Her first novel,Mercy Philbrick's Choice, was published anonymously and is a character study thought to bebased on Jackson's lifelong friend,
 
Emily Dickinson
.
 
 A Century of Dishonor 
, her account of thegovernment's injustices to Native Americans, led to her appointment as a governmentinvestigator of California’s mission Indians. When her report failed to improve conditions forCalifornia Indians, she returned to writing fiction. Her most famous novel,
Ramona
(1884),dramatized the plight of the Native Americans she so wanted to help.
 
Write Angles 
Page 2 of 8
 
Write Anges
Write Anges
 
by Lloyd Lofthouse
This year the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC)has Barbara Ruffner, Linda Brown, and me doing the job of one branchpresident.
 
I'm filling the president's chair from November 2010 to theend of February 2011. In March 2011, Linda will sit in that chair forfour months.
 
A few weeks ago, the Diablo branch, of which I'm also a member, hadits newly minted president get a job out of state and he's moving. Iunderstand that the previous Diablo branch president, who probablywanted a break, is returning to fill the open space so the branch willkeep breathing.The nonprofit CWC, founded in 1909, had among its honorary membersJack London, Joaquin Miller, Ina Coolbrith, and other outstandingliterary friends to help writers survive and thrive in a vast forest ofbooks.
 
(Seewww.calwritersclub.org, History.) The club survives andthrives because of the efforts of volunteers. Otherwise, there would beno club.Pres. John F. Kennedy said, "Do not ask what your country can do foryou. Ask what you can do for your country." The next president, LBJ,reversed that concept and created his Great Society, launch-ing theentitlement, self-esteem movements that keep asking, "What can yourgovernment or mom and dad do for you?"In publishing, writers are one tree in a global forest. Last year, morethan one million new titles were published, less than a quarter comingfrom traditional publishers. Fewer than 20 percent of men in Americaread books. Half the adult population is semi-illiterate and probablyread only ads. What's left is a shrinking audience for the written word.I've even met writers who do not read what other people write.If you are writing your poetry, short stories, fiction, or nonfiction to getfamous or rich in a hurry, you are in the wrong place. Go buy a lotteryticket and sit in front of your TV or computer, and watch the numberscome up to see if you are that one out of twenty million that wins. Drinka Coke and eat some French fries or chips while you wait.
(continued on p. 2)
November2010
Contents 
President's Message1Thoughts from theTrenches (NCIBA)2November Speaker3A Tribute3One Author’s Journey4New Member Profiles5Member News6A Farewell7Tidbits7Marketplace8
President’s Message…
CWC Depends on Volunteers
Upcoming Events 
11/14
Workshop
Marianne Rogoff 
The Art of the Noun
11/21—Meeting
 Ann Seymour
The Art of the Interview
12/11—HolidayLuncheon1/9/11—Workshop:
Karin Ireland
Writing for theSerious Beginner 
1/15/11—
Kickoff 
25
th
Anniversary of theFifth Grade StoryContest
Fewer than 20 percent of men in America read books.” 
 
Write Angles 
Page 2 of 8
 
Write Anges
Write Anges
 
Write Angles 
By Alon Shalev 
At the Northern CaliforniaIndependent Booksellers Associationtradeshow, nine authors under theCWC Banner offered their books, sellsheets, and souls. The display lookedgood on Thursday, when we set it up.Friday morning, the big sellers hadestablished themselves withmountains of books and heliumballoons. We probably all took a deepbreath as we filed into the MarriottConference Center in Oakland,minutes before the announcementcame:
The floor is now open
.
Thoughts from the Trenches
On the Floor of the NCIBA Trade Show 
The CWC is a destination for writers who are passion-ate about their craft and want to find readers for theirwork.
 
To provide support, the CWC organizes critiquegroups and offers connections to editors, who usuallyexpect to be paid since they can't live on air and wateralone. After the manuscript is ready, the next step isto be published, and the choice is traditional or self-published. Both paths offer no guarantees of success.The truth is that no matter how hard a writer works,finding an audience isn't easy. In fact, it is estimatedthat there are fewer than 200 published authors inAmerica who earn enough money to pay the bills with-
 Volunteers
 ___________________________________
 
(continued from page 1)
Page 2 of 8
For me it was a special moment: thefirst time I actually held a copy of mybook,
The Accidental Activist,
in myhands. The books had not arrivedfrom the printers by Thursday, and Ihad reluctantly set up my corner withmy previous book and a sell sheetannouncing the new release.The conference is grueling. You standin front of the exhibit tables and waitfor unsuspecting independentbookstore staff to glance at yourbook. Then you pounce and pitch. out working a second job, and I'm not one of them. I'veheard and believe that more than 90% of being an authoris marketing the writing. A few months ago, I stepped upto work with Alon Shalev, and we launched the marketingsupport group. I also host the marketing blog.The CWC was founded to help writers learn about thewriting and publishing world. However, the CWC can'tdo this without volunteers stepping in to fill the positionsthat keep the club running.
 
So, don't ask what the clubcan do for you without finding out what you can do forthe club.They take your precious babyand toss it into a large bagtogether with all those otherfreebies from distributors, pub-lishers, and authors. Like ananxious parent, you wonderwhether your little tyke willstand out among its fellows."How's it going?" I am asked."Will you do this again?"The answer depends uponwhether the bookstores followup and order books. Better yet,if they request that the authorput in an appearance in thestore.As they shuffle away, leaningfrom the weight of many booksin their bulging bag, you watchthem struggle. A strugglingindustry observed through theeyes of a struggling author.
Write Angles 

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