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)
President's Message1Thoughts from theTrenches (NCIBA)2November Speaker3A Tribute3One Author’s Journey4New Member Profiles5Member News6A Farewell7Tidbits7Marketplace8
CWC Depends on Volunteers
The Art of the Noun
The Art of the Interview
Writing for theSerious Beginner
Anniversary of theFifth Grade StoryContest
Fewer than 20 percent of men in America read books.”