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"Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else's." —Billy Wilder
Screenwriter Billy Wilder (1906–2002) came to Hollywood from Germany during WWII. He and Charles Brackett wrote many classic films we love today: Sunset Boulevard, The Apartment, and The Seven Year Itch, starring Marilyn Monroe.
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The President's Message
Greetings for the second year of the second hundred years of the California Writers Club. Young or old, black or white or in between, famous or wannabees, we are all dedicated to the written word. Or spoken. The field is so wide open at the moment that the categories of novel, short story, or biography barely begin to cover all the ways we are communicating with each other in the year 2010. Blogging, twittering, screen writing—humor, politics, romance, mystery—books, radio, magazines, television, Internet. The Berkeley Branch will help you make sense of the bewildering array. Our plans for this year include the following: 1) Monthly meetings on the third Sunday of the month with speakers on a wide variety of topics emphasizing writing and publishing. Marketing know-how is discussed each month at 1 p.m. before the featured speaker at 2 p.m. 2) Workshops to help with the craft of writing. 3) Critique groups of like-minded souls to stimulate, motivate, and improve writing skills in small settings. 4) Special events such as the picnic in Joaquin Miller Park on July 10 to commemorate our founders. 5) Story contests for 5th graders in the spring and for adults in the fall. You are invited to join in any activity or event, and friendly people will answer your questions. See you soon! —Barbara Ruffner, President
In this Issue:
The President's Message Changing of the Guard September Speakers Club News Member News & Tidbits
Sunday, Sept 19, 2010 1:30 to 4:00 p.m.
September 19: Michael Larsen & Elizabeth Pomada of the Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency October 17: Theresa LeYung Ryan Build Your Name, Beat the Game, Be Happily Published November 21: Ann Seymour The Art of the Interview, and the writing of an historical memoir
Changing of the Guard
At the June Board Meeting, a new format was announced for the presidency for the coming year and the election of new officers. Elected by acclamation for president for July through October is Barbara Ruffner. Vice-president Lloyd Lofthouse will succeed as president for November through February 2011, followed by Linda Brown, March through June 2011. The board decided to change the way it operates. There will be an executive committee consisting of the President, two Vice-presidents, the Secretary and Treasurer. They will be the only voting members of the board. The rest of the board will consist of chairpeople of important committees and others without portfolio. Their role is advocacy and advisory. Several committee appointments have been made recently. Clifford Hui will serve as chairman of the Membership committee, which will also include Barbara Ruffner and Matt Martin as database manager. Barbara Gilvar signed on to put together and administer a newmember orientation program. Barbara Ruffner has succeeded Risa Nye as workshop coordinator. Matt Martin has also accepted the role of webmaster. The webmaster job is one of coordination of pages managed by those responsible to install and maintain the variety of information, announcements, and archive of the Web site. The Web site, www.CWC-Berkeley.com has been to the Kristen Caven’s Makeover Parlor and is sporting a whole new wardrobe and hairdo. Worth a look. Tanya Grove has agreed to be editor of Write Angles, and Anne Fox will continue in her role as copyeditor. Please welcome and support all the people who have stepped up to positions of leadership and service to the CWC-BB community.
Oct 1 Deadline for Write On! Story Contest (Details on Web site) Sept 12 Workshop—Charlotte Cook Oct 14–16 NCIBA Annual Trade Show December 12 Holiday Luncheon
CLUB OFFICERS President: Barbara Ruffner Past President: Al Levenson VP/Marketing: Lloyd Lofthouse Secretary: Jane Glendinning Treasurer: Madelen Lontiong COMMITTEE CHAIRS Membership: Clifford Hui New Member Orientation: Barbara Gilvar Publicity Chair: Linda Brown Program Chair: Jane Glendinning Workshop Chair: Barbara Ruffner Write Angles Editor: Tanya Grove Copyeditor: Anne Fox Web/database manager: Matt Martin Delegate–Central Board: Lloyd Lofthouse Delegate–CWC-Norcal: Linda Brown Story Contests 5th Grade: Lucille Belluci Write On!:Tatjana Grenier Communications: Kristen Caven send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
About Us The CALIFORNIA WRITERS CLUB, founded in 1909, is a 501(c) (3) educational nonprofit dedicated to educating members and the publicat-large in the craft of writing and in the marketing of their work. Our monthly meetings are free, open to the public, and feature a speaker, an author even, or both!
Oakland Public Library West Auditorium 125 14th Street Entrance on Madison Street between 13th and 14th Streets.
Visit us at CWC-BERKELEY.COM
ARE YOU IRRESISTIBLE? September speakers: Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada
by David Baker Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada, whose literary agency is the oldest in northern California, will be our featured speakers at the September 19 meeting. Since starting their business in 1972, Michael and Elizabeth have sold hundreds of books to more than one hundred publishers. They are also co-founders of the San Francisco Writers Conference and the Writing for Change Conference. We’ll have a chance to ponder valuable lessons they’ve learned during their long careers. To make the most of this opportunity, let’s prepare by going to www.larsen-pomada.com. We’ll start with “Three Ways to Make Yourself Irresistible to Any Agent or Publisher.” Part One, “Understanding How Agents and Publishers Work,” provides a detailed look at challenging realities. Did you know, for example, that “the average investment a major publisher makes in a book is more than $50,000”? It follows that publishers “try to protect their investments by holding down advances and royalties, and by keeping as many subsidiary rights as possible.” Enter the agent in our defense. Part Two, “Develop Your Craft,” has useful how-to-write advice, including “write what you love to read.” In other words, improve your skills by analyzing how your favorite authors accomplish the effects you admire. Part Three, “Make a Commitment to Your Career,” focuses on knowing yourself and your goals. Among the suggestions offered: “Start thinking of yourself as an entrepreneur, a self-employed professional running a small business.” No-nonsense material this. But spiced with humor. At one point Michael and Elizabeth feature an Elmore Leonard character asking what kind of writing makes the most money. Another character answers: “Ransom notes.” As we confront our literary tribulations, perhaps we should adopt our speakers’ motto: “Life is short. Laugh first.” Come and enjoy on September 19.
CALIFORNIA WRITERS CLUB FALL WORKSHOP: “The Final Edit” CHARLOTTE COOK Sunday, September 12, 2010, 1 p.m.
Delve into the real differences between developing a manuscript to completion and polishing the manuscript for an audience of agents and publishers. This practical, interactive and entertaining workshop explores the differences between what peers suggest and when that works, and what an industry professional advises and when that’s important. Charlotte gives a balanced accounting of what drives an editor to keep reading, stop reading, or ask for more pages. Charlotte Cook, MFA, has extensive experience as a publisher and story editor, bringing six awardwinning novels to publication for KOMENAR Publishing (Writers Digest, February 2008). She’s a popular conference presenter, successful teacher, and workshop facilitator. In 2010, Charlotte judged four fiction categories for the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She will be faculty at the Willamette, Redwood, and California Central Coast Writers Conferences. She has led special events for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Southern Oregon Rogue River Writers, and California Writers Club. With award-winning screenwriter Jon James Miller, she’s developed Adapting Sideways, a book and workshops for screenwriters to write publishable novels. An article and
excerpt can be found in the September-October issue of Creative Screenwriting Magazine, and the two will be presenting at the Fall LA EXPO and Big Bear Lake International Film Festival. To Register: Send a check to the CWC for $9 (members) or $29 (nonmembers) to Madelen Lontiong, Treasurer, PO Box 6447, Alameda, CA 94501. Hurry, space is limited! Bring first two pages of your novel, short story, or inquiry letter for Charlotte to critique.
by Clifford Hui, Membership Chairman The time remaining to renew your membership is diminishing. Join now and reserve your front row seat to the all lineup of programs beginning with Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada, literary agents, as the featured speakers at the September 19 meeting. Also in September, Charlotte Cook will reprise her valuable workshop, "The Final Edit." If you haven't renewed your membership, please do it today. And think about whom you know who would benefit from membership. Invite them to apply. Renewal Amount: $45 Payable to: CWC-BB Send to Clifford Hui, Membership Chair; PO Box 6447, Alameda, CA 94501
A hundred-year-old CWC tradition was revived on July 10 when sixty members of several of the NorCal branches of the CWC met in the majestic setting of Joaquin Miller Park for food and fellowship. Organized by Bob Garfinkle, newly elected president of the CWC, of the Fremont Branch, youngest of all CWC branches. Bob had substantial assistance from Linda Brown of the founding Berkeley Branch. Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Annual Trade Show October 14–16 Lloyd Lofthouse, co-chair of the Marketing Group, reports that plans for the Berkeley Branch exhibit at the NCIBA show are proceeding. Berkeley will have a significant presence, with three tables supported by nine authors. This commitment also entitles us to fifteen complimentary badges. As the date draws near, members may request these passes.
CWC BERKELEY BRANCH MEMBERS: Please send Write Angles all the news about your life in the world of art, letters, and literature, however it expresses itself. Your efforts and accomplishments inspire courage in others. —Anne Fox Tatjana Greiner is a playwriting mentor of Each One Reach One, a Bay Area Organization dedicated to mentoring imprisoned youth through theater arts. The program has just been selected a 2010 Coming Up Taller Semifinalist by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Kristen Caven (www.kristencaven.com) launched her unique memoir, Perfectly Revolting: My Glamorous Cartooning Career, at a historical event at Mills College this spring. In addition to her author event at the May CWC meeting, Kristen did book signings at Oakland's Laurel Bookstore and Montclair's Great Good Place for Books, and was featured in an article in the June 4, 2010 issue of the Montclarion/Mercury News/Marin IJ. (Note errata.) Nonnie Thompson, currently a Montana resident, reports that an agent asked to represent her after the ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors) conference in April. Nonnie is now under contract for her memoir, Time It Was: Memoir of a Modern Pioneer. Learn about a remarkable life and help Nonnie to develop her platform by going to her blog, www.timeitwasnonniethompson.blogspot.com/ (And What a Time It Was—Alternative Living Today) and to her Web site www.nonnie-thompson.com/ Charlotte Cook and Jon James Miller are showcased in Creative Screenwriting Magazine's September/October issue with an interview and excerpt from Adapting Sideways: How to Turn Your Screenplay into a Publishable Novel. The book, their methodology and information on how to make a novel appeal to an agent and publisher, debuts September 8 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon now. Primary audience is screenwriters and intermediate and advanced novelists. (A proposal for a longer book is with their agent.) Creative Screenwriting has invited Charlotte and Jon to be presenters at the annual LA EXPO. For Charlotte’s workshop, “The Final Edit,” on September 12, see Events/Workshops at www.cwc-berkeley.com/. See animation on YouTube www.youtube.com/ watch?v=86smAU4YY-U. W. E. Reinka, Berkeley Branch member living in Oregon, has had his nonfiction piece, "Landfalls," accepted for the statewide CWC anthology, West Winds, expected to be published this fall. Anne Fox’s story, “It Comes to This,” has also been accepted for West Winds. Amos White, CWC-BB member and member of Alameda Island Poets, emceed in July Alameda’s first Summer Site Write literary series, with Webster Street as the subject. Poet Alysa Chadow, her guide dog Ellen at her side, read about people of the West End, seen and unseen. Her poem, along with the other works and photos, were on display at the Alameda Multicultural Center on Lincoln Avenue during August. Therese Pipe, who coordinates the oral history collection for the Berkeley Historical Society, reviewed and discussed the contents of the Berkeley Co-op oral histories with Greg Patmore, Research Professor from the University of Sidney, Australia, in August 2010. Currently, Therese continues her involvement with oral histories, awaiting publication, of such noteworthy Berkeley figures as Ying Lee, Berkeley’s first and only Asian city council member, and the late Professor Kenneth H. Cardwell, of UC Berkeley. A current photo exhibit sponsored by the Berkeley Camera Club, with a reception on September 10 at Red Oak Realty Co on Solano Avenue, includes Therese’s work. More information is available at email@example.com.
Submit announcements to Write Angles with "Tidbits" in the subject line. Tanya Grove has written a charming children's story/poem. Watch a less than two minute video of the story read by an engaging child.http://www.smories.com/watch/blue/ Amos White has taken on the task of expanding our public outreach to include Internet postings. Barry Boland, himself a former talk show host, is reaching out to radio and television stations.
The CWC-BB bought an 89-page Bay Area Media List with contact information for over 1,100 Media Outlets that Publicity Chair Linda Brown and Barry are reviewing now. Linda Brown, Publicity chair, would like to hear from members interested in contributing skills and knowledge or learning more about media. Kristen Caven would like to invite members of the club to a write-in about climate change as part of a Global Work Party on 10/10/10. The CO2 in the atmosphere is currently 390 parts per million, far beyond the maximum sustainable number of 350ppm. (Throughout human history it has been 272.) As writers can help spread understanding about this fact wherever and however we write. Visit Write-350 on FaceBook, Redroom, or 350.org to learn more. Please pass the word on.
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist."
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