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Jack London's Cabin, Jack London Square, Oakland, California
In 1968 Russ Kingman, an area businessman with a passion for Jack London, headed an expedition to the Alaskan wilderness to authenticate a tiny cabin discovered in the woods on the north fork of Henderson Creek. The cabin was said to be the location where Jack London wintered in 1897-98 when he was prospecting during the Yukon gold rush. Kingman brought Sgt. Ralph Godfrey, a handwriting expert from the Oakland Police Department's forgery detail, along to verify London's signature which was scratched out on the ceiling. Once the cabin was determined to be legitimate it was disassembled, packed out of the wilderness and the logs divided into two piles. Half went to Dawson City, Canada and half was purchased by the Port and came to Oakland. Two cabins were replicated from the original materials and now both cities have duplicate tributes to Jack London, world renowned author and adventurer. The cabin was dedicated on July 1, 1970. Donated by The Port of Oakland.
GUIDED BY AN INNER LIGHT
Table of Contents
Guided by an Inner Light S p e c i a l S u p p l e m e n ta ry e d i t i o n David Baker 1 The View From the Helm AL Levenson 2 Member News Anne Fox 3 E-zines That Pay and Other Market Resources Lucille Bellucci 4 Duotrope, Online Market Database and Submission Tracker AL Levenson 5 Looking for a Book Friend/Critic? Barbara Ruffner 5 Your Contract With Your Critque Group AL Levenson 6 Co-Publishing AL Levenson 6 Tidbits 7 On the Horizon AL Levenson 8
D. Patrick Miller, our featured speaker for the November 15 meeting, can guide us on a journey of self-discovery and, at the same time, help us get published. His books include Love After Life, My Journey September 2008 Through the Plant World: a Novel of Sexual Initiation,Understanding A Course in Miracles, Instructions of the Spirit, The Book of Practical Faith, and A Little Book of Forgiveness. In 1997, after selling three of his projects to major publishers, Miller founded Fearless Books to continue publication of his writing. More than 75 of his articles have appeared in a wide variety of magazines, including Yoga Journal, Self, Natural Health, Healthy Living, and Reader’s Digest. His poetry has been published in a number of magazines and several anthologies. As a collaborator, ghost writer, or principal editor, Miller has helped other authors prepare manuscripts for Viking, Doubleday, Warner, Simon & Schuster, Jeremy P. Tarcher, and John Wiley & Sons. A top-ranked volunteer expert on publishing at AllExperts.com, he provides professional consultations to literary agents and publishers as well as to authors writing fiction and nonfiction. Miller has worked for many years with the Linda Chester Literary Agency of New York, which recommends his critique services. He is a member of the Authors Guild and serves as president of the Northern California chapter of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA). Miller’s webpage at www.fearlessbooks.com is interesting to visit. He not only encourages us to release guilt, gain trust, practice patience, and learn transcendence but also offers advice on agency representation, working with the independent press, co-op or print-on-demand publication, electronic publishing, and self-publishing. Whether you seek a path to enlightenment or the road to publication, bring your questions to the November meeting. - David Baker
Saturday, November 15, 2008, from 10 a.m. until noon. Jack London Square, Oakland. Inside Barnes & Noble Book Store at the Event Loft.
The View From The Helm
A month ago I was having coffee with Lucille Bellucci, one of the Berkeley Branch’s most productive members. The subject of e-zines came up, and she said this had been an exciting new piece of her writing life. She began to look into e-zines almost three years ago. She reports regular sales and says she really made no changes to accommodate to the new market and likes the savings in postage, paper, etc. Lucille’s article about e-zines, her newest, best friends, appears in this issue. Also see reference to her in Member News. * * * * * * * On October 19, along with fourteen delegates from other branches, I attended the quarterly meeting of the Central board of the California Writers Club. Attendance is an opportunity for me to learn what goes on at the state level, to learn how other branches operate, and to come to know the best and brightest club members across the state: successful professionals and serious hobbyists, generous every one. This meeting dealt with a number of subjects, including projects related to the Centennial, guidelines for the formation of a new Branch, implementation of an online forum for the Central Board (possibly reducing the number of physical meetings). Co-publishing emerged as the most exciting topic. The Sonoma Branch has been co-publishing with Unlimited Publishing for three years. They have produced an annual anthology as well as three books by member authors. Although there was discussion of the CWC entering into a multibook deal with a publisher, a straw vote of the Central Board heavily favored leaving control at the branch level. And a final word. Statewide, the CWC has sustained a significant attrition in its membership, down to slightly under 1000 from the 1200 at the end of last year. I don’t know if this is a typical annual fluctuation from all memberships expiring in June though new members are added all year long, or if this is still one more casualty of our several national uncertainties. Only two branches showed a small increase—South Bay, the largest branch, is up to 191 members from last year’s 186; and Berkeley, up to 67 from the 65 we closed last year with. I can only think there is a special dynamism at work in the Berkeley Branch helping us to buck the statewide trend, the dynamism we need to continue to nourish. Membership numbers are simply a way of keeping score. * * * * * * *
Although I have not specifically mentioned it before, I am always open to membership feedback— suggestions for what you’d like to see, especially from people who are willing to help implement innovative ideas. The View from the Helm is all clear ahead, visibility unlimited, and we’re calling for more steam from the engine room. - AL Levenson, President November 2008 Write angleS 2
Caroline Ahlswede and her niece, Cynthia Haney, were awarded Honorable Mention for their September 2008 submission to the Feature Article category of the 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. The article, “Classroom Demons? Maybe Not…,” was one of over 17,000 submissions to the 10 contest categories. Maria Schneider, editor of Writer’s Digest, wrote in a letter to Caroline, “Your success in the face of such formidable competition speaks highly of your writing talent and should be a source of great pride as you continue in your writing career.” Caroline appreciates the support of Lucille Bellucci, copyeditor Anne Fox, and the late Ione Kramer, for helping to bring about the success for her and her niece of this first-time contest entry. An e-mail message Lucille Bellucci recently received said, “Good news! We’re publishing your piece in our Winter 2008 issue—although I don’t know the exact date of publication.” The “I” is Jane Lancellotti, Readers’ Narratives Editor of Narrative magazine, (narrativemagazine.com). This exciting online magazine will feature Lucille’s picture as well as her story, “Shanghai, February 1952.” Be on the lookout. And check out the Web site yourself to see its possibilities for you. Berkeley Branch Publicity Chair Linda Brown is now reporting on the activities of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Committee. Two articles she wrote appeared in the Oakland Business Review, which reaches 15,000 elected officials, business leaders, and other VIPs in the East Bay and beyond each month. IN MEMORIAM: In May of this year we suffered the loss of Ione Dorothy Kramer, a longtime contributing member of the CWC Berkeley Branch. After her marriage, she and her husband, Gentom Wang moved to China, where for some 30 years Ione worked for China Reconstructs, an English language magazine, while her husband taught electronics in Tsinghua University. Once back in the United States, Ione and colleague Kit Chow wrote All the Tea in China, which is still in print. Ione was not able to fulfill her desire to write stories based on events and letters she had written during the turbulent years in China. Attention, Members: Remember, your successes inspire your fellow members. Let us know what you’ve done, what you are doing, what you plan to do. Has your article or short story been published? Has an agent signed you on? Has a publisher accepted your book? Are you scheduled as a speaker, being interviewed, presenting at a writers’ conference? Teaching a writing course? Send the good news to Anne Fox, firstname.lastname@example.org.
E-ZINES THAT PAY AND OTHER MARKET RESOURCES
Three years ago (a century in Internet time) you could get published without too much pain if you accepted online exposure with no pay. Now the medium has become competitive. Think of that—no postage, follow-ups responded to by e-mail, and maybe even a check afterward. I am not discussing markets like The New Yorker, The Atlantic, or Harper’s, though The New Yorker now accepts online submissions. I am betting the other two will eventually join the 21st century. A seemingly wealthy e-zine is www.narrativemagazine.com, whose editor, Tom Jenks, used to work at Esquire magazine. The zine mounts an annual conference at Ft. Mason in San Francisco attended by the likes of Amy Tan and Tobias Wolff. The editors are as tough as those on any paper periodical, but you get feedback. The zine features a $150 Story-of-the-Week winner. (See Member News.) A print journal, www.newmilleniumwriting.com also accepts online submissions. They run contests throughout the year. The serious zine, www.danaliterary.com, wants your earnest, well-defined thoughts on any subject. The Web site www.goodgoshlmighty.com bills itself as a forum for determined individualists. They pay, but will keep your story or article fresh in their archives if you forego pay. Another resource, www.conversely.com, runs contests and is fun to read by itself. The handsome literary zine, www.Pedestalmagazine.com, also runs contests. Then there is www.literarycottage.com, somewhat new on the scene. Once you join, www.fanstory.com promises a ream of markets. The word “funky” fits www.anotherealm.com, which runs contests for short speculative fiction of the millennium, whatever that means. For clues, read the stories that have made it onto the site. The zine features discussion boards where contributors and readers can fight out their differences. Its extended cousin, www.anotherealm.com/prededitors, offers helpful resources on anything connected to our trade. A zine of stature that pays little, www.theroseandthornzine.com, has been alive for years. Traditional literary journals have come online. One of the most attractive is www.crazyhorse.cofc.edu, a long-standing review of College of Charleston, S.C., offering generous prizes for fiction and poetry. Accepting both USPS and online submissions is www.newletters.com. These two have broken away from the old-fashioned dreary round of postal-mail submissions to the traditional markets. Remember, you can always nudge this kind of periodical by e-mail and get a reply in timely fashion. A site I haven’t fully explored yet is www.fundsforwriters.com, but it is surely intriguing and has been listed in Write Angles by copyeditor Anne Fox. They offer a free newsletter and a $12/year newsletter. Once having accessed a market-resource newsletter, you may find your mailbox deluged by such newsletters. I have been receiving the free www.writing-world.com for at least 18 months, and find at least one market I can use every other newsletter. Other market newsletters, all worthwhile, are: www.worldwidefreelance.com, www.writingitreal.com, and www.winningwriters.com. Finally, a useful site, www.sfwa.org/BEWARE/agents.html, helps guide you through the minefield of acquiring agents. You writers, go forth and celebrate the resources of the Internet! - Lucille Bellucci November 2008 Write angleS 4
Duotrope, ONLINE MARKET DATABASE AND SUBMISSION TRACKER
In the course of a month, my job as Berkeley Branch Prez, Interim Membership Guy, and enthusiastic participant in both Berkeley Branch support/critique writers’ groups, I must get to talk to as many members as anyone. I know that at least a half-dozen of us are writing short pieces, stories and articles. Dozens of our members have book-length projects underway. Many of them sometimes take a breather to dash off something short. So, I wonder why Duotrope (www.duotrope.com) isn’t mentionedSeptember 2008 more often within the Berkeley Branch. For those of us writing shorter than book-length pieces, Duotrope is one of our best friends. Duotrope is a free (donation-supported), easy-to-use Web site that has two valuable features: a searchable database of 2,300 publications and a submission tracker. Feature number one, the database, includes both print and electronic publications. wYou get to fill out a multifield search form. Enter genre (choose from 15), length (choose from four), and pay scale (choose from four). You can also specify print or electronic media and print or electronic submission. Ask for a mainstream publication, print or electronic, that pays top-end (a nickel a word or more) and allows electronic submissions, excluding markets that are temporarily closed, and 24 hits come up plus two that list their genre as “other.” Click on any single result, and you find yourself at a page of response statistics for that publication maintained by the readers of Duotrope. And, of course, a link to that publication’s Web site, submission guidelines, a copy of the current number, subscription information, and the tooting of their entire horn section. Try experimental, flash fiction, electronic, token payment and up, and you get 15 direct hits and 27 more secondary matches. It would take at least an hour in a print publication to do that research. Feature number two, the submission tracker, is awesome in its own right. Click on the tracker, and you get to look at the status of everything you’ve ever submitted, filtered and sorted according to eight categories you specify. Or click the “add submission” button and enter the data for the manuscript you are sending today. Enter the publication and the date sent. If/when you receive an acknowledgment, acceptance, rejection, request for rewrite, enter these as a report. Your personal file is updated, response times are added to the statistics database, and the diligence of every publication is posted for all. Is that computers and the Internet at their best, or what? - AL Levenson
Looking for a Book Friend/Critic?
The discussion of critique groups in last month’s Write Angles prompted some further thoughts. Do you have a finished book, novel, memoir or other nonfiction you want to improve before sending it out (for the first time or yet again?) to agents? Maybe you need a Book Friend. Someone who will read your book in its entirety in return for your reading his or her book. Someone who hasn’t been in any of your critique or support groups and hasn’t seen this particular work of yours before. Someone who will be brutally frank, objective, friendly, agree to a time frame for returning your book (and getting hers back)? I’m willing to play matchmaker. Drop me a note at email@example.com. I’ll try to match you up with a book friend you can trust. - Barbara Ruffner November 2008 Write angleS 5
Your Contract With Your Critique Group
Are you are a member of a private, closed support/critique group? Or do you drop in on a group that is open to the public like the ones sponsored by the Berkeley Branch? What is your contract with the group? Some writers attend regularly, leaving their own work at home, bringing only their best editorial eyeglasses. They offer quality opinions in exchange for some credit to be redeemed in the future. They give a lot, and it comes back to thank them. Others submit the best they have, the polished version several drafts beyond the first. They offer it with pride—and trepidation—expecting the flaws hiding in their pages to be flushed out like a politician’s peccadillos. These writers, too, give their best and come away with the best. The person who gets the least is the person who has dashed off a first draft and, with the minimum scrutiny, brings the piece in the hope that their raw talent will be a ticket to the circus. They tell themselves they don’t know if their work is any good, but they bring it in the belief that their group will prescribe the surgery necessary to fix it. Fugedaboudit. Doesn’t happen. Bring a first draft, and the best editors at the table will spend most of their allotted time correcting punctuation. The second-best editors, lesser grammarians like myself, ignore the commas and the spelling errors with the sure knowledge the typos and squiggles will not pass the fine sieve of the best and the brightest. We second-stringers read for substance and content and get bogged down in incomplete scene setting, incomplete context, shifts in point of view, unclear antecedents, and lots more. Too much to write up on your manuscript. The most useful critiques I ever received came when I brought my best to the party. When your peer editors are not distracted by first-draft mistakes, you get the suggestions about structure, dialogue flow, credibility of character, symbolism, pace, etc. That is what I come for. A good group will deliver more than their share of the contract if you live up to your half. - AL Levenson
The discussion of co-publishing at the Central Board meeting stimulated further thinking. In this period of flux and flex in publishing formats, we see that individuals can become publishers. From there it is a small step to imagine the Berkeley Branch with its own imprint. In our branch at least two books have been self-published within the last year. I know of at least five books shopping for an agent. As frustrations mount, I imagine many writers will begin to consider a self-publishing route. It seems to me these folks ought to get together to pool their knowledge and examine their collective options. How many individuals within the branch would like to gather with others and consolidate their ideas and experience, consider options, and explore possibilities? Would anyone care to host a discussion? Drop me a note at Calwritersclub@GMail.com with your thoughts. - AL Levenson November 2008 Write angleS 6
Publicity Plans for CWC Berkeley Branch The 2009 Publicity Planning Calendar is nearly complete, with plans for media and community outreach. Initial plans include monthly flyers promoting the Berkeley Branch--CWC meetings and support/critique writers’ group workshops for distribution to local bookstores, literary coffee houses, libraries, and more. Barnes & Noble is restoring signage. For the long-range, our branch is coordinating Centennial Plans--the 100 years of the CWC--with the state CWC. For this effort, we are considering a speakers’ bureau (10 to 15-minute briefings) and at least bimonthly media releases with stories about CWC and, when possible, its published authors. I hope that you will send me stories that tie in with a significant event such as a holiday or a state or nationally recognized event. For example, February is Black History Month and October is Family History Month. If you have ideas or comments on our branch’s publicity plan, a story, or an idea about how to help spread the word about CWC, please contact Linda Brown at BrownCalifornia@aol.com. - Linda Brown Anthology Deadline Extended to November 16 The last issue of Write Angles put out the call to members for submissions to the California Writers Club state anthology. This will be the fifth edition of the anthology in the hundred-year history of the club. The last edition, published over twenty years ago, included three pieces by Berkeley Branch members. The anthology seeks fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry. No more than 2,000 words for prose, 750-word limit for poetry. Any topic. No more than two previously unpublished submissions per category per author. Electronic submission only to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Professional manuscript format. 10-12pt serif type, start title page half-way down first page, include author’s name, address, phone, and CWC branch at top right of first page. Include author’s name, title, and page number in a header on each page except the title page. Give them your best by November 16. - AL Levenson
Meeting Time Change
WEB SITES FOR WRITERS
zinebook.com cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com agentquery.com querytracker.net
The 3rd Saturday support/critique writers’ group will meet on the 4th Saturday, November 22, from 1 to 5 p.m., Rockridge Library. Critique Groups:
oN THE HoRIzoN
Berkeley Branch Officers
President: AL Levenson Vice President: Dave Sawle Secretary: Evelyn Washington Treasurer: Ken Frazer Program: AL Levenson Membership: OPEN Hospitality: OPEN Children’s Contest: Lucille Bellucci Newsletter Editor: OPEN Copyeditor: Anne Fox Publicity: Linda Brown Webmaster: Stan Sciortino
Something new and different. This year our winter meeting will be a Sunday brunch at 10:30 a.m. on December 7, 2008 (note meeting date change).* You can invite family and friends to this light-hearted holiday party to socialize, learn about the club, and meet the people you hang out with every month. And this is a great opportunity to introduce the club to your writer friends. For the program, we will have the pleasure of hearing David Jenkins, who works with dreams and has a Ph.D. in that subject. He believes dreams can help solve everyday predicaments. How about dreaming your way through writer’s block? Jenkins believes your dream life ought to be fun and will offer several group interactive exercises. Bring a dream for Jenkins to dance us through. You can find out more at his Web site: www.DreamReplay.com. Brunch will be in Alameda at Pasta Pelican, 2455 Marina Square Drive (510-864-7427). The charge for CWC members and guests is $17 each, checks to be received by December 3. Otherwise, charge at the door is $20 per person. Please mail your check to Berkeley Branch, P.O. Box 15014, Oakland CA 94614. Come for fun and food. Looking forward to seeing you. - AL Levenson *Remember, no club meeting on December 20. However, support/critique groups will meet as usual on December 13 and 20, respectively.
The CALIFORNIA WRITERS CLUB is dedicated to educating members and the public-at-large in the craft of writing and in the marketing of their work. For more information, visit our Web site at www.berkeleywritersclub.org. Copyright © 2008 by the California Writers Club, Berkeley Branch. All rights reserved. Write Angles is published 10 times a year (September June) by the California Writers Club, Berkeley Branch on behalf of its members. CWC assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, process, product, method or policy described in this newsletter.
P.O. Box 15014 Oakland, CA 94614
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