GET INSIDE YOUR READER’S BRAIN – The Neuroscience of How to Make Readers Laugh and Cry
Speaker: Ransom Stephens
In this presentation, science writer and novelist Ransom Stephens investigates how to write in ways that administer dopamine when you want readers happy and withholds it when you want readers sad. We’ll explore the roots of what people like and why bestsellers aren’t always critical favorites. Art is subjective, but our subjectivity has a lot in common. Find out more about Ransom Stephens at http://www.ransomstephens.com.
Use Your Name and Your Themes to Advance Your Writer’s Platform-Building Journey
Speaker: Teresa LeYung-Ryan
Join Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan in this interactive presentation to identify your core themes and create your writer’s platform statement BEFORE and AFTER publication – whether you are pitching to agents and publishers or choosing to self-publish – whether you write fiction or nonfiction. What is a “Platform” really? Why do you need one before pitching to agents, acquisition editors, booksellers or the media? Who can help you broadcast yours? Coach Teresa says: “Reach out, not stress out. When you make your name synonymous with themes you are passionate about, you attract attention from people who can advance your platform-building journey (before and after publication) and you gain more time to write your next project.”
Through her coaching services and her workbook, Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan teaches her clients how to identify their themes and create scripts for pitches, query letters, press releases, talking-points, one-minute videos, photo slideshows, and the all-mighty blog. She is the author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW. Her novel Love Made of Heart (a mother-daughter love story) is used in colleges, recommended by the California School Library Association and the California Reading Association, and is archived at the San Francisco History Center. The first monologue in her “Talking To My Dead Mom” series received an award from Redwood Writers. Coach Teresa says: “Reach out, not stress out!” Please visit http://WritingCoachTeresa.com and click on Coach Teresa’s Blog.
Stoke Your Creative Fire: Three Ways to Revitalize Your Writing
Speaker: Susan Osborn
Storyteller Susan M. Osborn will talk about putting yourself in a creative state of mind, imagining and inventing new content, and experimenting with innovative forms.
Susan M. Osborn, Ph.D., M.S.W., is a writer of creative nonfiction, storyteller, and president of LifeThread Publications. She is the senior author of Assertive Training for Women, and author of The System Made Me Do It! A Life Changing Approach to Office Politics.
She has served as the editor of the Lockheed Observer and as a staff writer for Senior Spectrum, High Technology Careers Magazine, and the Washington Women’s New Journal. Her articles have appeared in numerous business publications and her chapter demonstrating how organizations use stories to build teams was published in Wake Me When the Data’s Over. She has taught writing courses at various business organizations and universities.
Producing the Awful Bosses Coloring Book prompted her to explore creativity and conceptual blockbusting in relation to writing creative nonfiction. The result is the discovery of a treasure chest of approaches designed to liberate creative ideas.
Author Platform, Branding, and Monetization
Speaker: Joel Friedlander
How to use your expertise to build a valuable online asset and turn your content into an amazing variety of multimedia products using the latest technology to reach the readers just waiting to find your message.
Joel Friedlander (@JFBookman) is an award-winning book designer, blogger, and writer. He speaks regularly at industry events and is the author of The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide. The blogger behind TheBookDesigner, Joel is a columnist for Publishers Weekly and was named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 10 people to follow in book publishing.
Annual Holiday Party
We’re having our annual holiday get-together on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 4, from 3-6 p.m. at the Sequoia Yacht Club, 441 Seaport Court, Redwood City. We’re planning open mic readings this year and we’re supplying the food. There will be an open bar, where you can buy drinks. Please let us know if you’re coming, how many people you’ll be bringing, and whether you want to sign up for a 3-5 minute reading. Email us at email@example.com.
Creating an Effective Marketing Strategy for your Book (From Book Signings to Social Media)
Speaker: LeeAnne Krusemark
Your book is published. Now what? THE ANSWER IS MARKETING! Effective book marketing uses a variety of methods to maximize exposure and profits, and many are FREE! In this comprehensive talk, you will learn many ways to market your book, including social media, blogging, obtaining reviews, and book signings.
Bio: LeeAnne is an adjunct online Professor of Publishing for Harvard and more than 1,000 other facilities worldwide, and is a nationwide speaker on the topic. She is also a former journalist, editor, and managing editor of newspapers, as well as an author of countless magazine articles and several books on business and publishing, some of which can be found on Amazon. She has also recently authored a screenplay that Hallmark has expressed an interest in, and has also started representing other writers as an editor and agent. The inspiration she gives to others has even been compared in writing to Oprah! More at http://www.leeannekrusemark.com.
The Purpose of Writing
Speaker: Kendra Lubalin
What are the drives that underlie your writing, and how can you tap into them for motivation and inspiration? This interactive and experiential session uses principles of co-active coaching to connect you deeply to the purpose of your writing and shows you ways to use that connection to energize your work. You’ll leave with clear next steps toward accessing your strongest writing more easily and consistently.
Bio: Kendra Lubalin is a coach, a teacher, a writer, and a mother of two. As a coach, she can empower you to live the life you want to be living. To learn about her coaching style, or read her coaching blog, please visit gettherecoaching.com . As a writer, she’s recently completed a middle-grade book about an autistic boy and a magical gnome who turns his world upside down and is currently working on a series of creative non-fiction essays about childhood, for adults. Follow her on twitter @kendralubalin to read her work.
Making a Life with Language: Joy, Mania, and Commitment
Speaker: Steven Nightingale
What happens when you put writing at the center of your life? For author, poet, and essayist Steven Nightingale, writing has opened doors into worlds he might otherwise never have explored. He’ll talk about how his writing has led on to other passions, and read some of his work—short pieces of mischief, lyricism, and revelry.
Bio: Steven Nightingale writes novels, sonnets, long essays, and is exploring currently a promiscuous range of projects. His interests include the medieval art of Spain and Italy, the wild country of the American West and the Caribbean, cooking for his treasured wife and daughter, astronomy, venture capital, the quantitative arts, and Emily Dickinson, whom he loves. He divides his time between Palo Alto, California, his beloved home state of Nevada, and the beautiful Albayzin, a barrio in Granada, Spain. Find out more at http://stevennightingale.net.
It’s All Your Fault Zone: Submission Tips for Getting Accepted to Our Branch’s Anthology
Speakers: Lisa Meltzer Penn and Audrey Kalman
Founding editor Lisa Meltzer Penn and former editor Audrey Kalman delve into everything you ever wanted to know about Fault Zone but were afraid to ask. Learn about the genesis of this literary anthology, the benefits and perks of submitting, and tips you can use to increase your odds of having your piece accepted — including what makes a good story. Lisa and Audrey also will cover the nuts and bolts of the schedule and the submission process. And they will share details about some exciting new opportunities available to members in the upcoming edition, Fault Zone: Uplift. Come with your questions!
Annual CWC Picnic
Presenter: Kirsten Weiss
Pace Like Joss Whedon!
How can you keep readers turning the page? Pacing is one of the key elements fiction writers must master and also one of the most misunderstood. In this interactive workshop, we’ll examine the pacing system described by Joss Whedon, writer and producer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Avengers, and other high-octane movies and TV shows. You’ll also get a chance to practice this simple method for editing your own work and keeping readers riveted to your story.
Kirsten Weiss writes genre-blending steampunk suspense, urban fantasy, and mystery, mixing her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem.
She worked overseas for nearly twenty years in the fringes of the former USSR, Africa and South-east Asia. Her experiences abroad sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.
Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes genre-blending steampunk suspense, urban fantasy, and mystery, mixing her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem.
Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer reruns and drinking red wine. Sign up for her newsletter to get free updates on her latest work at http://kirstenweiss.com
Playtime for Fiction Writers by Maureen Studer
Do you get tired of plodding through a plot when you’re writing fiction? Do you get lost slogging through a story? Ever improvised your way to an “out of the ordinary” tale? We will do that at this meeting. Together we will weave a yarn out of our collective imagination. Using a variety of improvisation and writing techniques, we will craft an outline for a short play. Then you can use these techniques to soar on your own at home or with friends. It’s better than charades at a party. Even pantsers might have fun! Along the way we will stop at the intersection of desire and obstacle, the cornerstone of conflict. We’ll see how lack of communication makes for more interesting dialogue. We’ll cover the elements of playwriting that make a play stageworthy.
Bio: Maureen Studer has spent the better part of four decades in the theatre. She’s worked as an actor, director, educator, playwright and producer, and has garnered awards in all areas. She won Best Supporting Actress for Dancing at Lughnasa at Actor’s Theatre of Santa Rosa. She’s won several playwriting awards, including “Best of Fringe” for Zero to Sixty, a play she directed at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. Maureen cofounded Petaluma Readers Theatre, which brings literature, poetry and dialogue to life through a form of animated theatrical reading. There she’s been director, actor and producer and currently acts as a consultant. She developed, founded and facilitated at Playwrights Forum for 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa. In 2012 her achievements in theatre were recognized at 6th Street Playhouse in a public presentation. She performed a selection from “Women’s Work,” her collaborative play about the contribution women made to the war effort during WWII. Maureen recently received accolades for her performance as Anne Cannon in Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson at 6th Street Playhouse. She’s been commissioned to write a one-act play for Pegasus Theatre in Sonoma County. She will wrap up her year directing Dixie Swim Club in Petaluma. And she’s soon to publish her first novel, Show Fever, a romance set in theatre.
How do you make language come to life through prose and poetry for the stage? What are writing basics and techniques for the dramatic medium? Our speaker has written, performed, and composed the music and lyrics for over 16 one-woman shows. You will learn how to bring your own stories — fact or fiction — to life through dramatic presentations in a way that connects with your audience. It’s FUN!
Bio: Singer, songwriter, actress and recording artist Sam Kauffman is known for her exceptional storytelling ability and memorable lyrics. She has developed over fifty programs that include her original music, stories, poetry, and dramas. Sam has adjudicated national and international vocal competitions for gospel musicians, performed with the San Francisco Family Theater, and produced and directed musical theater performances. She is a roster artist with the Northeast Artists Guild (NEAG). “In This Room,” the title song on her first CD, is sung all over the world as the international theme song of the Ecumenical group, Kairos Outside (a prison ministry). While Sam’s music has received national radio airplay, it is her work with churches throughout the U.S. that remains her focus. Sam has a BA in Music and English. She is the author of childrens and poetry books and her children’s book “The Story of the Little Star” is used nationally in Christmas pageants.
The Pitfalls and Pleasures of Translating Real Life into Fiction
Are you writing something based on real life? My novels are based on real people and real cases. We’ll talk about how to determine when reality is interesting, boring, or possibly unethical. What do you do when readers ask if your book is autobiographical? Or when everyone you know guesses correctly about the identity of one of your characters? Feel free to bring questions about your current project.
Bio: Ellen Kirschman has been a police psychologist for thirty years. After writing three non-fiction books, she began writing a mystery series. Her protagonist, psychologist Dr. Dot Meyerhoff, is a spunky fifty-year-old who takes orders from no one, not even her chief, and persists in solving crimes when she should be counseling cops. The latest in the series, The Right Wrong Thing, was a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards and chosen as one of the best books of 2015 by BookReporter.com.
CWC SF Peninsula Branch 50th Anniversary Gala
Join our past branch presidents and long-time members as they celebrate the 50-year history with our club. Publisher Tory Hartmann from the Sand Hill Review Press will be our featured speaker on Writing and Publishing in the 21st Century. Be sure to be a part of a once-every-half-century celebration!
Tarot for the Writer’s Toolbox
While traditionally associated with fortune telling, tarot cards have been inspiring writers for centuries through their rich imagery and archetypal symbolism. Come and learn how you can use the tarot to help you develop character and plot, explore your personal history, and mine imagery for poetry. You will leave this presentation with practical resources and exercises to stimulate your imagination.
Bio: Susan Gold holds an M.A. in Creative Writing and is a fiction writer and poet. She has taught writing, literature, and mythology courses at the college and high school levels and for years has helped writers break through blocks and spark their imaginations in her work as a consulting hypnotist and teacher of the tarot.
Beyond Facebook: How to Make Social Media Work for You
A special workshop with Karma Bennett In this special workshop, we dig into the nitty gritty of spreading the word about your book with social media. We explore different social networks, find the right one for your book, and help you come up with a personalized plan. You’ll learn essential tools that make using social networks more efficient, as well as critical do’s and don’ts for social media etiquette.
Adam Plantinga, Author
400 Things Cops Know: A Police Officer Tells What Police Work is Really Like
Real-life police work is not like what you see on TV — all too often, mystery writers get the details of how cops and criminals behave embarrassingly wrong. Adam Plantinga, author of “400 Things Cops Know” and a working sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department, spoke on the realities of day-to-day police work. From how to drive safely in a car chase, to how to tell if a suspect is carrying a weapon, to what to do if you find a severed limb in the street, Adam had invaluable information for all writers who want to put more realism in their crime writing and create realistic police characters.
Plarachterization: Intersection of Plot and Character
The best plots aren’t controlled by an authorial presence. Plot springs from the characters themselves. The writer masterminds all of these things, but the more we program ourselves to think of it in this way–that our protagonists are sovereign beings with independent consciousnesses from our own–the better prepared we are to traverse what I’m calling “plarachterization.” This talk will be geared around characters’ decision-making, the causality between plot points, how to keep a reader excitedly flipping pages. We’ll also delve into tactics for constructing a present action and how to fold backstory into it. Plarachterization is a strategy that will help any aspiring writer.
Fiction, poetry, novel, memoir: Demolishing categories, undermining cliché. Included a reading from Tribute (a novel in single-sentence paragraphs), a collaborative exercise, and plenty of Q&A. Reinventing language, resuscitating consciousness.
July 18 2015
Annual CWC SF/Peninsula Branch Picnic
July 25 2015
California Writer’s Club Annual Picnic
Cathie Glenn Jennings
To Blog or Not to Blog: How Blogs Can Help You Write Your Next Book, Even if You Don’t Have a Blog Learn ways to use blogs to improve the research and writing of your current projects. Get to know your target readers long before publication, so you can have a built-in fan base eager to buy when your book launches.
Simon Wood, author
The 21st Century Author: You don’t get a second chance at making a first impression. That’s never been truer for writers. While publishing opportunities have increased, so have the demands. Editors, agents and publishers expect writers to be born fully formed to tackle the reading public. You need to have your image, platform and social networking plan in place the second your book hits the market-and in the case of a new author, long before.
How to Create Tension in Your Novel: We all want to write better, win awards, and be published. Write a good story, it’s said, and you’ll not only enjoy the journey, you will reap those other rewards. Stories are created with imagination, the first of two essential ingredients. They are told with craft, the other ingredient, which Curteman would argue is the more important of the two. Tension is an element of craft and likely the most difficult to handle. Curteman will make this element easier for you with her unusual and engaging presentation.
David Kulczyk, author
From insane celebrities to wacky religious cults, if it’s weird, it happens in California-and pop historian David Kulczyk has documented it in his book, California Fruits, Flakes, and Nuts: True Tales of California Crazies, Crackpots, and Creeps. These are perfect stories for anyone who loves true crime, celebrity gossip, or feeling superior to losers.
Mary Knippel, Writing Mentor
Fast, Fun and Fundamental
Change your writing, change your life in 15 minutes a day. Fun, fast and effective writing tips, techniques and strategies to connect with your most important reader.
Lisa Meltzer Penn and Audrey Kalman
Red Pen Secrets: No matter how great a writer you are, there’s a limit to how well you can edit your own work; at some point, you’ll need to work with an editor.
Fault Zone editors, presented a lively hands-on session to help understand the editing process.
Nick Taylor / T.T. Monday
Another You: Working in Two Genres
Nick writes in both literary/historical fiction and crime. From a working author’s perspective, Nick discussed pseudonyms, marketing, research, work flow, and prioritization.
James B. Golden, Poet Laureate of Salinas
Protest Through Poetry: A Civil Rights Journey
James read from BULL, his award winning book and talked about journalism, independent / small press publishing and being a Poet Laureate.
Caroline GoodwinComposition by Juxtaposition
Composition by Juxtaposition
In a poem, it is often the leaps between juxtaposed images that create meaning and energy, inviting the reader into the space made on the page. Caroline is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and currently serves as the first San Mateo County Poet Laureate.
Karma, a local book publicist who loves to discuss web marketing and all that social media jazz wowed us with her depth of knowledge regarding social media.
Adventurer and author, Mary-Rose showed us how to access a character by mining personal experiences and emotions from the past.
Founder of Fearless Books Patrick Miller and Sr. Editor Sari Friedman reveaedl why the time is right to Self-Publish and offered invaluable tips on preparing manuscripts for publication.
What Crime Novel Are You Writing?
The Differences Between Mysteries, Thrillers and Suspense
Sheldon Siegel New York Times Best-Selling Author
Linda Watanabe McFerrin
Pushing the Boundaries Fiction, Non-Fiction and the Great Beyond
Poet, travel writer, novelist and teacher, Linda regaled us with stories about her writing career and shared her views on how, over time, the non-fiction writing world managed to infuse itself with literary phrases and creative narrative to become far more enjoyable. She also offered a few tips and tricks to keep on writing.
Writing what you know
Out of the boiling pot of experience come the words that work
Michael manages as best he can to avoid the tedium of normal life by writing from the heart. A local boy; he grew up in a commercial fishing family, built his home from scratch and writes what he knows.
For more about Michael: The Fisherman’s Son, Random House
Jim Azevedo, Marketing Manager Smashwords
Jim regaled us with behind-the-scenes information about Smashwords and showed us a few tricks of the publishing trade. Smashwords has recently revamped its website and added features to help authors get their work published online. It has long championed self/small published authors. We were honored to have Jim show us how best to utilize Smashword’s outstanding site.
For more: Smashwords.com
Scott Thomas Anderson
Penning Reality with a Pulse
Scott, an experienced literary journalist and author, discussed the difference between crime fiction and literary journalism and how to craft audacious creative nonfiction.
For more: scottthomasanderson.com
Memoir or Novel? Is there a difference?
Camille spoke about how the techniques of fiction writing are transferrable to essays, memoirs, and nonfiction books of all kinds. She shared with us some techniques which have worked for her during her prolific writing career.
For more: minichino.com
Amazon Marketing Expert
Explained how to get a share of the exploding eBook market.
For more: letswritebooks.net
Author of Exit Laughing
How Humor Takes the Sting out of Death
Noted author and teacher told us about the Acorn Workshop and how to mold a simple idea into an intriguing story.
For more about Victoria: victoriazackheim.com
Getting to Yes, Polish, PItch, Repeat
Meg shared her secrets about getting a manuscript of any sort to print. She included many stories of her own and how she acquired her hard earned, first-hand knowledge of how to get an agent and how to get published.
For more: megwaiteclayton.com
Creating Memorable Characters, for Fiction, Film and TV
For more: davidcorbett.com
Susan Sachs Lipman
Author of Fed up with Frenzy
The Book’s Done, But You’re Not:
Marketing and Promotion for Authors
Susan discussed establishing a platform, writing and pitching releases, blogging, social media, interviews, approaching booksellers, and creating events.
For more: slowfamilyonline.com
Simon Wood: Author of Mystery and Suspense Writer
Simon shared with us his technique for building suspense and how to create a unique and genuinely original plot, twist by twist.
For more: simonwood.net
Priscilla Royal: Author of Medieval Mysteries
Priscilla shared with us her methods of research and how she gets the details just right.
For more: priscillaroyal.com
Cara Black: Author of bestselling and award nominated Aimée Leduc Investigation series
Cara discussed research techniques that she uses to produce her mystery novels set in the 1990’s in Paris.
For more: carablack.com
Tanya discussed how she used her research to not only enrich her scenes, but to inspire the events, dialogue and subplots in her novels.
She taught us some tricks on how to make a world exciting, and and how to use objects belonging to that world to strengthen both plot and characterization.
For more: tanyaegangibson.com
Lynn Stegner, Author and Educator
Peg spoke about the art of writing Flash Fiction.
Beth Barany; Creative Consultant for Writers
10 Tips to Jumpstart Your Creativity
Writing is much like exercise: the more we write, the better a writer we become. Beth shared much more than her 10 tips and got us all enthused about the writing process. She offered practical advice to keep our creative juices flowing and gave us exercises to help generate new ideas for every stage of the writing process.
Subscribe to Author Entrepreneur Magazine, a monthly online magazine, dedicated to helping author entrepreneurs build a successful and sustainable business.
Anyone Can Write a Kid’s Book and Other Myths
A panel of children’s book writers
Anyone can write a kids’ book, right? Cynthia Chin-Lee, author of six children’s books, lead a panel of children’s book writers, including SuAnn and Kevin Kiser and Debbie Duncan, and let us know just how difficult and yet rewarding it is.
Weaving fiction into a memoir
Fred Setterberg, author of Lunch Bucket Paradise discussed the personal path he has taken to become a writer of a fictional memoir and why. He read snippets of his work and discussed the how, when, and why one should cling to the facts but allow yourself to invent in some instances.
So you want to publish an eBook?
Debbie Duncan recounted her brave exploits navigating the dangerous arena of self-publishing her first ebook. She gave us a wealth of nuts and bolts information and covered everything from formatting an ebook to dealing with copyright issues.
The Art of Emotioneering
Nora Profit of the Writing Loft spoke about how a writer shoud strive to make an emotional impact in every paragraph. And about how readers hear the words in their heads so writers should make their work rhythmic and interesting to listen to. It was a great session. There will be anupcoming boot camp with Nora in June.
Visit The Writing Loft to learn more about Nora Profit and her creative writing workshops. Nora is also the author of 10 Glaring Mistakes Amateur Writers Make and How to Avoid Them.
The Great Completion: Getting the Book Done
Albert Flynn DeSilver, former Poet Laureate of Marin, spoke about the difficulties he has faced in his past and how they influenced his work and fueled his desire to produce and share. His new memoir titled, “Beamish Boy: A Memoir of Recovery & Awakening” is due out this May.
20% off Mentoring Services!
For a limited time, Albert is generously offering his services as Coach and Mentor for 20% off to Members of the CWC sf/peninsula branch. Download a pdf for more information. Visit his website.
How to Go From Unknown to Bestseller
Ezra Barany used his experience in promoting his own book, the Torah Codes to illustrate his points. He advocated carefully choosing a title by using words which are of particular interest to internet search engines. He also suggested paying special attention to the first sentence, first paragraph and first chapter of one’s book. He spoke of the importance of how to make a book easy to read. He also suggested making a book trailer (short video) for Youtube.
For more about Ezrah Barany: thetorahcodes.com