Berkeley Branch Newsletter
June, 2019      ||    Volume 109, Issue 10*

The Wind In Your Sails

Some words from your president

As we sail into summer, it gives me great satisfaction to reflect on how our seasoned and new members worked together so well this year. Some highlights:

  • We have operated "in the black" for the second year in a row! 
  • New faces on the board have helped smooth out our member relations at meetings and behind the scenes. (Special thanks to Gary Durbin.)
  • We finally held a joint event with the SF Penninsula branch in San Francisco. (Special thanks to Amos White and Michael Larsen.)
  • There’s been new energy towards working in support of each other in groups, such as our novelists, poets, queer voices and climate writers. (Special thanks to Kay Tolman, Francine Howard, and #wolfpackwriters.)
  • We brought back workshops after a few years without. (Special thanks to Karma Bennett.)
  • Consciously working on creating greater diversity in our club, we are becoming more reflective of and engaged with the local writing community. (Special thanks to Henry Hitz, Francine Howard and Fred Dodsworth.)
  • Other comments from our board: "Good leadership ~ Good meeting places ~  Planning is becoming more natural ~ Better mix of members ~ Great speakers ~ Preservation Park has been great ~ strong club infrastructure ~ New people, new relationships ~ Great collaborative events ~ stronger connection to Lit Community ~ Great new members! ~ Great volunteers! ~ Healthy board relations, good bonds, trust ~ New materials: banners, bookmarks ~ New initiatives & energy ~ Jack & Jenny fund working out the kinks ~ Member Relations Team! ~ Wolf Pack Writers!"

Please come to the July 21st board retreat if you would like to shape the future of the CWC—We will be planning our upcoming year and what programs to save and cut back. Any member can make a difference to the experience of all members. This is YOUR club.

We also hope to get a summer social on the calendar, where we can do our annual group reading of Columbus! (Here's why.)

Last year's summer social in Fred's back yard >>

Until then, I leave you with some memories, lots of gratitude, and close with some inspiring words about writing by one of our exciting new members.


Sail On,

Kristen Caven
Berkeley Branch Captain
(a.k.a. President) 2017-2020

Author, The Souls of Her Feet

Co-author, The Bullying Antidote

P.S. I very much appreciate the vote of confidence being elected president for another year. I will continue to guide and lead but I need to cut back on my involvement, and start making room to give someone else a turn at ye olde helm. YOUR job next year will be to find someone to replace me at the next election!
The California Writers Club is a nonprofit professional organization open to writers in every genre and at every level of experience, from novice to notable. Our purpose is to promote fellowship and to provide practical information that supports all members in achieving their publishing goals.

Visit our website at

Did you miss an issue of Write Angles? Read past issues here.


In Every Issue

   (Branch News)
   (Member News)
   (CWC Statewide)
    (Articles by and from members)
    (Features by members)

*a small charge is added to cover our fees. Checks are also welcome, see address below. >>>>>>>>

Upcoming Events

  • July 21st: Jack London Awards & Summer Board Retreat at Holiday Inn.
  • Summer social 8/17
  • Mark your calendars for September 15th, when we kick off our 2019-2020 Speaker Series!

It's time to pay dues!

Home Base

One member describes our club as "a great home base for all kinds of writers." This is what's happening in our branch.


Past & Future

"I promise to read the club bylaws and uphold them. And I promise not to let volunteering get in the way of my WRITING!"

Board of Directors 2019-2020:

President Kristen Caven
Vice President Gary Durbin 
Secretary Kay Tolman
Treasurer  Henry Hitz

*Due to unforeseen circumstances, secretary/co-secretary is still urgently needed. 

Central Board Representative Fred Dodsworth 
NorCal Delegate  Terry Tierney 
At Large  Francine Howard
Monthly Speakers  Cristina Deptula
Web Master  Karma Bennett

Other committed volunteers:
New Member Liaison Linda Zallen 
New Member Orientation Linda Brown
Copyeditor  Anne Fox
MRMS System Administrator  Kristen Caven 
Featured Member series  Kristen Caven 
Book Raffle  Henry Hitz
Craft Support Group Henry Hitz 
Marketing Support Group Kymberlie Ingalls 
Google Group Moderator Kristen Caven
Historian Therese Pipe

Volunteer opportunities 2019-2020:
*Secretary Pro-Tem
Nominating Committee (spring)
Book Fairs & Festivals (various)
Speaker Series (curating)
Newsletter Managing Editor 
Social Media
Contest Chairs & Admins

We would like to see every club member working on a committee.
As someone once wrote: Many hands make light work!

Summer Social ~ Saturday, August 17th

Join us for a Writers Happy Hour 4-6pm on Saturday, August 17th at McNally's Pub on College Avenue next to the Rockridge Library. Going to the 5-page group? Join us after you finish!

Here's a map.


Scenes from lately in the CWC

Thaddeus Howze cracks up the other panelists at our May 17th presentation, "The Working Writer." Thaddeus followed up his CWC debut with an article about being a working writer. Read "Part-Time Madman, Full-Time Writer" in The Startup.

CWC members from 2 branches unite at Bay Area Generations #69 on May 24. Louise Hart, Fred Dodsworth (curator), Amos White (host), Kristen Caven, Karma Bennett from Berkeley Branch; Audrey Kalman, Lisa Meltzer Penn, Darlene Frank from SF Penninsula branch. Not pictured: Sheryl Bize-Boutte (curator).

"Speed-dating" for CWC Novelists at Cafenated Coffee in Berkeley, June 2. Event organized by Kay Tolman. 

Annual book launch at Octopus Literary Salon on June 15th. Congratulations (L-R) to Kristen Caven (The Souls of Her Feet) holding Beth Barany's book (Plan Your Novel Like a Pro), Gary Durbin (Nano-uncertainty), Mark Trent Sneed (Blood in the Shadows), Kacey Carpenter (My Journey With Bernie), Mike Verant (Power in the Age of Lies),  Peggy Dougherty (Age Matters), Henry Hitz (Squirrels in the Wall)!

NOTE: When you sign in at a CWC event, you are agreeing for your likeness to be used in CWC promotions. Please send an email to if you need to opt out for any reason. ALSO: please respect subjects by requesting permission from BOTH  a board member and the subject before sharing.

It's Time to Renew your Membership!

Renew now for the Future!

It's time to re-up our membership dues for another year of working with words together. Whether you joined in fall, or with the half-year special, it's time to re-up. (If you joined in May, you're good to go.) Membership gets you access to all of our benefits (including this awesome newsletter), like member rates at events. Speaking of discounts, you can now pre-pay your meeting fees and get a $1 discount, woo hoo! (This is also a benefit for our writer's equity fund.)

Take a minute to review our benefits and membership categories.

Renew your membership today!

Or send a check to CWC Berkeley P.O. Box 11269 Oakland, Ca, 94611

We welcome new members year-round!

*note: there is a small payment processing fee added to this amount.

Thank You to ALL Our Volunteers!

Our members have made this year great.


Extra thanks to Mike Verant for hosting BABF; Terry Tierney for hosting our Book Launch; Nicole Berg for Secretary subbing + help with  bookmark; Kay Tolman for working on check-in process; Ralph Dranow for general help at meetings; Kacey and Christine for the NomCom; Cristina Deptula for all the awesome interviews; JoAnn Ainsworth for editing our Published Members page; Diane Swan for pre-editing Write Angles; Jane Glendinning for your service on NorCal & all the brownies; Linda Zallen for new member processing (HUGE thanks); Francine Howard for the winter social and general support; Lucille Bellucci for the raffle; and to John Byrne Barry, Karma Bennett, Terry Tierney, Francine Howard, Amos White, Fred Dodsworth, Sheryl Bize-Boutte and Cristina Deptula for organizing this year's club activities!

Thanks to all our support group leaders!
  • Kymberlie Ingalls for an excellent job facilitating the Marketing Success group
  • Henry Hitz for fruitful Craft Group conversations
  • Leena Prasad for Poetrope -- congrats on your new LIFE!
  • Anne Fox & Bruce Shiguera for DECADES of leadership in the 5-page group at the Rockridge Library
  • Francine Howard & Bruce Shiguera for Voices Breaking Barriers
  • Wendy Sonenson for Writing Ouselves
  • Linda Zallen & Kay Tolman for organizing Novelists.
Check out our support groups at

And a very special thanks to Linda Brown for helping establish best practices as Club Secretary, as well as all of your advisory work, research, and oversight of so many things CWC over the years! Linda will be 'retiring' from the board next year but will continue in an advisory role and hosting our New Member Orientations.

Keep writing!

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We're not on Instagram just yet...

#AmWriting (Member News)

Have you got news? Let us know! Send a short description with particulars, plus links and images if you have them, to! 

Welcome New Members:

Paul Corman-Roberts, Peggy Doughterty, Colin Glassey, Linda Hartmann, Thaddeus Howze, Lily Iona MacKenzie, Emlen Metz, and Mark Sneed!

Congratulations Christine!

Christine Volker is proud to announce that Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City just won a 2019 Independent Press Award in two categories: Mystery and First Published Fiction.

Published with Bublish 

Kristen Caven in Distribution

We knew she was bubbly, but now Kristen Caven has book bubbles! Her publisher, Uplift Press, has partnered with Bublish for her novel The Souls of Her Feet. Using their "book bubbles," she hopes to engage new readers for the new edition, which has additional bonus material from the musical. You can follow her "bubble stream" here

Subscribe to Kristen's newsletter if you would like to be invited to a "shoe salon" this summer. 

A Voice in Her Community

Therese Pipe keeps memories alive

Therese Pipe did some format editing for California Writers Club Member Brenda Sands (Fremont branch) with her first book, Handbook of Seven Holy Women of God: A Simplified Reflection, published in March 2019 under her pen name B.G. Aucoin. Therese continues her work with the Robert K. (Bob) March Oral History in connection with the Consumers Cooperative of Berkeley Collection by the Berkeley Historical Society (to be published in 2019). 

A Connecting Force

Cristina Deptula's makes multiple contributions to writers this spring!

In addition to organizing a panel at AWP in March, moderating our May 17 panel, and hosting a publishing and publicity panel with member Gini Scott, Christina Deptula produced a paired reading of emerging and established authors on June 20th at the Octopus Literary Salon. (Members Aqueila Lewis-Ross, Sheryl Bize-Boutte, Henry Hitz and Kay Tolman all appeared.) Additionally, she read with Thaddeus Howze at the Bay Area Generations #70 in June. Go, Cristina! Thank you for all you do on behalf of writers and for our club. 

Cristina is the editor of Synchronized Chaos, an online magazine. Her publicity company is Authors Large and Small.

Affairs of the State

Here's what's happening at the division and state level, and/or in other branches.

Congratulations to Karma Bennett, winner of our 2019 Jack London Award!

Join us at the CWC banquet to honor her on July 21st.

What:  The CWC Central Board (CB) bi-annual Jack London Awards
When:   Sunday, July 21,  Noonish
Where: Oakland Airport Hilton
Why: Honor Karma Bennett, our awardee; Meet CWC members from around the state; Observe all or part of a CB meeting, and sit at the rowdy table.

Contact Captain Kristen if you can join us for our Summer Board Retreat at the hotel the same day, 8-4pm.

Contact Linda Brown/Fred Dodsworth if you would like to attend. Tickets are $35.

Learn more about the Jack London Award and other offerings by the CWC-CB on

The Writing Life

Submit articles about craft, business, opportunities, or writing advice to! 

Plan Your Novel Before NaNoWriMo

by Beth and Ezra Barany

How can you manage your writing and still meet your other obligations? Well, you can, in small, manageable bite-sized pieces. Each lesson in my Plan Your Novel (PYN) course can be done in as little as 15-20 minutes. This course is designed for the writer with a life. You absolutely CAN plan your novel in a way that fits into your schedule. We know, because we’ve done it, multiple times!

In our PYN 30-Day Writing Challenge, we will help you think and write through the steps to create your novel – from character development to plot structure to story themes and world building — so that you can start NaNoWriMo in November prepared. It's a 30-day course, structured so you can do it at your own pace. Your time commitment, all told, if you follow the curriculum, will probably be about 4–10 hours over the month to follow through on the assignments and exercises designed to help you plan your novel. Some of you will spend less and some may spend more time on this course, but all will benefit.


This class is a fundraiser for the CWC!

Your Homework This Summer

by Henry Hitz, Craft Group facilitator

The Craft Support Group meets as a part of every monthly meeting of the CWC-BB except June, July, August, and December. This summer, think about how we can speed up our writing, doubling our daily output. This is of a major concern to me because I am old, three quarters of a fucking century and I have a bunch more to say before I check out! It also seems true that the faster you write, the less of your prose has to go through the critical filter that is so destructive to our creative energy. Our internal critics are an oppressive force, a product of the hyper-competitiveness of capitalism. Bring your thoughts to the next meeting in September, and join us every month as we tackle a new theme as well as talk about our individual challenges as writers.

Open Mic

This section honors Oakland's lively literary scene with clips of fresh writing by members. Send a short short (500 words max), an excerpt and a link, or a poem to! 



by Lucille Bellucci 

She sways ahead
on the moss-muted path,
brushed by minute flowertip scents
of honeysuckle, spiraea, clematis.
She is modestly gowned,
revealing only her neck.
Naked above plunging hyacinth silk
the pliant nape rises to hair
whose blackness blends with the night
as we step up to the porch.
She slips off her zorii,
pairing them neatly to one side
and I, I must bend to pull off my shoes
clumsy with Western motion that is
all angle and implied bruises.
She smiles welcome, slides back
a translucent door, draws me inside.
As I pass, her fragrance wafts to me
and alone adorns the plain corridor
leading to another sliding door.
Her gesture invites me to sit
and I do, on a cushion she has provided.
In tiny blue-vined cups she serves tea.
There is not enough for one deep sip
but I understand. It is ceremony,
and we hold our cups in fingertips
and our passion in other bowls.
Politely, she offers more tea
and politely, I decline.
Nodding, she stands and,
in lovely, fluent rhythms I am to remember
when all other memory eludes me in
broken-down age, begins to unwind
from around her waist the long, silken obi.
—Lucille Bellucci

Our Greatest Magick

by Thaddeus Howze

Writing is possibly the greatest tool invented by humanity, even greater than the wheel, salt or even fire. With it we can read minds, create new forms of matter, disrupt the laws of physics, even travel through time itself.

With writing we can traverse the minds of great and mediocre thinkers, separated by eons, class, and opportunity, and yet can feel the same sun, the same disappointment, the height of their victories and hubris.

Writing allows us to share ideas, great and small, from the size of the Universe, to the paradox of zero, to a cure derived of the bark of the willow, all reason is at our command, all madness is upon display. 

Writing is proof we were here, that we mattered, and if we are as clever as we like to think, a means upon which our collective ability will one day leave our History across the stars, a message our ancestors could never have imagined and our descendants will build their own legacy.

To write is to build a castle, to craft a legacy, to define a soul. Writing and the attendant thought which guide it, if we are fortunate, shall do more than mark our passage into the Long Night of our eventual extinction. 

It shall herald our arrival into Enlightenment!
—Thaddeus Howze

The Last Word...

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* This naming convention was adopted in 2017 to mark the years the club has been in operation, and the number of issues per business year. We don't know when Write Angles was christened! Please share this or any other club history with us, just hit "reply!"
Board of Directors 2017-2018

President Kristen Caven 
Vice President pro-tem  Fred Dodsworth 
Secretary Linda Brown
Treasurer  Henry Hitz 
Central Board Representative pro pro tem Linda Brown
NorCal Delegate  Jane Glendinning 
Past President Karma Bennett
At Large  Francine Howard
New Member Liaison Linda Zallen 
New Member Orientation Linda Brown
Nominating Committee  (appointed in January)
Newsletter Editor ~ Kristen Caven 
Web Master  Karma Bennett
Copyeditor  Anne Fox
MRMS System Administrator  Kristen Caven 
Monthly Speakers  Cristina Deptula
CWC Featured members  Kristen Caven 
Workshops  Karma Bennett
Fifth-Grade Story Contest  POSITION OPEN 
Book Raffle  Lucille Bellucci
Craft Support Group Henry Hitz 
Marketing Support Group Kymberlie Ingalls 
Google Group Moderator Kristen Caven
Historian Therese Pipe
Thank you to Cowgirl Creative for our Newsletter design!!
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