Archive for the ‘Authors’ Category

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

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Three local authors will share “Resources for Writers” at the next luncheon meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.

Jil Plummer will discuss resources for research: how to find correct flora, fauna, and climate, feel the mood of the setting, and capture the culture, religion, and history of your subject.

Bill Stong will talk about drawing the reader in with challenges and writing goals, vivid and vibrant writing, and using a support network to make your writing come alive.

Leslie Rupley will present choices for the independent publisher: boutique publishers, all-inclusive packages, and do-it-yourself.

Sign-in begins at 11:15 am, with a seated luncheon from 12:00 pm to 12:45 pm. Meal selection should be included in your reservation: New York steak, salmon, chicken parmesan, or pasta primavera. Speakers from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. $25 for CWC members, $30 for guests.

Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, December 7.

Contact Robin at cwcrobin.gigoux@yahoo.com or leave a message at: 925-933-9670 or sign up via PayPal: click “buy now” on the Mt.Diablo website.: http://cwcmtdiablowriters,wordpress.com/next-program/.  Add $2 transaction fee. Expect confirmation only if you e-mail your reservation.

The California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch web address is: http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com

 

Writing from the Inside Out

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

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Anita Amirrezvani will present “Write from the Inside Out” at the next meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.

Ms. Amirrezvani will discuss how to create meaningful and unique writing: mine the existential truth of your everyday life, draw on the richness of your cultural heritage, and how to use simple research techniques to deepen your work.

She was born in Tehran and raised in San Francisco. Her first novel, The Blood of Flowers, has appeared in 31 languages, and was long-listed for one of the U.K.’s top literary prizes, the 2008 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her second novel is Equal of the Sun, and she’s co-edited an anthology with author Persis Karim. She has given international book readings, and teaches at the California College of the Arts.

Sign-in is 11:15 am. Luncheon 12:00-12:45 pm. Speaker 1-2 pm. Registration is $25 for CWC members, $30 for guests.

Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, September 7th. Contact Robin Gigoux at cwcrobin.gigoux@yahoo.com or by phone at (925) 933-9670.  Expect confirmation only if you e-mail your reservation. For PayPal, click “Buy Now’ on the Mt. Diablo website: http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.comnext-program/. Add a $2.00 transaction fee.

The California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch web address is: http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com/

 

Author Heather Mackey Speaks at the Cal Writers Mt Diablo Branch

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

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Congratulations to the winners of the CWC Young Writers Contest in Contra Costa County!

The Young Writers Contest Award Winners will be honored at the next meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.

Special Guest speaker, Heather Mackey, will discuss “Turning Ideas into Stories.” She will cover story hunting, ideas, building a story, and why storytelling matters.

Heather Mackey is a kid’s lit author of fantasy adventure novels. Her books include Dreamwood, and the forthcoming The Shadow Clock. She is a member of the National Writing Project’s Writers Council, and consults with the online student writing community, Write the World.

Sign-in is 11:00 am.. Awards 11:30. Luncheon 12:15 pm. Speaker 1-2 pm. Registration is $25 for CWC members, $30 for guests.
Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, May11th. Contact Robin Gigoux at ragig@aol.com. or by phone at (925) 933-9670. Expect confirmation only if you e-mail your reservation. For PayPal, click “Buy Now’ on the Mt. Diablo website: http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.comnext-program/. Add a $2.00 transaction fee.
The California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch web address is: http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com/

 

Memoir Author Tamim Ansary Discusses Writer’s Block

Monday, March 28th, 2016

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Tamim Ansary will present “Why Do We Write?” at the next meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.

He will explain why writing is hard, why we do it anyway, what to do when the piece refuses to be written, and what’s the best that can happen?

Tamim Ansary is the author of the celebrated memoir, West of Kabul, East of New York, and writes fiction, non-fiction, history, and essays on politics, and a wide range of other subjects. He teaches through the Osher Institute, and runs a workshop on memoir writing.

Sign-in is from 11:15 am to 12:00 pm, luncheon 12:00 pm to 12:45, including a short business meeting, and speaker from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Registration is $25 for CWC members, $30 for guests.

Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, April 6. To reserve, contact Robin at ragig@aol.com, leave a message at 925-933-9670, or sign up via PayPal: click “buy now” on the Mt. Diablo website, http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com/next-program/. Add $2 transaction fee. Expect confirmation only if you e-mail your reservation.

The California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch web address is: http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com/

What’s YOUR List of Best Reads? Here’s Mine.

Monday, December 14th, 2015

What were your favorite reads during this past year? 

In no particular order, here’s my list:

 

Allthelight

All the Light We cannot See     Anthony Doerr

 

FearCure

The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind, and Soul      Lissa Rankin, MD

 

AtHome_

At Home: A Short History of Private Live    Bill Bryson

 

Echo

Echo   Pam Munroz Ryan

 

GlimpsingHeaven

Glimpsing Heaven: The Stories and Science of Life After Death      Judy Bachrach

 

GirlinHyacinthBlue

Girl in Hyacinth Blue      Susan Vreeland

KitchensoftheGreatMidwest_

Kitchens of the Great Midwest: A Novel     J. Ryan Stradal

 

 

B & N Wants to Discover YOU!

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

The Discover Great New Writers program celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2015, having introduced readers to more than 1,800 extraordinary literary talents – many of whom have gone on to become household names — since its inception in 1990.

Publishers, not authors, submit books and 60 are chosen as winners, presenting a total of $35.000 to six writers.

Recipients of the Discover Award include Anthony Marra, Justin St. Germain, Cheryl Strayed, Amanda Coplin, Ben Fountain, Chang-rae Lee, Joshua Ferris, Elizabeth McCracken, and Hampton Sides, among others.

Publishers recommend writers making a strong literary debut. Authors cannot submit their own work to the program; self-published writers and titles published via print-on-demand or available only as NOOK books are also ineligible for submission.

Literary fiction, short story collections and literary non-fiction, such as travel essays, memoirs, or other non-fiction with a strong narrative will be considered. Books should be intended for an adult or a young adult audience.

The Discover Great New Writers program does not publish original work; please do not submit unpublished manuscripts for consideration.

Single titles authored by more than one person are not eligible for consideration.

Submissions must be made at least three months prior to publication date.

Once selected, participation in Discover Great New Writers™ includes:

 

  • Face-out display in the Discover bay in each of our bookstores (length of display is usually 12 weeks)
  • An individual shelf-talker with a teaser line placed under each face-out
  • A 20% discount on Discover titles for the length of the promotion
  • Promotion online at www.bn.com/discover and The B&N Review as well as via consumer emails, @BNBuzz and @BNDiscover Twitter feeds, and Nook features for the Discover Award finalists and Discover Seasonal selections.
  • Special consideration for Discover-selected writers for in-store events and book group discussionsAdditionally,
  • Debuting authors and writers with fewer than three previously published books who have yet to receive a major literary award are eligible for consideration. Exceptions are sometimes made for authors who have published more titles, but have yet to break out to a larger audience. Submissions must be original publications, penned by one author.
  • Deceased authors and those previously featured in the Discover program are ineligible. Books submitted for a prior season and rejected will not be reconsidered.

    2015-2016 Submission Deadlines
Season
Submission Deadline
Late Fall (November-December 2015)
Spring 2016 (January-March 2016)
Summer 2016 (April-July 2016)
June 18, 2015
September 10, 2015
October 8, 2015
Contact

For further information on submissions, contact:

Miwa Messer
Director, Discover Great New Writers
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
122 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011

E-mail: MMesser@bn.com
Phone: (212) 633-4067

 

Why Celebrity Books Are Actually Important & Why YOU Should Write a Memoir

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

 

CandaceMemoir

Candace Bergen.  Mariel Hemingway.  Jon Cryer.  And now Barbra Streisand has a new publishing deal for her life story.  So many celebrities have penned their autobiographies and memoirs it’s amazing when someone famous DOESN’T write one.  Many mid-list “real” writers grumble about million dollar advances and attention on big names who probably haven’t written their books. Of course at the end of the day, editors will highlight celebrity books because they sell well.

HemingwayMemoir

Well, writers, I beg you to think of this situation in a new way.  Famous people’s books earn the most money for the publishers, financing them to purchase books from the rest of us.

JonCryerMemoir

 

So what’s the difference between an autobiography and a memoir?  In an autobiography, the writer shares her entire life story.  A memoir focuses on one specific event or theme in the author’s life.  Memoirs can be written by ordinary people, who have a message they’ve gained from their experience.

Writing Prompts:

1.  Even if you don’t intend to write an autobiography or a memoir, you may discover much about your life, how to capture the deeper truths, and find themes and metaphors in your writing.  In addition, either or both of these books may be treasured to your family for historical, cultural, and personal reasons.  The people closest to you may say, “I never knew this happened to you!”  Sharing specific emotional anecdotes can help others realize they aren’t alone.

So write your autobiography.  Begin with incidents that stand out in your mind.  What was your earliest memory? Why do you think it is engraved in your mind?  Write the stories that require you to dig into your feelings.  Write the stories that made you laugh.

2.  Inspire your memories by looking at old photos.  Write about each one.  Answer journalistic type questions of where you were, why you were there, what you were doing who was with you . . . The simple idea of examining the other people in the photo should bring back images and ideas about them.  By using a photo as a jumping off point, you might discover lots of material to mine.  Those new essays can inspire even more memories.

3.  Play music from the time period of your youth.  Read books that occur during the time.  How did current events affect you?  Movies, music, and foods?  Immerse yourself in your childhood culture.

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Is Self-Publishing for YOU? Discover Smashwords!

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Jim Azevedo, Marketing Director of Smashwords, will reveal the best practices of the most commercially successful self-published Ebook authors at the next meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, January 10, 2015, at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.

Jim will discuss metadata–what it is and how to use it–leveraging viral catalysts to make your book stand out, using pre-orders, creating covers, and addressing global market opportunities.

He is the Marketing Director of Smashwords, the largest distributor of self-published Ebooks, serving about 100,000 independent authors, publishers, and literary agents. He is also the drummer for Rivals, a popular San Francisco Bay Area Indie rock band, and the author of the forthcoming book, How to Get Your Band Out of the Garage.

Sign-in is from 11:15 am to 12:00 pm. Luncheon 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, including a short business meeting. Registration is $20 for CWC members, $25 for guests. Payment by cash or check.

Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, January 7th. Contact Robin at ragig@aol.com, or by phone at (925) 933-9670. Expect confirmation only if you e-mail your reservation.

For more information visit:  http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com/

What Chronicle Books Looks for in Proposals!

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

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Chronicle Books Editor Bridget Watson Payne will present “The Power of Words and Images” at the next luncheon meeting of the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant, 611 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill.

Ms. Payne will discuss what she looks for in a winning book proposal, how to discover unique areas of writing and book publishing, the interaction of words and images in illustrated books, collaborations, and how to turn personal interests and passions into books.

Bridget Watson Payne has worked in publishing for over a decade with hundreds of authors, artists, and photographers. Her authors include Julia Rothman, Danny Gregory and Yoko Ono. Her own books are: This is Happening: Life Through the Lens of Instagram, and New York Jackie: Pictures From Her Life in the City.

Sign-in is from 11:30 am to noon, buffet luncheon from noon to 1:00 pm, and speaker at 1:00 pm. The cost is $20 for CWC members, $25 for guests.

Reservations are required, and must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, September 10. Contact Robin Gigoux at ragig524@gmail.com, or phone 925-933-9670. Expect confirmation only if you e-mail your reservation.

The California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch web address is: http://cwcmtdiablowriters.wordpress.com/

How Maori Healers Transform You . . . And Your Writing

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Several years ago, when my ninety-year-old dad was alive, he asked me, “Elizabeth, what’s it like to have a headache?”

He had to be kidding.

“So Dad, you’ve never had a headache?”

“Never,” he said.

After I picked myself off of the floor, I explained the sensations of headaches – - throbbing, “sickishness,” sharp shooting pains – - and then I told him about migraines. Multiply the former headache sensations by 100, add nausea and dizziness and you’ve got one.    

Recently, when I heard of Maori healers’ therapeutic powers and that they’d be in my area, I made an appointment.

As a healer gazed down at me lying on the massage table, she probed my torso with her hands. “You’ve had pelvic trauma.”

“Really? Do you mean the C-section I had years ago?”

 “Earlier than that,” she said. “You had it when you were very young.”

 What could she be talking about?

 “An operation for a hernia when I was two?” I said.

 “Ah, yes. That would do it.”

 “Do what?”

 “Damage is felt in your neck and head.”

 While I lay on a bodywork table, she sang a Maori prayer while placing her hands on me. At least I assume it was a prayer. Perhaps it was a catchy Travel to New Zealand jingle?

 Then she got to work. She exerted so much pressure with her hands on my torso I thought I’d end up in China.

 “Is it supposed to hurt this much?” I asked her between gasps.  

 “Yes,” she said. “Breathe and you’ll feel better.”

 How could I since my internal organs were now in my lungs?

 At least it wasn’t a headache. In fact, my headache had gone. Was it was pain transference?

“Let go,” she advised.

 I obeyed, willing my body to relax and breathe. Closing my eyes, I discovered the pressure soon alleviated. 

Maybe I was getting used to living in China?

“Elizabeth,” said the healer.

 I opened my eyes.  Legs.  I followed the legs up . . . up . . . and saw her standing on top of me, touching the ceiling with a hand for balance.

“I don’t believe this,” I said.

An immense male Maori healer standing nearby said, “Get down and I’ll get up there.”

“She’d never let you,” said my healer.

After all, China wasn’t built in a day.

 Maori Healer 72014

Writing Prompts:

  1. During your writing, we should also let go. Too often our left brain’s structured thinking destroys or inhibits our creativity. Meditate before you begin your writing session to open up all of your possibilities.
  2. As you brainstorm possible ideas, whether they are plot prospects, character traits, or article ideas, don’t take your first one. Keep going until you know, within your intuition, it’s the right one.
  3. Got a plot problem? Stuck inside a scene? No metaphors to create theme? Keep paper and pen everywhere so you’re ready when your subconscious is.

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