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Book Passage: CWC’s Centennial 10/22/2009

Posted by jamie-m in Uncategorized.

I was excited to attend the Marin branch of the California Writer’s Club’s Centennial celebration on October 18th at Book Passage in Corte Madera. Warmly greeted by Barbara Traux, I indulged in some tasty food and scoped out people to solicit Tiny Lights to. I ran into a former librarian of my high school, Kate Farrell, who also made me feel less awkward. However, I quickly found myself among groups of writers and editors who have known each other for years – in a way it became a bit cliquey. This is not to say that I didn’t meet some very welcoming and interesting people, because I certainly did, and am grateful for those connections. I kept more to myself after the munching ceased and the author reading/ singing began. Local writers had a chance to show off their talents by either reading a piece from a California author or by singing a song they like. I heard a few Duke Ellington songs and a fun rendition of “Faith” by George Michael before I slipped away.

A few things wouldn’t leave my mind though. One of these things was the demographic of almost everyone at the celebration. Most of them were much older than me, and as I mentioned above, knew each other very well. This gave me the impression that all of the North Bay writers are a tight-knit group of people a generation or so before mine. A generalization, yes, but so far I haven’t seen much to contest it. There was not much diversity from what I could tell. This only bothered me because I yield from the college writing workshops of the North Bay and I know the diversity of the writers around me; in age, ethnicity, class, and other aspects of their personal background. In my mind, I have made it my own personal mission to get writers who are in my age group, and of diverse backgrounds involved in our literary community to the same capacity as the people I met at the event.

Alright, rant finished. But I did have an awesome time and am glad to see that many have heard of, enjoy and submit to Tiny Lights from the CWC’s Redwood and Marin branches.



1. Kate Farrell - 10/26/2009

You are so RIGHT in your observations of the event at Marin. Even I was aware that it was mostly a chance for old timers and the clique of Bay Area authors to throw themselves a party.

I applaud your mission to expand our literary community and invite you to attend the Redwood Writers meeting next Sunday meeting November 1st, 3-5pm, at Copperfield’s Monty Village and BRING some of your generation!! Crash the party!

And I am so proud of you, your initiative and drive, your desire to express yourself and be heard.


2. L.C. McCabe - 12/17/2009

I don’t think I’ve met you yet, but I’m glad to read your posts about Redwood Writers.

I joined CWC when I was in my twenties. At that time, I was by far the youngest in the club. There were some writers in their forties, but most seemed like they were in their 60s or 70s.

It made me feel really young. The thing is, you never know until talking with people how much of a wealth of knowledge they can be.

Getting to know people in any community takes time. In the last few years I have begun to feel that I have a strong circle of literary friends in the North Bay. Some are in Redwood Writers, some are in other CWC branches, others are in the San Francisco Writers Workshop. Then there are some who are not involved in any organized group. I feel that belonging to an organization helps support the individual members in countless ways.

Welcome to Redwood Writers.

jamie-m - 12/19/2009

Thank you for this response! I agree with you, many of the people I’ve met through CWC have been so gracious and ready to share their knowledge. Thanks for the support and I hope to meet you at a future writers meeting.

3. Patricia - 03/10/2010

Hi Jamie:

I recently came across your post and have to add my two cents here, if I may. ; D I was the chair of the event, along with a committee of hardworkers, and it was to have served three purposes:

To give unsigned writers a chance to meet with literary agents and discuss their work, to promote and support a local independent bookshop that has served all lovers of literature – young and old- and to give those who have worked hard to promote their published work a chance to have fun and celebrate 100 years of a Writers Organization that welcomes all.

When it comes to writing, no person is too young or too old to tell a good story. And although I organized the event, I am a ‘newbie’ to the club. It’s only been since October of 2008 that I joined, but I have felt so welcomed and embraced by the California Writers Club that I joined not one, but two branches- The Marin Branch and The Redwood Branch. And I have a feeling I’m not going to stop with two, because there were representatives from a number of other branches who also came in from various parts of the state to show their support.

The authors themselves came from as far as Sacramento to participate, and they did so only with the idea of meeting a few new writers. They spent the entire day with us and no payment, other than a few book sales was involved. What I’ve discovered is that many of them, even the bestselling authors, like Brenda Novak and Sheldon Siegel , are helpful and friendly.

I encourage you to join one or more of the branches, and see for yourself whether or not anyone’s age factors in at a club meeting. We all share a common bond of a love of writing. Hope to see you at one of the meetings!

Warm regards,
Patricia V. Davis

jamie-m - 03/10/2010

I appreciate your feedback, and promptly after attending the Redwood Writer’s Conference, I joined the Redwood branch. I quietly attended one meeting, and hope to come to another soon. At the events I attended, I had a specific agenda, and has less time to try and socialize as I would have liked. Hopefully I can meet you and other ‘newbies’ at an upcoming meeting!

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