The following in italics was taken directly from the California Writers Club Website.
We’re one of the oldest writer’s organizations in continuous operation in the nation. Our members are poets, journalists, essayists, technical writers, and creators of genre and literary fiction, as well as editors, booksellers, and others involved in related fields, all joined together for the common goal of educating ourselves and the community on the craft of writing and the realities of getting our work published.
Our story begins in the early years of the twentieth century, when Jack London and his literary pals gathered at the home of poet Joaquin Miller in the Oakland hills for picnics and conversation. At the same time, the Alameda Press Club, led by California poet laureate, Ina Coolbrith, was holding meetings at the Shattuck Hotel in Berkeley. After various mergings and spin-offs, most of which are lost to history, in 1909 these informal literary salons became the California Writers Club.
As I mentioned yesterday, I attended my first meeting with the Writers of Kern chapter of the California Writers Club. Anyone can be an associate member. To be an “active” member one must have a book published (self publishing does not count) or three newspaper or magazine articles published. At this meeting the chapter president suggested associates submit stories to the newspaper saying they could easily be published. True.
Newspapers, big and small are shutting down every day. The ones still surviving are looking to cut corners any way they can. So it seems a little unbalanced for three articles to equal getting a book published, but the founders had their own difficulties getting published.
I remember reading Call of the Wild as a child and being greatly impressed. I visited Jack London Square and shrine to Jack London in Oakland and purchased The Collected Jack London which includes in its 1,060 pages 36 stories, four complete novels and a memoir, all for $12.. 95. In fact I purchased two and gave one to my son who was living in Oakland at the time (about eight years ago) and had never noticed the shrine.
John Steinbeck mourned the changes in Monterey after his tremendous success as a writer (and he would really hate it today but I think he would be pleased with his very own museum in Salinas). I’m pretty sure Jack London would feel the same about prettification of the Oakland docks and Jack London Square.
Anyway, I’m honored to be in an association claiming association with so many renowned California writers, and so welcoming to hopefuls.