About The California Writers Club
The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society is in the long process of chartering as a branch of the California Writers Club, the nation's oldest professional club for writers, founded in 1909. It is a nonprofit education corporation with branches throughout California, dedicated to educating writers of all levels and disciplines in the craft of writing and in the marketing of their work. The Club has more than 1100 members statewide.
Each branch holds regular meetings with informative speakers and opportunities for networking with fellow writers and publishing industry pros through our workshops, contests, seminars, and conferences. It is a tremendous opportunity for every writer to improve his or her writing and build a career.
The California Writers Club origins date back to the turn-of-the-century literary movement in the San Francisco Bay area.
The informal gatherings of Jack London, poet George Sterling and short story writer Herman Whitaker, among others, eventually formed the Press Club of Alameda. In 1909, a faction of the membership split off to form the California Writers Club with Austin Lewis, an English civil libertarian, as the first president. Under the leadership of Dr. William S. Morgan, a quarterly bulletin was started in 1912, and California Writers Club incorporated in 1913, choosing the motto "Sail On!" from Joaquin Miller's poem, "Columbus."
Early honorary members included Jack London, George Sterling, John Muir, Joaquin Miller, and the first California poet laureate, Ina Coolbrith. The first WEST WINDS, a hardcover collection of fiction by members, was published in 1914 and was illustrated by California artists. Since that time three other WEST WINDS have been published. "Writers Memorial Grove" at Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland celebrates California's great writers with the planting of trees. The first tree was planted for Joaquin Miller. Bret Harte, Charles Warren Stoddard, Edward Roland Sill, Ina Coolbrith, Jack London, Mark Twain, Charles Fletcher Lummis, and Edwin Markham are so honored as well as Dashiel Hammett, Gertrude Stein, and historians Will and Ariel Durant.
The first California Writers Club Conference was held in Oakland in 1941. Today, one-to-three day conferences are held by various Club branches around California. Each attracts from 100 to 400 writers and each conference hosts editors, authors and publishers from all over the United States presenting lectures, workshops, and panel discussions on all aspects of writing.
Every other year, branches nominate one of their members to receive a Jack London Service Award in recognition of their contributions to California Writers Club. The general purposes of the California Writers Club are to provide a forum for literary criticism and for recognition of achievement, to discover new authors and assist them in developing their talent, and to sponsor educational meetings to promote professional growth.
The members of California Writers Club are meeting the challenge to carry on the legacy of the original motto: Sail On!
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