The Ventura County Writers Club was founded in 1933 by four writers in the Ojai, California area. Since then the club has grown to more than 150 members and holds regular monthly general membership meetings. In these meetings persons prominent in all areas and genres of the literary field speak on sources for ideas, enhancing creativity, and getting your work published. Click here for Membership Information...
Short Story Contest Is Back
Start the clock. Find those early drafts. Our Short Story Contest has returned.
Renewing Your Membership
October 2016 Meeting
Over the last two years I have had several people approach me about asking someone in our club to be a ghostwriter and assist in writing their memoir. For our October meeting, we will have two Fresh Ink presentations.
One of our newest members, Cara Lopez Lee, will discuss how to become a ghostwriter through assisting another writer with writing their memoir. She enjoys writing flash fiction, and has written her own memoir, They Only Eat Their Husbands, a Memoir of Love, Travel and the Power or Running Away (Conundrum Press, 2014) is Cara’s story of her nine years in Alaska, where she landed in a love triangle with two alcoholics, and the year she ran away to trek around the world alone. Cara will share her thoughts with us on the method and madness of collaborating on another person’s private story, and how it compares to writing about her own experiences.
She is the coauthor of Unexpected PrisonerMemoir of a Vietnam POW (Graham Publishing Group, May 2016). Cara has written, edited, and or ghostwritten more than twenty books. She has also been published in The Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, Santa Fe New Mexican, Rivet Journal, Connotation Press, and Pangyrus. She teaches writing at conferences and private workshops, and has also taught for the Young Writers Program at Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop. She was a TV journalist and a writer for HGTV and Food Network. She and her husband live in Ventura. You can find out more about Cara at www.CaraLopezLee.com.
About Unexpected Prisoner:
When Lieutenant Robert Wideman’s plane crashed on a bombing run in the Vietnam War, he feared falling into enemy hands. Although he endured the kind of pain that makes people question humanity, physical torture was not his biggest problem. During six years as a prisoner of war, he saw the truth behind Jean-Paul Sartre’s words: “Hell is other people.” Unexpected Prisoner looks at how soldiers trapped in war often have the most troubling conflicts with those on the same side. In this memoir, Wideman and coauthor Cara Lopez Lee explore a POW’s struggle with enemies and comrades, Vietnamese interrogators and American commanders, his lost dreams and ultimately himself.
You can also find both of the above books at http://www.venturacountywriters.com/members-bookstore-new/memoir/lopez-lee-cara.
Our second Fresh Ink presentation for the evening is from R Gregg Miller; he will be sharing his new book, False Negatives. After twenty-five years of chasing the bad guys around the streets of Los Angeles, the author retired from the LAPD to chase his toddler around the house. Instead of dragging a warbag to the trunk of a police car everyday, he began tossing a stroller and diaper bag into the back of his SUV for another “daddy and daughter adventure day.” He has never regretted the decision. False Negatives is his first book publication.
About False Negatives:
The year is 1972. America is awash in violence, and Los Angeles is drowning in it. The gruesome Tate-LaBianca slayings by the Manson Family attempting to ignite a Helter Skelter race war remain front page news as the bizarre trial unfolds. With the hot embers of racial hatred that ignited the Watts Riots still smoldering just below the surface, the tension makes LA’s smoggy air even harder to breathe. Most folks go about their daily routines and simply hope for the best.
Max Stoller isn’t like most people. Confident he can make a difference, and anxious to test his mettle, the naive idealist joins the Los Angeles Police Department. The job will challenge more than his courage and integrity. It will drive him to question who he is as he struggles to tell the good guys from the bad. In the words of his first training officer. “Experience is a hell of a teacher.”
September 2016 Meeting
Memories and Celebrations
By Lee Wade
September is always a month of celebration for VCWC. On September 13, at 7:00 p.m., we celebrate our 83rd anniversary with the installation of the executive board for 2016-2017.
The Ventura County Writers Club began in September 1933 as a gathering of five women writers in Ojai who dubbed themselves The Scribblers. In the dark days following the Great Depression, their purpose was to encourage each other in improving their skills in writing, and in finding publication for their work. This coterie soon expanded to include gentlemen.
At one time the association boasted almost a 300-person membership. There were coastal and inland divisions. Today there are more than a hundred “Scribblers” from Ventura County and even from Los Angeles County dedicated to the same early goals: to educate and inform, encourage and inspire writers, and to provide opportunities to present and publish their writings.
Carrying on the legacy of encouraging the craft, we will recognize the winners in our newest writing contest. Added to our popular short story and poetry contest, now in its second year, the Memoir Contest saw a significant bump in the number of submissions. Contest Chair, Shelba Cole Robison will be introducing the winning memoirists who will share their lives’ significant moments, and receive their prizes and recognition.
Please come. Lend your support and encouragement. Let’s just say, “Thanks for the memories.”