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...
NO DECEMBER MEETING
Poetry Contest Opens Soon
November 2013 Speaker
Wrights write right now — go home with a poem!
In preparation for our upcoming Poetry Contest, which opens in January 2014,the November club meeting will host the “Inkslingers Interactive Poetry Workshop” led by area poet and club member Cathryn Andresen. The evening will encourage attendees to write right on the spot and get their creative juices flowing over the holidays prior to the contest.
This will be a fun, fast, interactive workshop covering:
• A quick start with instant, easy forms
• Inspiration and ways to ignore the dreaded block
• A poetic device, or perhaps a few
• Online tools
• “Don’t do this,” – tips on what is not a poem
• How to edit your poem and be glad you did
• Reference material that can keep you writing
• Where to join our county’s poets for poetry readings
“I want everyone to bring a notepad, pen and verve,” Andresen said. “By verve I mean the excitement of imagination such as animates a poet, artist or musician, in composing or who are members of the club. But other writers can benefit from the art of concise words painting brief images.”
Cathryn’s poetry reflects her interest in relationships between nouns—proper and common. From time to time, her poetry wins an award, it appears in print, or Cathryn is an invited guest at readings. Cathryn edited Quintessence – an Anthology (VCWC Press-2008), and her first published chapbook was human/Nature. She has hosted the Poem-Crafters Guild workshop since its beginnings in 2005.
Cathryn has been featured at Moonday, Moorpark College, Friday’s Saturday Night, Tuesday Night Poets, and has accepted invitations to read at numerous poetry, school and organization events.
Home for Cathryn is a small ranch in Southern California. She’ll tell you, “I live in a garden.”
Cathryn Andresen has published three chapbooks and a poetry workbook for young children. Ditty Bag, her three-dimensional chapbook, was included in The Art of the Book IV exhibit at the Artists Union Gallery in Ventura, California. Cathryn’s poetry has appeared in A Bird Black as the Sun (Green Poet Press 2011) and journals including
Atlanta Review, ASKEW, Naked Knuckle, Fresh Ink, and The Advocate.
She recently built and launched a web site that invites an on-line community of poets and writers to submit work for publication on the site and compete in the site’s prompt-inspired contests. Visit: cathrynandresen.com.
The opening speaker will be a young poet, Rachel Phillips, who recently published a chapbook.
October 2013 Meeting
Michael Bialys will be the guest speaker at the Ventura County Writers Club October 8 meeting, which will be held at the Pleasant Valley Senior Center in Camarillo. The meeting begins at 7 PM and is free and open to the public. Bialys, whose characters are taken right from his own family, will speak on “Sharing the Adventure with my Characters.”
While most writers don’t sit down to dinner with their characters or tuck them into bed, as Michael does, Bialys believes it is vital that an author be intimate with his characters. A story can be well-constructed, but it is emotion that keeps the reader reading. Michael will share some practical techniques and offer examples of how writers can ensure an intimate connection with their characters while emphasizing the necessity of strong characterization.
Michael Bialys never intended to be an author. Originally from Toronto, Canada, his first career was as a musician. He was successful in that career, as he has been in his later ones. He is a self-taught pianist, composer and lyricist, and his composition “Going for Gold” was performed at the l988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary. Later that year, the Canadian Opera Company, accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, performed his work “I want it ALL.”
Bialys later moved to Southern California and enrolled in law school. He graduated in 2004 and is currently in practice doing criminal defense. When he and his wife, Misty, decided to have their second child, Michael wanted to make sure his daughter McKenna would not feel slighted when the baby came and decided to write a book with her as the heroine. McKenna loved the story, so Michael kept writing.
He titled his first book The Chronicles of the Virago: Book 1 The Novus. McKenna is the Virago, the protector of her younger siblings. His wife also loved the story and encouraged him to try to get The Chronicles of the Virago published. He did, and the book was published in 2006. But even while his publisher was encouraging him to finish the book, Michael continued to write just for his daughter.
Readers have described The Chronicles of the Virago as “contemporary fantasy at its finest.” One reviewer wrote, “To anyone searching for a uniquely rich and believable fantasy world, it can be found here between the pages of Michael Bialys’s modern classic.”
Michael is planning books 2 and 3 of the Chronicles. But he is making some different choices for the next parts of his trilogy, which he will explain at the October 8 meeting.
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