Thursday, December 08, 2016
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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...


Just a reminder that there is NO general meeting for VCWC in December.



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November 2016 Meeting

Celebration and Inspiration

By Lee Wade


 “Season’s Greetings” will show up in print ads, on store windows and greeting cards for the next couple of months. The ubiquitous platitude covers a multitude of civil, cultural, and religious holidays from November 1 to January 1. Our calendars are clotted with gatherings of family and friends. It is a season full of inspiration and rich in diverse traditions.

In keeping with the season, VCWC will present an open mic session, “Inspiration and Celebration,” on November 8 for the last meeting of 2016. Celebrations mark significant moments throughout the year, so any celebration is fair game. Anniversaries, birthdays, bar mitzvahs and baby showers; football and baseball and soccer wins; first day of school, first tooth lost, first fish caught; Flag Day, Memorial Day, the fourth of July; paying off the mortgage or the student loan; and of course, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and ringing in the New Year.

Fictional depictions of celebrations are definitely welcome. The famous fictional “’Twas the night before Christmas” has become a very real part of keeping Christmas for some of us. If you’ve got a captivating celebration scene or moment of inspiration from a novel or short story or poem, come and share.

Rhonda Noda This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  has asked that readings be kept to five minutes or less.  It is truly an open mic event, but a notice to Rhonda of your desire to participate and the length of your piece helps.

Season’s Greetings. Happy Holidays. Happy New Year.

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 Prisoner:Memoir 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

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

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.”


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6th Annual 805 Writers Conference

VCWC is once again co-hosting the annual 805 Writers Conference, to be held on November 5 and 6.

Narrative Magazine's Contests

Check out Narrative's current contests and ways to submit your work!


PIPW Workshops

Check out the latest workshops from Pacific Institute for Professional Writing


Lopopolo Literary Workshops

Enjoy a variety of workshops with Toni Lopopolo throughout Ventura County. For additional information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Toni at (215) 353-1151. She also has ooVoo workshops via webcam.