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...
It's Back -- VCWC Presents the Joyce La Mers Poetry Contest
Our annual Poetry Contest is now open to poets worldwide -- VCWC membership is not required! Please note that 2015 winners of first, second, or third place, in any category, are ineligible to enter the 2016 contest. All entries must be completed and received by Submittable by 12:00 midnight on February 15, 2016.
February 2016 Meeting
From Script to Screen: The Making of Authors Anonymous
By Lee Wade
Imagine Bill Shakespeare and Andy Warhol sharing a draft at The Cosmic Artists, a local micro-brewery. “All the world’s a screen,” says the Bard.
“Yes,” agrees Warhol. “And everyone’s going to be famous on it for at least fifteen minutes.”
Around the room, there’s a crescendo in the click-click-click of keystrokes on laptops as other patrons vow, “I will write the script.”
It turns out that in our very real world writing the screenplay, arduous as that may be, is a piece of cake compared to the challenge of getting the script to the screen.
Our February 9 guest speaker knows the creative challenge well and has mastered it.David Congalton is a screenwriter, the top-rated radio talk-show host on the Central Coast, (KVEC, 920 AM) and an award-winning author from San Luis Obispo. David also was the director of the Central Coast Writers Conference for 12 years.
He’ll be showing scenes from Authors Anonymous, a comedy about a dysfunctional group of unpublished writers. He wrote the screenplay and will be sharing secrets and insights.*
The 2014 comedy feature film starred Camarillo native Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory), Chris Klein (American Pie), and the late Dennis Farina (NBC’s Law & Order) in his final role. A second screenplay, Seven Sisters, is expected to go into production later this year.
In March, the Chicago native will be one of the mentors at the Rocaberti Castle Retreat in Spain. Just an hour from Barcelona, the retreat offers five days of instruction and inspiration from mentors Juliet Blake, renowned producer, and Brian Levine, London-based film producer, writer, actor and media lawyer. www.rocabertiwriters.com
David loves speaking to writers about the writing process and “chasing the creative dream.” He says, “Regardless of genre, one must never give up. It took me 25 years to accomplish my dream and it was worth the journey.” www.davidcongalton.com
*Authors Anonymous is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any past or current VCWC critique groups, especially yours, is purely coincidental. Cross my heart.
Short Story Contest Winners Announced
VCWC rings in the new year 2016 on Tuesday evening, January 12 with the recognition of the winners of its sixteenth annual short story contest.
The "Sweet Sixteen" celebration will be emceed by two time contest chair, Shelba Cole Robison. Shelba has the behind-the-scenes know-how and enthusiasm that helps to keep this important VCWC tradition alive.
The Ventura County Star newspaper has been an important partner with VCWC since the beginning of the contest. Winning stories have appeared in its pages, giving authors publishing props in addition to cash prizes. In this digital age, the Star has added on-line publication.
It is always exciting as the authors who received honorable mention in the youth and adult contest divisions are introduced and the awards are presented to the top three contestants in each division.
Then the magic begins as the winners read us into worlds that did not exist until they wrote them into being.
When we are released from the word-weavers spell, there's food and drink to share, a party.
Come, celebrate Sweet Sixteen.
November 2015 Speakers
On the day before Veterans Day, November 10, VCWC members and their guests will hear the writings from veterans in our midst. Following the club’s event in May to form new critique groups, Bob Perry, who served in Vietnam, put the call out in mid-May to create a workshop for veterans writing in all genres. The veterans-only group formed quickly. While their military service gives this group a special bond, the members write in a number of genres, even fairy tales. Workshop founder and host Bob Perry and members of the group will present their works.
Sharing the First Ink spotlight will be Kevin D’Onofrio. Kevin is an alumnus of California State University Sacrament, where he earned a degree in Journalism. Kevin’s debut offering, The Murderer’s Smile, was followed by Take Me out at the Ball Game. A tale about love, vengeance, baseball, murder and the FBI’s pursuit of a dangerous serial killer is told in simple prose that captivates and surprises. Kevin is also the author of The Highest Reality, all published in 2015. Kirkus Reviews said of The Highest Reality, “a thoroughly eerie story of a murderer with the potential to rattle even the most seasoned of readers.” Contact Kevin at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/donofrioauthor/?fref=ts or his website: https://www.kevindonofrio.com/
Workshop member Alastair Gill, will also be a speaker. Al recently celebrated his 94th birthday and the publication of his memoir, Extraordinary Day in an Ordinary Life. His work also appears in the recent VCWC anthology, Remembrances. Born of Scottish parents, he grew up in Great Neck, NY and Fort Worth, TX. After earning a BA degree in psychology and sociology from Texas Christian University and serving the U.S. Navy in WW II, he began a thirty-year public relations career. As a prospective employee-relations executive, he gained oil field experience and was asked to found and edit an employee safety magazine. Gill later became a writer/photographer for the company’s shareholder magazine and retired as executive producer of public relations films. His photography, a hobby and friend since teen years, has won cover positions on several publications. Alastair and his wife raised a family of five children.
Both authors will be available to autograph their books and answer questions following the meeting.