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...
Annual Short Story Contest Has Closed
Our Short Story Contest has closed. Good luck to everyone who has submitted.
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.
October 2015 Speaker Information
Power Tools for Writers 4: Voice and Point of View: Striving for Authenticity
In the fourth presentation of Power Tools for Writers on Tuesday, October 13, Valencia author Veda Stamps will share how she evolved from having a lack of understanding about point of view and voice to now feeling confident that she chose (or allowed her character’s voice to choose) the best authentic point of view for her acclaimed award-winning, middle-grade novel, Flexible Wings.
Two years ago, Southern California author Veda Stamps took a sabbatical from The Ramsay Group, LLC, a community planning firm she co-owns with her husband, to write a novel about her beloved community in New Orleans. But as serendipity had it, she could not decide which point of view worked best, writer’s block set in, and characters stopped talking. So she instead wrote Flexible Wings, a story inspired by her daughter’s neighborhood swim team. Veda’s experience as a city planner and writing lengthy community planning documents prepared her in many ways for the dedication it takes to draft a novel. However, even though she had written numerous plans, she had never written fiction, let alone middle-grade fiction. So as she began to world build, she kept the following questions in mind:
1. Which point of view best showcases the middle-grade world I’m creating?
2. What will make it seem real to preteens?
3. What am I, the writer, trying to say?
4. What character(s) can best express that message?
5. Is the story driven by character or by plot?
6. What do kids in general sound like?
7. What is my character’s voice, given her age, race, cultural, social, and economic status in
8. What viewpoint will entice the preteen reader to care about the story and keep turning the pages?
9. Which point of view creates the most story tension or drama?
Join us as Veda provides advice based on what she has learned through trial and error, research, and a matrix that she created. In the end, selecting point of view in MG/YA is determined by your own intuitive choice, but this workshop and the matrix will provide helpful guidance.
Veda’s critically acclaimed novel Flexible Wings has recently won two literary awards.
Veda currently lives with her husband, two daughters, and three dogs in Valencia. She is working on three novels, Flat 1906, Pontchartrain Park, and Waterbird.
Winners of Memoir Contest Honored
VCWC honored its first annual memoir contest winners on September 26!