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Membership Information

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...

SCBWI Writers Day Early-Bird Registration

Early-bird registration for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)’s Writers’ Day 2017 opens on August 1

 

Date/Time
October 14, 2017, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

 

Location
California Lutheran University, Preus-Brandt Forum
60 W. Olsen Road - Thousand Oaks, CA 91360


Mark your calendar, set a reminder on your phone, or tack a neon note to your fridge. It’s going to be another amazing CenCal event featuring industry professionals, local success stories, contest, critiques, and so much more. For more details visit https://cencal.scbwi.org/events/wd17/

 

 

September 2017 Meeting Info

Memoir Writing:  Ventura County Writers Club Style

 By Judith Mathison

What do the following have in common: (1) a young girl’s precious Barbie Dream House; (2) an encounter in the back of a car with a homeless shelter resident armed with a switchblade; (3) panic caused by an uninvited mouse in the house; (4) a day in the life of a twenty-year-old soldier in Viet Nam hunkered near a downed Huey helicopter; (5) a meet-and-greet with the Three Stooges; and (6) construction of a homemade apple core for rubber stamp decorating?

Answer: All were winning entries in last year’s VCWC Memoir Contest. These poignant, dramatic, humorous, memorable pieces were recognized as quality after several rounds of judging by experienced VCWC writers.

Memoir (memory-based) writing has become more popular as people continue to choose nonfiction reading over fiction. The dictionary definition of this genre is a factual account of one’s personal life or experiences. Yesterday’s memoirs came from society’s famous and infamous members, such as movie stars and sports figures. Today, regular people just like you and I can write memoir bestsellers.

So, it’s that time of year again. The Memoir Contest time for submissions has come to a close and the judging is in full swing with the annual winners’ celebration slated for our regular club meeting on September 12. This is the third contest held, again managed by long-time VCWC member, Shelba Cole Robison. I spoke with her about the origin of the contest.

Shelba proposed including this genre three years ago after noticing club writers who weren’t entering short story and fiction contests instead had a stronger interest in memoirs. She noted the strength of memoirs as they capture people’s real struggles in life and their accomplishments. Unlike fiction, these true stories can pare away the unnecessary and get down to the basic core of what constitutes human life. And unlike straight nonfiction, the reader doesn’t get too caught up in facts and miss the importance of story and characters.

We hope you will join us on a night where certain of your friends and fellow club members share a heartfelt slice of their lives, in 1,250 words or less. Cash prizes will be awarded along with the opportunity to hear these prize-winning stories September club meeting, September 12, at 7:00 p.m. at the Senior Center.

We hope that those who hear the winning stories will be inspired to enter the contest next year which will probably be administered differently.  

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 VCWC Memoir Contest!

August 2017 Meeting Info

How to Exact Revenge

By Connie Mukherjee

The Ventura County Writer’s Club is pleased to host one of our own and an award winning author of historical fiction, Edward D. Webster, as our August 8th meeting’s featured speaker.  His talk is entitled:  How to Exact Revenge on History’s Villains.

Soul of Toledo, Ed’s third book, was released in 2016. The setting is Spain in the 1440s, when the diabolical nature of mankind stands out as madmen take over the City of Toledo and torture suspected Jews 30 years before the Spanish Inquisition. 

According to the Historical Fiction Guide to Genre, 2005, works of historical fiction are mainly novels, set before the middle of the last century, and ones in which the author is writing from research rather than personal experience.  By definition, the details must be historically accurate. Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly, published in 1814, is considered to be the first historical novel.

Ed relates the story of what inspired him to write Soul of Toledo

“Traveling to Toledo, Spain, the tourist information spoke of ‘the City of Three Cultures.’ Jews, Muslims and Christians had created the richest of cultures in literature, spiritual enlightenment, art—you name it. The architecture, with its Moorish influences whispered praises to that past glory. Still, I knew about the Spanish Inquisition and the expulsions of Jews and Muslims.

“Back home in California, I discovered the book, Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain, by Benzion Netanyahu (the Israeli Prime Minister’s father). It told the story of a rogue inquisition, thirty years before the church-sponsored version. From there I arranged private lectures with professors in Toledo and Segovia to study politics and history, culture and landscape. Then I created an endangered hero and a lady for him to love…”

Soul of Toledo was a finalist in the Foreword Reviews best novel competition and a Merit Award winner in the CIPA Evvy contest.  Midwest Book Review states the book is “Extraordinary, compelling, and with an impressive attention to historical detail and character development, Soul of Toledo is an absorbing read from beginning to end…”

Ed’s acclaimed memoir, A Year of Sundays (Taking the Plunge and our Cat to Explore Europe) shares the happily eccentric tale of his yearlong adventure in Europe with his spirited blind wife and headstrong, deaf sixteen-year-old cat. Webster also likes to tinker with fictional characters, putting strange people together to see what they’ll do with/to each other. His 2014 novel, The Gentle Bomber’s Melody, is an example of the resultant irresistible insanity.  He’s also the author of a number of articles appearing in such diverse publications as the Boston Globe and Your Cat Magazine.

Webster lives in Southern California with his divine wife and two amazing cats.

www.edwardwebster.com

 

Camarillo Library's Annual Author Fair

Camarillo Library is hosting its 2nd Annual Author’s Fair at the library on Sunday, November 12.

To register, go here: http://www.camarillolibrary.org/localauthorfair

 

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