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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...

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July 2017 Meeting

A Story Evolves

By Connie Mukherjee

Our July 11th speaker, Richard Kletter, is a longtime Adjunct Screenwriting Professor in the graduate program at the University of Southern California’s School Of Cinematic Arts.  USC is billed as the nation’s preeminent program in all aspects of film and television.  In his role as adjunct professor, Kletter teaches graduate writing students how to develop stories and write feature screenplays. The topic of his Ventura County Writers Club presentation is How to Develop a Story for Film and Television.

After graduate school in Communications Policy at Stanford, Kletter began his film career as a producer on independent documentaries and feature films. Richard has written, directed and/or produced over twenty films and TV movies and worked for every major studio and network and for such directors/producers as Francis Coppola and Ridley Scott. His films have received Golden Globe nominations and won awards at various festivals.  He consults on story and character development for writers, directors and producers as well as game and software companies across the globe. 

Strong story development skills can be readily observed in the projects in which he has participated.  Kletter was a producer on the film, Northern Lights, which received the 1979 Cannes Film Festival Award: Camera D’or, and has been called a landmark of American independent film.  According to IMDb, Northern Lights has the feel of an old black and white photograph discovered in an attic.  The bitter-sweet story is of young lovers caught up in a political struggle waged by farmers against the grain trade, the banks, and the railroads.  The film brings back a forgotten era of American history and evokes the austere beauty of the Northern Plains.

In 1983, Richard co-wrote Never Cry Wolf, in which a government researcher, sent to study the "menace" of wolves in the north, learns about the true beneficial and positive nature of the species. Richard’s short film, Teach 109, written in 1990 and based on an idea by Isaac Asimov, won a Cine Golden Eagle award and was chosen to represent the U.S. in festivals and cultural exchanges around the world.   In the film, future surgeons practice their skill on androids imitating patients, but the robot, “Teach 109”, comes to mean more to one particular physician. Richard wrote a 2005 TV Movie: Odd Girl Out, a teen movie in which a mother and daughter confront the intimidation of teen peer pressure and emotionally brutalizing social rituals of high school. 


“Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, on paper.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD

Authors often discuss whether their books were sparked by story or character, but the more important question may be how to develop that flicker into sizzling writing.  Kletter’s talk will provide professional advice for our group in this ever elusive quest!

June 2017 Meeting

How to Get the Dang Thing Written

by Connie Mukherjee

The number one excuse for not writing is lack of time. Horse feathers says N.Y. Times bestselling author Margaret Brownley. An author of more than forty books, she should know. She wrote four books in three years while caring for three children, an elderly relative, and working full time. “You don’t find time for writing,” she says. “You make time.” During the June meeting, Margaret will share her hard-earned secrets on how to unleash your creativity and turn a lack of time into writing time.


Her forty novels and novellas are mostly set in the 1800s and have won numerous awards, including the National Readers' Choice, and Romantic Times Pioneer awards. She's a two-time Romance Writers of American RITA® finalist, has written for a TV soap, and authored over four hundred magazine articles. She is a popular speaker and has spoken to women's’ groups, religious and charitable organizations, and national conferences across the country.


Left at the Altar (2016), the first book of the series, A Match Made in Texas, is a current finalist for the RITA award. Winners will be announced at the Orlando conference in July. The second book of the series carries the same name as the series itself, A Match Made in Texas, and will be released on June 6, 2017. Not bad for someone who flunked eighth grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.

Support Our Website Project!

Ventura County Writers is going to update their website! We're asking our members and friends to donate to this effort, and are offering two special raffles:

·         We will draw four winners among those donating $20: a VCWC book bag, two writing books, and a VCWC pen.

·         We will draw one winner among our $50 donors. This lucky winner will receive: a free VCWC membership for 2018, a $75 gift certificate, a book of writing prompts, and a VCWC book bag and pen.

You can donate at the meeting or mail a check or money order to:Ventura County Writers Club, c/o Website Project,  P.O. Box 3373, Thousand Oaks, CA 91359

You can also use the donate button below to donate via paypal:


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