Club welcomes writers of all genres and abilities

The Ventura County Writers Club is celebrating its 85th anniversary. The club, founded in 1933 by authors in Ojai, has thrived while many clubs and organizations are folding. President Connie Mukherjee says, “The VCWC has survived because we welcome writers of all genres and abilities. We have also kept dues low. A new member pays only $45 the first year and $40 for annual renewals.”

The club hosts monthly speakers including agents, publishers, editors and others in the writing and publishing industry. “We host contests, critique groups and publish a bi-annual anthology. We are a not-for-profit run completely by volunteers.” The club’s membership is usually between 100-200 people. “Our monthly attendance runs between 25-60 people depending on the speaker. Some speakers appeal to fiction writers and some draw poets.” The club supports writers who self-publish as well as authors writing personal memoirs just for their families.

On September 11, at 7:00 p.m., the club will host Mark Sarvas is a novelist, book reviewer, and blogger. He is the host of the literary blog The Elegant Variation and author of the novels Harry, Revised and Memento Park. A finalist for the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association’s 2008 Fiction Award and a Denver Post 2008 Good Read, Harry, Revised has been called “A remarkable debut” by Booker Prize winner John Banville, and was compared to John Updike and Philip Roth by the Chicago Tribune. He teaches advanced novel writing in the UCLA Extension Writers Program and is an MFA candidate at the Bennington Writing Seminars.

“Anyone who is interested is invited to join us,” says incoming president Rhonda Noda. “We will also have readings by club members who have recently published. There is no charge for non-members to drop in and join us for the celebration.” The group meets at 1605 Burnley Street in Camarillo at the Pleasant Valley Park and Recreation Center.

Ventura Breeze contributing writer, and member Sheli Ellsworth stated, “My first fiction won a prize in the VCWC annual short story contest. Before then I’d never thought about writing fiction. Now, I have six books to my credit. One is a kid’s book that I wrote with Breeze publisher Brown.” Call Sheli at 805.300.1365 for more information.

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