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WORDS AND IMAGES : Ray Bradbury Opens Conference : The novelist is among dozens of speakers scheduled to appear at the weeklong event in Montecito.

June 17, 1993|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The 21st annual Santa Barbara Writing Conference begins at 8 p.m. Friday, when Ray Bradbury fires up the writers (as he has done for years) with his passion for telling stories.

The weeklong conference, which attracts people from all over the world and dozens of Ventura County writers, is held at the Miramar Hotel in Montecito. During the week, 27 workshop leaders and 27 guest lecturers--including agents, editors and major novelists--will share their expertise each day from 9 a.m. until well past midnight with about 400 writers.

The 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. panels and lectures are open to the public for $6 each. For example, you can attend Ojai travel writer Jerry Dunn's talk Sunday at 4 p.m., or come out to meet and hear Bradbury, Herb Gold, Robert B. Parker, James Ellroy, Nancy Taylor Rosenberg, Wilton Barnhardt, agent Toni Lopopolo, Dan Poynter on self-publishing, or Eva Marie Saint celebrating the work of Willa Cather. Frances Weaver, a former conference student, author and columnist, will deliver the 8 p.m. lecture June 24. She talks to the funny bone in your head about writing and publishing and life as a late bloomer. Her hilarious and mesmerizing performance is extraordinary. Don't miss it. The conference directors are Mary and Barnaby Conrad and Paul Lazarus. Call 684-2250 to request a brochure.

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Jim Cogan will share his native American tale, "Coyote and the Story of Salmon," and involve his young audience in the Hooks and Ladders obstacle course that simulates the hazards faced by salmon as they swim upstream. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Great Pacific Iron Works, 235 West Santa Clara St., Ventura. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. Call 643-6074.

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Marcia Muller will sign her novel "Wolf in the Shadows" at 6 p.m. Saturday at Mysteries To Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks.

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"Raise the Red Lantern," Zhang Yimou's 1991 film about life in 1920s China, will be presented by the Ojai Film Society at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Ojai Playhouse, 145 E. Ojai Ave. Call 646-8946 for a schedule of future screenings.

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The Simi Valley Branch of the National League of American Pen Women sponsors the annual Dorothy Daniels Honorary Writing Award competition, open to writers over 18 years old, except members of the local chapter and their immediate families. Cash prizes will be awarded for short fiction, nonfiction and poetry. The Simi Valley chapter supports local art groups, the library and interns who demonstrate a commitment to becoming published writers. The chapter also awards an annual scholarship to a high school senior with writing ability who plans to attend college. Deadline for the Daniels competition is July 30. For contest rules send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Linda Aleahmad, NLAPW-SVB, P.O. Box 1485, Simi Valley 93062.

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