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VALLEY WEEKEND | WORDS & IMAGES

Group Offers Guidance to Romance Writers

Author Elda Minger will talk about the pros and cons of dealing with publishers.

June 20, 1996|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Romance genres (western, historical, contemporary, Regency, etc.) make up 40% of the fiction purchased in America. And while there is still some snobbery about writing a romance, most savvy writers, editors and agents agree that "there are no second-rate genres, only second-rate practitioners."

Locally, Gold Coast Fiction Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America, host meetings the third Thursday of every month, publish the Wordsmith newsletter and provide information and support for literary toilers.

Elda Minger, a prolific author of contemporary fiction, will address the group tonight at 6:30 at Carrows Restaurant, 2401 E. Harbor Blvd., Ventura. She will talk about "Experiences With Publishers: Good, Bad and Ugly." Fee for nonmembers is $4. Call Eldene Norton at 985-2959.

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Happenings at Barnes & Noble, 4360 E. Main St., Ventura: Debbie Emmons tells Mother Goose stories at 7 p.m. Friday. Linda Wexler will sign "A Spot of Tea" at 1 p.m. Saturday. Paul Willis will read poetry at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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Therapist Robert Burney will sign "Co-Dependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls" at 3 p.m. Saturday at Heart of Light Bookstore, 451 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai. Call 927-7107.

Patricia Ireland, president of the National Organization for Women, will discuss her book "What Women Want" at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Ventura Bookstore, 522 E. Main St. Call 643-4069 for reservations.

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Two discussion groups will meet at Borders Books, 125 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Poetry people gather at 8 p.m. Sunday. A history-biography group meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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Michael Bauer will perform his poetry at 8 p.m. Tuesday at 2 West Coffee Company, Ventura. Sign up for open readings at 7:30 p.m. Call 643-6411.

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IN SANTA BARBARA: The internationally recognized Santa Barbara Writers Conference begins its 24th year Friday. Approximately 350 writers will gather at the Miramar Hotel in Montecito for the weeklong literary fiesta, which offers 26 workshops and 18 lectures and seminars.

Charles Schulz and Ray Bradbury, Anne Lamott, Elmore Leonard, Jack ("Chicken Soup for the Soul") Canfield, T. C. Boyle, Jonathan Winters and Fanny Flagg are among the headliners who will share publishing war stories.

Founding father Barnaby Conrad still runs the conference, aided and abetted by his wife, Mary, and screenwriting guru Paul Lazarus. The 4 and 8 p.m. lectures (except for the literary agents panel) are open to the public. Just show up at the main auditorium with $6.

Richard Abanes will discuss his book, "Journey Into the Light," at 1 p.m. Saturday at SuperCrown, 3985 State St.

Two events at Kipling & Tyler Bookstore, 5738 Calle Real, Goleta: At 3 p.m. Saturday, Roger Dunham will sign "Spy Sub," an account of his participation in a top secret naval mission during World War II. And Richard Barre will sign his new mystery novel, "Bearing Secrets," at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Elmore Leonard, author of 32 novels, 15 of which have been made into films, including "Hombre," "Stick" and "Get Shorty," will greet his fans and sign books at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Earthling Bookshop, 1137 State St.

Luis Moreno will present an evening of Latin American poetry and music at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Earthling.

Frances Halpern is co-host with Jon O'Brien of "Beyond Words" at 10 a.m. Sundays on KCLU 88.3 FM, Ventura County's national public radio station.

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