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  • Interesting Writing Opportunities Winning Writers Newsletter - January 2017
    Posted Jan 16, 2017, 6:03 AM by Ron Pickett
  • San Diego County Grant We have  been advised by Supervisor Bill Horn's office that we are to receive a grant for $5000 from San Diego County.Thanks Supervisor Horn and Garry Garretson!
    Posted Nov 23, 2016, 10:41 AM by Ron Pickett
  • Article in the Vist Press Check out this article in The Vista Presshttp://thevistapress.com/away-for-the-holidays/
    Posted Nov 22, 2016, 5:35 AM by Ron Pickett
  • Untitled Post
    Posted Nov 16, 2016, 9:54 AM by Ron Pickett
  • Veteran's Day Video Here's the link to the video that was broadcast from Palomar College last Thursday:https://vimeo.com/191119791
    Posted Nov 14, 2016, 10:56 AM by Ron Pickett
  • New book: Away For The Holidays Laugh, cry, and support us by living out these experiences in our new book that can be purchased today on Amazon for only $10.00.Away for The Holidays is a collection of stories written by veterans in the Veterans Writing Group San Diego. Each shares a story of celebrating holidays--that time of family, food, friendship and relative safety-- far from those they love. Their stories are heartwarming and heart-rending, funny and frightening as they recall Christmas’ spent on the battlefields of World War II, Vietnam or Kandahar. For the civilian reader, these under-the-helmet stories reveal the everyday sacrifices, camaraderie, and pride of our military. For those who have served, these stories will bring back memories ...
    Posted Oct 26, 2016, 3:46 PM by Michael Wood
  • Our founder, Gail Chatfield: Front page news Technically incorrect. Gail was featured in the San Diego Union-Tribune's Lifestyle/People section on October 16th, 2016.She talks about why the group was started, why it is important for veterans to write their stories, and the upcoming publication release of a new anthology; "Away for the Holidays."Article by Lisa Deaderick published at   http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/lifestyle/people/sd-me-one-chatfield-20161012-story.htmlOctober 16, 2016, 6:00 AMGail Chatfield’s father was a Marine who served in World War II, but he died when Chatfield was a teen, so she never heard any of his stories about his time in the service. She found herself fascinated by the stories of other veterans ...
    Posted Oct 19, 2016, 2:21 PM by Michael Wood
  • How to Turn on Your Writer's Brain   How to Turn On Your Writer’s Brain and Write Faster            By Steve Coombes on June 23, 2015 Articles, Improve Your Writing      Did you know your brain works in two speeds? Like a 2-speed blender, your brain takes “ingredients” from outside and mixes them into your current stream of thought. Just like the blender, each speed has a distinct purpose. But only one will help you write productively. Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman wrote about these differences in how we think in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. In “fast mode,” your brain processes information rapidly — even automatically. It’s fast mode you use when driving your car, reading emotions on someone’s face, or instantly making familiar mental connections ...
    Posted Aug 17, 2016, 6:57 AM by Ron Pickett
  • San Diego Poetry Annual and Book Awards San Diego Poetry Annual Open now until Oct 15 Up to 3 unpublished poems Specific instructions on website No cost Write on cover letter that you are a vet and send to publisher, Bill Harding Garden Oak Press or contact Joan Gerstein at pearlpoet@#cos.net 760-685-6784   San Diego Book Awards Association Sandiegobookawards.org Unpublished books Oct 1 – Nov 15 Published books Jan 1 – 31 2017 Numerous categories Also looking for volunteer judges for all categories. Since there were no awards last year, you may enter books published with a 2015 or 2016 copyright.
    Posted Aug 8, 2016, 10:37 AM by Ron Pickett
  • Untitled Post Eight APPS for Veteranshttp://www.techrepublic.com/pictures/8-mobile-apps-designed-to-help-veterans/3/?ftag=TRE684d531&bhid=20865216416506075350462573125936
    Posted Jul 4, 2016, 6:13 AM by Ron Pickett
  • NPR Project Update Many thanks to all the writers who participated in the PBS filming for your time and openness on this project. I think we had a much bigger impact on them than they expected. We knew that most of our meeting would end up “on the cutting room floor,” however, I’m impressed that the attitude of the editing crew was as attentive, interested and involved as Ramon Garcia indicates in the email he sent:    "One of our film editors sent me a rough draft of the San Diego Writers Group piece.  I have no say in the editing process besides raising flags and giving notes to what the producers have already cut.  That being said, it pretty much is the ...
    Posted Jun 15, 2016, 6:18 AM by Ron Pickett
  • NPR Project Hello Writers,    FLASH.......FLASH......FLASH.... We need your support and help.   We encourage your attendance at our upcoming May 7 meeting to discuss our participation in a PBS project titled Veterans Coming Home.  Here is a link to their website: http://veteranscominghome.org/    The PBS production crew will be filming us the evening of either May 10, 11, or 12 and we need your input as to when is the best night for the most writers to attend. We will be conducting a regular meeting on one of those nights and we would like a good turnout for this meaningful project. If you are unable to attend Saturday's meeting and want to be part of the PBS program, please ...
    Posted May 2, 2016, 6:14 AM by Ron Pickett
  • Tom Calabrese, recently won VWG is proud to announce that one of their members, Tom Calabrese, recently won The Saturday Evening Post's Tribute to the Troops essay contest. Read his award winning essay here.
    Posted Oct 11, 2013, 3:26 PM by Michael Wood
  • WARRIORS WHO WRITE: FROM HEMINGWAY TO VONNEGUT TO SHEEHAN-MILES Very interesting articleFrom the websiteIf you don't think writing can be therapeutic, if you don't believe putting pen to paper - or fingers to keyboard - can be truly healing, ask a veteran. There's a long and storied tradition of warriors employing the ancient craft of writing to deal with their experiences on the battlefield. In the last century, novelists, poets, screenwriters and songwriters as diverse as Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Kurt Vonnegut, Leon Uris, Steve Mason, Ron Kovic, Brian Wizard, Oliver Stone, Richard Stekol, Robert Mason, Jason Moon, Senator Jim Webb, Tim O'Brien, Benjamin Busch, and Kevin Powers have written sad, funny, gripping and sometimes haunting accounts of war based directly, or indirectly, on their ...
    Posted Nov 14, 2012, 8:37 AM by Michael Wood
  • Ron Pickett is this month’s writing contest winner Ron Pickett is this month’s writing contest winner for July 2012. Please take a moment to congratulate him. The group thanks Ron for his participation and continued support of the Veterans Writing Group.Read his story here.As the winner of this month’s contest Ron Pickett has nominated this photo for the contest. You have until the next meeting to write a composition of 500 words or less related to this theme photo. For rules and and information go here, scroll down till you find this picture.  Have fun and be sure to have your fans email us their vote at vwgsdcounty@gmail.com (subject line should read vote for and (your name)) or have them “like ...
    Posted Jul 27, 2012, 1:55 PM by Michael Wood
  • Lifestages: Military Recollections First Read Lifestages: Military Recollections    Presenting plays written by or about Military Veterans  Performed as a Staged Reading by Professional ActorsJuly 9, 2012, 7 p.m.New Village Arts Theatre 2787B State StreetCarlsbad, CA 92008Three one-act plays by military veterans as part of the Recollections Playwriting Series presented by Playwrights Project.Please join us for a first read by professional actors in front of a live audience to give the playwrights a good sense of what they've written so far and what  further revisions to make. There will be a moderated talk back to solicit audience feedback that will help the playwrights take the next leap in realizing their vision for their plays.http://www.playwrightsproject.org ...
    Posted Jun 27, 2012, 11:44 PM by Michael Wood
  • VETERANS WRITING GROUP MONTHLY CONTEST Today is the first day of our first monthly contest held on facebook, so lets see if you have what it takes to win. http://www.facebook.com/VWGSDCountyHOW TO PARTICIPATE: You must submit a new work, not previously published in any form. It must be original work created by the contest entrant(s). A submission must be 500 words or less. All work must be based in some capacity on the theme photo posted on the Facebook contest page appearing above these rules. Contestants will enter their work by Facebook post below these rules or email the group to have work posted by proxy to the Facebook on entrant(s) behalf. The entrants name must appear with the ...
    Posted Jun 16, 2012, 5:04 PM by Michael Wood
  • MILITARY THEMED PREVIEW OF OIFF-2012 A special Military Themed Screening Block preview of Oceanside International Film Festival will take place 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Saturday, August 11, at Oceanside Library, downtown Civic Center branch, 330 North Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054. The event is free to military, veterans, and their families (with military ID & advance registration) and only $5.00 for general civilian public (with advance registration). The purpose of this three-hour film screening session is to give a sneak peek of the full four-day Oceanside Intl Film Festival, which will run a week after, from August 16 to 19, 2012. The organizers hope this Preview will entice film buffs from North County, especially Camp Pendleton marines and those from ...
    Posted Jun 6, 2012, 12:26 AM by Michael Wood
  • Write On, Oceanside! free literary event (July 28) now accepting participants Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation, partnering with the Oceanside Public Library, will be hosting ld “Write On, Oceanside! 2”, a book fair celebrating Oceanside-only authors. This year the event will be held Saturday, July 28 from 1:00 to 4:00 in and around the Oceanside Civic Center Plaza and Community Rooms.The Committee is currently seeking published Oceanside authors. The “Write On!” Committee will consider published, self-published and independent publisher works in the following categories: non-fiction, fiction, children’s books, teenage, how-to, comics/graphic novels, poetry, plays, science fiction/horror, biography/autobiography, gardening, cookbooks, animals, photography/art, mystery and spiritual.Deadline, June 30, 2012For more infomation on how to be a part of this special ...
    Posted May 31, 2012, 12:33 AM by Michael Wood
  • Second Session - Playwriting Workshop Series So Monday night was the second night of our Playwriting Workshop Series for Veterans and it was great meeting some new people. Click here for more info on the seriesOur mentor Mrs. Erika Phillips, more about her here, had us open up the night with Ron's homework assignment from last week;  Write a monolog from the aspect of an inanimate object that might be found on or with a military person. His amazing story showed us how interesting it is to see how a belt buckle could be so proud but yearn to understand its owner. We talked about how the monolog from the belt buckle showed us its character, were it had been and what it could ...
    Posted May 17, 2012, 8:07 PM by Michael Wood
  • First Session - Playwriting Workshop Series So tonight was the first night of our Playwriting Workshop Series for Veterans. It was neat to see how our military background and everyday life  stories fit into playwriting. Our great mentor for this series is Mrs. Erika Phillips and she comes with more than 20 years experience. She is currently acting in the play Brownie Points and is showing until May 27th  at the Lamb's Players Theater in Coronado, CA.  For more information please go to lambsplayers.org What we went over tonight -The differences between Autobiographical fiction and Memoirs-We read a StagePlay and went over the Dialogue with the narrative    -We looked at how we could have changed some of the narrative into more dialogue to ...
    Posted May 8, 2012, 2:08 PM by Michael Wood
  • Press release: SD Veteran Writers & Tim O'Brien Hello Writers,Mark you calendars for author Tim O'Brien at Grossmont College May 3 as well as readings by local veterans May 2 and May 6.....our own Ron Pickett and Alexa Steffen will be sharing their stories. Congrats to them both! For Immeadiate release: Date: 4/23/12San Diego Veteran Writers Take The Stage With Tim O’BrienLocal veteran writers to perform stories about the unspoken sides of service in concert with a visit from the author of, “The Things They Carried.”San Diego, CA – As part of Grossmont Community College’s 16th Annual Literary Arts Festival, Tim O’Brien will be reading and signing books on Thursday, May 03, 2:00 - 3:15 p.m ...
    Posted Apr 27, 2012, 4:26 PM by Michael Wood
  • Playwriting Workshop Series We are co hosting a playwriting workshop with the Playwirte Project and ACVOW. We will have a performance at the end with the completed work for all to enjoy. Get singed up today!!!
    Posted Apr 23, 2012, 2:24 PM by Michael Wood
  • Gene Simmons After getting to shake his hand a few weeks ago this was sent to me. Mr Simmons Thank you for supporting our troops and veterans.
    Posted Apr 19, 2012, 10:00 AM by Michael Wood
  • University of Iowa's magazine writing contest Dear Veterans' Writing Group of San Diego County,I'm writing from The University of Iowa's literary magazine, The Iowa Review. We have just established a writing contest called The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans, thanks to a gift from the family of Vietnam veteran and writer Jeff Sharlet. Would you be able to announce this opportunity to the participants in your writing group?  We'd be very appreciative if you could pass along the following information:  The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans This new contest is open to U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel writing in any genre.The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in an upcoming issue of The Iowa Review ...
    Posted Apr 7, 2012, 1:51 PM by Michael Wood
  • The National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic WhatThe National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic (NVSSC) promotes rehabilitation of body and spirit by teaching summer sporting activities to Veterans with significant physical or psychological impairments.WhoParticipation is open to U.S. military service Veterans with orthopedic amputations, traumatic brain injuries, burn injuries, psychological trauma, certain neurological conditions, visual impairment, spinal cord injuries and other eligible injuries incurred in the last six years.WhenSeptember 16-21, 2012SponsorU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)EventsHost Hotel – San Diego Marriott and MarinaSurfing – La Jolla ShoresSailing – San Diego HarborCycling – Coronado IslandKayaking – Mission Bay Yacht ClubTrack & Field – U.S. Olympic Training Center, Chula VistaWhyVA is committed to improving the quality of ...
    Posted Apr 5, 2012, 10:47 AM by Michael Wood
  • Some great answers on Fair Use Do you have questions on fair use of someones copy-write material in your own work? Check out the video as the Stanford Center for Internet and Society Fair Use Legal Experts Answer Fair Use Questions.On April 21, 2011, YouTube invited the public to ask our CIS Fair Use experts questions regarding fair use. http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2011/04/mashups-parodies-and-lip-dubs-ask-...Anthony Falzone, Executive Director of the Fair Use Project, and Julie Ahrens, Associate Director of the Fair Use Project, answer a selection of questions.  Link to websitehttp://youtu.be/S521VcjhvMA
    Posted Mar 30, 2012, 9:53 AM by Michael Wood
  • So Say We ALL - April 2012 Newsletter Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.April 2012 NewsletterHi Dear Ones!We're in the top running of Good Magazine's Art Challenge and we need your votes to win this thing. All you have to do is log in and vote for The Far East Project. That's it. We keep bouncing between 1st and 3rd place, so every person makes a difference!So Say We All has partnered with The Urbanist and 3rd Space on a monthly initiative to bring financial assisstance to local artists: Pizza Parlay. Anyone can submit a proposal for a creative project that needs a little funding. Then, at a pizza party open to the public, Parlay attendees vote on ...
    Posted Mar 28, 2012, 9:29 PM by Michael Wood
  • Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: If you are interested in screenwriting and want to be successful,  you have to check this book out.It's fun and easy to read but most importantly A portion of the authors’ proceeds are being contributed to the USO.   Robert Ben Garant has always gone out of his way to help and mentored Veterans' perfecting their skill of writing.   We can't thank him enough for all that he does, not only for  our group of Veterans but for all Military members that he  supports.   Editorial Reviews "These two guys are the reason Night at the Museum won so many Oscars"  —Ben Stiller “Some screenwriters have a knack for capturing the heart and soul of characters, the nuance of ...
    Posted Mar 12, 2012, 12:54 PM by Michael Wood
  • Our Vietnam Generation trailer This video was sent to one of our members, check it out http://www.v-prod.com/trailer_vietnam.html  This was made by Michigan Vietnam Vets, but it says it all for every Vietnam Vet. Share it with a Vietnam Vet or a family that may have lost a Dad, Brother, Uncle or Son...I thought they did an excellent job on this. Touching, I suspect in the future this theme will be shown over and over again for each conflict. This is one of the better Vietnam videos made by and for Michigan Vietnam Veterans, but I believe all of you will appreciate this.  This story could be retold by 49 other states and territories as well.  If ...
    Posted Mar 8, 2012, 10:38 AM by Michael Wood
  • VETERANS WRITING RETREAT At WGF/WGA headquarters A few of us have already signed up to attend. Let us know if you are going and maybe we can set up a carpool.VETERANS WRITING RETREAT Sat & Sun, April 21-22At WGF/WGA headquarters Get Full Info & ApplicationApplication Deadline: MARCH 19From the websiteMilitary Veterans Writing WorkshopTHE VETERANS WRITING RETREATAPRIL 21-22, 2012APPLICATION DEADLINE: MARCH 19We are now accepting applications for the Writers Guild Foundation 2012 Veterans Writing Retreat.We are seeking all qualified service members (veteran or active) with an interest in writing to participate in a free, two-day writing workshop to be held in Los Angeles in April 2012. No previous experience is necessary, just the desire to ...
    Posted Mar 12, 2012, 2:59 PM by Michael Wood
  • Chris Hedges, war correspondent, to speak at Point Loma Nazarene University Chris Hedges, Tuesday February 28  7 PM Hedges has written for more than 20 years on wars around the world -- in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans, and he won the Pulitzer Prize with the New York Times for his coverage of global terrorism. His provocative books, however, have given him even higher acclaim. They include War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning; American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America; I Don't Believe in Atheists; Losing Moses on the FreewayThe World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress, and his most recent, The Death of the Liberal Class.    Chris will be interviewed on Tuesday evening, February 28 on ...
    Posted Feb 27, 2012, 2:29 PM by Michael Wood
  • Timothy Wurtz - Developing a Character First a big thank you to Mr. Wurtz for coming all the way from LA to share his writing tips with our veteran writing group. We are so grateful for our supportive mentors helping us progress in our writing journey, no matter were it leads us.Arguably the most important aspect of any writing is the character. On Saturday we learned more about character development, dimensions, emotional beats, and movement.                                                                                                                                                    (photo: Serena Reid)We captured some great instructional video footage from Mr. Wurtz but also some of our stories from the group.  keep checking back as we will have members stories and instructional videos on-line.  Here are a few of the notes and checklist from Saturdays meeting. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------DEVELOPING A ...
    Posted Feb 21, 2012, 4:45 PM by Michael Wood
  • HOW I GOT THAT STORY performance Feb 25 roundup Hello Writers,Just a reminder of the upcoming performance of How I Got That Story on Saturday February 25, 2012 at 7:30. Please reconfirm if you will be attending as the theater needs a definite count by February 8. Tickets are $12.50 each. Reservations are required and we must pay for what we reserve. So check your calendars and let me know!HOW I GOT THAT STORY performance Feb 25 roundup order deadlineAn eager newspaper reporter from Dubuque travels to a fictional war-torn Am-bo Land" to cover the country, but the country ends up covering him. This fast-paced "nightmare comedy" asks: where is the boundary between historical fact and subjective experience? What is the ...
    Posted Feb 21, 2012, 12:38 PM by Michael Wood
  • So Say We All workshop Hello writers,Here is the information about the writing class with So Say We All that we have been speaking about over the last few months. We have not set a location as yet but it will be somewhere up in North County and we will let you know the time when we set the place. But for now, mark you calendars and register by using the link at the bottom. Veteran Writers Group (VWG-SD) and So Say We All present:"How to Tell a True War Story"A 5-week workshop and showcase of stories chronicling the experience of war and its aftermath.Cost: $120Dates: (all Sundays)March 18, 25April 1, 15, 22Showcase: April 29th ...
    Posted Feb 21, 2012, 12:34 PM by Michael Wood
  • So Say We All: Nearly February 2012 Newsletter Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser. Nearly February 2012 Newsletter The big news this installment fulfills a goal we've had since we started SSWA three years ago: Beginning in May 2012, Justin Hudnall of So Say We All and Professor Sydney Brown of The Grossmont College Creative Writing Program will co-teach "How To Write a True War Story" at Grossmont College, a veterans-only creative writing workshop which will culminate in a showcase series of veteran's work headlined by visiting best-selling author and Vietnam Veteran Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried.) In tandem with the Grossmont class, Justin and So Say We All will be offering the same course to another group ...
    Posted Jan 31, 2012, 1:23 PM by Michael Wood
  • Happy New Year, Writers! Happy New Year, Writers! The VWG staff was sitting around on New Years Eve, champagne flute in hand, watching the clock count down and wondering WTF Lady Gaga had on her face, when we reminisced about other times our eyes were fixed on a clock. For John it was his dive watch as he explored distant underwater landscapes; for Mike it was keeping one eye on the kitchen clock and the other on his boys to make sure they got off to school on time; time seemed to stand still for Sergio as he waited patiently (or maybe not so patiently) for little baby Sailor to arrive; Gail snarked about the lack of clocks in Las Vegas casinos and the ...
    Posted Jan 11, 2012, 5:46 PM by Michael Wood
  • Next meeting Hello Writers:We have a great opportunity to showcase our work.  Last month we talked briefly about the inquiry from the Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company about their upcoming play and Mike and I met with Seema Sueko to get more details. They have asked us to be part of a video presentation to be shown before the start of their play, How I Got That Story. Read more about the play on their website: http://moolelo.net/Since the play tells the story of a journalist covering a Vietnam-like war, we would like to have some short stories, poems, etc., with a military slant to include in our part of the pre-show presentation. We are also asking ...
    Posted Jan 11, 2012, 3:41 PM by Michael Wood
  • Trelby? Many stress the point, it is a necessity to have Final Draft if you are serious about writing a screenplay. www.finaldraft.com What if your not ready to buy or looking for alternatives. He is one that was found, check it out and let us know what you think.From the website: "Trelby is simple, fast and elegantly laid out to make screenwriting simple. It is infinitely configurable. Trelby is free software, that you can contribute..."http://www.trelby.org/
    Posted Jan 11, 2012, 3:43 PM by Michael Wood
  • WoW It was another great weekend with another great mentor, Robert Ben Garant! His second visit was just as good as his first. Visit our web sitewww.vwgsandiegocounty.org to see the new pictures and soon we will upload the video of the readings by our members.
    Posted Dec 15, 2011, 9:56 PM by Michael Wood
  • VWG SD Video Project If you haven't notice or attended one of our events recently, we are currently shooting for our project. We would like to use this material to create awareness and help tell our stories. We hope this video project will make others want to learn more, FEEL more and Just Write!!!We will use footage from our events, mentors, readers, and also Interview scenes to make our project. We have a voice; soon we'll have an image too.If you have any means or skills in the media arts and you wish to assist, OR you would like to learn media production, please let us know ASAP.We are in need of everything from skills to equipment and all ...
    Posted Dec 16, 2011, 1:54 PM by Michael Wood
  • Welcome As we grow, so does our website. Please join us in leaving your comments and help us make this site a better place for all Veteran Writers to visit and draw from. 
    Posted Dec 6, 2011, 11:40 PM by Michael Wood
  • VWG T Shirts Attached are some t-shirt ideas. Looking for input or suggestions on how/where to purchase and how style t-shirts for the group. These would be for sale as well. The idea is to pass around an order sheet for anyone to sign up for a shirt and pay in advance. That should help kick start this initiative. We can use proceeds from first sales to build an inventory. Anyone feel free to take a shot at a design but Sergio's design fits us well. Lets try to compound on it if we can.     
    Posted Nov 8, 2011, 5:35 PM by Michael Wood
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