Sometimes all one needs is a little inspiration, and in Orange County, there is a big community of aspiring writers that can help with learning the craft and providing inspiration. With meetups, associations and clubs, there is something for anyone that needs to find encouragement when writing the next best novel.
Poets and Dreamers
According to the owner and organizer, Anna Tammel, Poets and Dreamers was started in Southern California following Tammel’s visit to Venice, Italy in 2001. On her visit, she “found two small Pulcinella statuettes. One is playing a string instrument and the other sits dreaming and looking up to the sky. I decided to call these Pulcinellas the Poets and the Dreamers.” Noticing little support for writers in the area, Tammel was invited to start the group and encourages all types of writers to come together to collaborate. Meetings are open to the public and are free of charge. To find out about future meetings, sign up on the meetup website to stay up to date. The main goal is “to support thriving groups that work together wisely, positively and productively through the process of completion, revision and publication,” Tammel said.
Advanced Fiction Group
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Organizer Dirk Sayers says the main goal of the group is “to achieve exponential improvement of our writing and to get that work published. A close second for many of us is to add something meaningful to the art form.” Committed to improving this craft, the Advanced Fiction Group gathers every two weeks to discuss thoughts about each member’s work and discuss how they can strengthen the quality of their work. Membership is exclusive to the meetup website. Requests for membership can be done through the website and are for serious writers. Sayers reflects that “many who have joined in the past have found the work time-consuming and the critique process not for the faint of heart.” So if you are looking to improve your writing and get critiqued on your work, Advanced Fiction Group is the place to go.
John Fowles Center
1 University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
The center dedicated to English-born John Fowles offers many great opportunities and talks from national and international writers. Students, non-students and the Orange County community are welcome to attend the events dedicated to the speakers that attend. Past writers that have come to the center include Salman Rushdie, Steve Katz, Luisa Valenzuela and many more. The goal is to promote and advance creative writing in all aspects of fiction, poetry, drama, creative nonfiction and film. These events are free and open to the public with readings beginning at 7 p.m.
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California Writers Club
Orange Public Library & History Center
Community Events Room
407 E. Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92866
The California Writers Club holds monthly meetings where writers have the opportunity to meet editors, authors and publishers that can help one acquire the skills and crafts necessary to take their work to the next level. Becoming a member of the club will ensure the opportunity to network with professionals, mentoring and access to educational programs. A past event includes the author of “Elizabeth the First Wife,” Lian Dolan, guest speaking for the July 13 meeting. His work is described as William Shakespeare meets Bridget Jones. The founder of Creative Continuum, Tom Uderhill, will guest speak on Aug. 10 on the topic of “Pitfalls of Do-It-Yourself Publishing.”
Southern California Writers Association
On the third Saturday of every month, the Southern California Writers Association meets at a local Claim Jumper restaurant to learn more about the writing industry. Those welcome to join include journalists, screenwriters, agents, novelists and anyone that is in the business of writing. Experts are featured every month when the association meets with the hopes of helping writers from all genres to advance in their careers by honing their skills. Did you know the organization holds a writing contest each month? The contest is open to all to enter and is titled the “Will Write For Food” contest based on a prompt provided monthly.
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Elle Toussi is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.