Thursday, May 24 , 2018, 9:37 am | Overcast 59º


Local News

Word Play Gets Its Due as Writers Bloc Gathers for Conference

35th annual Santa Barbara Writers Conference opens Saturday. Noozhawk fiction contest winner announced.

Writers of almost every genre will be converging on the South Coast this weekend for the 35th annual Santa Barbara Writers Conference, a weeklong event filled with workshops, discussions, seminars and writing, writing, writing.

This year’s conference, a day shorter than the previous ones have been, will be packed as usual with guest speakers like SBWC regular Ray Bradbury, former LAPD detective and crime novelist Joseph Wambaugh, Latino Literature Hall of Famer Luis Alberto Urrea, local best-selling author Sue Grafton, and novelist Jane Heller.

Workshops intended to help every facet of the writer’s life, from picking up the pen to closing the sale will be filling each of the conference days, but it won’t be all work. Readings and get-togethers will get participants relaxing and recharging their creative juices as well.

This year, reality TV gets its hooks into the conference, as it presents its first SBWC Ultimate Write-Off, a live reality show created by the comedic duo of Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, who wrote and produced the hit TV show Cheers. Writers who thrive under pressure will be filmed throughout the week, as a series of elimination rounds will reveal who has the chops to work under the ultimate deadline and be the last writer standing, or in this case, writing. Tryouts will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday.

And for those who want in on the action but can’t take all the time off, SBWC is offering the Wordfest pass, which allows you to come to all afternoon and evening events, as well as the VIP reception with Grafton on Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, Robin Tiffney of Santa Barbara was selected by a panel of SBWC judges as the winner of the inaugural Noozhawk Fiction Contest. Noozhawk’s interview with her — and her winning entry, “Post from Umideke” — will be published Saturday. Nearly 70 entries were received in the two-week contest.

Click here for the latest conference information.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at [email protected]

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >