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Primer on Publishing

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Last week, I received in the mail an unsolicited, poorly conceived manuscript from a would-be children’s book author. Although sincere in wanting to reach youngsters with a message against discrimination, the author didn’t have a clue about where and how to submit a manuscript.

Anyone attempting to write for the children’s literary market should consider attending a series of workshops sponsored by the Ventura/Santa Barbara chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

The first seminar, “Finding the Right Publisher for Your Children’s Book,” is scheduled from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Simi Valley Library, 2969 Tapo Canyon Road.

There is no charge, but the library will gratefully accept donations of used children’s books. Call Alexis O’Neill at 581-1906.

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Janet Evanovich, who earned her publishing medals as the author of 11 romance novels, has joined the ranks of best-selling authors with her witty mysteries featuring a gutsy female crime solver. Evanovich will sign her latest book, “Three to Get Deadly,” on Friday afternoon at Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Call the bookstore Friday for the exact time, 374-0084.

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John P. Langellier, the new director of the Port Hueneme Seabee Museum, will sign his “Men a-Marching: The African American Soldier in the West: 1866-1869" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Ventura Barnes & Noble. The widely published Langellier was co-producer of “The Buffalo Soldiers” for A&E; Television’s “Time Machine” series.

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Following installation of officers by the Oxnard Friends of the Library, Carol Mills, president of the Gold Coast Chapter of Romance Writers of America, will present “An Author’s View of Genre Writing and Publishing” at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Oxnard Library, 251 South A St. Call 485-8262 for details.

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Two events are scheduled at Borders Books, 125 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Craig Balcom will demonstrate Taoist yoga and sign “The Tai Chi Flip Book” at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Musicologist Ariane Comstock will introduce youngsters (and their parents) to the opera “Hansel and Gretel” and sign her book, “The Young Person’s Guide to the Opera,” at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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Mary Embree, founder of SPAWN, the Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network, will explain the vital elements of a successful nonfiction book proposal, and local author Paula Spellman will discuss ghostwriting at a meeting of the Ventura chapter of SPAWN at 7 p.m. Sunday at the TowneHouse, 4900 Telegraph Road, Ventura. Guest fee is $5. Call 643-2403.

The Thousand Oaks chapter will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at 29376 Mulholland Highway. Louise Cabral will discuss “Writing Your Life Story.” Call 388-7297 for details.

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Wendy Dager will lecture on “Writing and Selling Greeting Cards” at 6 p.m. Feb. 20 at Rancho Simi Recreation and Parks District. Call 584-4400.

In Santa Barbara

Dean Koontz, the master of dark and terrifying tales, is coming to Santa Barbara. He will sign his new heart clutcher, “Sole Survivor,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Earthling Bookshop, 1137 State St.

Koontz, who speaks openly of his life as the son of an abusive, alcoholic father, sold his first short story while still in college. His best-selling titles are published in 38 languages, and worldwide sales total more than 175 million copies.

Frances Halpern and Jon O’Brien are co-hosts of “Beyond Words” at 10 a.m. Sundays on KCLU-FM (88.3), Ventura County’s National Public Radio station.


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