Daily Archives: September 1, 2007

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President’s Message

September 1, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as


by OCC Co-President Sandy Novy-Chvostal

“Did you hear,” fellow writer Colleen Adams asked me awhile back, “that Jonathan Gold won a Pulitzer?”

“No, kidding!” I exclaimed. “Who’s Jonathan Gold?”

Jonathan Gold, I learned, is a food critic. He started his restaurant-review column, “Counter Intelligence,” at the L.A. Weekly (a free, tabloid style publication) in 1986. He brought it to the Los Angeles Times for a few years before returning to the alternative paper in 1996. He’s known for evaluating all kinds of eating establishments, from pushcart vendors to gourmet restaurants. He won in the Distinguished Criticism category.

And he’s the first food critic ever to be awarded a Pulitzer.

“As soon as I heard a food critic had won, I knew it was Jonathan Gold,” Colleen told me. “Every time I read his column, I want to rush out and try the place he’s reviewed.”

Intrigued, I googled Gold to read his columns for myself. I discovered Colleen—and Michael Lacey, executive editor of Village Voice Media which owns the L.A. Weekly—are right.

“Like many of our best critics,” says Lacey, “he [Gold] is a cultural omnivore who can write captivatingly about almost anything. His gift to us is that he chose food.”

As this year speeds by and I work on my writing, and help out with OCC’s multiple endeavors such as our contests, our print publication The Orange Blossom, and our internet e-zine, A Slice of Orange, I often think of Jonathan Gold, food critic, winning a Pulitzer Prize.

It reminds me that contests can be wonderful for drawing attention to a writer. That sometimes success can take years to achieve. That it isn’t the size of a publication that necessarily matters, but rather the quality of what you produce. That talent can shine in any medium, whether it be food reviews or romance novels.

Thank you, Jonathan Gold, for the reminder. And congratulations on your win.

Happy Writing,


Sandy Novy-Chvostal (aka Sandra Paul) has a degree in journalism, but prefers to write from the heart. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have three children, three cats, and one overgrown “puppy.” Her 2006 Silhouette Romance DOMESTICATING LUC was a finalist in this year’s RITA Awards.

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And Then What Happened? Scene, Sequel and More Workshop

September 1, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as


So you have created great characters. You’ve figured out a plot.

You might even have a synopsis. You’ve written what you think are three terrific opening chapters. Now what? You’ve realized a five, ten, twenty page synopsis isn’t helping you write the book. It’s dawned on you that sitting down every day and hammering out another scene, and then another, and another after that isn’t for the faint of heart. You have no idea how to keep that story rolling, those pages turning, that energy going. Overwhelmed, you’re stymied.

Best selling, award winning author, Jill Marie Landis, will show you how to increase your productivity, tighten each scene for the most impact, and make your scenes come alive with action and emotion in her “And Then What Happened? Scene, Sequel and More Workshop.”

About the Instructor:
Jill Marie Landis’s work has earned distinguished awards and slots on such national bestseller lists as USA Today’s Top 50, the New York Times’ Bestsellers Plus and RWA’s distinguished Honor Roll.; SUMMER MOON, her first hardcover, was chosen by Library Journal as one of the Top Five Romance Fiction Novels of 2001. The winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA award, Jill Marie has had seven of her twenty novels in the Rita Finals.

After penning fourteen historical romances, her debut contemporary novel, LOVER’S LANE, published by Ballantine Books, launched Jill Marie’s Twilight Cove Series set in a fictional northern California beach town. The second book in the series, HEAT WAVE, garnered a number of “perfect 10” reviews while HEARTBREAK HOTEL, the third book of the trilogy, was chosen by “Booklist” as one of the Top Ten Romances of 2005 as well as earning her another Library Journal Top Five Romance Novels recognition in 2005. Jill has just completed her first single title Inspirational historical novel for Harlequin’s Steeple Hill Books. Entitled HOMECOMING, it will be published in August 2008.

Enrollment Information:

COST: $20 for OCC members $30 for non-members
Enrollment deadline: September 8, 2007

For more information see the website or email moderator Marianne Donley at

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