Friday, October 28, 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

And the Winners Are ... !

Congratulations to the 2016 Central Coast Writers Contest Winners!
The Central Coast Writers Conference was amazing, the contest awards ceremony inspirational.  Please meet the top winners, and share their stories in the tab headings above.


Short Fiction           Sharyl Heber  

Beanie’s Flowers

Sharyl is a fiber and paper artist, novelist, screenwriter and poet.  She has served as past Director of the SLO NightWriters Golden Quill writing competition and as judge for the SLO Coastal School District student writing competition.  She has won awards of her own for prose and poetry and her screenplay, Keepers of the Dream, rose to the top 3% in Miramax’s first, Project Greenlight.  Sharyl is a longstanding member of SLO NightWriters and has served on their Board of Directors. 

Poetry                    Russell Read                     
At Old Faithful Down the Line

Flash Fiction           Brenda Bellinger   

In the Blink of an Eye

Brenda Bellinger writes from a never-quite-empty nest on an old chicken farm in Sonoma County. Her writing has appeared in various anthologies as well as in THEMA, Poets & Writers online, the California Writers Club Literary Review and most recently, Persimmon Tree. Brenda has been working on a young adult novel and is currently negotiating with her characters over revisions.

Second Place Winners

Short Fiction           Laura Ruth Loomis            

Laura Ruth Loomis is a social worker in the San Francisco area.  Her fiction chapbook, Lost in Translation, will be coming out in November from Wordrunner Press.  Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Writer's Digest, On the Premises, Many Mountains Moving, Writer Advice, and elsewhere. She can be found on Twitter at @LauraRuthless.

Poetry                    Nicole Dorfman    

The Night Bus

Nicole Lonner Dorfman is a recreational writer whose works including poetry, screenplay and short fiction.   Her screenplay for the movie “Jam” was produced into a full-length feature, which screened at festivals throughout the country and abroad, clinching the Best American Independent Award at the Santa Fe Film Festival.  She is an activist at heart and is passionate about using her skills to illuminate salient issues for a wide audience. You can often find her letters to the editor and opinion pieces in print in local news sources.    Nicole lives in Morro Bay, California with her husband and their two kids.

Flash Fiction           Ann Neumann                   
The Moment of Reckoning

Of Lebanese-Armenian extraction, Ann Cathleen Neumann grew up (mostly) in San Luis Obispo, spending a thirty-year stint in Sacramento before returning to SLO, where she spends as little time as possible teaching technical writing and editing reports and as much time as possible exploring the world of literature. Though she dabbles in writing for adults, her main love is writing for children. She recently finished her first YA novel, an excerpt of which won the grand prize in the 2016 San Francisco Writing Contest. She is so new to the world of fiction publishing that she doesn’t yet have a proper head shot, though she does have the proper attire for a British wedding. Her winning entry was her first attempt at flash fiction, a genre she had to google when she first read the contest categories. She has no blog, no twitter account, no webpage, and no agent—yet. She does have Facebook but recently learned that doesn’t count. She has found that the best way to live each day is by faith.

Third Place Winners

Short Fiction           Colleen Murphy         


Colleen spent much of her childhood summers tucked away in public libraries lost in Trixie Belden detective novels and many other wonderful books.  Growing up as an Air Force kid, libraries were her happy place and a familiar space throughout many family moves. She now lives in Arroyo Grande with her wife Monica and their three lovable but neurotic cats.  Colleen is a vice president with SESLOC Federal Credit Union, where she gets to utilize her passion and skills for creating structure in facility and risk management projects.  She is honored to be a participant in the Central Coast Writer's Contest and continues to obsess about her story submission and the edits she wishes she had made. :)

Poetry                    Laura Apol                        

Laura Apol is a faculty member at Michigan State University, where she teaches poetry, writing, and literature in face-to-face, international, and online environments.  Laura has published poetry in numerous anthologies and literary journals, and she is recognized through a number of poetry prizes.  She is the co-author of a collection of William Stafford’s poetry for young readers (Learning to Live in the World:  Earth Poems by William Stafford, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1995, Winner of a Hungry Mind Books of Distinction Award).  Her own poetry has been published in three full-length collections:  Falling Into Grace (Dordt College Press, 1998), Crossing the Ladder of Sun (Michigan State University Press, 2004, Winner of the Oklahoma Book Award), and Requiem, Rwanda (Michigan State University Press, 2015), drawn from her work in Rwanda using writing to facilitate healing among survivors of the 1994 genocide. Her poems about Rwanda are translated into Kinyarwanda in her collection, Emwe N’imvura Irabyibuka (Even the Rain Remembers; Mudacumura Press, 2015) She is currently completing a novel-in-poems for adolescents entitled, Tutsi, based on the story of one genocide survivor; and she is also finishing her fourth collection of poems:  Nothing but the Blood.

Flash Fiction           Gordon McPherson           

Gordon was born in England in 1952 and spent his early years in the county of Wiltshire, where he acquired some of his accent. In 1959, his parents made the bold decision to emigrate to South Australia, part of the Lucky Country and he has lived there ever since, acquiring the ret of his accent. He attended the local primary and high school, and it was here that his preoccupation with writing began, with poetry and surprise ending short stories. He attained his degree from Flinders University near Adelaide, majoring in English and Italian. Education was free at the time, and he seems to have suffered no ill effects from the evils of socialism. His working life was spent teaching at the same kind of local high schools where he himself was taught and his preferred subjects were English, Drama, History and Geography. He was heavily involved n writing and directing high school musicals.
The care of, and attention to, the everyday use of the English language have always been part of his working life and his social life too. It can be an irritating habit, as his wife and friends will attest. Having recently retired, he has pursued this obsession with greater freedom, or it has pursued him. He knows that he will be forever trapped in that golden cage so he might as well keep singing. He also makes pots, but that is another story.  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Central Coast Writers Contest - Screenwriting Extension

The Central Coast Writers Contest is excited to announce that the Screenwriting category has been extended to November 15, 2016!

Due to tremendous interest from several featured panel members in the Central Coast Writers Conference, we have agreed to extend the deadline to run through the conference.  This gives screenwriters the opportunity to put all they’ve learned from the experts into 20 pages and have a shot at $1,000.00, unparalleled prestige, and of course, the added bonus of a private individual reading and consultation with Hollywood agent, Ken Sherman!

The same theme, The Final Word, and the same rules apply; please read them carefully at

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

FINAL Days of the Central Coast Writers Contest - Deadline July 15!

These are the LAST days for the Central Coast Writers Contest! The deadline of July 15 is fast approaching.

Don't forget - the first place winner for Screenwriting will receive an invaluable free 15-minute consultation with renowned Agent, Ken Sherman! 

So writers from all locales, submit your entries now, with your original interpretation of the theme, The Final Word. Over $5,000 in prize money, exposure, accolades, and you will have your work read by a truly impressive panel of judges that includes agents, editors and bestselling, award winning authors! 

Enter today at

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Central Coast Writers Contest Deadline July 15!

The Central Coast Writers Contest Deadline is July 15!

Writers from all locales are welcome!  Submit your entries now with your original interpretation of the theme, The Final Word. You not only have the invaluable opportunity for exposure and significant cash prizes totaling over $5,000, you will also have your work read by a truly impressive panel of judges that includes agents, editors and bestselling, award winning authors!

First Place for Short Fiction, Screenwriting and Poetry is $1,000.00; $500.00 for the winner of Flash Fiction. And now, the first place winner
for Screenwriting will receive an invaluable free 15-minute consultation with renowned Agent, Ken Sherman!

Please visit to enter and for all submission guidelines, full contest rules, judges’ profiles, videos, and so much more.

The contest can also be found at: Facebook

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Central Coast Writers Contest Spotlight on Judge Theresa-Marie Wilson

Theresa-Marie Wilson was instrumental in starting the Coast News in 2004 and has been the managing editor ever since. She is also the
Tolosa Press special section editor as well as a member of the creative team for four of the publication’s magazines, and a consultant for advertising campaigns. She takes far too many photos of her cats, none of which have been in the paper, yet. T, as most people know her, is working on her first novel and writes a blog,, dedicated to saving black cats from high kill rates in shelters. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Literature from Humboldt State University.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Central Coast Writers Contest Spotlight on Judge Victoria Zackheim

Victoria Zackheim authored The Bone Weaver and edited six anthologies, including The Other Woman, adapted to theater and given simultaneous staged readings at twenty theaters nationwide on 11/9/15. She wrote the PBS documentary Where Birds Never Sang: The Story of
Ravensbruck and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camps, the screenplay Maidstone, and the play Entangled.Victoria teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Spotlight on Judge Peter Dunne

Emmy and Peabody Award-winning producer and writer, Peter Dunne brings three decades of experience in story development, writing, and producing to his workshops. He served as Vice President of Development
for three Hollywood studios before beginning his career as a screenwriter and producer. He has produced and/or written are such classics as the extraordinary mini-series Sybil starring Sally Field and Joanne Woodward, The Judy Garland Story, starring Andrea McArdle, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,  JAG, Melrose Place, Dallas, Police Story, and Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Spotlight on Judge Chantelle Aimee Osman

Chantelle Aimée Osman is the founder of Author Connect, where aspiring writers can get their work in front of experts in their genre. A freelance editor and consultant as well as the editor of RT Digital Extra magazine, she is an instructor at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. A former lawyer and head of development for production companies in Hollywood, Chantelle is the author of the non-fiction series on writing THE QUICK AND DIRTY GUIDE TO… she has also published numerous flash fiction and short stories. She is currently editing an episodic anthology, SERIAL KILLER, for Polis Books to be released Fall, 2016. 
2016 Left Coast Crime Fan Guest of Honor

2011 Anthony Award Nominee

Friday, June 24, 2016

Spotlight on Judge Jonathan Maberry

Best selling, award winning author Jonathan Maberry joins The Central Coast Writers Contest this year on the amazing Judges' Panel!

JONATHAN MABERRY is a NY Times bestselling novelist, five-time Bram Stoker Award winner, and comic book writer. He writes the Joe Ledger thrillers, the Rot & Ruin series, the Nightsiders series, the Dead of Night series, as well as standalone novels in multiple genres. His new and upcoming novels include KILL SWITCH, the 8th in his best-selling Joe Ledger thriller series; VAULT OF SHADOWS, a middle-grade
sf/fantasy mash-up; and MARS ONE, a standalone teen space travel novel. He is the editor of many anthologies including THE X-FILES, SCARY OUT THERE, OUT OF TUNE, and V-WARS. His comic book works include, among others, CAPTAIN AMERICA, the Bram Stoker Award-winning BAD BLOOD, ROT & RUIN, V-WARS, the NY Times bests-selling MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN, and others. His books EXTINCTION MACHINE and V-WARS are in development for TV. A board game version of V-WARS was released in early 2016. He is the founder of the Writers Coffeehouse, and the co-founder of The Liars Club. Prior to becoming a full-time novelist, Jonathan spent twenty-five years as a magazine feature writer, martial arts instructor and playwright. He was a featured expert on the History Channel documentary, Zombies: A Living History and a regular expert on the TV series, True Monsters. He is one third of the very popular and mildly weird Three Guys With Beards pop-culture podcast. Jonathan lives in Del Mar, California with his wife, Sara Jo.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Renowned Agent Ken Sherman Adds Bonus for Screenwriting Winner

Just Announced – Bonus Prize for
First Place Winner of Screenwriting

Renowned agent Ken Sherman will provide a free 15 minute consultation for the winner of our brand new category this year, Screenwriting!

Ken has been an agent for over twenty years and handles film, television, and book writers as well as selling film and television rights for books and life-rights.

Ken is additionally a highly regarded and accomplished speaker and teacher.  He lectures extensively at top venues such as UCLA, USC, Loyola Marymount University, The Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference, the American Film Institute, The San Francisco Writers Conference, The Maui Writers Conference, The Santa Fe Writers Conference, and so many more.  This year Ken also joins The Central Coast Writers Conference!  He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Eugene International Film Festival, where he has co-taught a screenwriting classes for many years.

His clients include, to name just a few, David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars;Tawni O’Dell, international best-selling author and Oprah Book Club recipient for her first novel, Back Roads; Anne Perry, the world’s best-known Victorian murder mystery writer and author of over 85 books (and Central Coast Writers Contest Judge!); and Starhawk, considered the best-known witch in the world. He also represents the estates of Franz Kafka, Simon Wiesenthal and Willa Cather.

Ken maintains strong community involvement as well, having served as an Arts and Cultural Affairs Commissioner for the City of West Hollywood for ten years, is a founding member of the British Academy of Film and Television/Los Angeles (BAFTA), and is a member of both the Academy of Television Arts and Science and the International Advisory Board of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. 

Please check out Ken’s webpage, 

The Central Coast Writers Conference is proud to have Ken’s participation this year, and The Central Coast Writers Contest is thrilled to be able to offer this amazing bonus and opportunity for our first place winner of Screenwriting!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Contest Director Tia Araminta and 
Janice Konstantinidis, Technical Chair and Social Media Coordinator
joined Central Coast Writers Contest Judge
Anne Perry
for an amazing interview

Stay Tuned for the full video!


Friday, May 20, 2016

Contest Winner Joeli Yaguda on Writing Contests

Contest Winner Joeli Yaguda Joins Technical and Social Media Coordinator, Janice Konstantinidis, for a revealing interview about what it's really like to enter a writer contest - and win!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Enter today!
Click on the "Submit" button on the right.

Check out all the rules and guidelines at the tab page above and be sure to visit the AMAZING judges that will be reading your words on the Judges' tab page

Friday, April 15, 2016

Call For Entries Begins!

The Central Coast Writers Contest     Has Begun!

Do you want to have the "Final Word" and have your work read by multiple award winning, best selling authors, renowned editors, professors and more?  Do you want to win substantial cash prizes?

Enter your words and embark on an exciting journey only a writer can understand

Click on the "Submit" button to the right to easily enter and 
happy writing!

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Central Coast Writers Contest
April 15, 2016!

Check out all the details on the pages above

And stay tuned!