Festival Highlights:


Since appearing as a mythical Shangri-La in Frank Capra’s 1937 classic Lost Horizon, Ojai has played paradise for generations of writers and word-lovers.

It’s also a time to celebrate our local library and the Ventura County library system: its their 100th anniversary! We’re celebrating with a new community reading program: ONE CITY, ONE BOOK.

Festival Date: WordFest is November 11 & 12.

Festival Schedule:

SATURDAY, 11/11 – ‘Religious Texts, Spiritual Teachings’

Featuring local authors and voices at the Ojai Library from 1 till 5 PM., 111 E Ojai Avenue, (805) 646-1639, then at the Vine, 5:30-7PMin the arcade.

  • 1:00-1:30 – Krotona. Robert Ellwood will read from his book, Theosophy and C. W. Leadbeater’s Masters and the Path. Carol Nicholson, Krotona Quest Bookshop Manager, will discuss what Krotona has to offer the community.
  • 1:30-2:00 – J. Krishnamurti. Ojai author Michael Krohnen, Librarian at the Krishnamurti Library, who was K’s chef for eleven years (1975 to 1986), will present his memoir The Kitchen Chronicles: 1001 Lunches with J. Krishnamurti.
  • 2:00-2:30 – Ojai Interfaith Council: “Scriptures” with Rabbi Michael Lotker of Ojai Jewish Community & Rev. Victoria Lortz of Church of the Wild, Oak View, moderated by Rev. Marilyn Miller Spiritual Director of the Center for Spiritual Living, Ojai.
  • 2:30-3:00 – Meher Baba. Sam Ervin, Chairman of the Board at Ojai Meher Mount, will read from Avatar by Jean Adriel, a founder of Meher Mount.
  • 3:00-3:45 – Dead Sea Scrolls. The Gospel of Thomas: The Enlightenment Teachings of Jesus with Ojai author Robert Wolfe. Does Thomas record the nondual teachings of Jesus which were not included in the New Testament?
  • 3:45-4:15 – Conscious Death & Dying. We’ll explore the spiritual writings of Ojaiw author Benito Reyes, founder of World University. Presented by his grandson Mel Reyes.
  • 4:15-5:00 – Prayer. Learn Ernest Holmes’ legendary 5-Step Prayer process that gets results! This miracles-making prayer workshop taught by Rev. Marilyn Miller of the Center for Spiritual Living, Ojai.
  • 5:30-7PM – Tequila Mockingbird – Happy Hour Cocktails with a Literary Twist at The Vine, No Host Bar | The Vine, 308 E. Ojai Avenue, Downtown Arcade. Back for ‘another round,’ it’s our 7th year of Happy Hour Books hosted by Lit-lover Lisa Snider. Belly up with your favorite book (not one you wrote) and enjoy a “One Flew Over the Cosmos Nest,” “Love in the Time of Kahlúa” or another cleverly titled literary libation. (Outside, on back porch.)

SUNDAY 11/12 – ONE CITY, ONE BOOK & ‘Books 2 Film’

Featuring local authors and voices downtown at the Woman’s Center 10:30AM till noon, Ojai Library from 1:00-5:00PM and “book ending” the festival at Book Ends Bookstore in Meiners Oaks from 5:30-7:00PM.

  • 10:30-noonONE CITY, ONE BOOK. A Mind At Home With Itself with local authors Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell at Center for Spiritual Living at Ojai Valley Woman’s Club 441 E. Ojai Avenue. $15 Suggested Donation. (See Wordfest Press Release on Byron Katie New Book.)

The yearlong program, ONE CITY, ONE BOOK featuring A Mind At Home With Itself is an attempt to get everyone in a city to read and discuss the same book. The program takes the idea of a book club and expands it to cover a whole city. The community is encouraged to create its own book clubs and reading events throughout the 2018 year.

Books 2 Film. At the Ojai Library from 1PM till 5 PM., 111 E Ojai Avenue, (805) 646-1639.

  • 1:00-2:00pm – Film Panel – “Transform Your Story Into Film.” It all starts with a compelling story…
    A panel of film experts will discuss how a book, story, pitch or compelling idea moves forward – gets green-lighted with big bucks or with low/no budget. (To ‘green-light’ a project is to formally approve production finance, thereby allowing the project to move forward from the development phase to pre-production and principal photography.) In writing, it’s your job as an author to move the story forward. The same goes for your project – albeit film, television, cable or web – you must ensure your project moves forward. PANEL
    Writer/Producer/Studio Exec/Teacher: Ken Rotcop – Recently authored As I Remember It: My Fifty Year Career As An Award Winning Writer, Producer And Studio Executive (2017 BearManor.) As Creative Head of Embassy Pictures, Cannon TV, Trans World Productions and Hanna-Barbera and a script coach, Ken supervised the creation of many film projects including The Graduate and Boardwalk Empire. Rotcop wrote/produced a film winning the Writer’s Guild Award, the Image Award, and the Neil Simon Award. www.pitchmart.comProducer/Writer: Simon Lewis is a film producer in Hollywood, producing many movies including a $376 million dollar comedy. He is the author of RISE AND SHINE: One Man’s Journey from Near Death to Full Recovery and its 2017 audiobook narrated by Kelsey Grammer who says, “Simon’s story…is one of extraordinary suffering and perseverance, tragedy and ultimate triumph. I cannot recommend it enough.” www.riseandshinethebook.com; Producer/Social Activist: Julianne L. Reynolds is a producer, photographer, and a thought-leader on social activism. Her company Romanski Films, has worked with several independent films, winning an Emmy. Reynolds is the Executive Producer for Redemption, in light of Durga, addressing sex trafficking in Kolkata. Her work was most recently featured on CNN and WDR TV in Germany. www.romanskifilms.com
  • 2:00-3:00pm – “All About Audio” Simon Lewis with his book, RISE AND SHINE, narrated in 2017 by Kelsey Grammer. (See full bio above)
  • 2:00PM-4:00PM-Get It on The Page” FREE Screenwriting Class with Ken Rotcop. (See full bio above) Limited to 30 participants.
  • 3:00-4:00pm – “Keep Writing and Producing Despite Criticism and Rejection” with David Rasch. Rasch has focused on issues connected to writing productivity for over 25 years. He is a lecturer at Stanford University, teaching “Overcoming Writer’s Block and Procrastination.” He is the author of a book on writing productivity, The Blocked Writer’s Book of the Dead. www.davidraschphd.wordpress.com
  • 4:00-5:00pm – Film Panel “Best Writing & Filmmaking Tips” with Ken Rotcop, Simon Lewis and Julieanne L. Reynolds. (See bios above.) “After you’ve written a draft, be it a manuscript, screenplay, short story, or play, go back and take out all the boring parts.” – Ken Rotcop;  “You need to understand there are two steps: make your film, then sell it. Which means you must know at the start how you will market your finished film.” – Simon Lewis; “From passion to purpose find the story that you are passionate about. Mission based story-telling through film. You have to see beyond the lens and into the human condition. Let the story come to you, so the script becomes an organic process of story-telling. –  Julianne L. Reynolds
  • 5:30-7:00 – “Outdoor Gathering Under The Trees” Wordfest presenters Ken Rotcop and Simon Lewis read from their books. + Open mic. Local voices from the majestic Ojai Valley and area| FREE | Book Ends Bookstore, 110 S. Pueblo Street (corner of El Roblar), Meiners Oaks 805-640-9441


FESTIVAL HUBS – Quiet Places for Reading, Writing and Daydreaming. Read. Write. Doodle. Daydream. Uber hip meet-up & hang-out spots.

Bart’s BooksDowntown Ojai | 11am – sunset | 302 W. Matilija St. | Home to the largest independently owned and operated outdoor bookstore in the U.S.A filled with nearly one million books ranging from the .35 cent specials which line the outside walls (for sale on an honor system: take a book, leave some coins), to rare, out of print first editions, and art books valued in the thousands of dollars. | Bart’s Books is a recipient of the 2014 Ojai WordFest “Literary Legend” award.

Book Ends BookstoreMeiners Oaks | 10am-6pm. Closed Wednesdays | 110 S. Pueblo St., 805-640-9441| Come and meet Marcia and Celeste and share their love of books! Finely selected books across a wide range of subjects – from rare spiritual tomes to perfect condition hardcovers – showcased in a beautifully restored former church. Book Ends takes its name from the rare estate-quality glass and metal bookend collections for sale. Come by to peruse the shelves, sit on the couch and write, and explore the book that calls to you the minute you set eyes on it!

Ojai Retreat360 Panoramic View | 10am­-5pm | 160 Besant Rd. in Meiners Oaks | With a panoramic view, this hilltop retreat is one of the most beautiful escapes in the Ojai Valley. The views are gorgeous, such as the Shangri-La Terrace where you can gaze upon Ojai’s famous Pink Moment at sunset; there are gentle trails to hike and a waterfall garden perfect for a calming recharge. This tranquil getaway is quiet and secluded.


Ojai WordFest is a festival of words, ideas and stories unfolding in one of the most beautiful settings in California: the majestic Ojai Valley. The literary nexus encourages readers and writers of all genres, skill level, and ages to partake in an extravaganza of events in and around Ojai Valley.

Our Mission

To introduce Ojai to the world as a literary destination; To nurture aspiring writers as well as inspire seasoned authors to further develop their craft; and To celebrate the wealth of literary talent in the Ojai area.

Who Should Attend?

Anyone who loves reading and/or writing—or anything with words!

What Are the Costs? 

In 2017, Wordfest at the Ojai Library is entirely FREE. Some events outside the library may have as associated cost.



Celebrated author Maya Angelou may have said it best: “The greatest agony is an untold story inside you.” Is there a story you want to tell that is begging to get out?

2017 Ojai WordFest is made possible by the generous support of numerous Ojai community businesses, organizations and individuals. | Special thanks to Ojai WordFest founders: Bret Bradigan, Roberta Raye and Mary Sequoia Hamilton; thanks to our teachers and presenters |Programs printed by Ojai Business Center Inc.