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First-Ever “Oxford Writes Night” a Success at The Shelter on Van Buren

Oxford Writes held its first ever “Oxford Writes Night” at the Shelter on Van Buren last night.

Oxford Writes is a collection of writers and Oxford residents that puts together events to celebrate and recognize local residents’ writing whether it be in music or print.

Oxford Writes’ founder Jeff Roberson said, “We knew we wanted to have several different events throughout the year to encourage people to be a part of it.”

Oxford Writes had its first workshop at The Orchard in early April that allowed people to work with authors and songwriters to better their craft. Publisher and author Neil White, author Julie Cantrell and songwriter Jim Weatherly all guided the first workshop.

David Waddell speaks to the audience at Oxford Writes Night.
David Waddell speaks to the audience at Oxford Writes Night.

Last night’s showcase featured David Waddell, a local Oxonian author, and David Vicchiollo a local musician.

Waddell has authored two books recently –Holiday Biblical Characters and Characters of the Bible, and is currently working on his third. He said that being a writer isn’t something that one would do for fame or money, but simply because one has a story to tell.

“What does it take to be a writer,” Waddell said. “It simply means to write. If you have a story to tell, go tell it.”

Waddell opined and answered many questions regarding the self-publication process of books. He said that any authors who are interested in getting their books published should do it in a print-on-demand strategy to avoid having thousands of books stored away in an attic somewhere.

After Waddell left the stage, the event turned the microphone over to local musician David Vicchiollo.

David Vichillo (left) performs at Oxford Writes Night at The Shelter on Van Buren.
David Vicchiollo (left) performs at Oxford Writes Night at The Shelter on Van Buren.

Vicchiollo started off by telling the audience his story regarding his music. He went into detail about the depression he faced when he was a student in college and how he had to overcome that.

Vicchiollo mentioned that on his lowest day that he came to the realization that God was all he would ever need, and after that, for the first time he felt peace in his life.

“I had never felt peace,” Vicchiollo said. “I had never felt I had a reason to look forward to the next day, and all of a sudden I did.”

Vicchiollo’s music can be found on Youtube.com and iTunes.

Roberson said that he wanted to make sure that the speakers at the events were people that they could help get themselves out there with their work before an audience.

“Both of those guys are in that regard,” Roberson said. “They’re both trying to move up and move on and we’re trying to help them.”

In totality Roberson said that the event went well and that he’s looking forward to the next event.

Roberson said that their next meeting will be apart of the Fringe Festival in August, and that their next showcase will be sometime in the fall. People can keep up with their events through OxfordWrites.com and by following them on Facebook.

Collin Brister is the staff writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at collin.brister@hottytoddy.com.

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