Dave Congalton. Writer. Radio Host. Screenwriter. Speaker. Living the good life on California’s Central Coast.
Dave Congalton serves on the screenwriting faculty of the Rocaberti Writers’ Retreat in Europe. He is the former director of the Central Coast Writers’ Conference in San Luis Obispo, California. From 1989 to 1998, he wrote feature articles and columns for the San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune and later wrote “Big Yellow Taxi” pieces for SLO City News. Congalton is an award-winning author of three nonfiction books.
Since 1992, Congalton has been the host of a daily radio talk show. “The Dave Congalton Show” airs weekday afternoons from 3:05 to 7 p.m. on KVEC 920AM/96.5 radio (also streaming at 920kvec.com). Along the way, Congalton has interviewed a wide variety of high-profile guests, including Gerald Ford, Billy Joel, Lily Tomlin, Leslie Nielsen, Brian Lamb, Hal Holbrook, Jeff Daniel, Leon Panetta, Gray Davis, Dennis Miller, Tippi Hedren, Eva Marie Saint, Carol Channing, Jimmy Webb, David Sedaris, Hal Linden, Al Jardine, Barbara Eden, Charles Osgood, Paula Poundstone, John Tesh, Jane Smiley, Doc Severinsen, Richard Benjamin, Tom Leykis, Morton Downey, Jr., Catherine Ryan Hyde, Russell Means, Bob Barker, Arianna Huffington, and basketball coaching legend John Wooden.
In 2014, Congalton’s original screenplay was made into the romantic comedy “Authors Anonymous” starring Kaley Cuoco, Chris Klein, Jonathan Banks, Teri Polo, Tricia Helfer, and Dennis Farina in his final role. A second feature film, “Seven Sisters” is currently in development.
Recent Congalton screenplays, “Four Score” and “Mrs. Strissel and The Dogs,” have been honored in national screenwriting competitions, including the Ojai Film Festival, Reading FilmFest, Hot Springs Screenplay Contest, and the Beyond Entertainment Family Film & TV Festival in Florida.
A native of Chicago, Congalton first moved to the Central Coast in 1987. In 2016, he was given an Outstanding Alumnus Award from the School of Communication at Illinois State University. Other eclectic awards and honors along the way include being one of two Americans selected to participate in a debating tour of British Universities (1976), honored as Outstanding Professor at DePauw University in his first year (1984), winning the “Funniest Person in San Luis Obispo County” Standup Comedy Contest (1988), and being recognized as a “Voice Against Racism” by the James Byrd Foundation (2008).
Congalton lives in San Luis Obispo County with his cat Oliver and remains active in animal rescue.
Best Writing Advice: “Write five words. Rewrite seven” (Dorothy Parker)
Favorite Books: “Revenge of the Lawn: Short Stories by Richard Brautigan,” “Adventures in the Screen Trade” by William Goldman, “The White Album” by Joan Didion, and “Heroes” by Joe McGinnis.