|Wyoming State Poet Laureate Echo Klaproth and |
Lou Lenhart at the WyoPoets Spring Workshop
In 1998. I went to my first Wyoming Writers Conference completely unprepared. And I do mean completely: I hadn't even booked a hotel room. Somehow I wound up rooming with then-President Virginia Wakefield and staying up late with her both nights talking of writing and life.
I was hooked. Writing can be an isolating endeavor. Conferences offer us the chance to connect with fellow writers and find support, advice and friendship. Workshop sessions offer a chance to learn something new from established authors. And, if you've got something ready to pitch, they can be the place to make contact with an editor or agent to take the next step toward publication.
Writers' conferences are an investment, definitely, but I can say I've gotten my money's worth over the years. That, and I treasure the dear friends I've made from across Wyoming.
With that, here are some upcoming conferences and workshops:
Early Bird Registration Deadline May 15
A great lineup of presenters with Laura Pritchett, Kent Nelson and Aaron Abeyta. True West Magazine senior editor Meghan Saar will do workshops on writing narrative history and writing for magazines. Saar, along with editors Patrick Thomas from Milkweed Editions and Tiffany Schofield from Five Star Publishing (Cengage), will be available for pitch sessions. There are some deadlines coming up! Don't miss the May 15 Early Bird Deadline for a discounted conference price. Also by May 15: Sign up for a Friday afternoon critique panel, submit your story openings for either the Sunday morning "Paddle Panel," or for Kent Nelson's workshops, or sign up for one of those pitch sessions. Conference bookstore deadline is May 12. See schedule details on the website.
Laura Pritchett will also be doing a public reading and book signing at Cheyenne City News & Pipe Shop on Friday, June 5 at 1 p.m., 1722 Carey Ave. in Cheyenne.
From their website: "For the 23rd year Jackson Hole Writers Conference we are bringing writers who have ignited and continue to ignite the literary scene. Old-hands Tobias Wolff, Jeff Greenwald, and Jewell Parker Rhodes will join forces with Nina McConigley, Eric Paul Shaffer, and Stefan Merrill Block. Our distinguished speakers, editors and agents join our resident faculty to deliver three days of engaging dialogue, collaboration and the opportunity for all of us to raise the stakes on our work." The Jackson Hole Writers Conference is offering a $150 discount to anyone who also attends the Wyoming Writers Inc. conference. Contact them for details.
From Page's website: "'The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon,' Thoreau noted mournfully, 'or perchance a palace or temple on the earth, and at length the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them.' This seminar will help you rediscover the high concepts and universal themes (those lofty ideas) that first inspired you to want to write this particular story. Don’t have a work-in-progress? Come anyway. Help the rest of us figure out how to build that bridge to the moon."
Some kudos!WyoPoets honored four people with Awards for Excellence at its Spring Workshop in April: Arthur Elser, Echo Klaproth, Nancy Ruskowsky and Susan Vittitow Mark.
Just in time for the upcoming centennial celebration of the formation of the National Park Service, Gene Gagliano has a new juvenile book out: Angel’s Landing. You might remember Gene from a guest post he did on Writing Wyoming on poetry. Or you may know him for C is for Cowboy: A Wyoming Alphabet, or as the (now retired) teacher who danced on his desk.