The 19th Annual Women Writing the West Conference will convene in one of Kansas City's oldest and most historic areas--Westport. Once when the West was new, dreamers and doers came through the streets of Westport following the Santa Fe, California and Oregon Trails. The "Write" Way West Conference will celebrate that pioneering spirit in this three-day conference designed to explore writing and publishing's new frontiers and to outfit participants to make their mark as writers of the American West.
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Venue: Nestled between historic Westport, trailhead to the Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails, and Kansas City’s premier shopping and entertainment District, The Country Club Plaza, the Embassy Suites offers free wi-fi, fitness center, two pools, restaurant, lounge and a nightly manager’s reception. The site is also close to some of the city’s most prominent cultural venues and several of Kansas City’s famed public parks.
Program: Women Writing the West draws writers of all genres whose works are set in the Trans-Mississippi west. This year’s conference offers group and breakout sessions to inspire and inform your writing, publishing and marketing, opportunities to meet our guests, agents and editors, and celebrate the gathering of fellow writers. The conference kicks off with Friday morning’s tour; sessions begin Friday afternoon.
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Conference highlights (subject to change) include:
- Friday Morning Tour: Steamboat Arabia Museum: For 132 years tons of cargo from the Arabia lay buried beneath river silt, until private excavators unearthed relics to reveal daily life in the 19th century west. Displayed are thousands of artifacts painstakingly restored to mint condition, as well as much of the ship’s original structure. See the museum’s website: www.1856.com (additional fee for tour).
- Private Appointments with Agents and Publishers: Come prepared to pitch your work or ask questions.
- Critique Sessions: Review of works-in-progress with MFA-level creative writing pros. (additional fee)
- Sessions include:
- Fiction: How Fiction Works, Brian Shawver, author of The Language of Fiction
- Nonfiction: Moderated panel with archivists from the National Archives and the National Frontier Trails Museum, among others
- Short Story: Putting a Lot into a Little, Catherine Browder, author and university instructor
- Memoir: More than Memories: Writing a Readable, Publishable Memoir, Jo McDougall, poet and memoirist
- Children’s Lit: The ABCs of Writing for Children & Young Adults, panel moderated by member and former WWW President Sheila Wood Foard
- Professional sessions: “State of the Industry” panel with attending publishers; “Pick Me, Pick Me” panel with attending agents and publishers; Self-publishing, with Doris Baker of Filter Press; Social Media Marketing with WWW Marketing VP Susan Tweit
- WWW Goes to the Movies: Separate showings of two short films:
- Meet the Past: Willa Cather – Actress Jan Chapman as Willa Cather is interviewed in this film co-produced by the Kansas City Public Library and Kansas City Public Television
- In Pursuit of a Dream – Award-winning documentary follows modern teenagers as they live the hardships and challenges of the Emigrant Trail. Produced by Candy Moulton, WWW member, and Executive Director of Western Writers of America
- Bookstore hosted by National Frontier Trails Museum & Oregon-California Trails Association: Publishers, speakers, WILLA winners, and members showcase their work in the bookstore on Friday and Saturday. Saturday afternoon signing party
- LAURA Awards: Friday reception honoring recipients of the WWW annual short-story competition.
- WILLA Awards: Saturday luncheon honoring finalists, Saturday banquet honoring winners of WWW annual publishing awards. Keynote Speaker, Susan Salzer, Missouri-based novelist and board member of Western Writers of America
- Learn more about the conference and speakers on Facebook at www.facebook.WWW2013KC
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