Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chiappone: Kachemak Bay News Flash

We don't allow shouting caps, exclamation marks, and sales pitches from just anyone, but 49w regular Rich Chiappone of Anchor Point is an exception. Thanks to Rich for this only slightly tongue-in-cheek writing conference announcement. We accept no responsibility for the Angelina Jolie date offer.

NEWS FLASH: To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, the Early Bird reduced registration fee offer has been extended through the month of May. It’s a bargain for a couple more weeks.

What’s in a writing conference for me, you ask?

A Guide to the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference for Self-Promoting, Ambitious, Soon-To-Be-Published Types

Having read Eva Saulitis’ lovely evocation of the spirit and energy enjoyed at the annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, I can sleep soundly, knowing someone has so beautifully described those hard to relate feelings. That means I can be the cold-blooded creep who’s here to explain what’s in it for you –I mean, on top of the fine spiritual experience, of course.

Plain and simple? Opportunity. And lots of it.

Working on the guest faculty list this winter, I started to realize this year’s tenth anniversary conference features an abundance of presenters with credentials from the publishing industry. If you’re thinking of talking to an agent or editors about your work, check these people out. (Click on the Faculty link on the Kachemak Bay Writers’ website for complete bios.)

The conference always has a featured agent who reads manuscripts and gives advice on getting published. This year it is Chris Calhoun, whose client list includes the winners of Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, and other national honors. Billy Collins, one of the most effusively thrilled-with-Alaska guests anyone has ever seen in our state, insisted that Chris had to come and see our state for himself.

But along with Chris, an amazing number of this year’s writer/presenters have extensive experience with and connections to the business end of the of writing business.

Alphabetically:

Nickole Brown, aside from being an award-winning poet, spent a decade working at Sarabande Books, and now is as Editor at White Pine Press, and works as a consultant for Arktoi Books.

Almost painfully friendly, Mike Burwell, another poet and teacher, is also the editor of the literary journal Cirque, publishing writing from the Pacific Northwest. Er….that would include Alaska. Hint, hint: You need to talk to this guy.

Poet Ann Coray, too modest to mention this in her bio on the website, is also the publisher at Northshore Press which published, among others, the nationally acclaimed The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife, by Alaskan Joan Kane. Hmm, another one interested in Alaskan writers.

Rigoberto Gonzalez is a contributing editor at Poets and Writers, not to mention on the Board of Directors at the National Book Critics Circle. Think he might be able to give you advice on getting published?

It just goes on:

Alaska’s own spectacularly popular Heather Lende now writes a regular column for Woman’s Day magazine for its several gazillion subscribers. Want to find out how to publish in big fat national magazines? Heather is your gal.

Elizabeth Lyon is, simply put, an expert on getting published. She quite literally wrote the book. Make that plural, books. Proposals Anybody Can Write, The Sell Your Novel Tool Kit, A Writer’s Guide to Nonfiction, A Writer’s Guide to Fiction, National Directory of Editors & Writers, and Manuscript Makeover: Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore.

How about Brenda Miller, who just happens to be editor and chief at the Bellingham Review? That means she gets the final word on what they publish.

Then there’s Peggy Shumaker, our current Alaska Writer Laureate, who is also the publisher at Boreal Press (specializing in works from Alaskans) and knows as much about independent publishing as anybody you’ll ever sit with at Lands End and share a glass of wine. Ok, you can have your own glass.

Only at the end of list by the rules of the alphabet, is award winning writer and editor, Hannanh Tinti, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the inventive One Story magazine.

That makes ten out of eighteen presenters on this year’s faculty with hands-on experience in the publishing industry.

You hear that knock-knock-knocking sound? That’s opportunity, folks. If you have ever entertained the idea of sitting down with an editor or agent to talk about your own writing career, this would be the year to visit Homer in June.

So come on down, feel the fabulous vibe, and then sign up for a consultation with somebody who can help you get what you really want. FAME! RICHES! A DATE WITH JOHNNY DEPP OR ANGELINA JOLIE (SPECIFY ONE ONLY)!

Well, we’re not making any guarantees ---except for the joyous feelings.

But seriously, if you don’t promote your work, who will?

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