Monday, March 31, 2014

Erin Hollowell: 2014 Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference

Alice Sebold
We’re not superstitious around here at the headquarters of the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, so it is with great glee that we invite you to the Lucky 13th annual edition of this treasured yearly event from June 13-17.

Each year the conference unfolds in its own way, but one constant is the connection forged between faculty and participants. Indeed, sometimes it’s hard to tell the two apart, since so many of the teaching writers attend each other’s workshops and are always found in deep discussion with participants out on the deck, in the hallways, and during meals. While other conferences seek to establish hierarchies, the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference creates a congregation dedicated to words.

This year’s keynote speaker is Alice Sebold. Sebold became a household name with the incredible success of her novel The Lovely Bones. She’s an incredible memoirist as well; her memoir Lucky literally kept me up all night reading – I just couldn’t bear to put it down. She’ll be speaking about the process of writing in her keynote: “Guts, Glory & Absolute Confusion: Embracing the Chaos of the Creative Process.” Aren’t you happy that she admitted that there’s some chaos in the creative process (and by some, I mean a lot)?

Kicking off the conference with the idea of writing as process, not product, fits perfectly with the offerings of the rest of the faculty. Want to expand your grasp of voice in poetry? Check out award-winning poet Kwame Dawe’s workshop “A Study in the Art of Voice.” Considering venturing into young adult literature? Head on over to National Book Award finalist Debby Dahl Edwardson’s workshop on coming-of-age tales. Ben Percy, whose latest work was named one of the most anticipated novels of 2013 by Publisher’s Weekly, will help you craft indelible images. Eva Saulitis will be talking of writing about place in the short form, and Tom Kizzia will help you find your writing on the nonfiction spectrum. There are over forty workshops and panels to chose from over the course of the four days of the conference; something for every genre, level of experience, and interest. You can get a sneak peak at all of them on the conference website.

In addition to the sixteen talented writers who will be on faculty this year (check them out at http://writersconference.homer.alaska.edu/faculty.htm), editor Heidi Bell and agent Katherine Fausset will be discussing the publishing side of the industry. As always, you can schedule a meeting with either agent or editor to talk about the project you’re working on, or schedule an actual manuscript review with the writing faculty.

Each day is crammed with inspiration and education, and in the evenings, sit back and listen as the New York Time’s best-selling authors, National Book Award finalists, amazing essayists, short-story writers, poets, and novelists read their work. All of the readings, including Alice Sebold’s, are free and open to the public. During the day, there are plenty of opportunities to read your own work at open mic’s, network with other writers, and even get in a walk on the beach while you bask in the glacier view with the otters and eagles.


Check out all the offerings (including the AMAZING post-conference workshop with Scott Russell Sanders at the Tutka Bay Lodge) at our website. Or better yet, like us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute photos and news of the conference. Register now to join us for a conference that will strengthen your writing and fire your imagination. Early registration ends on May 2!

It's the season to think about writers conferences. We're happy to share posts about any with an Alaska connection. Check our guidelines and email your post to debvanasse (at) gmail.com.

1 comment:

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Just signed up, looking forward to another inspiring conference in Homer!