Writers Conference this month at Harris Arts Center

A few members of the Calhoun Area Writers group huddle around a table to discuss a conference. Pictured left to right are: Karli Land, Amber Nagle, Alana Kipe, Beth Davis, Paul Moses, and Marla Aycock.

The Calhoun Area Writers and the Rome Area Writers have joined forces to host the 2019 Northwest Georgia Writers Conference, which will be held Friday, Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 2 at Rock Bridge Community Church in Calhoun.

“Last year’s conference was a huge success, and this year’s conference will be even better,” said Karli Land, founder and president of CAW. “We are all about promoting the craft of writing and helping others by offering key networking opportunities and writing-related instruction.”

The two-day event will feature a Friday evening dinner and comedy event, panel and breakout sessions led by industry professionals, and an opportunity to meet with an agent and get one-on-one manuscript feedback. The keynote speaker for the conference is the critically-acclaimed author Steven James.

James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim. Suspense Magazine named his book “Every Wicked Man” one of their “Best Books of 2018,” and said he “sets the new standard in suspense writing.” Publishers Weekly called him a “master storyteller at the peak of his game.”

“Steven James will share his writer’s journey and give us tips to be better writers,” said Land. “His keynote topic is ‘The Untouched Moment’ and is a thought-provoking and humorous talk that teaches writers how to tap into their own experiences to shape the stories they tell. We are also excited to offer our attendees workshops throughout the day.”

Some of the workshops include:

♦ Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules

♦ Watch Out for Plotting Plot Holes

♦ The Down and Dirty of Writing for One of the Big Five

♦ Practical Editing and Dialogue Tips

♦ Writing Deep Point of View

♦ Writing Creative Non-Fiction

A literary agent, Caroline George, will also be on hand Saturday to provide one-on-one manuscript feedback to participating authors. Her premium consultations can be purchased through the conference website. George will also conduct a workshop during the conference.

“But we also do something unique that other conferences don’t do,” Land said. “We have speed presenters that speak on topics through speed sessions — or mini workshops — that include topics like crafting a killer query letter; writing historical fiction; search engine optimization; how to use Grammerly; and many other topics.”

Land also said she is expecting a crowd of 100 people at this year’s conference and noted that anyone considering purchasing a ticket should do so, regardless of their experience or skill with writing.

“Our biggest thing is learning. We want to provide a space for writers regardless of the genre they write or their skill level,” she said. “We have people who are just thinking they might want to write and we have people who are published authors. Everyone can benefit from this.”

John Schulz, president of RAW, also emphasized the importance of the conference as an educational opportunity.

“CAW has done a great job of bringing writers, storytellers, editors, and agents together, and this year we’re going to knock it out of the park,” he said. “If someone’s a writer or a storyteller, they can spend a day learning from speakers and workshops. It’s about educating people, giving them a new way to approach their work, and growing their skills.”

Tickets to the conference are $35 for Friday, $95 for Saturday, and $120 for both days. Doors will open at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, and at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2. For more information about the conference, visit www.nwgawriterscon.com.

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