The Clarksville Arts & Heritage Development Council announces the 9th Annual Writers Conference, June 6 & 7. The conference is being presented through a partnership of the council with the Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, the APSU President’s Office and the Tennessee Arts Commission. The goal of the conference is to again bring acclaimed authors and poets to town to foster and encourage writing talent among developing authors and celebrate Southern literature. The two-day event will be held at the APSU Morgan University Center.
This year’s conference will focus on Southern culture and Southern literature. Frye Gaillard, writer-in-residence at the University of South Alabama, will serve as the event’s keynote speaker. Gaillard has written extensively on Southern race relations, politics and culture as the author or editor of more than 20 books, including “Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement that Changed America.” He will speak during the Thursday evening banquet at Freedom Point at Liberty Park.
The conference is more than just enthusiastic admiration of the written word. It also seeks to inform and educate writers of the ongoing changes in the publishing world. Sharpening writing skills along with being well versed in the business of publishing one’s work is also given voice during the conference. Preparing a manuscript for presentation, selecting a literary agent and the emerging changes being wrought by social media on publishing are all areas examined at the conference.
The conference will also feature several distinguished southern writers, such as best-selling author and Nashville resident Adam Ross and three members of the “Grit Lit” southern literary movement – Tom Franklin, Dale Ray Phillips and George Singleton.
Authors scheduled to speak this year include:
• Janine Boldrin, freelance journalist for Military Spouse magazine and author of e-book “The Thinking Spouse’s Guide to Military Life.”
• Beth Ann Fennelly, award-winning poet of the collections “Unmentionables,” “Open House” and “Tender Hooks” and co-author of forthcoming novel “The Tilted World.”
• Tom Franklin, New York Times best-selling author of “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter,” co-editor of anthology “Grit Lit: A Rough South Reader,” and co-author of forthcoming novel “The Tilted World.”
• Rheta Grimsley Johnson, journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the memoirs “Hank Hung the Moon” and “Enchanted Evening Barbie and the Second Coming.”
• Dale Ray Phillips, short story writer and author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated collection “My People’s Waltz.”
• Adam Ross, author of 2010 New York Times Notable Book “Mr. Peanut” and the short story collection “Ladies and Gentlemen.”
• Chuck Sambuchino, editor of “Writer’s Digest’s Guide to Literary Agents” and author of “Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript” and “Create Your Writer Platform.”
• Ann Shayne, former editor of book review BookPage and author of novel “Bowling Avenue” and “Mason-Dixon Kitting: The Curious Knitter’s Guide.”
• George Singleton, author of often humorous short story collections and novels, including “Stray Decorum,” “Work Shirts for Madmen” and “Pep Talks, Warnings, And Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom And Cautionary Advice For Writers.”
In addition to the scheduled presentations and workshops, free manuscript consultations with two literary agents will be available to conference participants.
Those interested in attending the conference can choose either the complete package, including all conference activities, or they make selections via the “a la carte” options.
Early registration discount rates are available up to or before May 23. Late registration is between May 24 and May 30. Visit the conference website at http://www.artsandheritage.us/writers for author bios, the conference schedule, registration information and more.