Category Archives: 2016 Summer Conference

Conference First Timers Guidelines 2016

As a service to first time attendees or potential attendees of WV Writers Summer Conference, this document is being provided as a guide to planning your conference experience. There are answers to frequently asked questions below...

(Please note:  Pre-registration has ended for 2016, but you can feel free to register at the conference itself.  Walk-ins are always welcome.)

  • If you plan to stay overnight, be sure to fill out the separate Cedar Lakes form, as well. You'll also need to fill it out if you plan to eat meals there, which we recommend, because it's hard to get out and back without missing a workshop or two.
  • On the weekend of the conference, stop at the Cedar Lakes office when you enter the grounds. The office is the first building on your right as you enter. You'll get your meal tickets (more like a typed sheet of paper) and your room keys. DO NOT LOSE YOUR MEAL TICKET.
  • Ask the Cedar Lakes staff to point out the Assembly Hall building for you (they'll give you a map, too, but you can see the building from the office). Come there next and register. If you have pre-registered and prepaid in full, there is usually a "quick line" you can jump to and simply check your name off the list, grab your name tag and goody bag (we always have the best goody bags of any writers conference), and head to step three. If you still need to register, that's fine too. We accept cash, checks, and can now accept credit cards via Square Up at the registration desk or bookstore.  (Cedar Lakes can accept credit cards for room and meals).
  • Stop by the reception table for a cold (or hot) drink and a snack.
  • The Assembly Hall is also where the Writer's Wall competition is located. For the Writer's Wall, participants can bring in a one page piece of poetry and/or prose to anonymously post to the wall (which means, naturally, that your name must not appear on it). There will be a sign up book and an intern to help with the process, assigning each entry a number which conference attendees will be able to vote for using the ballot slip in their goodie bags. The winners will be announced at the Awards Banquet on Saturday night.
  • Similarly, there will be five total sessions of People's Choice, with prose and poetry sessions on Friday evening and prose, poetry and youth sessions on Saturday. During People's Choice, attendees are invited to read a piece of their own work that must come in at under 5 minutes in length. After all the pieces are read, ballots will be passed out for fellow readers and other attendees to vote on their favorite pieces. Winners will be announced at the Awards Banquet on Saturday night.
  • You don't have to register for the individual workshops in advance. Just pick them as you go. Some people find that it's easier to print out the schedule (or use the one given to you at registration, which will be the most accurate) and then highlight two classes each session that you're interested in. Then, when the time arrives, you can pick between the two. Some people like to have a "back up class" in case one is overcrowded, or in case you find yourself enjoying a particular track so much that you want to stick with it (poetry vs. non-fiction, for example). We would recommend that you take at least one class outside of your chosen genre; not just for the broadened experience, but because you might find inspiration or a particular nugget of writing wisdom that you can apply to what you're working on. For example, if you write fiction, take a poetry workshop or a nonfiction editing workshop, which can help with your craft.
  • Be sure to dress light but bring a sweater and an umbrella. It’s an annual tradition that it rains very hard on at least one of the conference days. The classrooms can also be hot. And wear shoes that are comfortable for walking, not only for walking to and from the dining hall but for taking strolls around the grounds of Cedar Lakes.  Oh, and open toed shoes can be sort of iffy, for there is a great deal of goose poo to be found in certain parts near the big lake.
  • We also hope you're planning to attend the banquet and stick around for entertainment, as we'll have some nice surprises in store!
Please like & share:

West Virginia Writers Conference Attendee Checklist

A handy checklist for attendees of the upcoming 2016 West Virginia Writers Summer Conference, (June 10-12 at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley, WV.)

  1. If you've never been to the conference, check out the Conference First Timers Guide for some handy tips.
  2. Remember to bring material to pin to the Writers Wall, be it poetry or prose. Remember to NOT put your name on the Writers Wall material.
  3. Remember to bring material to read in the People's Choice competitions on Friday or Saturday, be it poetry or prose.
  4. Remember that name badges are required in order to attend workshops, so that will help in knowing who people are in all the activities.
  5. Remember to bring something to donate to the silent auction. People have brought books, crafts, jewelry, art, sculpture and many other kinds of things. If it looks interesting, chances are it will do well. If you don't have something already, maybe ask a local business to donate something. WV Writers can send them a tax receipt.
  6. Remember to bring a food item or drink item for the Reception Table in the Main Hall. This can be something home baked or store bought, like cookies, candy bar minis, doughnuts, or, God help us, something healthy like fruit. Chips, not so good. Likewise for drinks, a 12 pack of canned soft drinks or water is greatly appreciated. We'll have coffee and fruit/veggie trays on hand, but if you have healthy food you'd like to bring, that's always appreciated too. We like to have enough food and drinks on hand so there are refreshments throughout the weekend, so if everyone brings a food item and a drink item, we'll be good to go.
  7. If you have a cooler and ice you can loan us for the weekend please do bring it. We use them to keep the refreshment drinks cold.
  8. Check out the finalized schedule online for the latest changes, so you can plan your days accordingly.
  9. Remember to bring a hoodie, sweater or something warm to pull on, as it does get nippy at night. Similarly, a rain coat or umbrella would be good, as traditionally there is an annual torrential downpour at some point.
Please like & share:

Slate of Nominations for WV Writers Officers for the 2016-2017 term

The Constitution and By-Laws of West Virginia Writers Inc., provides in Section 3 rules for the Election and Terms of Office for its board of directors.  "Officers shall be elected in open forum at the annual meeting and shall take office on July 1.  Any regular member of WVW not attending the conference may mail to the WVW Secretary, before the annual meeting, votes for persons eligible for Board office.  Officers shall serve a term of one year and may be reelected to that office only once, for a total of two consecutive terms.  At least one year must elapse before that person can be elected to that office again.  This does not preclude election to another office."

This year, 2016, there are four (4) new officer positions to be filled, those are President, First Vice President, Treasurer and Parliamentarian.

The Nominating Committee for West Virginia Writers, Inc., is pleased to place in nomination the following individuals:

  • For the position of President - Steve Goff;
  • For the position of First Vice-President – Eliot Parker;
  • For the position of Treasurer – Grace Pritt;
  • For the position of Parliamentarian – R. G. “Bob” Yoho;

The incumbent positions are:

  • 2nd Vice-President – Dreama Pritt;
  • Secretary – Eric Fritzius


Nomination for President

steve goffSteve Goff is a comedian, actor and writer who has taught creativity and improv workshops for over twenty years. He has recently developed his Improve With Improv workshops which explore the relationship between creativity, improvisation and self-expression.

Since May of 2011, over 800 people have taken at least one of these innovative, energizing, creative, and fun improv sessions. His workshops, "Improv(e) Your Creativity," "Comedy Sketch Writing," and "Improv(e) Your Writing" have been offered at the West Virginia Writers, Inc. annual summer conference.

Steve has been an active member of WVW since 2007 and has worked closely with the last five WVW presidents on a variety of organization related projects. He served as the WVW Contest Coordinator in 2009 and 2010. From 2011-2014 he was the Entertainment Coordinator for the WVW summer conference. In addition, in 2009, drawing on his non-profit organizational management background, the WVW Board of Directors asked Steve to conduct and facilitate a productive organizational goals and objectives planning session. In 2011 at the WV Book Festival, he moderated a WVW sponsored panel discussion on the humor of West Virginia.

In July of 2012, in recognition of this inventive approach to improv and creativity, Steve received a 2012 Individual Artist Professional Development grant from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. In August of 2012, Steve finished his second year of study at The Second City Training Center(SCTC) in Chicago, IL.

In March of 2013, Goff founded and coached The Fearless Fools improv team. The Fools launched in April 2013, and in two years’ time played over 50 improv shows to an audience of 2,000+. Steve performed with the Fools at the 2014 WVW Conference. In 2015 Steve stepped away from his performing and coaching role with the Fearless and is now a team advisor.

An accomplished character actor, Steve has been featured in a number of theater productions in WV, PA, NC, MD, and VA.

He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, and a Masters of Public Administration, both from West Virginia University. He was the first director of Morgantown's very successful Main Street Morgantown and also served as the first Executive Director of the Metropolitan Theater renovation project, also in Morgantown. His Main Street work later took him to North Carolina, and then to Washington, DC where he worked for both the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Main Street Center. While with the Main Street Center, Steve conducted creativity workshops for non-profit organizations, training staff and board members in 15 different states.

Besides the workshops, the acting and being a comic, Steve is also a freelance writer and consultant for various regional non-profit organizations. Steve lives with his wife Beth in Harrison County, WV.

Nomination for First Vice President

eliot parkerEliot Parker is the author of three novels: Breakdown at Clear River, Making Arrangements (named a Best Book of 2014 by USA Book News), and Fragile Brilliance. Fragile Brilliance was a 2016 Finalist for the Lords of Discipline Thriller Prize, which is affiliated with the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize and SIBA. He also received the Bronze Award from the National Literary Habitat organization for mystery/thriller writing.

He currently teaches writing and literature at Mountwest Community and Technical College in Huntington, West Virginia. Learn more at


Nomination for Treasurer

grace prittGrace Pritt, a natural-born West Virginian, knew she wanted to be a writer by the time she was 6 years old. In recent years, she's enjoyed being a WV Writers conference junior intern and getting to know many writers.

She received second place in the WV Poetry Out Loud 2013 state championship, and with the amazing support of the writing and artistic community members, she overcame censorship to perform Black Diamonds by Crystal Good at the 2014 Governor's Arts Awards. When she isn't writing or performing Grace enjoys spending time with family and friends and working to make a positive impact.

Her humanitarianism and volunteer work lead to her being named the Outstanding Young West Virginian in 2015. She also went on a World Race: Gap Year trip to the Philippines, Swaziland, and Nicaragua to help people and to learn. During the trip she was a team treasurer and also raised and managed funds for children's school fees.


Nomination for Parliamentarian

rg yohoR.G. Yoho was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia. While he was still a child, his parents moved the family across the Ohio River, to another cattle farm in Southeastern Ohio. A graduate of Hyles Anderson College, R.G. has been employed in chemical manufacturing for more than thirty years. At the same time, he worked as a freelance writer for years in many fields, such as politics and sports. In addition, R.G. also hosted a weekly radio talk show for over four years.

A proud member of Western Writers of America, Yoho's love of Westerns began with the reading of FLINT, a novel by famed Western author, Louis L'Amour.

Along with the Westerns, R.G. is the author of three non-fiction works, including AMERICA'S HISTORY IS HIS STORY.

A loving husband, father, and grandfather, R.G. is also a devoted fan of West Virginia University football and basketball.


Nomination for 2nd Vice President

dreama prittWhen Dreama Pritt was in Elementary School, she looked up at visiting poet Muriel Miller Dressler in wide-eyed wonder, thinking "I want to be a writer too." Now a Marshall University English faculty member, she is a Maier Award-winning author whose publishing credits include Biostories, Et Cetera and Christianity Today's  Her scholarly work often inhabits the intersection of literature and religious studies, and she has received awards and publications in multiple genres, including poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. She has been married to MU Alumnus Bill Pritt since 1989, and they have three brilliant and witty children. Dreama is a native West Virginian who was cradled by mountains and is still delighted with lightning bugs.


Nomination for Secretary

eric fritziusEric Fritzius is the incumbent nomination for secretary, having served one year in the office already.  He is both a past secretary (2005-2006) and a past president (2007-2008) of West Virginia Writers, Inc.  He is a freelance writer/performer/educator/director/editor.  His short stories have appeared in fiction anthologies, the Greenbrier Valley Quarterly magazine, as well as in his first short story collection, A Consternation of Monsters. Several of his short plays have been produced by the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, the Independent Theatre Collective in Wheeling, and by the Pocahontas Drama Workshop in Marlinton.

Three of his plays were recently chosen for production as part of the inaugural West Virginia Playwright’s Festival in Clarksburg (May 20-22).  Also in May he will be the director for and an actor in the Opera House PlayFest, a festival of seven short plays to be performed at the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton (May 20-21).

Eric teaches Creative Writing at the Federal Corrections Institute in Beckley, WV.  He lives in Greenbrier County with his wife and an inadvisable number of dogs.

Please like & share: