Category Archives: 2018 Summer Conference

Conference First Timer Guidelines 2018

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...

  • 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 Writer's Wall competition will be held in one of the classrooms beside the assembly hall. 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 not uncommon for it to rain very hard on at least one of the conference days. The classrooms can also be hot. Be sure to 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 lakes.
  • We also hope you're planning to attend the banquet and stick around for entertainment in the assembly hall on Saturday evening!
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Contest Judge Rollout: Jerrie Howard (Children’s Books)

(WV Writers is rolling out the names and bios of our contest judges for 2018.  For the full collection of judge bios click THIS LINK or read the 2018 JUDGES LIST.)

Jerrie Howard is a retired teacher of English and journalism from Point Pleasant High School. While at PPHS, she advised the student newspaper, The Tu-Endie-Wei, as well as introduced the Advanced Placement and Honors programs to the county.

She is a graduate of Ohio University where she majored in English and journalism and received a minor in secondary education. She received her Master of Arts degree in journalism from Marshall University and did graduate work in secondary administration.

Currently, Ms. Howard is a member of the Point Pleasant City Council and the Historic Landmark Commission for the historic district of Point Pleasant. She is also the newly elected president of the Mason County Democratic Women’s Organization for 2018-2019. In 2017, she received the Local Public Official of the Year award for her interest in and work with Main Street Point Pleasant. She was presented a certificate from Gov. Jim Justice by Main Street Director Charles Humphreys.

In addition to her community service work, Ms. Howard has been working on two children’s books and traveling, mostly aboard, whenever possible.

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2018 WV Writers Summer Conference Presenter Preview

Below is a preview of some of the presenters who will lead workshops and panels at the West Virginia Writers 2018 Summer Conference.  Keep watching the contest page for full workshop descriptions and information about conference registration and lodging and meal registration.

Heather Day Gilbert - Self-publishing and Indie Publishing; Book Buzz before, during, and after publication

Patrick Grace - Humor in Writing.

Lucia Robson - Historical Fiction and Research; Saturday morning keynote speaker.

Mickey Johnson - Editing; Editing Panel.

Fran Allred - Editing; Editing Panel.

Doug Van Gundy - Saturday Night Entertainment.

Sandy Tritt - Dynamic Characters.

Anna Smucker - Children’s Writing; collaborative workshop on children’s writing with Marc Harshman.

Jeremy Richter - Playwriting.

Marc Harshman - Our state's Poet Laureate will lead a collaborative workshop with Anna Smucker; a single workshop on children’s writing; and will take part in the Saturday Night entertainment along with Doug Van Gundy.

Laura Bentley - Intermediate Poetry Workshop.

Audrey Stanton-Smith - Writing for Magazines.

Cat Pleska - Memoir.

Nick White - “Hot Scenes” for short stories and novels.

Steve Saffel - Acquisitions editor for Titan Books; author pitch sessions; how to pitch publishers workshop.

M. Lynne Squires - Social Media.

DM Pulley - Novel.

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