Category Archives: WV Writers Summer Conference 2009

WV Writers Podcast: Episode 11 Now Available

Episode 11 of the WV Writers Podcast is now available. In it we speak once again to Episode 3's guest, writer/editor Rhonda Browning White. Instead of speaking about memories of conferences of years past, we speak of memories of conferences of two weeks past.

If you were unable to attend, this will give you some highlights.

Episode 11: Memories of Conferences More Recent

Please like & share:

Conference Entertainment Update

We've had something of a change in our conference entertainment for Saturday evening. Keith and Joan Pitzer were scheduled to perform in concert following the awards banquet, but an emergent situation has come up in their lives that has forced them to bow out for this year.

Fear not, for the Pitzers have lent us a hand at securing a replacement and we will now be honored to have Ron Sowell as the musical entertainment for Saturday night. Ron is the musical director of the internationally acclaimed public radio show, Mountain Stage, and is also a singer-songwriter, guitarist, performer and producer.

Ron originally joined the Mountain Stage as its guitar player when it was only a fledgling local radio show. Since then, the show has grown to be heard each week on 120 public radio stations nationwide and worldwide via the Voice of America and Ron has been promoted to its musical director. On the show he has played with hundreds of performers, such as Sarah McLachian, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, Kathy Mattea and the legends Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Rambling Jack Elliott and Odetta.

According to his website: "In 1992 he released his first solo CD, Oil and Water, featuring ten original compositions. The songs range from the absurdly humorous to the socially conscious.

"As a performer he has the gift to make a thousand people in a concert hall feel like they are sitting in his living room. He's engaging and funny and plays great guitar and harmonica. Whether making you laugh or cry, sing or dance, Ron Sowell exudes sincerity and grace rarely found in such an accomplished entertainer."

We look forward to welcoming Ron Sowell to the WV Writers family of entertainers and know that he will continue our trend of outstanding performances at the conference.

Please like & share:

WV Writers Podcast Episode 8: William Bitner & Daniel Boyd: Tag Team Interview

Episode 8 of the WVW Podcast is now online, in which we speak with William Bitner and Daniel Boyd, authors, film-makers, educators, professional wrestlers, and creators of the WV-set pulp-style illustrated novel Death Falcon Zero Vs. the Zombie Slug Lords.

We talk to them about how they became the wrestlers Death Falcon Zero and Professor Danger and how that ultimately led to their book starring their in-ring alter-egos.

Both William Bitner and Daniel Boyd will be leading workshops at next week's WV Writers Summer Conference, June 12-14, 2009, Cedar Lakes Conference Center, Ripley, WV.

Check it out at our Podcast Page.

Please like & share:

CSI Conference Presentation UPDATE

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Theodore Anglas has been forced to cancel his CSI presentations. NOT TO FEAR. Thanks to the dedicated staff at Mountain State University and intermediaries, we are pleased to announce that Andrew Wheeler will now give the CSI presentations.

Andrew Wheeler holds a Master of Forensic Science degree from The George Washington University and has over ten years of field experience in civil and criminal investigations. He is qualified as an expert witness, and has testified in several fields of forensic investigation. Mr. Wheeler received the prestigious “Professor of the Year” award given by the Mountain State University Student Government Association in 2005. I think we just turned this presentation up a notch.

Please like & share:

Editor Peter Lynch Pitch Session Details

On Saturday June 13th West Virginia Writers, Inc. is delighted to welcome Peter Lynch, Editorial Manager at Sourcebooks, Inc., one of the country’s largest and most innovative independent publishers. Peter has worked for Sourcebooks as Editorial Manager, trade for the past nine years. He acquires and develops 20–30 books per year, across a variety of categories. Peter’s nonfiction interests include, but are not limited to, books on parenting, history, memoir, self-help, reference, humor, and college/study aids. He is also interested in historical fiction and commercial women’s fiction. Peter is always interested in hearing from authors who are self-motivated and willing to publicize their books in innovative ways. In addition to development and oversight of the Fiske, Gruber and US News study aids lines, recent books from his list include The Four Corners of the Sky (fiction), Healing the Addicted Brain (self-help), and The Autism & ADHD Diet (parenting).

Sourcebooks, Inc ( is currently looking for: romance fiction (single title all subgenres, 80,000 words +), YA fiction and non-fiction, historical fiction, Jane Austen sequels/retellings/contemporary romances/etc., commercial women's fiction (must have a really unusual premise), multi-media and digital book projects, non-fiction: memoir, how-to, humor, college guides, study aids, parenting, business, careers, personal finance.

Sourcebooks is one of the fastest-growing independent publishing houses in the country, widely known for their sales and marketing, as well as a steady focus on building authors' careers.
In addition to a presentation on Sourcebooks, the business of the writing world, and what is required of today’s writer, Peter Lynch will hold five minute pitch sessions in hopes of landing a new batch of clients for Sourcebooks. This is his primary reason for coming.

  • Pitch sessions will be limited to a total of 50, so early reservation for them is recommended.
  • In order to participate in a Peter Lynch Pitch Session, you must register and pay for at least the day of Saturday, June 13 of the Conference.
  • The cost for a pitch session is $10, which will go help offset WV Writers costs.
  • You may pay for your pitch session at the conference.
  • To make a reservation for a pitch session, please send a note by email to President T. W. McNemar at
  • While the pitch sessions will take place on Saturday, there will be an early workshop conducted by Christine Witthohn of the Book Cents Literary Agency on the topic of pitching your book ideas to industry pros.
  • Don’t pass up this incredible opportunity, these folks are aggressively seeking new authors and they publish nearly every genre in any given bookstore. If you would like to verify this, take a look at their website.
  • ALSO…… The appearance of Peter Lynch is due in great part to the incredible efforts of Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency. Christine will be on hand to keep this opportunity flowing.

    Books Cents has become an outstanding advocate to the writing community in West Virginia and Kentucky. Much thanks to Christine and Judith Ann!

    For conference registration information:

    Please like & share:

    Three Weeks and Counting!


    It has always been our intention to get this conference planned far enough in advance for you all to make a conscious decision about who you would like to hear and see but if we find an opportunity to add someone or something to the play-list that will inform, delight, entertain, or amaze you – we will add it to the conference immediately.

    In the past weeks, we’re delighted to announce that Cathy (a.k.a. Cat) Pleska has joined the lineup of entertainment for Friday evening in the Assembly Hall. Cat will be performing a more bohemian segment of her historical dramatization of Frances B. Johnson. I can’t wait for this one.

    In the Assembly Hall on Saturday, a few folks from the WV Commission on the Arts will be around to discuss opportunities available to artists in the state. This will be educational and informative, try to attend.

    THERE IS ONE MORE AND I CAN'T RELEASE THE INFO YET, BUT I WILL IN A FEW DAYS. If you are “on the fence” about attending the 2009 West Virginia Writers, Inc. Conference, this announcement will put you at your keyboard and making your reservations pronto. Be ready to get on board and reserve a room on site or nearby.

    I know, I don’t like cliffhangers anymore than Dan Brown, but I’m sworn to secrecy . . . for the moment. I just want you to be ready.

    Please like & share:

    WV Writers 2009 Summer Conference Presenter Bios

    This is a work in progress that will be frequently updated. Check back here for the latest news and visit our official 2009 Conference Page for registration forms and lodging/meals forms.

    (UPDATED 5/31/09)

    writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Appalachian Heritage, Algonquin, Crazy River, and Pudding House. She is author of two books of poetry, has been included in such anthologies as Wild Sweet Notes and Seeking the Swan, and serves as editor for Confluence Magazine. In 2002 she was selected to attend the Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop. Wilma has been a member of WV Writers, Inc. for nineteen years and has held numerous offices and currently serves on the advisory board.

    ANDREW WHEELER, holds a Master of Forensic Science degree from The George Washington University and has over ten years of field experience in civil and criminal investigations. He is qualified as an expert witness, and has testified in several fields of forensic investigation. Mr. Wheeler received the prestigious “Professor of the Year” award given by the Mountain State University Student Government Association in 2005.

    BRAD BARKLEY, a native of North Carolina, is the author of the novel, Money, Love (Norton), a Barnes and Noble "Discover Great New Writers" selection and a "BookSense 76" choice. Money, Love was named one of the best books of 2000 by the Washington Post and the Library Journal. Brad was named one of the “Breakthrough Writers You Need To Know” by Book Magazine. His novel Alison's Automotive Repair Manual (St. Martin’s) was also a "BookSense 76" selection. He has published two collections of short stories, Circle View (SMU Press) and Another Perfect Catastrophe (St. Martin’s). His short fiction has appeared in nearly thirty magazines, including Southern Review, Georgia Review, the Oxford American, Glimmer Train, Book Magazine, and the Virginia Quarterly Review, which twice awarded him the Emily Balch Prize for Best Fiction. His first YA novel, Scrambled Eggs At Midnight, co-authored with Heather Hepler, was published in May 2006 by Penguin, and was a summer 2006 “Booksense 76” choice. His second YA novel, Dream Factory, published in spring 2007, was also “BookSense 76” selection, a Library Guild “Book of the Month, pick” and was voted the Texas Institute of Arts and Letters “Best Young Adult Book” for 2007. Their most recent title, Jars of Glass, was recently published by Dutton-Penguin. Brad has won four Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council and a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

    DANIEL BOYD, a West Virginian, has degrees in Communications (West Virginia University) and Filmmaking (University of Arkansas). Boyd began his filmmaking career making documentaries (HOMELESS BROTHER, MARCOS DE SAN MARCOS), then a series of short narrative films, then his first feature film, CHILLERS, was released in 1988 followed by STRANGEST DREAMS and PARADISE PARK. A professor of communications at West Virginia State University since 1985, Boyd established the Paradise Film Institute at WVSU in 1994 for the purpose of supporting filmmaking in the state. As a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, Boyd taught the first filmmaking and screenwriting classes at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, during the 98-99 academic year in East Africa. READ MORE at:

    WILLIAM BITNER is a life-long fan of both comic books and professional wrestling, with his tastes running distinctly old school in both mediums. At the age of 46, he decided to train to become a professional wrestler himself, and has since dragged his increasingly aching bones through over 300 matches, and a dozen title belts. Mr. Bitner is also the author of a short story collection, M Is for Monster, and currently resides in Charleston, W.Va.

    ERIC FRITZIUS A Mercer County resident, Eric Fritzius is a freelance writer / editor / playwright / actor / director / webmaster / graphic designer / and podcaster whose work has appeared in the Greenbrier Valley Quarterly magazine, the Mountain Voices anthology, WV Daily News, the Charleston Gazette, and graces the covers of such books as Belinda Anderson’s Buckle Up, Buttercup, and WV Writers latest collection Seeking the Swan. His play “…to a Flame” recently debuted on the stage of the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg. He serves as President Emeritus and webmaster for WV Writers, Inc. and produces and hosts their weekly podcast.

    GEOFFREY C. FULLER - author, teacher, editor, and managing partner of the Evergreen Syndicate LLC , is an award-winning author and the only person to win the coveted WV Commission on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowships in all three prose categories - (fiction, nonfiction, and memoir), Geoff Fuller teaches and mentors an ever-increasing group of successful writers in the Charleston, WV area. He is married to lifestyle columnist, Karin Fuller

    KARIN T. FULLER, lifestyle columnist for the Charleston Gazette, first began writing in 1997, shortly after the birth of her best source of material, her daughter Celeste. In the years since, Karin’s columns have always been selected as one of the top three each year by the West Virginia Press Association, but in 2003, she was awarded first place (General Interest) in the USA, by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Along with her columns, Karin’s stories have appeared in such publications as Woman’s World, Appalachian Heritage, Front Porch, and Atlanta Baby.

    PAM HANSON, along with her writing partner (and mother), is the award-winning author of 26 novels for Dorchester, Harlequin/Silhouette, and Guideposts. A 27th, Hometown Reunion, will be published in September by Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A former reporter, Pam previously taught journalism at West Virginia University. In 2006, West Virginia Writers awarded her the JUG award for writing. She now lives in Nebraska where she continues to write and tutors students in a university writing center.

    GEORGE LIES a short story writer and journalist, has years of experience working collaboratively with writers of West Virginia. In the 1990s, he led editorial teams to publish limited editions, entitled Janus ’95 and Pokeberry Days. His story, “Trailer Dogs Barking”, is in Mountain Voices; and, “Keys to Heaven”, in the anthology, Mist on the Mon, was translated and published in Steneau, a literary journal in Romania. Before serving as President of West Virginia Writers (1999-01 and 2003-04), he directed the Golden Rod Writers Conference (1983-2001).

    was born in 1942 and grew up in Omaha Nebraska. He moved to Huntington in 1967 to teach at Marshall and has lived there ever since. He has won many awards for his teaching and his poetry. The author of seven books and chapbooks, his most recent is a collection of his selected poems, Resurrection of the Dust. He is the editor of the annual publication ABZ: A Magazine of Poetry. The press he edits also sponsors an annual First Book Poetry Contest, which awards a prize of $1000 and book publication to the winner.

    RENÉE K. NICKLESON is a former professional ballet dancer, and a graduate of the MFA program at West Virginia University. Her work has appeared in many publications, including Chelsea, Mid-American Review, Paste, Naugatuck River Review, The Gettysburg Review, as well as other literary magazines and poetry and fiction anthologies. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prizes, and awarded a Special Mention.

    KEITH & JOAN PITZER are known and respected West Virginia musicians. Sharing music and marriage for over thirty years, they have performed at numerous fairs and festivals, coffeehouses and listening rooms across the mid-Atlantic states. Based out of Kingwood, they’ve appeared as part of the Voices of West Virginia touring group with songwriters John Lilly, Kate Long and Todd Burge. Their song "Underneath a Blackened Moon" is included in the Mountain Whispers adaptation of William Blizzard’s, “When Miners March.” Their musical style is a blend of blend contemporary style with Appalachian and Celtic music.

    CATHY PLESKA (Cat) holds a BA in English (Mountain State U.), an MA in Humanities (Marshall U.), and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction (Goucher College). She is a regular contributor to Wonderful West Virginia Magazine and is an essayist on West Virginia Public Radio. Her radio essay, “Unexpected Harvest” was published in 2008 in the Hamilton Stone Review. She has three articles in the West Virginia Encyclopedia. Her memoir, The Last Storyteller, began as a thesis for her MFA and was eventually polished into a manuscript. She works as a freelance writer and editor and performs as the ‘History Alive!’ character, Frances B. Johnson. In 2008, she created and performed as West Virginia native and Mother’s Day founder, Anna Jarvis. This performance was televised throughout the state on Mother’s Day. Cat currently teaches English at Strayer University in Teay’s Valley, WV and resides in Scott Depot with her husband Dan, daughter Katie, and several critters.

    has been heralded as “a modern-day, southern-fried Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry,” says Booklist. This award winning author of the celebrated Not Tonight Honey, Wait ‘til I’m a Size 6, (which the Chicago Sun-Times calls “wickedly fun…like hanging out with your bluntest, most mischievous friend, the one who never fails to crack you up.”) will join West Virginia Writers, Inc. for two workshops, a stand-up humor presentation on Friday evening, and an Awards Banquet keynote address. Now, the laughter resumed as Reinhardt took on domestic life in a new collection of essays, DON’T SLEEP WITH A BUBBA, a Kensington Books trade paperback original. Susan Reinhardt once loved a Bubba, so she speaks from personal experience. Susan Reinhardt is the mother of two precious children, ages 14 and 9, and enjoys anything related to water (except snakes), is a community volunteer, a member of the PTA and the Read it or Not, Here We Come Book Club. She is a regular public speaker, having done a keynote address for the Erma Bombeck Writers Convention last year. Reinhardt is speaker in demand to large corporations and small groups alike, listing such topics as: “Healing Through Humor,” and “Out of the Darkness,” which delves into her battles with depression and other illnesses. It is her mission to bring these issues out of the closet, to remove the stigma, and enlighten others so they may get help and find joy in their lives. She also does stand-up comedy and enjoys being a frequent guest on radio and local and network television. She is a highly awarded nationally syndicated columnist.

    DAVID SAMUEL, former professor of wildlife management and conservation at WVU (1968-1998), has made a niche for himself as an outdoor writer. His articles can be found in all outdoor mass media reporting and the awards garnered include: Safari Club International World Bowhunter Chapters, Hall of Honor, Inducted, 2001, The Wildlife Society, Special Recognition Award, 2001, Lee Gladfelter Award, Pope and Young Club, 2002, West Virginia Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Mountaineer Award, 2005, Archery Hall of Fame, inducted Sept 21, 2007, Springfield MO., Deer Management Career Achievement Award, Southeastern Section of The Wildlife Society, Feb. 24, 2009. Outdoor Writer of the Year, WV Bowhunters Assoc., 1992 and 2009.

    NATALIE SYPOLT received her MFA in Fiction from West Virginia University in 2005. Her fiction and book reviews have appeared in Kestrel, Potomac Review, Oklahoma Review, Shenandoah Review, and Mid-American Review. Natalie has taught writing at WVU in Morgantown and Waynesburg University in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. She currently lives and writes in Preston County, WV.

    SANDY TRITT is a writer, editor and speaker. The founder and CEO of Inspiration for Writers, an editing and critiquing service for aspiring writers, she has edited hundreds of manuscripts. Sandy’s fiction has been published in literary magazines and local journals; she has also published nine nonfiction books: Everything I Know (Headline Books); Inspiration for Writers Tips and Techniques Workbook; and seven technical manuals (Phoenix Software, Atlanta, GA). But more than anything, Sandy loves to teach the craft of writing.

    SANDRA VRANA is a professor of English at Alderson-Broaddus College, teaching composition and literature. She is a member of Barbour County Writers and served as the second editor of Grab-A-Nickel, after Barbara Smith, until last year.

    RHONDA BROWNING WHITE hails from Princeton, WV, though she now resides near Daytona Beach, FL, with her husband Randy and son Jacob. She retired from 20+ years in the medical field and returned to school at Mountain State University, where she earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies and English and Literature. She is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing. Rhonda is a freelance writer and editor, and has just completed her first novel, a medical thriller. Her short stories, poetry and articles have been published in many literary magazines, trade journals, anthologies and newspapers throughout the Eastern United States.

    grew up in south Georgia, the daughter of a Methodist minister active in working for social justice. She attended college wherever her Navy husband’s career took them, finally obtaining a B.A. in Sociology from Virginia Wesleyan College.In 1992, Wildsmith was named a Poetry Fellow in the South Carolina Academy of Authors, and published her first book, Alchemy (Sow’s Ear Press). Her second chapbook, Annie won the Palanquin Press competition of the University Of South Carolina, Aiken. Her first full-length collection of poems, Our Bodies Remember (Sow’s Ear Press), was published in 1999. Her most recent book, One Good Hand, was a SIBA Poetry Book of the Year nominee and was nominated for Appalachian Book of the Year. A poem from that collection, Making a Living, was read on Garrison Keiller’s “Writer’s Almanac”. She has been a Writer-in-residence for the Devil’s Tower National Monument and for the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska. She has worked as an Artist In the Schools for the South Carolina Humanities Council. Wildsmith teaches writing workshops throughout the United States. Her poems and essays have been widely published in both literary and commercial journals, including: The Sun, Yankee, The Kentucky Poetry review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Her poems have most recently been anthologized in the University Press of Kentucky’s Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia, The Southern Poetry Anthology (Texas Review Press, 2006), Women, Period (Spinsters Ink, January, 2009), and Writing By Ear (Motes Books, 2009).

    Please like & share:

    WV Writers 2009 Summer Conference Workshop Descriptions

    This is a work in progress that will be frequently updated. Check back here for the latest news and visit our official 2009 Conference Page for registration forms and lodging/meals forms.


    1. Great Characters: I know you’ve read something and couldn’t put it down because there was a character in the book that you could not stop thinking about, cheering for, and hating to the very marrow. Susan Reinhardt will show you where these characters are hiding in the world and how to layer them into a riveting part of your work. (SUSAN REINHARDT)

    2. The Business of Writing: When someone mentions the word, “AGENT’, most writers have a thousand horror stories. Susan Reinhardt has a few of those as well, but she will share her view of the underbelly of the ever-changing landscape of the business side of writing. She will talk about agents and publishers and how to react and interact with them to get where you need to be with your work. This is sharing with a writer whose approach has and is a success story. - (SUSAN REINHARDT)

    3. Control vs. Creative Chaos: How do you let go of control (or fear?) enough to allow a poem the strength which can come from directed chaos? Learn some methods for pushing yourself outside of the walls that normally define what you allow in your poetry. (DANA WILDSMITH)

    4. Focused Energy in poetry: Too many times we smooth our poems into listless shadows of what they should be. Try your hand at revving up the energy levels in your writing.

    5. Writing Your Life: Explore how to use your personal stories as raw material for poems that speak beyond the facts of the story itself. (DANA WILDSMITH)

    6. The Thick Plottin’s: Have you ever felt like your plotlines were just “going through the paces”? Sandy will discuss techniques that help you discover your story in places you never planned to explore and will show how good pacing and narrative give your story new levels of style. (SANDY TRITT)

    7. Editing Your Toughest Customer, You! : They say the best place to hide is in plain sight. Well this is true of mistakes in our own writing. Sandy Tritt will discuss ways to methodically and creatively remove those embarrassing stains in our own prose. (SANDY TRITT)

    8. The Nuts and Bolts of the Three Act Play: Even though the style of your dramas may vary, the mechanics of the three act play is basic and contains many working, interchangeable parts. This successful director/writer will show you these steps. (DANIEL BOYD)

    9. The Building Blocks of a Good Story, or Screenplay, or Novel, or . . . : Just as if you were building a house, you start with the foundation and then you add block after block, to create the story that you want it to be. (DANIEL BOYD)

    10. The Graphic Narrative: or, If You Can’t Afford to Film It, Turn it Into a Book! Unlike the graphic novel, this newer genre is more of an illustrated novel and yes, there is a brand new awaiting audience. (DANIEL BOYD and WILLIAM BITNER)

    11. How to Write an Inspirational Romance: This session will shed some light on one of the most popular sub-genres in romance right now. Tips will also be offered on how to follow your own voice and still produce a suitable manuscript for this market. (PAM HANSON)

    12. Jumpstarting Your Creativity: This interactive workshop will help spark your creativity. Come prepared to be re-energized! (KARIN FULLER and PAM HANSON)

    13. Building Blocks of a Selling Synopsis: What is a synopsis? How do you write one? To submit a proposal to an editor or agent, a writer must write a synopsis, a concise abstract of your manuscript. This workshop will guide you through the steps necessary to produce a successful synopsis, including how to incorporate conflict, characterization and cohesiveness into your finished work. (PAM HANSON)

    14. Teens Read Too: An Introduction to Writing Young Adult Fiction: This introductory class gives a clear picture of one of the hottest markets in literature today – the young adult genre. Brad will give descriptions of style and show samples of this market.

    15. Collaborating in Writing Young Adult Fiction: The creative juices never stop when you have a partner to share the process of inventing prose. Brad will discuss his positive experiences in writing YA in tandem. (BRAD BARKLEY)

    16. Premises and Promises: This important class suits, not only the Young Adult writing, but all prose, all length, all styles. Don’t miss this class – it’s a keeper. (BRAD BARKLEY)

    17. Using the Senses to Shape Your Work: Using prompts such as sampling dark chocolate, listening to music, feeling the texture of different fabric and other unconventional prompts, this session will help to unleash the sensual potential of prose. (RENÉE K. NICKLESON)

    18. The Music of Line, The Making of a Poem: This session will focus on the sense of music in the line to create and revise poems. Participants will work on the sonic qualities as well as the visual qualities of building poems line by line. (RENÉE K. NICKLESON)

    19. Get On the Program: Getting Your Work Out Into the World: Publications, readings, and other outcomes from our writing process may seem mysterious, difficult, and full of rejection. This session focuses on the strategies that work to keep focus on generating work while tending to the business of the writing life. (RENÉE K. NICKLESON)

    20. Outdoor Writing: The Whole Ball of Wax: David Samuel will leads us as we stalk the dreaded outdoor essay, report, and article and we will see how this genre is easily one of the most lucrative markets alive. We will discover what outdoor writing is (and isn't), how to connect with the two national outdoor writer associations, how to get into the outdoor writing market, and where these potential markets are lurking (in magazines, newspapers, television, internet, and in books. He will also show us how to write power point programs for presentations on the outdoors. ONE CLASS ONLY. (DAVID SAMUEL)

    21. My Father the Minotaur: Elements of the Ridiculous and Surprising in Fiction:
    A fine line separates fiction that uses “magical” elements from genre fiction, such as fantasy or science fiction. How can we as writers use elements of the absurd without devolving into the gimmicky or ridiculous, and without crossing the line from “literary” to genre? We’ll look specifically at the work of Karen Russell who has recently made big splash in the world of literary fiction with her collection St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. Exercises will allow participants to try their hand at using the “ridiculous” in their own work. (NATALIE SYPOLT)

    22. Beyond She and I: Exploring Alternate Narration in Fiction: This session will focus on the exploration of point of view (narration); we will specifically investigate the collective narrator (first person plural) and second person point of view (including the “Self-Help” format). These are certainly the least often used of all forms of narration, so it’s possible you’ve not had much exposure to them before; even if you have, the chances are that you haven’t experimented much with them in your own writing. We’ll look at sample work and try our hand at writing our own stories using these lesser used POVs. (NATALIE SYPOLT)

    23. Drawing the Story of My Life: Examining the Graphic Memoir: The graphic novel is a genre that is becoming more and more popular, especially with the recent cinematic release of the much anticipated The Watchmen; this session will focus not on the graphic novel, but on a lesser known relation: the graphic memoir. It seems no one can quite decide on the correct name for this emerging genre (these works have also been called “graphic narratives”, "book-length comics," and “true comic strip stories). In this session, we’ll discuss this genre, look at some samples, and try our hand at creating some graphic memoirs of our own. Don’t worry if you don’t have any artistic ability; as we’ll soon see, there is more than one way to tell our stories in pictures. (NATALIE SYPOLT)

    24. Original Music from Traditional Sounds, Form, and the things that make you write songs: Whether folk, country, blues, pop, all songs follow similar structure. Understanding this from other songs will help to shape new original material that is both pleasant and new. Lyric structure will be covered as well, both from traditional structure, as in metre, rhyme, and patterns, as well as varying the pattern for original musical changes. Keith Pitzer will use traditional, popular and his own songs as teaching tools for this comparative learning experience! (KEITH & JOAN PITZER)

    26. Horribly & Humorously True Nonfiction (and Fiction): From breakdowns of woefully unreliable vehicles, run-ins with fraudulent telemarketers, or particularly soul-crushing trips to the DMV (and by that, I mean ANY trip to the DMV), bad things happen to all of us. Oftentimes, however, these "horribly true” events can be humorous in retrospect. Eric Fritzius, author of many a Horribly True Tale himself, seeks to dig out that nugget of humorous gold at the core of the common crappy day experiences we all share. Attend this workshop for help finding your own golden crap nugget. (ERIC FRITZIUS)

    27. Blogs, Podcasts and New Media (Not a Lot of Money in it, but Possibly Some Fun): A staple of the Internet for nigh on a decade, weblogs (blogs) have become a branch of the so-called New Media, turning average opinion-holders into real world political pundits and entertainment commentators. Similarly, with the advent of podcasting and vidcasting, nearly anyone can host their own show and reach a fairly wide audience. WV Writers webguy, Eric Fritzius, takes a look into the huge creative avenues to be found in the blogging and podcasting world, from non-fiction to fiction to points in between. (ERIC FRITZIUS)

    28. Writing from Life, a personal approach to nonfiction: In this class, these two master writers offer their combined 45 years of experience to help you learn to master the art of turning life’s rich moments into writing that moves, amuses, and inspires readers. You will not only learn about how to write from life, you will experience the satisfaction of combining experience, memory, and narrative that sets a foundation for a good short piece or the basis for a longer work. (KARIN FULLER and GEOFF FULLER)

    29. Assembling a Novel: Some novels may be read breathlessly, beginning to end, but most are assembled painstakingly: a foundation built of description and backstory, scenes constructed of dialogue and action. Writer and teacher Geoff Fuller discusses how novels are assembled, passage-by-passage, and reveals the under appreciated physical demands of novel writing.

    30. Reasons For Writing Poetry: This discussion/workshop – for beginning to advanced poets – will explore some traditional answers to the question: Why write poetry? We will examine how different answers to this question can influence the form and content of a poem.

    31. Writing the Imagist Poem: This workshop – for developing to advanced poets – will present some examples of different kinds of imagist poems and will involve writing (and possibly revising) a short poem with an imagist perspective. (JOHN J. McKERNAN)

    32. Some Ways to Use Prose In The Writing Of A Poem: This discussion/workshop – primarily for advanced poets – will divide the writing process into three stages and discuss how prose passages can help in the early, middle, and revising stages of writing a poem.

    33. Writers Present A Favorite Poem: This panel-discussion will enable a group of poets to read and comment on favorite poems. Each poet will read one poem by another poet and comment. Audience questions at the end of the panel. (JOHN McKERNAN and STAFF POETS)

    34. Representations of Women in Appalachian Literature: In this session we will look at various categories of women portrayed in works of Appalachian literature: wives, mothers, working women, outcasts and misfits (and sundry other types). We will also use a number of dichotomies as a way of approaching depictions of women: real vs. ideal; round vs. flat characters; negative vs. positive traits; etc. (SANDRA VRANA)

    35. Lives of Coal Mining Families: In this session we will examine which aspects of the lives of mining families are addressed and which are ignored. Some categories we will discuss: private vs. public selves; the individual vs. the family unit; recreation vs. work; also, modes of communication among family members; expectations according to gender and age; (etc).

    36. Show Me! Don’t Tell Me! (Except Sometimes). Learn to “act out” your scenes so readers can watch your characters in action and eavesdrop on their dialogue; learn when “telling” is absolutely permissible and necessary. (RHONDA BROWNING WHITE)

    37. Writing Your Own Eulogy! Join Wilma Acree for this fun workshop. Some of the most classic and fun eulogies, epitaphs, etc. are in the form of poetry, poetry of all types. Bring pen and paper and prepare for the fun. (WILMA ACREE)

    38. What the dead can tell us: scopes and limitations of a Forensic Pathology Autopsy. Manner and Mode of death. What case(s) constitute a Medical Examiner-Coroner’s case or not. Myths of a typical Forensic Pathology Autopsy (ANDREW WHEELER)

    39. Serial Killers: Dismembers of Your Family. Types of Serial Killers, Crime Scene dynamics, Profiling Serial Killers, Genetic link? (ANDRE WHEELER)

    40. Sexual Assault: The All-American Crime. Five different principals involved in sexual assault, how to proper handle of all kinds of sexual assault crimes, contemporary issues of sexual assault through the victim’s perspective. Types of offenders, motivations, false allegations and false confessions, profiling the offender, child molestation, and the maligned investigator. Special population-juvenile sexual offenders, female sexual; offenders, gerophiles, serial rapists, and sexual sadists (ANDREW WHEELER)

    41. People’s Choice Prose (Friday Session) We’ll have two sessions of People’s Choice Prose, wherein participants have 4 minutes to read an original short piece of prose which will then be judged by the vote of their People’s Choice Session Peers. Awards will be given at the Saturday Awards Banquet for first, second and third places.

    42. Show Me the Money! Grant Proposal Writing. Learn the ‘thousand little tricks’ of grant writing with a man who knows grants and grant writing, from all perspectives. (GEORGE LIES)

    43. Insights On Starting a Writer’s Group. Writers groups exist in some communities in the state, offering a unique way to obtain peer feedback on your prose and poetry. This session offers proven ways to organize a writer’s group in your hometown. Attendees will learn how West Virginia writers in the Morgantown Writers Group survived the ebb and flow of group dynamics to celebrate its 15th Anniversary. This information session includes lots of handouts on how to contact local writers, that first meeting, setting-up a schedule, doing promotion, how to do manuscript critiques, finding well-known guest writers, sponsoring open workshops, how to find small grants or donations for special events and, oh yes, tips on handling personality clashes. The presenter, George Lies, former President, WVW, Inc., and founding member of MWG, in 1994, will discuss and explore ways to start a writer’s group – and keep it going. Informative! (GEORGE LIES)

    44. People’s Choice Prose (Repeat on Saturday)

    45. People’s Choice Poetry (Friday Session) We’ll have two sessions of People’s Choice Poetry, wherein participants have 4 minutes to read an original poem which will then be judged by the vote of their People’s Choice Session Peers. Awards will be given at the Saturday Awards Banquet for first, second and third places.

    46. People’s Choice Poetry (Repeat on Saturday)

    47. People’s Choice Youth

    48. The West Virginia Commission on the Arts Listening Tour (description to follow)

    Please like & share:


    Would you like your business to reach 150-200 writers and writing professionals? Would you like to advertise your book to potential readers? Would you like to advertise your editing or proofreading services to writers? Well, we're here to help.

    West Virginia Writers, Inc, is offering low-price ads to be printed in this year's Conference program. The program will be distributed to each attendee at the June 12-14 Annual Conference at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley, West Virginia. The ads that appear in the program will also be offered for a limited time on the WVW website ( The ads will be printed in black and white in the 8 ½ by 11 spiral-bound program. (Ads on the website can be in color.)

    Ad rates and approximate sizes are:

    Full page (8 ½ x 11) - $75
    Half page (8 ½ x 5) - $40
    Quarter page (4 x 5) - $20
    Business Card size - $10

    Ads may be submitted as either a camera-ready print or emailed as a high quality jpeg, .tif or Microsoft Word document. Ads may be emailed to . Paper copy should be snail-mailed to: T.W. McNemar, 1107 Cost Road, Stonewood, WV 26301. Checks should be made payable to West Virginia Writers, Inc. Please be sure to include contact information with your ad copy and ads must be received by June 1.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at .

    Please like & share:

    The one about getting to the conference on time….



    It's very simple. Your writing gives you a way to express the art and conscience buried deep in your psyche'. . . or, you simply have something to report. It lets you leave a piece of yourself behind. It allows you to create, when you have no choice, but to create and if you're a writer, this is important stuff.

    So, what have you done for your writing, besides write? You've read some, contributed to a book, entered contests, celebrated the anniversary of the first publication of The Elements of Style. Great.

    Now do you really want to do something great for your writing and yourself?


    You get to hang out with great poets, like John McKernan, Kirk Judd, Dana Wildsmith, Wilma Acree, Renee Nickleson, and several more, like you.

    The book doctors will be there, with advice for the asking….editors and teachers like Geoff Fuller, Sandy Tritt, and Rhonda White.

    We have writers who specialize in different genre. Pam Hanson is great to talk to about Inspirational Romance; Susan Reinhardt specializes in humor; Brad Barkley is an expert in YA fiction and a terrific novelist to boot. The list goes on and on.

    If you're on the fence about coming to this conference, please go to our website and check out the schedule, the description of the classes, and the bio's of the presenters, it's impressive. And it's all for you.

    We're adding to the list each day, so check back once in a while. We won't stop trying to make this conference better until the last minute.

    If you haven't seen or shall I say "HEARD" the latest form of President Emeritus, Eric Fritzius' online promotion of West Virginia Writers, Inc. you must take a listen to the WVW, Inc. Podcast!

    Eric has employed his talents of webmaster, master of ceremony, and masterful host to the likes of: teacher, memoirists, essayist, and future WVW VP, Cathy Pleska; writer, editor Rhonda White; humorist Susan Reinhardt, . . . and more.

    This is an informative and entertaining addition to West Virginia Writers, Inc.'s ongoing quest to bring the arts to you. Congratulations have been pouring in from all over, so please, take a few minutes and have a listen!


    If you have a service to offer, or a book for sale, or an upcoming promotion that you would like to advertise in an inexpensive way, we would be willing to put your promotional materials (PENS, BUSINESS CARDS, BOOKMARKS, BADGES, ETC.) into the goodie bags at the conference. We will need approximately 200 pieces and in order for us to distribute these items, they must be shipped to us well in advance of the conference.

    For questions you may contact me at:

    While at the conference, take a few minutes and pose for Boyd Carr and he will create a sketch that you will take with you and frame as a memory of the 2009 conference. Boyd will return as our "Artist in Residence" once more and make this outing that much more memorable.

    Sign up today….

    Please like & share: