Archived Story

Group’s first-ever writers’ conference slated for Saturday

Published 10:24pm Thursday, February 28, 2013



No one will be at a loss for words in downtown Washington this weekend.
The inaugural Pamlico Writers’ Conference is slated for Saturday at the Washington Civic Center.
The weekend kicks off with book signings Friday night. Conference panelists and presenters will join local authors for the signings at River Walk Gallery and Arts Center and the Inner Banks Artisans’ Center at 6 p.m. Both locations are on Main Street.
“The Friday evening events are free, and all are welcome,” said Joey Toler, executive director of the Beaufort County Arts Council.
The council, in association with the Pamlico Writers’ Group, organized the event.
Toler said response to the new event has been terrific. Registrations continued to pour in Thursday.
Toler and organizers Eloise Currie, Marni Graff, James Keen, Rachel V. Mills, Doris Schneider and Angela Silverthorne expect about 70 people to attend the first-time event. The group met this week to prepare packets for conference attendees.
Toler said he hoped people would be impressed with its efforts.
“The committee has been working diligently on the conference for about nine months” said Toler.  “I’m really excited about what we’ve been able to come up with as far as presenters, workshops and other details.”
The conference is packed with activities, which begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The event begins with a panel discussion on publishing. Attendees will then have a choice between three morning workshops.
The keynote speech from Bland Simpson begins at 12:30 p.m., after boxed lunches are served. Simpson is the Kenan Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at UNC-Chapel Hill. An author and playwright/composer/lyricist, he is a longtime member of the Tony Award-winning Red Clay Ramblers. He won the North Carolina Award in Fine Arts, the state’s highest civilian honor, in 2005.
Another round of workshops begins after Simpson wraps up. The conference will break for dinner at 4:30 p.m. and return for an awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m.
The award ceremony includes champagne and a dessert buffet.
The competition winners will be announced in five categories, including prose-fiction, prose-nonfiction, prose-young adult and poetry.
“First-place winners will receive a $100 cash prize, and second-place winners will receive a $50 cash prize,” Toler said.
The winner of the special youth category, open to regional high school students only, will receive a one-time $500 scholarship. The awards will be followed by readings from select authors.
Visit for a complete conference schedule, or call the arts council at 252-946-2504 for more information.



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