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Pamlico Writers’ Group to host annual conference this weekend

Are you ready to take your writing to the next level? Been thinking about getting that manuscript published? What about branching out into other markets such as graphic novels or screenplays?

For local writers interested in any of these opportunities, the Pamlico Writers’ Group’s sixth-annual Writers Conference is the place to be this weekend. Originally began by Doris Schneider and Jim Keen in 2012, this year’s conference is being organized by PWG Chairperson Sherri Lupton Hollister.

“I’m really excited about it,” Hollister said. “We’re just finalizing details now.”

The conference kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday evening at the Turnage Theatre with a special visit from N.C. Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson. Stephenson will introduce the inaugural Heart of the Pamlico Poet Laureate, Malaika King Albrecht, who will share a reading of her poetry. Following Albrecht’s reading, Stephenson will deliver the evening’s keynote address.

On Saturday morning, the group will participate in a panel discussion on shape shifting their writing, led by Marni Graff, Michael Colonnese and Beverly Horvath. The panel will discuss preparing one’s work for market, then taking it to other markets. Each panelist will then lead breakout sessions on various topics. While Colonese will discuss the importance of editing and revising, Graff will focus on audiobooks and Horvath will talk on screenplays.

Diane Taylor, of Taylor Made Publishing in Greenville, will host a lunch discussion on pitching book ideas. In addition to helping participants get their books printed in the traditional fashion, the session will also offer pointers for independent publication.

During two sessions after lunch on Saturday, participants will have a choice to take part in a variety group sessions.

The early afternoon session will feature discussions with Albrecht on flash fiction, micro fiction and prose poetry, Micah Harris on adapting prose for graphic novels and Angela Beach Silverthorne on touching the heart of humanity.

The later afternoon session will feature discussion from Julia Day on writing for teens, Robin Greene on chap books for grownups and Becca Lameraux on the next steps to take following publication.

“Everything seems to be working out pretty well,” Hollister said. “We’re very blessed to have a group of people that support us and we’re hoping to offer new things. We’re hoping to offer a workshop in May with Tom Kies from Morehead and we’re looking into having Malaika do a workshop in the fall. So we’re really trying to be very active.”

Registration for the conference is open to no more than 100 participants. While Friday night’s events are free cost to participate in the remainder of the conference is $59 for the general public and $49 for PWG members. Registration is open through Saturday Morning.

The event will also feature a raffle to support the PWG, as well as recognition of four local college and high school students for their poetry and prose under the theme “Flavors of home.” Each student will receive a $100 scholarship from the PWG. The adult competition will begin next week under the same theme. The PWG 2018 anthology will include poetry, prose and recipes.

For more information on the Pamlico Writers’ Group, or to register for the conference, visit www.pamlicowritersgroup.org.