Erin Hollowell: 2014 Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference

Alice Sebold
We’re not superstitious around here at the headquarters of
the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, so it is with great glee that we invite
you to the Lucky 13th annual edition of this treasured yearly event
from June 13-17.
Each year the conference unfolds in its own way, but one
constant is the connection forged between faculty and participants. Indeed,
sometimes it’s hard to tell the two apart, since so many of the teaching
writers attend each other’s workshops and are always found in deep discussion
with participants out on the deck, in the hallways, and during meals. While
other conferences seek to establish hierarchies, the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference
creates a congregation dedicated to words.
This year’s keynote speaker is Alice Sebold. Sebold became a
household name with the incredible success of her novel The Lovely Bones. She’s an incredible memoirist as well; her memoir
Lucky literally kept me up all night
reading – I just couldn’t bear to put it down. She’ll be speaking about the
process of writing in her keynote: “Guts, Glory & Absolute Confusion:
Embracing the Chaos of the Creative Process.” Aren’t you happy that she
admitted that there’s some chaos in the creative process (and by some, I mean a
Kicking off the conference with the idea of writing as
process, not product, fits perfectly with the offerings of the rest of the
faculty. Want to expand your grasp of voice in poetry? Check out award-winning
poet Kwame Dawe’s workshop “A Study in the Art of Voice.” Considering venturing
into young adult literature? Head on over to National Book Award finalist Debby
Dahl Edwardson’s workshop on coming-of-age tales. Ben Percy, whose latest work
was named one of the most anticipated novels of 2013 by Publisher’s Weekly,
will help you craft indelible images. Eva Saulitis will be talking of writing
about place in the short form, and Tom Kizzia will help you find your writing
on the nonfiction spectrum. There are over forty workshops and panels to chose
from over the course of the four days of the conference; something for every
genre, level of experience, and interest. You can get a sneak peak at all of
them on the conference website.
In addition to the sixteen talented writers who will be on
faculty this year (check them out at,
editor Heidi Bell and agent Katherine Fausset will be discussing the publishing
side of the industry. As always, you can schedule a meeting with either agent
or editor to talk about the project you’re working on, or schedule an actual
manuscript review with the writing faculty.
Each day is crammed with inspiration and education, and in
the evenings, sit back and listen as the New York Time’s best-selling authors,
National Book Award finalists, amazing essayists, short-story writers, poets,
and novelists read their work. All of the readings, including Alice Sebold’s,
are free and open to the public. During the day, there are plenty of
opportunities to read your own work at open mic’s, network with other writers,
and even get in a walk on the beach while you bask in the glacier view with the
otters and eagles.

Check out all the offerings (including the AMAZING
post-conference workshop with Scott Russell Sanders at the Tutka Bay Lodge) at
our website. Or better
yet, like us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute photos and news of the
conference. Register now to join us for a conference that will strengthen your
writing and fire your imagination. Early registration ends on May 2!
It’s the season to think about writers conferences. We’re happy to share posts about any with an Alaska connection. Check our guidelines and email your post to debvanasse (at)

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