Monday, March 20, 2023

Our First Ever Local Writers' Conference

I’m excited that the Carteret Writers Network is gearing up for its first Writers Conference taking place on Saturday, April 15 from 8:30 to 5:30 at a lovely location called Carolina Home and Garden in Newport, North Carolina here on the coast. 

I’ve attended large conferences (Thrillerfest, Bouchercon), mid-sized conferences (North Carolina Writers Conference, The Virginia Festival of the Book) and smaller events like the Suffolk Mystery Writers Festival that just happened last weekend. Sometimes I’m a little overwhelmed at the larger events.  With so many other authors in attendance, it’s easy to feel lost in the crowd.

The smallest conference and the most exclusive that I’ll ever be invited to was in 2018.  It was the Poisoned Pen Conference with Soho Crime celebrating Ian Rankin.  All told, there were 26 authors there including Hank Phillipi Ryan, Dana Stabanow, Stephen Mack Jones, Tim Hallinan, Mark De Castrique, and of course, the iconic Ian Rankin.  That conference was held at the Arizona Biltmore and was incredibly cool!! 

Most recently, the Suffolk Mystery Writers Festival was held to fifty authors so that it had a very intimate feel to it.  It was limited to one day, had only eight panels, but had enough space that all the authors could display books and sell them (all sales handled through the event organizer). 

I’m hoping that the Carteret Writers Conference will also have that kind of intimate vibe to it.  I’m scheduled to be the Master of Ceremony for the day.  We’ll be having a good friend of mine as a speaker (and keynote speaker at lunch)—Sara Johnson, ( the author of the incredibly engaging Alexa Glock forensic mystery series.  She’ll be speaking about the Importance of Setting.  Point of information—her books take place in New Zealand.  

A second friend of mine who will be making an appearance is John DeDedakis, ( who is a mystery novelist, writing coach, manuscript editor and former writer for CNN.  He’ll be speaking about Buffing and Polishing—the Art of the Rewrite.  He’ll also be on a Q&A panel that will discuss editing and publishing and will include Robin Miura of Blair Publishing, Ed Southern of the North Carolina Writers Network, and L. Diane Wolfe of Dancing Lemur Press.  

There will be workshops on Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, a discussion on Independent Authors, and Podcasting. Then at the end of the day, there will be a cocktail hour with live music.  

If you’re in the area and interested in writing, you’re not going to want to miss this all day event!! It’s not going to get any more up-close and personal than this.

To register for the Writers Conference, go to 

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