Submitted by Southwest Washington Writers Conference

Beginning and seasoned writers can participate in a local, safe writer’s conference September 10-11 at Centralia College. Now in its seventh year and utilizing current CDC guidelines, the Southwest Washington Writers Conference is offering both master classes on Friday and a choice of 18 Saturday workshops by professional writers. Participation is limited and masks and social distancing are required.

The five-hour master class on Friday will be taught by James L. Rubart, a Christy Hall of Fame author and marketing expert, who will teach writers to use their brand effectively to agents, editors, and readers. The Friday afternoon workshop features Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest, a member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation, who will present “What Muse? Finding Poetry at the End of Our Pens.”

Keynoting the event on Saturday will be Melanie Dobson, author of more than 20 books and winner of five Carol Awards, who will also offer workshops on writing fiction. Washington State Chief Historian John Hughes will present an oral history workshop “Shut Up and Listen!” Olympia journalist and writer John Dodge will discuss “Who Needs Fiction when You’ve Got the Truth?” Other Olympia presenters include Friday panelists Sandra Crowell and Bill Lindstrom, along with Centralia columnists Brian Mittge and Julie Zander.

“A small conference within driving distance for a reasonable fee is a wonderful opportunity for writers to interact in a safe environment,” conference planner Julie Zander noted. Writers can experience topics from humor to self-publishing, and a bookstore will be open for authors’ works.

Participants can choose either day through September 7 for $90 or both for $160, $110 for one day at the door. Boxed lunches are included on both days, and proceeds will benefit scholarships through the Centralia College Foundation. Register here.

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