46th Annual Writers Conference
After much consideration and discussion, Wyoming Writers is excited to dive into new waters with our upcoming conference this June. In keeping with our new reality, this year’s 46th conference will be hybrid, allowing us to meet in person as well as reach out to members who are more comfortable participating from their own homes. It will take place at the Lander Community Convention Center.
The conference will be held over a two day period, instead of our normal three day period allowing us to cut our costs a little in order to compensate for a smaller number of in-person attendees. We will also be offering reduced rates and a small zoom fee for the conference as well. We will begin sessions Saturday afternoon and end with our beloved Paddle Panel Sunday afternoon. We hope this offers members greater flexibility in regard to travel arrangements and hotel costs. Please be advised that we will be following all current health protocols in place to be as safe as possible. At this juncture, we are planning for masks and social distancing to make people as comfortable and safe as possible.
Once registration opens, it will be a first come, first serve basis for in-person attendance, allowing for 75 registrants. Registration opens March 1st with options for both in-person and virtual registrations. Sign up early! Virtual registrants will be able to attend the majority of the conference via Zoom.
We have blocks of rooms available at the Inn at Lander and Holiday Inn Express and also consider the Rodeway Inn - Pronghorn Lodge who offer consistently reasonable room rates.
We look forward to connecting with you at the 46th Wyoming Writers Conference!!!
REGISTER FOR THE 2021 CONFERENCE HERE.
Ramón García is the author of two books of poetry, The Chronicles (Red Hen Press, 2015) and Other Countries (What Books Press, 2010) and a monograph on the artist Ricardo Valverde (University of Minnesota Press, 2013). His chapbook, published by Foundlings Press, was published in 2020. His poetry has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, including Springhouse Journal, Best American Poetry 1996, Ambit, The Floating Borderlands: Twenty-Five Years of US-Hispanic Literature, Poetry Salzburg Review, Los Angeles Review, Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas and Plume.
Ramón García has a Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California, San Diego. His scholarly work has focused on visual culture and his short stories have appeared in Story, Rosebud and Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing.
Ramón currently teaches at California State University, Northridge and lives in downtown Los Angeles.
Poetry of Place and Landscape
Many poets write about a specific place, from a location within a wider span of history. But how does the poet imagine a place and a landscape in order to express his/her place in history? How does the poet explore the connection between a specific location and the self? Which ideas does the poet make use of to depict his/herself in a distinct place or landscape? This session will address the imagining of place and landscape with examples by Rainer Maria Rilke, César Vallejo, Anna Akhmatova, Weldon Kees, James Wright and José Emilio Pacheco. Place and landscape are continuous, available sources of inspiration in locating ideas about history and one’s place in it. Where does one begin?
The Persona Poem
The persona poem can serve as a form to explore the imagination and to imagine being someone else, to assume a voice that is not one’s own. The persona poem allows the poet to embody the voice, character and the dramatic situations of a character from history or literature. With examples by Jorge Luis Borges, Sylvia Plath, Robert Hayden, W. D. Snodgrass, Richard Wilbur, Margaret Atwood, and Carmen Boullosa, Ramón García will lead participants to reflect on the choice to inhabit the voice of another, and the imaginative freedom it permits.
Poetry: The Solitary Art of Community
Writing is a solitary practice, but the reasons for dedication to this practice involve a connection to others. Ramón García shares his experience as a poet who did not come to poetry through an MFA program. How can one think about poetry as an art that is connected to education, publishing, support, mentorship, and community? Can poetry be a solitary activity that is empowered by a connection to a community or communities? Ramón Garcia will share from his experience and lead a discussion about poetry as an art of connection and communication between the artist and his/her place in history and society.
Susan J. Tweit
Susan J. Tweit is an award-winning writer and plant ecologist. She began her career in Wyoming, studying grizzly bear habitat—which meant collecting and dissecting large piles of bear poop—coring trees to map historic wildfires, and researching big sagebrush and its fragrant communities. Tweit began writing after realizing that she loved writing the stories behind the data as much as collecting the data. She's written a dozen non-fiction books ranging from memoir and nature writing to kids and travel, along with hundreds of magazine articles, columns, and essays. Her “WildLives” nature commentaries were a popular weekly feature on public radio for over a decade; she has also been heard on the Martha Stewart Radio Network. Tweit has written interpretive signs and guides, scientific papers, and management plans. She admits to being a plant nerd focused on the intriguing lives and interrelationships of our indigenous flora. Her passion is re-storying this earth, and we who share the planet. When Tweit is not writing, she's most often outside eradicating invasive weeds—restoring nature, plant by plant. She searches for stories in the Rocky Mountain region, wherever big sagebrush perfumes the air.
Finding Voice and Grace in the Hard Stuff
How do we handle the hard stuff in our writing, the things we prefer to look away from or skip over? How can we write about the issues that are controversial, painful, or just no fun? After visualizing the baggage we carry as actual vessels--whether luggage or boxes or whatever--we’ll practice writing techniques that strengthen our voices and reveal the grace and wisdom to be found in tough times and tough writing.
Field Notes: Writing From Life
Learn how to use the observation techniques of scientists to sharpen your skills and bring the richness of detail to your work. Add sensory detail and vibrancy, and practice noting the kinds of particulars that root writing in place and time—whether imagined or real. Find natural lushness or sparseness to give character to your stories. Draw on the lessons of nature to stimulate your creativity and hone your words.
Take One a Day: Haiku as Writing Practice
"Show up!" is one of the most difficult tenets of writing. The ancient art of haiku teaches us how to be present and make use of every moment. Think you don’t have time to write? Try one haiku a day, and watch your creativity grow, your words flow, and your other writing be enriched by the practice of distilling a moment’s essence in just a few words.
Caroline George is a multi-award-winning author of YA fiction, her latest book Dearest Josephine releasing from Thomas Nelson, HarperCollins in February 2021. Her background includes nine years of publishing experience, fiction and nonfiction publications, internships with HarperCollins, BookGrabbr, and Hillsong Publishing in Sydney, Australia, and an Associate Literary Agent position at Cyle Young Literary Elite. She graduated from Belmont University with a degree in publishing and public relations, and now travels the country, speaking at conferences and writing full-time.
A Georgia native, Caroline aspires to one day host The Great British Baking Show and delights in being best known for writing the phrase, “Coffee first. Save the world later.” When she’s not glued to her laptop, she can be found hiking in the Appalachian Foothills, sipping a lavender latte, or chatting with young writers. Find her on Instagram @authorcarolinegeorge and Twitter @CarolineGeorge_
Author Apocalypse: How To Survive The End Of The Publishing World
Based on her hit Almost An Author article, Caroline leads an engaging, informative workshop aimed to teach attendees about the changes within the publishing industry, digital opportunities and ways to compete with a saturated market.
#Bookstagram: Secrets To Know To Gram Like A Pro
Caroline George’s Instagram landed her a three book contract with Thomas Nelson, Harper Collins. Why? Because Instagram sells books!
Most writers shy away from the visual platform because they don’t understand its power—and they’re not sure what content to post. In this interactive workshop, Caroline introduces the hidden social media world of #BOOKSTAGRAM, teaches attendees how to gram like pros and engage with their target audiences. The session includes hands-on “bookstagramming” activities and provides an opportunity for attendees to launch their Instagram presences on the spot. Caroline talks about basic photography (composition, coloring, etc.), shares her Instagram secrets, and uses marketing basics to help writers pinpoint their brands, messages, and social media strategies, all intended to boost platform and land book deals.
Pitch, Please: An Agent’s Guide To Pitches & Queries
A conference favorite, Pitch, Please sheds a comedic light on all things pitches and queries. Inspired by submissions she received, literary agent and author Caroline George hosts a discussion-based workshop focused on the dos and don’ts of pitching/querying. Attendees will laugh as they gain insight into the world of publishing, strengthen their own pitches and queries, and learn how to capture the best attention.
Bill Sniffin has spent 50 years writing about Wyoming. He is a writer who focuses on Wyoming people, Wyoming issues, and all those wonderful secret places that cause folks to live here and love the state.
His weekly column appears in 20 Wyoming newspapers and digital sites. He is one of the most prolific Wyoming writers having written a weekly column for more than half a century.
In recent years, Sniffin has also self-published the most successful coffee table trilogy about Wyoming ever – with more than 34,000 copies sold. Prior to that he published three other books of his Cowboy State columns.
Sniffin, Lander, has owned 20 newspapers, magazines, print shops, internet companies, and ad agencies. Today, he is publisher of the Cowboy State Daily, the state’s fastest growing internet daily digital news site.
He has won first place awards in the National Newspaper Association for column writing and editorial writing. In 1991, Sen. Al Simpson nominated Sniffin for a Pulitzer Prize for stories where Jeffrey City miners were dying from cancer after exposure to uranium mining decades earlier.
How to write for publication + secrets to writing a column.
Bill Sniffin has been writing weekly newspaper columns for 58 years. He inspired, cajoled, and threatened dozens of shy people who ultimately became outstanding published writers. He will talk about how he nudged people into taking that big step.
Bill believes the personal touch is necessary when it comes to writing columns and guest articles.
There is an art to getting published and this session will share the best tips Bill has learned from both the writer’s perspective and from that of being the editor who decided who got published and who did not.
How to write about controversial subjects
Is it better to give readers an “on one hand and on the other hand” approach, or is it better to come on strong with your position? Bill explores how difficult it is to take a position and publish it, whether in a book, a column, or even a Facebook post.
Bill will share the secrets he has learned on how to write about controversial subjects that gets your point across but does not totally alienate you from your readers. This is especially interesting with today’s highly-charged political battle lines. This session will cover politics, the pandemic, Donald Trump, and other topics.
Pamala Fagan Hutchins is a USA Today bestselling mystery/suspense/thriller author of 19 novels and a big horse and rescue dog enthusiast. When she’s not writing or riding, she’s passionate about hiking and snowshoeing, always with a couple of rescue dogs, and her Judge.
She’s made some lists and won some awards. 2020 Top 25 Amazon Charts. 2020 Top 100 Amazon Author. 2018 USA Today Bestseller. 2017 Silver Falchion for Best Adult Mystery WINNER. With downloads of nearly 3,000,000, readers seem to enjoy her books. Lots of her readers follow her podcast, Wine Women & Writing, too, where she fangirls her favorite authors and interviews them for your listening pleasure.
With whatever time she has left, Pamela works with other writers in small, virtual retreat groups to share her advertising and promotion tips.
How to Sell a Ton of Books in 5 Simple Steps (For all writers)
So, you’ve written a book. It’s for sale on Amazon, your own little Field of Dreams. You’ve strong-armed everyone you know, and they’ve all promised to buy it. To read it. To review it. Only they haven’t, and it’s not selling.
Meanwhile, your mother has told everyone and their three-legged dog about her son the author. Her daughter the next Steven King. Her little pookie who’s going to be rich and famous any day now. People ask you when you’re quitting your day job (and to borrow money).
Your life has become a secret hell that you cover up with a swagger and a smile. You tell yourself that it’s about the achievement. About getting it out there. About the art. The truth is, though, you want readers. You want fan letters and a movie deal. You want to make MONEY at this, but you have no idea how.
Pamela does. She went from attorney/investigator to full-time author in three years, with nearly three-million downloads and mid six-figure royalties. And she wants to help you with her 5 simple tips to sell a ton of books.
10 Surefire Ways to Get Reviews
You’ve published a book (or you’re going to) and you know that you need reviews. (If you didn’t know that, trust me, you do.)
But that begs a million questions, give or take:
What kind of reviews do you need?
Where do you need them?
How do you find reviewers?
Should you pay for them?
Does the rating matter?
What about bad reviews?
What if a review is taken down, can you do anything about that?
How many reviews are enough?
What about international markets?
You get the picture. In this session, you’ll get the answers from USA Today best-selling author Pamela Fagan Hutchins. With thousands and thousands and thousands of reviews, you’ll definitely want to hear how she does it.
Aaron Linsdau - Sastrugi Press
Aaron Linsdau is only the second American to ski alone from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole, setting a world record for surviving the longest expedition ever for that trip. He has walked across Yellowstone National Park in winter, crossed the Greenland tundra alone, has trekked through the Sahara desert, attempted to climb Denali solo, and successfully climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Aaron wrote the book & produced the film Antarctic Tears as well as Lost at Windy Corner. He also wrote the thirteen guidebooks for the 2017 total eclipse.
Jessica Kristie is an award-winning author, a publisher, and lover of poetry. She is an advocate for the arts and a soulful contributor to the strengthening of our creative communities. In addition to Jessica’s extensive writing and publishing background, she is a Rapid Transformational Therapy Practitioner (RTT), an activist for social change, and is deeply involved in educating and supporting emotional freedom and abundance. She lives in New Hampshire with her children, while still holding close her California roots.