An introduction by Dr. Stan Sidor, president of South Piedmont Community College, kicked off the sixth annual Carolinas Writers Conference at the Lockhart-Taylor Center April 5. Sidor welcomed writers from across both Carolinas by emphasizing the importance of storytelling, and the importance of learning how to tell the story.
Attendees came from across North Carolina, literally from coast to coast, and from as far as Columbia and Florence, S.C., to attend workshops on the craft of writing that ranged from nuts-and-bolts tips on crafting the story to how to get the story published. Deep point-of-view, conflict and suspense, showing vs. telling, and the importance of research were just a few of the topics discussed in the relaxed workshops where students and teachers all contributed to the conversation. Other workshops focused on writing for magazines, and writing columns or blogs. The workshop leaders, all published authors and experts in their field, were Michelle Buckman, Craig Faris, Barbara Mellin, Cathy Pickens, Robin Weaver and Tamra Wilson.
Following the workshops, the six presenters fielded questions from the audience, after which a drawing was held for four baskets of books and other goodies. Presenters received a gift of enameled jewelry made by committee member Karen MacMurray.
Also on the Oversight Committee are Anson County Writers’ Club members Sandy Bruney (co-chair with MacMurray); Rufus and Beverley Getzen; Kaye Ratliff, ACWC president; Sharon Little, representing SPCC; and J.A. Bolton, storyteller and columnist with the Richmond County Daily Journal.
“J.A. (Bolton) should be given special credit for organizing Back Porch Stories, held the night before the conference at the Ansonia Theatre,” said Bruney. “He contacted the storytellers and made certain everything went smoothly. The storytelling is definitely a tradition we want to continue.”
Storytellers were Brenda Gilbert, E. Gale Buck, and Mitch Capel, with Bolton acting as Master of Ceremonies. “We always ask for an evaluation after the event,” Bruney said. “That way we can plan better for the next conference and incorporate details attendees want. Last year they wanted longer sessions, so we expanded the workshop time. We also provided a light lunch this year so attendees had time to socialize with the presenters and each other.”
Comments included: “Thanks so much for an interesting conference, great speakers and delightful attendees;” “Lunch was a wonderful addition, thank you;” and “An excellent conference.”
The Carolinas Writers Conference and Back Porch Stories were sponsored by the Anson County Writers Club and South Piedmont Community College with assistance from the Anson County Arts Council; funding from the Anson County Tourism Development Authority and Uwharrie Bank; and contributions from Brown Creek Animal Hospital, Carolinas Healthcare System, Oliver’s Hometown Restaurant and Bar, Parsons Drugs, Plank Road Realty, Poisson Poisson & Bower, Southern Medley Wine Cellar, Turner & Tyson, PLLC, Wadesboro IGA, and Woodmen of the World.
For more information, go to www.ansoncountywritersclub.org and www.carolinaswritersconference.org.