The fifth annual Carolinas Writers Conference will be held April 20 at South Piedmont Community College’s Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. for the day-long event. The featured authors are Rob Dunn, Marjorie Hudson, Angela Knight, and Robert Macomber. Author talks will take place during the morning session and hands-on workshops will be held in the afternoon.
The conference, sponsored by Anson Bank and Trust, the Anson County Writers’ Club, the Union County Writers’ Club, SPCC, and the Anson County Tourism Development Authority, will be of interest to both readers and professional as well as beginning writers. The cost for those who only want to hear the morning talks is $5. Workshops are $15 and an all-event ticket that includes admission to Back Porch Stories that evening is $20.
While the author talks are consecutive, attendees can sign up for only one workshop, as they will run concurrently. Students may attend free if they volunteer to assist during the day or evening, or write a 500-word essay explaining why they want to attend.
The conference will begin at 9 a.m. in the Ingram Room with Dunn leading off the author talks. A biologist at North Carolina State University. Dunn is the author of “Every Living Thing” and “The Wild Life of Our Bodies.” His topic, “Writing the Wild Life,” will reveal how a tropical biologist ended up studying and writing about the “life in armpits, colons and bedrooms.” A New York Times best-selling author of paranormal romance, Knight’s topic is “Fight! Writing a Great Fight Scene.” The writer will discuss the techniques she uses to create and choreograph heart-pounding action sequences.
Hudson’s “Accidental Birds of the Carolinas” won an Honorable Mention in the PEN/Hemingway competition for best first novel. She will illustrate her topic, “How Do Life Experiences Become Fiction Stories?” with readings from her book.
Macomber is known for his “Honor” series, detailing officer Peter Wake’s adventurous career in the U.S. Navy from the Civil War to French Indo-China to the eve of the Cuban Revolution. His talk, titled “Go Out there and Get Your Story” will describe the unique challenges of researching and writing inside Cuba.
After a break for lunch, the conference will resume with in-depth workshops. Knight will team up with her husband, Michael Woodcock, a 24-year veteran of the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office. Woodcock will discuss techniques police hostage negotiators use and recount some of his experiences as a negotiator. In the second hour, Knight will tell how to write realistic hostage negotiation scenes for romance novels. Dunn will discuss the challenges and advantages of being a scientist who writes full time, rather than a full time science writer, and give examples of how his writing influences his science and vice versa. He will also discuss the similarities between resolving scientific questions and resolving the denouement of stories about science in the world.
In her workshop, “Writing from Scratch,” Hudson will talk about goals, methods, and organizing your writing life before participants write a story from prompts. Hudson says this workshop is for everyone from beginning writers to blocked writers to published writers who need a boost to their writing life. Those taking this workshop should bring a significant object that fits in the palm of a hand. These objects ill be used as a prompt for a writing exercise.
In Macomber’s workshop, “Setting the Historical Scene,” the author will tell how description, dialogue, writing style, formatting, pacing, and character play a role in setting the historical ambiance of a book. Participants are asked to bring a one-paragraph description of the town of Wadesboro in 1964.
The day will conclude with Back Porch Stories, a story-telling event with Michael Reno Harrell, Martha Reed Johnson and Tyris Jones, with Randy Rayfield as moderator, in the Ansonia Theatre in Wadesboro. Back Porch Stories is co-sponsored by the Anson County Arts Council. Cost is $5, $2 for students, or included in the $20 all-event ticket.
Early registration and payment can be made on line via PayPal at www.carolinaswritersconference.org or by mailing a check and workshop preference to: ACWC, 2013 Conference, P.O. Box 363, Wadesboro, NC 28170. More information about the conference and student scholarships is on the website. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org; or call 704-694-7022.