Event: Pamlico Writers’ Conference
When: April 5 & 6
Where: Turnage Theater, 150 West Main Street, Washington, NC

Have you ever dreamed of writing the great American novel?

Ever wanted to pick a publisher’s brain for the keys to the book industry?

Ever wanted to hobnob with published writers and learn whatever you could from them?

You could have — you could’ve done ALL those things at the 2019 Pamlico Writers’ Conference at the Turnage Theatre in beautiful downtown Washington this past April.

Yep, that’s right: a full-blown conference for amateur and professional writers complete with:

  • a keynote from best-selling author Katharine Ashe,
  • several publishers willing to talk to and help wanna-be authors,
  • workshops by experienced and published local and area authors,
  • 58 attendees from in and around North Carolina, South Carolina and areas around all excited about words, writing, and publishing.

This was the seventh annual gathering organized by the Pamlico Writers’ Group and by far the most successful. Participants came from up to 100 miles away. Most learned about conference through Facebook, the Washington Community calendar, and word of mouth.

There were novelists, poets, people with medical and legal writing backgrounds, and publishers. Many wanted to learn about the process of writing, poetry techniques, how to improve their writing, how to network, get publishing advice, and about promotion, marketing.

On Friday night publishers met with writers who were getting ready to publish or who needed guidance. Each of those who applied for an interview met with the publishers one-on-one — you can’t buy time like that for tailored industry advice.

Also on Friday, keynote speaker Katharine Ashe urged writers to write what they desire as a way to write engaging fiction. Ms. Ashe is the writer of the Devil’s Duke series and is a best-selling author on USA Today’s list.

Saturday started with an interview with Ms. Ashe and then continued with nine workshops on various topics. Participants could select and attend three of them during the day. Workshops included:

  • Teens writing for Teens: Exploring the young adult voice (Eileen Lettick)
  • Connecting with our Authentic Selves: writing well requires a deep connection with our authentic emotional selves. (Robin Greene)
  • Be Prepared isn’t just a motto for Boy Scouts: the importance of developing a press kit, even before becoming a published author or poet. (Sherri Lupton-Hollister)
  • Getting Started: how do you start a book? Learn how to move your ideas from your head to the page. (Marni Graff)
  • Giving Voice to the Voiceless: Writers are often called upon to write for or about others – other people, animals, environment, and causes. Should writers limit their work to what they know? (Paloma A. Capanna)
  • Research for Writers: how to develop research skills to build a world where stories and characters can live and flourish. (Adrienne Dunning)
  • Effective Essays: the process by which you can compose effective essays quickly to persuade, inform, and explain. (Michael Worthington)
  • Write Yourself: Poetry as a Healing Path:  – how to use words to reclaim and name one’s own truths in dealing with trauma. (Malaika King Albecht)
  • What’s your Hash Tag: using Instagram to build your brand, an audience, and loyalty. (Tammera Cooper)

At lunchtime, six participants performed readings of their personal material.

Attendee response was very positive and organizers say there will definitely be another conference next year.


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