Monday, April 30, 2012

Wordsmiths teaching the write stuff

John Dufresne
ROSEMARY BEACH — All stories are about love and death, according to Dania Beach author John Dufresne. Even this one.

Dufresne is one of the authors who will lead the three-day Conference for Writers hosted by the Rosemary Beach Foundation on May 9-11. Writers in all stages of development are invited to attend the gathering, where aspiring and accomplished authors will enjoy morning workshops, craft classes and a flash fiction “boot camp,” afternoon lectures and panels, and nightly receptions and readings.

The conference provides an opportunity for networking, creativity and motivation. But mostly, it’s about storytelling. Killing your darlings, if you get the editorial reference. Love and death.

Featured faculty make up a collection of award-winners and gifted teachers, including creative non-fiction writer and editor Lynne Barrett; poet Rick Campbell; and fiction writers John Cottle, Miles DeMott, Leonard Nash, Laura Lee Smith and the aforementioned Dufresne, who recently was named a Guggenheim fellow in creative arts/fiction.

Barrett will teach a creative nonfiction class; Dufresne will teach novel writing and flash fiction; Campbell will teach poetry; and Nash, Smith, DeMott and Cottle will teach fiction. The classes take place at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 9, through Friday, May 11, at Rosemary Beach Town Hall and other local venues.

The conference is open to writers of all skill levels. Registration is required: $300 for all three days (student rate $200) or $125 per day. Contact Malayne DeMars, executive director of the Rosemary Beach Foundation, at or 850-231-7382.

However, there also will be a series of free evening events for the general public. The events have proved popular in the past, DeMars said, as “featured faculty will read excerpts from their published poetry, fiction and short stories.”

Events include: Faculty reading 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, featuring Barrett, Campbell, DeMott and Smith at the Rosemary Beach Town Hall; Book signing and reception 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 10, at Hidden Lantern Bookstore and Gallery; and, faculty reading 5:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, May 11, featuring Cottle, Dufresne and Nash at the Rosemary Beach Town Hall. Admission will be free for these events, but there is a $5 suggested donation to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast.

What do you love? What’s killing you? What haunts you? Come out, share and discover the stories.



(This is my Undercurrents column for The News Herald for April 26.)
<< Go there to see links to the various authors' websites.

Read something I wrote about the spring writers conference the last time I visited.<< (I was in a strange mood.)
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