2009-10-14 / Arts & Entertainment News

FGCU hosts annual Sanibel Island Writers Conference

Florida Gulf Coast University invites aspiring writers to attend the Sanibel Island Writers Conference Nov. 5-8 at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island. Participants can attend a variety of workshops, panels, lectures and readings presented by celebrated and experienced writers and teachers.

The daily schedule is from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

"The conference is open to any aspiring writer who wants to create new work or refine a project already in progress," said Tom DeMarchi, director of the Sanibel Writers Conference and instructor in the FGCU College of Arts and Sciences.

Attendees participate in a variety of morning workshops in fiction, poetry, screenwriting, children's literature, memoir, songwriting and creative nonfiction. Afternoon panels include workshops in publishing, freelance writing, journalism, obtaining a literary agent and the creative process. Each evening will feature readings and book signings with two to three authors, as well as musical performances from Willy Vlautin and Dan Bern on Friday night. Participants registered for the entire conference can attend all events. Nighttime events are open to the general public.

Keynote speaker Carl Hiaasen is a master of satirical wit, an award-winning social and political commentator, a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and the bestselling author of several adult and children's novels, including "Skinny Dip," "Double Whammy," "Skin Tight," "Native Tongue," "Strip Tease," "Stormy Weather," "Lucky You," "Sick Puppy," "Basket Case," "The Downhill Lie," "Hoot," "Flush" and "Scat." The film version of "Hoot" was released in 2006, directed by Wil Shriner and produced by Jimmy Buffett and Frank Marshall.

Presenters include celebrated writers Erin Almond, Steve Almond, Julianna Baggott, Lynne Barrett, Ishmael Beah, John Brandon, Christine Buckley, Don Bullens, Tom Chiarella, John Dufresne, William Giraldi, William Greenway, Sue Henshon, Jeanne Leiby, Nina Romano, Abby Sher, Lauren Small, Laura Valeri, Willy Vlautin, Sidney Wade, Jay Wexler and Liza Wieland.

Literary agents Molly Lyons and Christopher Schelling will discuss how they recruit clients and manage their careers. Literary editors Kristen Iversen, CD Mitchell and Tom Williams will hold panels on choosing which authors to publish and how much they edit.

Cost for participants is $350, which includes all workshops, panels, lectures and readings. Registration is limited to 150 participants on a first-come, firstserve basis. There will be no tickets sold at the door. Registration forms are available at http://www.fgcu.edu/siwc.

For an additional $50, participants can meet privately with a writer or editor to discuss a maximum of 10 pages of a pre-submitted manuscript. Space is limited for individual manuscript consultations.

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