In celebration of its 40-year anniversary, the West Virginia Writers 2017 Summer Conference will take place June 9, 10 and 11, at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley, WV, offering a variety of writing workshops, panel discussions, as well as nightly entertainment. Among the workshop presenters this year are some internationally recognized authors.
On Apr. 30, the Bram Stoker Awards announced their winners for 2016 including author Tim Waggoner, who won in the BSA category for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction for his novel The Winter Box. Tim Waggoner has published over 30 novels and three short story collections. He writes both original and media tie-in fiction, and he teaches creative writing at Sinclair College in Dayton, OH. For the conference Waggoner will be teaching two workshops: one called “Level Up” which is designed to offer an overview on how to take your fiction to the next level and create stories that are vivid, original, gripping and entertaining; and the second called “Multi-Level Fiction Writing” which will teach specific techniques for constructing multi-layered, richly textured scenes to create a deeply immersive reading experience for an audience. Waggoner was previously awarded Mentor of the Year by the Bram Stoker Awards in 2015. He has received 15 other national and international awards for writing since 1984.
Waggoner is not the only Bram Stoker winner on the WV Writers staff this year. Author Michael Knost of the Chapmanville area is a multi-winner and nominee for the Bram Stoker Award, having first won one in 2009 for the nonfiction essay collection he edited called The Writers Workshop of Horror. He also was presented with Bram Stoker’s Silver Hammer Award in 2015. Knost has written in various genres. In addition to the Writers Workshop of Horror, he served as editor for the acclaimed Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy. His novel, Return of the Mothman was also a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for superior achievement in first novel. And his Author’s Guide to Marketing with Teeth was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for superior achievement in non-fiction. Knost will be teaching two workshops for the WV Writers Conference: one called “Showing vs. Telling” explaining that the writing advice “Show, Don’t Tell” is not always appropriate, and detailing how both can be used most effectively; and “Relational Influence” which will offer advice on how writers can best mesh their characters and setting to allow both to seem as authentic as possible.
The Bram Stoker Awards were launched by the Horror Writers Association in 1988 in honor of the author of the most famous horror novel, Dracula, and are given annually “for superior achievement” in horror writing.
“We are so lucky to have so many award-winning authors on our presenting faculty this year,” says WV Writers President Steve Goff. “That, coupled with the top drawer entertainment we have on tap from two of West Virginia’s outstanding artists – film maker Danny Boyd, and renowned singer/songwriter Larry Groce – make this year’s West Virginia Writers Conference one of the best ever.”
Founded in 1977, West Virginia Writers, Inc. (WVW) is now the largest organization for writers in the state and has held summer writers conference each year since 1978. Among the other award-winning workshop presenters for the 2017 conference will be: Belinda Anderson, Laura Treacy Bentley, Affrilachian Poet Crystal Good, West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman, slam poet Joe Limer, thriller writer S.G. Redling, and editor Sandy Tritt among many others.
In addition to the 30 plus writing workshops and panel discussions, the conference builds to its annual awards banquet, celebrating the winners of its annual writing contests on the night of Saturday, June 10. Keynote speaker for the banquet will be Kirk Judd, a founding member of WVW, and a renowned West Virginia poet and ambassador for the arts.
“The WV Writers Conference is known for its laid back atmosphere and camaraderie,” says President Steve Goff. “We keep our costs low and pass that along to the conference attendees. We are one of the most affordable writing conferences in the country.”
A three day package for the conference itself is $125 for members of West Virginia Writers, or $145 for non-members. However, there are also two-day and one day options as well, all detailed on the conference registration form found at WVWriters.org. Lodging and meals may also be arranged with Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley via a lodging and meals form also found at the website.
For information, registration forms, the full list of workshop presenters and their bios, first-time attendees guidelines, the conference schedule and more, please visit WVWriters.org.