I was overjoyed when Spokane County Library District (SCLD) reached out to us at Spokane Public Library to suggest a partnership for the 7th Annual Spokane Writers Conference. I worked for SCLD when this wonderful writing conference began, and it’s been a blast collaborating with library colleagues to expand this generous literary event to the Central Library (newly remodeled) and the Spokane Valley Library (newly built) on October 27th and October 28th, respectively. These buildings are beautifully designed and I can’t wait to see them fill up with writers.
Writing conferences are usually very expensive. For the Associated Writers Program in Seattle last year, the price was $350 per person for nonmembers and $250 for members—and only if you pre-registered. Panelists are not paid at the AWP conference. If you’re lucky to land a panel—and it’s very competitive—you still must cough up the exorbitant fee to get in the door. There is no question that these writing conferences are a major boost to one’s literary career: the networking, inspiration, and education they provide are extraordinary. But when you limit access to only those who can afford it, it determines who will be a step ahead in their writing aspirations, and who will be left behind. It winnows what books might wind up on our shelves.
The Spokane Writers Conference is—has always been—free. We support our panelists by paying them. We don’t charge our exhibitors. Registration is free on our website: 7th Annual Spokane Writers Conference • RSVPify. This is what public libraries do, provide access, and I love that Spokane’s two great library systems are coming together to uplift local writers in such a joyful way. Spokane has always been a town of authors and readers, and this conference directly enhances our identity as a creative, literary place.
For more information about this event, including workshops offered and featured author biographies, check out the 7th Annual Spokane Writers website. There’s something for every writer at this conference. Make sure to sign up soon, some of the workshops have already reached capacity.
(Spokane Public Library)
906 W Main Ave, Spokane
Friday, Oct 27, 10:30am–4:30pm
Four sessions, offering eight workshops:
- Experimental Fiction & Poetry with Lindsay Hill
- Querying as a Picture Book Author with Eija Sumner
- Fact Finding & World Building in Historical Fiction with Tara Karr Roberts (FULL)
- Escribir una novela del concepto a la autopublicación con Teresa Sorroche (presented in Spanish)
- Writing Everyday Magic with Carla Crujido (FULL)
- Tips for Self-Editing & Knowing When to Hire a Pro with Carrie Del Pizzo
- Literature as Performance with Sarah Rooney
- On Air: Podcasting for Writers with Trace Kerr
SPOKANE VALLEY LIBRARY
(Spokane County Library District)
22 N Herald Rd, Spokane Valley
Saturday, Oct 28, 9:30am–5:15pm
Five sessions, offering 10 workshops:
- Getting Organized to Revise with a Purpose with Trent Reedy
- Developing an Indie Author Mindset with Colin Conway
- Which Comes First: The Character or The Plot with John Bladek (FULL)
- Writing Blurbs & Pitches that Sell with Asa Maria Bradley
- Creating with Hybrid Forms with Wendy Oleson
- Getting the Most Out of NaNoWriMo with Guy L. Pace
- Know Where You Are in the Writing Process with Gordon Jackson (FULL)
- Publishing 101: Answers to Your Most Pressing Questions with Christine Holbert
- Journalism: Find, Pitch & Write Compelling Stories with Chey Scott
- May Science Be with You! with Andrés Aragoneses