25The conference will take place November 9-10 with headliners Camille Dungy and Jami Attenberg
CONWAY — The C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference will host its third annual event on Friday, Nov. 8 and Saturday, Nov. 9 at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. The conference is open to all, though it will cater to women-identifying writers from all genres and all experience levels, from journalism to mass market books to literary endeavors and beyond. The conference’s goal is to provide a space for camaraderie, connection-making, and inspiration.
“It has been wonderful to see writers who attended our first two conferences going on to form literary friendships and to find success in their writing lives,” explained Sandy Longhorn, conference director. “We look forward to welcoming many of them back again this year.”
The conference will include a Friday evening reading at 6 p.m. in the McCastlain Hall Ballroom from Camille Dungy, 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient and author of numerous books of poetry, most recently “Trophic Cascade,” as well as the book of essays “Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History.”
Saturday will feature a lunchtime reading at 12:15 p.m., also in the McCastlain Hall Ballroom, from Jami Attenberg, whose seventh book, the novel “All This Could Be Yours,” debuted in the U.S. on Oct. 22. “All This Could Be Yours” has already received starred reviews in Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly.
In addition to Attenberg’s talk, Saturday will include a book fair from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the McCastlain Hall Lobby and craft talks and breakout sessions featuring information on writing, publishing and editing; practical advice from experienced women writers on how to balance writing, work and home life and readings from creative works. For a list of accepted panel proposals, visit cdwrightconference.org.
“Our panels and readings feature women writers from across the country and especially the south,” said Longhorn. “This lineup is sure to offer valuable advice and entertainment to writers and readers alike.”
On Friday, from 1:30-4:30 p.m., organizers will host a pre-conference writing workshop at Cadron Settlement Park (6200 Hwy. 319), led by Louisiana writer Alison Pelegrin. The workshop is limited to 18 participants and is open to all genres and skill levels. In addition, the conference will offer editorial consultations with experienced editors from a variety of presses and publications.
Several registration options are available. For $100, conference attendees may register for the conference only. For $135, attendees may register for the conference plus the pre-conference workshop or the conference plus an editorial consultation. Registration fees include access to events, on-site catering and parking passes. Conference organizers seek to ensure that all events are accessible and inclusive. Attendees may also choose to attend the Saturday lunchtime event only, featuring a talk from Jami Attenberg and a buffet lunch, for $25. To register for the conference, visit cdwrightconference.org/conference
The C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference is named in honor of C.D. Wright (1949–2016), one of America’s foremost poets. Wright was born in Mountain Home and published more than a dozen books in her lifetime. Among her many honors are a National Book Critics Circle Award, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.
The conference is part of the University of Central Arkansas Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The conference’s goal of bringing together women-identifying writers of all skill levels, including nationally renowned keynote speakers, requires more than the conference registration fee. The conference invites tax-deductible donations.