UCA Fountain, Courtesy of UCA

C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference Announces Inaugural Event At UCA

Conway Institute of Music

Conference will take place Nov. 3-4 with headliners Tayari Jones and Cara Brookins

CONWAY — The C. D. Wright Women Writers Conference will host its inaugural event Nov. 3-4 at the University of Central Arkansas.

The conference is open to all, though it will cater to women and 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.

“Given that women authors experience many fewer opportunities to publish than men, we are thrilled to be hosting this important event at UCA,” Sandy Longhorn, conference director and assistant professor of Creative Writing, said.

The conference will include a Friday evening lecture by Tayari Jonesauthor of the novels Leaving Atlanta, The Untelling, Silver Sparrow and An American Marriage, which is forthcoming from Algonquin Books in February 2018. Jones has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and an NEA Fellowship, among other honors. The lecture will start at 6 p.m. at UCA’s College of Business Auditorium, followed by a reception.

Saturday will feature a lunchtime lecture from Cara Brookins, the Little Rock-based author of Rise: How a House Built a Family,a memoir about Brookins’ experience of building a house with her own hands after leaving an abusive relationship. Rise was a 2017 Indie Next Pick from the American Booksellers Association. The lecture will start at 12:15 p.m. at the McCastlain Hall Ballroom.

In addition to Brookins’ talk, Saturday will include a book fair and craft talks 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.

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“Our panels and readings feature women writers from across the country, especially the South,” Longhorn said. “This lineup is sure to offer valuable advice and entertainment to writers and readers alike.”

Conference registration fee is $100 until Oct. 26. From Oct. 27 until the start of the conference, the fee is $135. On-site registration will be available. 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 Saturdaylunchtime event only, featuring a talk by Brookins and a buffet lunch, for a cost is $25. To register for the conference, visit cdwrightconference.org/conference.html.

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. Our goal of bringing together women writers of all skill levels, including nationally renowned keynote speakers, requires more than the conference registration fee. The conference invites tax-deductible donations.

The UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication includes the Departments of Art, Music, and Film, Theatre and Creative Writing as well as the School of Communication. The college’s primary mission is the preparation of the next generation of artists, educators and communicators. For more information about CFAC, visit www.uca.edu/cfac or call 501-450-3293.


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