Celebrating its 25th anniversary of connecting writers to community, the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference opens registration March 15 for the three-day event, July 31-August 2, at the College of the Redwoods campus in Fort Bragg. The conference offers outstanding faculty in all genres, experienced editors and agents, and the encouragement of a fellowship of writers in a relaxed and friendly setting.
Registrants will participate in intensive writing workshops with the same teacher for three consecutive mornings, allowing ample time for writing and review in a small group environment. Afternoons will consist of lecture/discussion sessions on various topics from authors, editors and agents, including “Finding Your Roadmap to Young Adult,” “Stealing from Life,” and “First Pages—Grabbing an Agent’s Attention.”
Scott Hutchins, whose debut novel, A Working Theory of Love, was heralded by the New York Times as “charming, warm-hearted and thought-provoking” and named a San Francisco Chronicle and Salon.com Best Book of 2012, will present the keynote address on the final night of the Conference. Hutchins, a former Truman Capote fellow in the Stegner Program at Stanford University and recipient of two Hopwood awards, will lead a morning workshop in the novel. He teaches in Stanford’s Creative Writing Program and defines a novel as “…creating a world in conversation with our own.”
Sharon Doubiago, this year’s poetry presenter, has published two dozen award-winning books of poetry and prose, most notably the epic poem Hard Country. She holds three Pushcart Prizes for poetry and fiction. Doubiago will lead a morning poetry workshop, focusing on “…writing from the psyche, from the content of the self, from all that’s inside.” An online mentor in Creative Writing for eight years with the University of Minnesota, she has led their summer writing workshops, Autobiography of the Soul.
Malin Alegria will lead the Conference’s debut workshop on young adult fiction. She is the author of two young adult novels, and was awarded first and second place in the 2013 International Latino Book Awards for her teen series, Border Town. Her first novel, Estrella’s Quincenera, was selected for a media list of 100 YA books for Feminist Readers. Alegria believes in the universal need of all teenagers to be seen and heard. “Young Adult writing is all about firsts: first love, first heartache…”
Charlotte Gullick—novelist, essayist, editor and educator—chairs the Creative Writing Department at Austin Community College and has taught creative writing for over ten years. Her first novel, By Way of Water, won the Grande Prize of the Santa Fe Writer’s Project in 2002 and was republished in 2013. Recipient of a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship for Fiction and a MacDowell Colony Residency, Gullick will lead a morning workshop for emerging writers: “You’re not a beginner but you haven’t arrived.” She taught previously at College of the Redwoods and served as Director of the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference for four years.
Elizabeth Rosner is a bestselling novelist, poet and essayist whose articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Elle, Hadassah Magazine, the Huffington Post and several anthologies. Her first novel, The Speed of Light, was translated into nine languages and won literary prizes in both the US and Europe. Her poetry collection, Gravity, has sold out of its 14th printing. As leader of the morning workshop in nonfiction, she will help participants “…select and translate the unique experience of your life into meaningful insights for your readers.” Rosner travels widely to teach intensive writing workshops and lecture on contemporary literature.
Natalie Serber’s story collection, Shout Her Lovely Name, was selected as a New York Times 100 “Notable Books” of 2012 and a summer reading pick from O, the Oprah Magazine. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Salon, and The Oregonian. She has received The John Steinbeck Award and Tobias Wolff Award for fiction, and an honorable mention for the Annie Dillard Award for Nonfiction. Serber will lead a morning workshop in short fiction and believes “writing a short story is like rock tumbling. Once we get our words on to the page, we turn them again and again in order to tell our story as fully and clearly as we can…” She teaches creative writing at Marylhurst University and has presented workshops in Washington and Oregon.
Editors and agents at this year’s conference include Charlotte Robin Cook, Story Editor; Sal Glynn, Freelance Editor; and Pooja Menon, Literary Agent. The well-attended “Paths to Publishing” panel will take place early Friday afternoon, and there will be readings by presenters and contest winners in the early afternoon as well. These events are open to the public and free of charge.
For more information on registration, workshop schedules and lectures, contest entry rules and deadlines, scholarship applications and presenter bios, please visit the conference Website at www.mcwc.org or contact staff by phone and leave a message at 707/485-4031.