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FGCU Writers Conference returns to Sanibel Nov. 5-8

By Staff | Oct 10, 2009

Florida Gulf Coast University invites aspiring writers to attend the Sanibel Island Writers Conference, a four-day series of workshops, panels, lectures and readings presented by celebrated and experienced writers and teachers which will be held Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 5 to 8, at BIG Arts.
The daily schedule is from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
“The conference is open to any aspiring writer who wants to create new work or refine a project already in progress,” said Tom DeMarchi, director of the Sanibel Writers Conference and instructor in the FGCU College of Arts and Sciences.
Attendees participate in a variety of morning workshops in fiction, poetry, screenwriting, children’s literature, memoir, songwriting, and creative nonfiction. Afternoon panels include workshops in publishing, freelance writing, journalism, obtaining a literary agent and the creative process.
Each evening will feature readings and book signings with two to three authors, as well as musical performances from Willy Vlautin and Dan Bern on Friday night. Participants registered for the entire conference can attend all events. Nighttime events are open to the general public.
Keynote speaker Carl Hiaasen is a master of satirical wit, an award-winning social and political commentator, a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and the bestselling author of several adult and children’s novels, including “Skinny Dip,” “Double Whammy,” “Native Tongue,” “Strip Tease,” “Lucky You” and “Basket Case.” The film version of “Hoot” was released in 2006, directed by Wil Shriner and produced by Jimmy Buffett and Frank Marshall.
Hiaasen’s novels have been published in 33 languages. The London Observer has called him “America’s finest satirical novelist,” while Janet Maslin of the New York Times has compared him to Preston Sturges, Woody Allen and S. J. Perelman. Hiaasen has written for the Miami Herald since 1976. His Saturday evening keynote address is open to the public.
Presenters include celebrated writers Erin Almond, Steve Almond, Julianna Baggott, Lynne Barrett, Ishmael Beah, John Brandon, Christine Buckley, Don Bullens, Tom Chiarella, John Dufresne, William Giraldi, William Greenway, Sue Henshon, Jeanne Leiby, Nina Romano, Abby Sher, Lauren Small, Laura Valeri, Willy Vlautin, Sidney Wade, Jay Wexler and Liza Wieland.
Literary agents Molly Lyons and Christopher Schelling will discuss how they recruit clients and manage their careers. Literary editors Kristen Iversen, CD Mitchell and Tom Williams will hold panels on choosing which authors to publish, and how much they edit.
In addition, Dan Bern will conduct a songwriting workshop and, along with novelist/songwriter Willy Vlautin, perform a Friday night concert that is open to the public. Some of Bern’s albums include 2001’s “New American Language,” 2006’s “Breathe” and 1998’s “50 Eggs,” produced by Ani Difranco.
In 2007, Bern focused much of his energy on motion pictures. He used his talents and sharp wit to compose over a dozen songs for the Jake Kasdan/Judd Apatow music biopic spoof “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.” He also wrote the title song for Jonathan Demme’s documentary, “Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains.” Vlautin’s band Richmond Fontaine has released 10 CDs, including 2003’s “Post To Wire,” 2005’s “The Fitzgerald,” and — most recently — this year’s “We Used To Think The Freeway Sounded Like A River.” Vlautin’s two novels are “The Motel Life” and “Northline.”
Cost for participants is $350, which includes all workshops, panels, lectures and readings. Registration is limited to 150 participants on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration forms are available at www.fgcu.edu/siwc.
For an additional $50, participants can meet privately with a writer or editor to discuss a maximum of 10 pages of a pre-submitted manuscript. Space is limited for individual manuscript consultations.
Visit the conference Web site at www.fgcu.edu/siwc/ for additional information.