The Fred A. Tarpley Memorial Writers Conference is set for Saturday, March 10, 2018. The ninth such conference sponsored by Silver Leos Writers Guild begins with registrant check-in at 8:00 a.m. and continues until 4:15 p.m. in the Rayburn Student Center on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce.
This year’s conference features six presenters and five sessions covering various aspects of writing and publishing. Preregistration is required by March 1. The non-refundable fee of $55 for non-members and $50 for members includes conference materials, lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments, and door prize drawings. Each hour and fifteen minute session is followed by a fifteen minute break for stretching, mingling, and refilling coffee cups. Presenters will also have books available for sale. To register for the conference send check or money order, along with your address, daytime phone, and email address to SLWG Conference, P. O. Box 1123, Commerce, Texas 75429. Registration must be postmarked by March 1. A confirmation email will be sent to confirm receipt of payment.
Following the 8:00 a.m. check-in, sessions get underway at 8:15 with Pamela Cripps Haskins speaking on meshing plot and location through her presentation, “Story World: Why Setting Is So Important.” A resident of Delta County, Pam and her husband staked a homestead in the Alaskan Wilderness, an experience she wrote about in her book A Deliberate Life: A Journey into the Alaskan Wilderness. She also published the award-winning children’s book, Max, The Boy Raindrop, which teaches children about overcoming fears. Pam is currently working on a murder mystery set in Fairbanks, Alaska.
“The Road to Publication and Other Great Disasters” begins promptly at 9:45 a.m. Using humor and personal stories, Reavis Z. Wortham addresses the day he lost an entire manuscript through a technical glitch and shows that determination is the key to an author’s success. A lifelong writer, he published his first novel, The Rock Hole in 2011 at the age of 56. He is author of Doreen’s 24 HR Eat•Gas•Now Cafe, “The Red River Mystery Series,” and “The Sonny Hawke Thriller Series.” True West magazine listed Dark Places (Red River Mystery) as one of their “Top 10 Modern Westerns in 2016,” and The Rock Hole was a finalist in Benjamin Franklin Award presented by the Independent Book Publishers Association. Reavis is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Writers’ League of Texas, International Association of Crime Writers (North America), and International Thriller Writers. In addition, the active author is humor editor and contributor to Texas Fish and Game Magazine.
Diana Hines, director of the A&M-Commerce Writing Center, follows at 11:15 a.m. with “The Element of Memory.” Does your memory work for or against you when you write? Would your story match a friend’s if writing about the same event? Is it necessary to relay events as you remember them or as they actually occurred? Her primary teaching and research activities are in writing, rhetoric and civic action, and multi-literacy centers. She also taught composition, literature, technical writing, and theories of writing and literacy at San Francisco State and California State University-Long Beach. Her work has appeared Moving a Mountain and Teaching English in the Two-Year College.
Following an on-site deli buffet lunch, Bobbi Kornblit keeps the writer’s imagination moving forward at 1:30 p.m. with “Making it Real: Creating Dynamic Fiction Inspired by Your Life.” Her new novel, Red Carpet Rivals, was inspired by her years in Los Angeles where her late husband was a Hollywood executive. Writing about actual places and events can pose a variety of challenges. Kornblit will provide tips about how to turn your personal experiences into convincing fiction. She’ll even throw in some “reel” truths about the movie business. The Texas native and Atlanta, Georgia, resident’s first book, Shelter from the Texas Heat—set during the Kennedy Camelot Years—received many honors, including the NABE Best Book Women’s Fiction Award, the Indie Excellence Award for Multicultural Fiction and was a recommended selection of Kathy L. Murphy’s Pulpwood Queen Book Club. The American Library Association endorsed it as one of the top 50 novels on JFK. When she’s not writing, Bobbi instructs advanced grammar workshops through Emory University Continuing Education.
The final session of the day presented by A&M-Commerce Professors Robin Reid and Judy Ford is entitled “What if?: Writing Alternate History.” What if world events turned out differently? What if a war was lost instead of won? What if a president had not been assassinated? The challenge is to identify a key event and speculate about what would change if the event had not happened or if the outcome had been different. Robin Reid earned a Ph.D. in English and specializes in creative writing, critical theory and marginalized literatures and publishes on feminist science fiction, Tolkien and fan fiction and fan activism. She organizes and runs the Tolkien Studies Area for the Popular Culture Studies Conference. Judy Ford earned a Ph.D. in medieval history, and focuses on the intersections between popular religion and collections of saints’ legends. She is interested in narratives that imaginatively use the past without quite conforming to what documentary evidence suggests may have actually happened. Together they have team taught classes, co-published works, and co-directed two National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institutes for School Teachers relating to the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien.
For more information about the conference or Silver Leos Writers Guild contact: Sharon Feldt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 832-687-6617; Bobbie Purdy at email@example.com or 903-886-6120; Vivian Chaffin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 903-886-8953.