Fifth annual conference of publishers and writers


Flagler College and the Florida Literary Arts Coalition are partnering with the Jane’s Stories Press Foundation for the fifth annual “Other Words: A Conference of Literary Magazines, Independent Publishers and Writers” according to an announcement received by Historic City News today.

The event is scheduled to be held on Friday, November 6th, through noon on Sunday, November 8th. The event is hosted by the Flagler College Writers-In-Residence program.

The conference begins with registration at 5 p.m. Friday, November 6, followed by kick-off readings and a reception that evening. Workshops, panels and readings will continue all day Saturday through noon on Sunday. The annual Florida Literary Arts Coalition Book Fair will also be open throughout the conference, including exhibits from Anhinga Press and University of Tampa Press.

The goal of the conference is to bring together writers, editors, agents, publishers, book sellers, grant administrators, directors of writers’ festivals and retreats, creative writing students and others who may be interested in creative writing and the publishing process.

“We’ll be talking about the “how to” of the literary arts – how to write it, make it, sell it, fund it and nurture it,” said Dr. Rick Campbell, a Florida Literary Arts Coalition board member as well as one of the founding members of The Florida Literary Arts Coalition organization.

This year’s conference will focus on topics such as e-zines, electronic book publishing, literary Web sites, literary travel writing, as well as truth and accuracy for non-fiction writers and literacy.

Round tables will be presented on subjects such as small-press publishers, journal editors, fund raising, grant writing and adopting small-press books and literary journals for classroom use.

Conference panels during the day will cover many aspects of writing, including poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and all other aspects of the literary arts.

“Our hope is that by bringing together the region’s literary arts people, we will promote mutual literary efforts in as many ways as possible,” Campbell said.

The conference will feature readings by noted authors such as Judson Mitcham and Diane Abu-Jaber. In addition, University of Tampa Press writers Jordan Smith, Jenny Browne and Peter Meinke will read from their works.

This is the second time Flagler serves as host to the Other Words conference and the first time the college, along with The Florida Literary Arts Coalition, has partnered with the Jane’s Stories Press Foundation.

“I am very excited that they (Jane’s Stories) are going to participate,” said Dr. Jim Wilson, director of WIR. “They will bring a lot of talent to this conference, and they are very interested in giving people assistance with their writing.”

The Jane’s Stories Press Foundation is a nonprofit organization that encourages diversity among women writers and the inclusion of many voices in the publishing industry.

“We primarily work with writers who are underrepresented in the publishing industry,” said Glenda Bailey-Mershon, president of the Jane’s Stories Press Foundation. “Currently, our target population is women, working mothers and women of color.”

The Jane’s Stories Press Foundation will host a walking tour/writing workshop Friday, November 6 at 2 p.m. called “Writing Adventures in St. Augustine: An exercise in writing about sensory experiences and impressions of St. Augustine with local members of the Florida Jane Writing Group.” Along the way, participants will take brief rests to jot down impressions, with a longer stop scheduled at the garden of the Oldest House, before returning to the Flagler campus via streets traveled in another era by St. Augustine’s civil rights demonstrators.

“This event will be a special jaunt around St. Augustine to show authors how to use setting and sensory detail in their writing,” Bailey-Mershon said.

The tour and exercise requires a separate fee of $25 payable to the Jane’s Stories Press Foundation. The tour is limited to 12 participants.

The Jane’s Stories Press Foundation will also be hosting a two-part workshop called “Getting Into Print: How to get your work out there.” This workshop will give an overview of current trends in the writing world and information about getting published.

Bailey-Mershon says these women are delighted to partner with Flagler for this event.

“I also think that it is a great opportunity for Flagler College to become better connected with writers in the community,” she said.

The Other Words conference is being funded in part by a grant from the St. Johns County Tourism Council.

Conference registration is open until the conference begins. Individuals may register at the event, but are encouraged to register early to help sponsors involved plan the conference more effectively. The registration fee for The Florida Literary Arts Coalition members is $40; nonmembers pay $80.00.