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South Coast Writers Conference Offers Inspiration


Melissa Hart

Gold Beach, OR – The annual South Coast Writers Conference brings together a collection of writers from the Northwest to share, explore and celebrate the many facets of writ­ing. The conference, co-sponsored by Southwestern Oregon Community College and Gold Beach Visitors Center is held on Presidents’ Day weekend, February 14 and 15. The conference provides an opportunity for an extended stay to write and explore the splendor of America’s Wild Rivers Coast.

The conference is an eclectic gathering of writers of various genres including novice and published authors. “It is our goal that participants and presenters leave the confer­ence inspired and renewed, with new insights and skills, and better connected to fellow writers and resources,” said Janet Pretti, Curry Campus Executive Dean, and member of the conference planning committee. The conference will feature some of the Northwest’s best writers to guide in an exploration and celebration of the many facets of writing: Melissa Hart, Robert Arellano, Bill Cameron, Tanya Chernov, Heidi Connolly, Kelly Davio, Tawna Fenske, Kim Cooper Findling, Stefanie Freele, and songwriter Chuck Pyle.

Melissa Hart will give the keynote address at the conference as well as teach writing workshops. Hart lives and writes in Eugene, Oregon. She’s the author of the memoir, Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood. Look for her new memoir, The Wildness Within: A Romance, an Adoption, and a Snowy Owl, from Lyons Press in fall 2014. Her essays have appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Orion, High Country News, the Advocate, Adbusters, Hemispheres, Horizon Air Magazine, the Writer, and Writer’s Digest. She also teaches Travel and Feature Writing courses at the School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon.

Workshops are scheduled to begin on Friday with a 6-hour workshop; the cost for the Friday session is $55. Four 90-minute workshops are offered on Saturday, with five options for each session. Cost for Saturday is $60 ($70 after Jan. 31); the price for both days is $115 ($125 after Jan. 31). Early registration for this popular conference is encouraged to secure a place in the work­shops. The Friday Night Author Readings, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 14, will be held in the Showcase Building at the Curry County Fairgrounds. This event is free and open to the public. More information is available on the conference website at www.socc.edu/scwriters.