It’s an image a writer can’t forget, perhaps from memory, maybe from an old snapshot, the edges of the paper yellowing. Maybe it’s a phrase of music heard through an open window, or the scent of perfume lingering in an empty room. It could be a name scrawled in an immigration ledger or a date barely visible on a gravestone. Or perhaps it’s a beloved glimpsed on a crowded city street, or maybe the remembered taste of something that will never taste as good again. It’s the force of secret histories, and forgotten voices. It’s the haunted muse—that insistent idea, brainchild, and inspiration that drives the writer to the page, time and again.
Looking for a great place to discuss and learn about that beautiful craft we call writing? Consider this your invitation to join us at this year’s Auburn Writers Conference on October 7 & 8. As you can see, this year’s theme asks participants to consider the ways that writers use the idea of “the haunted” in their work—either literally or figuratively, as in the memories, histories, people, and places that haunt, and hence propel, characters.
I attended last year’s conference, The Child on the Page, as a wee undergraduate senior who’d barely scraped the surface of her writing career. I was surrounded by other undergrads, masters students, practicing teachers and writers of all kinds. I sat next to a brilliant poet. I hugged a nationally recognized writer. I was and am still very new to the craft, but I did not feel out of place at all at the AWC. If you don’t know Auburn, one of the most beautiful things about it is that the people are so welcoming and the conference was a testament to that statement. The workshops were wonderful. I learned more about writing and even some about teaching writing. Experienced, published writers found the conference refreshing. Emma Bolden, one of the brilliant presenters, said “I remembered what drew me to this art in the first place.” It’s an encouraging place to be for writers at all sorts of levels.
This year, we will place host to some wonderful people. The wonderful Rachel Hawkins, author of the Hex Hall series, will host a workshop about social media the writing community. The brilliant Chantel Acevedo, who brought this conference to life, will host a workshop on writing historical fiction. Other presenters include Richard Goodman, Melissa Dickson, Patricia Foster, M. Evelina Galang, Peter Huggins, Wendy Reed, Roger Reid, Victoria Schwab, and Jeanie Thompson. We will also play host to New York Times Bestselling novelists, Joshilyn Jackson (key note) andMark Kurlansky (distinguished speaker). For more information on each author and the workshops they are hosting, please check out our webpage. We have poets, young adult authors, creative nonfiction writers as well as fiction writers.
If you’re looking for inspiration or encouragement, please come and join us!