The annual Write in the Harbor conference hosted by Tacoma Community College (TCC) is set to return Nov. 4 and 5 with two days of workshops and speakers designed off the feedback received from last year’s conference attendees.
The goal of the conference is to meet the needs of writers at all levels and provide an experience where attendees can leave with some practical applications to their work, conference coordinator Maria Hays said.
“We’re trying to integrate more hands-on workshops in the conference,” she said. “We tried to be broad with the scope of what we want to do (at the conference), but at the same time we want to provide enough experience for what people want to do.”
As always, the conference works to highlight local and regional authors, and welcomes Jim Lynch as this year’s keynote speaker.
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We’re trying to integrate more hands on workshops in the conference. We tried to be broad with the scope of what we want to do (at the conference), but at the same time we want to provide enough experience for what people want to do.
Maria Hays, conference coordinator
“We’re pretty excited to have (Jim Lynch),” Hays said. “We really wanted to keep the focus on Northwest writers, both those just learning the craft and those more experienced in it.”
Lynch is an Olympia-based author of “The Highest Tide,” “Border Songs” and “Truth Like the Sun,” with his most recent novel, “Before the Wind,” released in April.
In addition to the Friday keynote address, Lynch will also spend Friday afternoon with students from two TCC classes — an Adult Basic Education class and a developmental English class — who have read Lynch’s book “The Highest Tide” and will discuss the book and the process of writing with the author.
Other local writers at the conference include Gig Harbor’s E.C. Murray and Randall Platt, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist and Pacific Northwest writer A.C. Fuller.
While forming this year’s conference off last year’s feedback, conference organizers noted that almost all the feedback from the inaugural year was positive, said Janine Mott, continuing education director and executive director of TCC’s Gig Harbor campus.
“I really do think there’s something there for everyone at all levels,” she said of the conference.
I really do think there’s something (at Write in the Harbor) for everyone at all levels.
Janine Mott, continuing education director and executive director of TCC’s Gig Harbor campus
New this year will be more hands-on workshops, with half of the presenters returning from last year and the other half new.
“What we’re hoping to do is to appeal to a lot of different people,” Hays said. “The biggest thing we really wanted to have more workshop so people can actually work on their product.”
The conference features three difference workshop “tracks” to appeal to writers at all stages: the business of writing, general writing and specific genre workshops. A full list of workshops is available on the conference website. This year will also feature more agents available for meetings with those who register, and an agent available specifically to help writers work on their book pitch session to attract agents to their work.
What remains the same from last year is the dedication to a high quality conference and a low number of available seats: the conference only offers 75 seats.
The biggest thing for us is we were pleasantly surprised last year how well the conference was received. We decided this year to keep the plan and build off it since it worked so well.
“We found that that’s really our magic number right now,” Hays said. “We found that if we keep the number in that range then we can provide lots of options as far as workshops, but still provide that individual experience for conference attendees.”
In addition, the conference will be offering two scholarships to current TCC students interested in attending the conference, with applications available on the Write in the Harbor website.
Early Bird registration for the event is $139 and is currently open through Sept. 15, after which the price will be $169 through Oct. 15, when conference registration closes.
“I really want to make sure that people take advantage of the Early Bird registration price,” Hays said, adding that the registration is quickly approaching half full already.
This year, food for the event is included in the conference cost and additional costs are limited to agent appointments and extra events on Friday afternoon, prior to the conference.
“The biggest thing for us is we were pleasantly surprised last year how well the conference was received,” Hays said. “We decided this year to keep the plan and build off it since it worked so well.”
Write in the Harbor 2016
Conference information, the eBlast email list and registration can be found online at continuingedtacoma.com/writeintheharbor.