Gathering local writers is the goal of the Write in the Harbor conference, which returned for the second annual conference Friday and Saturday.
Connecting writers not only during the conference, but throughout the year is the ultimate goal, said Maria Hays, conference coordinator.
“Our goal throughout the year is to keep connecting writers in the community,” Hays said. “We have such a wealth of talent here in the community.”
Held at Tacoma Community College’s Gig Harbor branch, the conference featured Pacific Northwest author Jim Lynch as keynote speaker and 72 conference attendees.
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Lynch is the award-winning author of several novels including “The Highest Tide” and “Border Songs,” and his newest novel, “Before the Wind,” was released in April.
Our goal throughout the year is to keep connecting writers in the community. We have such a wealth of talent here in the community.
Maria Hays, Write in the Harbor conference coordinator
Prior to his Friday keynote address, Lynch met with a TCC developmental studies class — which offers remedial studies to provide students a foundation prior to standard TCC courses — who had read “The Highest Tide.”
“It was a really great session. Students were really engaged,” Hays said. “I think the connection between the book and the actual author really helped solidify some of the concepts they were studying in the book.”
Lynch was introduced at his keynote speech by Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, who returned as a conference presenter for the second year.
In his address, Lynch offered practical advice and insight to aspiring authors and writers.
“I believe in conferences like this,” he said. “What we often need is a jolt, and I think that these conferences can often give you a jolt to do what you need.”
I believe in conferences like this. What we often need is a jolt and I think that these conferences can often give you a jolt to do what you need.
Jim Lynch, Write in the Harbor keynote speaker
To better facilitate connections and keep a small conference feel, space was limited again this year to 75 participants, Hays said.
New to the conference this year was three different “tracks,” or paths, for workshops that attendees could follow based on their interest, and more of a focus on hands-on workshops where participants could practice new skills and advice.
The conference also featured several add-on workshops earlier Friday, Hays said, due to the large number of workshop submissions and a desire from the conference coordinators to offer attendees as many options as possible.
“We had so many amazing workshop sessions come through,” Hays said. “We just didn’t have room to put everyone on Saturday so we decided to put some on Friday instead.”
I hope you can let your conference be your launching pad. I’m impressed with your dedication to writing by being here. We have to do things that give us the chance, the focus...What we have to do and try to do is to fit writing into the rhythm of our lives.
To further facilitate connections between local writers, Write in the Harbor has made space available at the TCC Gig Harbor campus for local writers groups who may need a place to meet.
“What we’re trying to do is connect writers so they can create their own writing groups or critique groups,” Hays said.
Applications for interested groups are available online at continuingedtacoma.com/writeintheharbor.
Making writing a habit and taking chances, with writing and life, were themes throughout Lynch’s address.
“I hope you can let your conference be your launching pad. I’m impressed with your dedication to writing by being here,” he said. “We have to do things that give us the chance, the focus ... What we have to do and try to do is to fit writing into the rhythm of our lives.”
Write in the Harbor
The Write in the Harbor conference will return Nov. 3 to 4, 2017 and off-season workshops and classes will be offered throughout the year.
More information can be found online at continuingedtacoma.com/writeintheharbor.