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Writers conference in Hammond, LA gets 'back to basics'

An array of learning opportunities await a the 2014 conference.
An array of learning opportunities await a the 2014 conference.
Courtesy Creative Minds Writers Group

Writers and writing hopefuls can find many ways to enhance their work at the 2014 Berries, Bridges and Books Writers Conference being held Saturday, August 9 in Hammond, LA. New York Times and International Bestselling author Erica Spindler is on tap for the keynote address. Registration for this fifth annual conference begins at 8:00 a.m. at Woodland Park Baptist Church.

In an area renowned for producing strawberries, the Creative Minds Writing Group has produced a popular writer’s conference which draws attendees from across the South. Conference chair Evon Smith and group president Nancy Bourgeois describe this as a back-to-basics conference this year, focusing on the foundations of writing and getting published. The scheduled activities include general sessions and several breakout sessions during the day.

Says Bourgeois, “The conference is designed for people who have been writing for a while and want to enhance their skills, or who have never finished their projects.” She and Smith emphasize the “kick you into action” nature of this year’s program.

Joining Spindler will be Christian author Christa Allan, romance author Deborah Lynne, mystery writer N.S. Patrick, YA author Chad Thompson, and author/e-publisher Lynn Shurr. Humorist Dave Berwick will provide the lunch time program.

Capping the conference will be the reading of selected submissions from the Page Turner competition. Early registrants for the conference had the opportunity to submit a first page for judging and critique. Prizes will be awarded in the following genres: adult work, young adult work and a work from a children’s author. Published authors and booksellers served as judges for the contest.

With a registration fee of only $40 (early bird), the conference provides continental breakfast and a generous lunch along with the stimulating sessions. An additional break time treat will be served in the vendor area so attendees can browse the available titles while they snack.

As an added benefit for Examiner readers, Smith extends the early bird registration fee. Please identify yourself as an Examiner reader when you send in your registration (add it behind your name on the form) to receive the Early Bird discount. Walk-in registration is $45. Check or money order only, please. No credit cards accepted.

Creative Minds Writers Group extends their invitation to come and learn to writers throughout the area.

For visitors to the area, access Hammond via exit 40 from I-12:

From New Orleans, take the Causeway across Lake Ponchartrain and continue to I-12. Go west on I-12 to Hammond.

From the east, I-10 intersects with I-12 near Slidell. Head west on I-12 to Hammond.

From the west, I-10 intersects with I-12 near Baton Rouge. Go east on I-12 to Hammond.

From the southwest, US-51 connects I-10 near LaPlace with I-12 near Ponchatoula. Head east on I-12 to Hammond.

From the north, I-55 connects with I-12 a little wet of Hammond. Head east on I-12.

Woodland Park Baptist Church, the venue for the conference, is located at 1909 J.W. Davis Drive, north of I-12 off of C.M. Fagan Dr., west of SW Railroad Ave and east of US-51.

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