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Writers conferences navigate modern publishing without sacrificing craft

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This fall, the Georgia Writers Association (GWA) will help aspiring authors navigate the complex world of modern publishing without sacrificing the quality of their craft. On October 1, the GWA partners with Master of Arts in Professional Writing program of Kennesaw State University to present the Publishers, Agents & Media Institute, a one-day event featuring top publishing and new media professionals. Then on November 12, the Georgia Writers Association hosts the Red Clay Writers Conference, where authors will study the craft of writing with exemplary experts in a variety of genres.

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Publishers, Agents, and Media Institute, Sponsored by Kennesaw State University and the Georgia Writers Association

Contrary to popular perception, book publishing is on the rise, both by self-published authors as well as by traditional publishers. Bowker,the leader in bibliographic information, reported 5% growth in traditionally published and an explosive 150% increase in non-traditionally published titles.“These publication figures from both traditional and non-traditional publishers confirm that print production is alive and well, and can still be supported in this highly dynamic marketplace,” said Kelly Gallagher, vice president of publishing services for Bowker. While this statistic is promising for writers, most authors also realize that the publishing industry is in the midst of a revolution due to the advent of eBooks, social media, and other technological advances. Even books published in the traditional manner must be marketed via new media.

Kennesaw State University and the Georgia Writers Association aim to help writers find stability in the current, fluid publishing economy.The Publishers, Agents & Media Institute brings to the Kennesaw State University campus five industry professionals who will share their experience with self-publishing, traditional publishing, and social and digital media.

In addition, authors with completed, unpublished manuscripts may also reserve a 15-minute appointment with an established agent to ask questions and receive feedback on their work. David Groff, editor for Rob Weisbach Creative Management, and Adriann Ranta, literary agent at Wolf Literary Services, will review submitted queries for these private meetings. Appointments must be scheduled by September 15.

For a complete event schedule and registration details, please visit the Publishers, Agents & Media Institute page on the Georgia Writers Association website. The Institute will convene on Saturday, October 1, on the Kennesaw State University campus. Event registration is $150 prior to September 15. An additional $50 charge applies to reserve a one-on-one appointment with an agent.

Red Clay WritersConference, Sponsored by the Georgia Writers Association

Advances in technology have made it possible for anyone to publish anything, almost instantaneously. Vehicles such as eBooks and blogs have made it easier than ever for a writer to put his work in front of an audience.

Sometimes though, expedience leads to lethargy when it comes to craft, and authors put out stories that lack the vitality of strong, clear writing. The Georgia Writers Association aims to reverse this troubling trend by refreshing authors onthe art and craft of writing during the Red Clay Writers Conference.

Novelist Wendy Wax, author of Ten Beach Road, will kick off the conference with a keynote address on "The Most Basic Thing of All." Writers will spend the afternoon delving into the crafts of memoir, humor, fiction, and poetry, as well as travel and food writing, led by accomplished writers. Jeanie Collins Pantelakis, of the Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency, will also be on hand to answer questions about how to hone your manuscript to capture the attention of an agent.

Much like the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20thcentury, the Red Clay Writers Conference will focus on the quality of the words themselves rather than on the 21st century tools authors use to produce and promote their books. Technology will be discussed as a means to simplify the publication of finely crafted writing.

A complete conference schedule and registration details canbe found on the Red Clay Writers Conference page of the Georgia Writers Association website. The conference will be held on Saturday, November 12, on the campus of Kennesaw State University. Registration is $80 in advance or $100 at the door.

SPECIAL SAVINGS! Two Writing Conferences and Georgia Writers Association Membership

Authors wishing to attend the Publishers, Agents & Media Institute and the Red Clay Writers Conference can get a break on registration fees and receive a complimentary 12-month membership in the Georgia Writers Association. Pre-register for both events by September 15 and pay only $200, plus receive the one-year membership in GWA. Please visit the Georgia Writers Association website for complete details.

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Karen Pickell is the guest columnist for this article. Karen serves as an editor of Flycatcher: A Journal of Native Imagination. Her creative writing appears or is forthcoming in Bluestem, Poets on Adoption, and Oil and Water . . . and Other Things That Don't Mix. Karen is pursuing a Master of Arts in Professional Writing at Kennesaw State University.

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