A Pulitzer Prize winner will deliver the keynote address Saturday at the 2017 Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference in Columbus.
Rick Bragg, a journalist and author of non-fiction books, won his Pulitzer in 1996 for the feature writing he did while working for The New York Times. He now is a professor in the University of Alabama’s College of Communication & Information Sciences.
The 11th annual conference will be in the Springer Opera House, 103 E. 10th St., starting at 8 a.m. with coffee and pastries. Here is the rest of the schedule:
▪ 8:30 a.m., welcome and awards.
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▪ 9 a.m., Bragg’s keynote address.
▪ 10:05 to 11:20 a.m., breakout Session 1, choose among Bragg speaking about character voices, local writer Steve Scott speaking about children’s literature and local writer Rob St. Clair speaking about how to get your book on Amazon.
▪ 11:25 a.m. to 12:40 p.m., presentation by Melissa Pritchard, winner of the 2016 Marguerite and Lamar Smith Writing Fellowship from the Columbus State University Carson McCullers Center. One of Pritchard’s stories, “The Carnation Milk Palace,” received a 2017 Pushcart Prize. Her newest book, a collection of essays titled “A Solemn Pleasure,” has been praised as a “Best Book for Writers” by Poets and Writers and a “Top Ten in Biography, Essays and Criticism” by Publishers Weekly.
▪ 12:40 to 2 p.m., lunch.
▪ 2 to 3:15 p.m., breakout Session 2, choose among Doubleback Books poetry editor and Loose Change Magazine associate editor Danielle Hanson speaking about surrealism, magical realism and humor in writing, Columbus State University creative writing teacher Natalia Naman Temesgen speaking about playwriting and Georgia State University creative writing program director John Holman speaking about writing great characters.
▪ 3:20 to 4:35 p.m., breakout Session 3, choose among novelist Deborah Malone speaking about mystery writing, University of West Georgia literature and creative writing professor Chad Davidson speaking about poetry and professional screenwriter, producer, director and actor Stacy Cunningham speaking about screenplay writing.
▪ 4:40 to 5:55 p.m., breakout Session 4, choose among SFK Press publisher Steve McCondichie speaking about what publishers are looking for today, creative writing curricula developer and martial arts historian Matt Henderson speaking about Jungian archetypes and thriller author Andy Harp speaking about writing a thriller and crafting a great plot.
Tickets, available at ChattWritersWeb.org or at the door, are $75 for the entire conference (10 percent discount for seniors and military), $25 for students and $35 to attend only the “Breakfast with Rick Bragg,” which includes his presentation and the morning coffee and pastries.
“He will talk mostly about his love for the South, and will share poignant and humorous true stories,” Mamie Pound, one of the organizers of the conference, told the Ledger-Enquirer in an email. “Remember, he's the back-page essayist for Southern Living. So his focus is family, food and all things Southern. He's a cross between Pat Conroy and Roy Blount Jr. He is so engaging. It's difficult to imagine a more magnetic speaker.”