Words will reign supreme Nov. 6 and 7 at the Gig Harbor campus of Tacoma Community College. Write in the Harbor, a regional writers conference “crafted by writers for writers,” brings authors, editors and publishers to present to local writers.
“We have had writing classes as part of continuing education for years,” said Janine Mott, executive director, Gig Harbor Campus and Continuing Education, Tacoma Community College.
“It was time to do something cool. We have known for some time, based on the interests and requests of those attending our adult continuing education courses, that there is a tremendous interest in a writers conference. And now, after almost two years of planning, it is coming to fruition,” Mott said.
Maria Hays, instructor in written communications, is the conference coordinator. She brims with enthusiasm as she anticipates the event. “We have a huge writing community in our region, organized at varying levels,” she said. “We wanted to take advantage of this, pull in people who have been teaching and have developed networks.”
“This conference will have general appeal –– the focus is on general fiction and it is designed for both beginners and intermediate/advanced writers,” Hays said. “It comes after years of conversation with staff, writers and students at the Gig Harbor campus.”
Whatcom County Community College, with its Chuckanut Writers Conference launched in 2011, served as a model, according to Hays, and the staff for that conference was a valuable resource.
A Friday keynote talk by Garth Stein, author of “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” will kick off the conference. On Friday there will be additional activities including a waterfront walking tour of Gig Harbor and classes. Saturday will be filled with an early plenary session–– a master class with Garth Stein –– followed by 50-minute concurrent sessions with a mix of panels, hands-on workshops and individual speakers. Appointments with agents will be offered for an additional fee ($15 for 15 minutes).
Mott and Hays hope that this marks the beginning of a bigger vision. They would like to see Write in the Harbor become an umbrella to encompass all writing –– song, poetry, perhaps nonfiction. And they envision quarterly workshops throughout the year along with the annual conference. Future conferences, depending on interest, might explore writing beyond general fiction.
Enrollment is open now, with early-bird savings through Sept. 15.