Writers, rejoice! Tacoma Community College’s annual Write in the Harbor conference returns this weekend, albeit virtually. The conference is geared toward writers working at all levels, in all genres and styles.
Until last year, it always took place in person on TCC’s Gig Harbor campus, but in 2020, conference organizers “had to pivot” when COVID restrictions closed the school, according to Dr. Olga Inglebritson, TCC Gig Harbor dean.
“We had already selected our keynote speaker for 2020 and had to decide whether to cancel or find another option to present the conference,” Inglebritson said. “After consulting with the speaker, we decided to not include a keynote speaker component, but offer the conference remotely (via Zoom) for 2020. Bronwyn Scott was happy to be our keynote speaker for 2021.”
Again this year, the conference is being held virtually via Zoom. Although it isn’t the same as an in-person event, holding the conference online has advantages.
“Usually when you attend a conference, you are forced to decide which workshops to attend and never have the opportunity to find out what you missed in the other workshops,” Inglebritson said.
So, as they did in 2020, this year’s participants will have access to all of the workshops and handouts for 30 days after the conference.
In addition to Scott, other presenters include writers Bob Balmer, Leslie J. Hall, Valerie J. Brooks, Christine Dubois, Regina Sadono-Fletcher, Jeanne Lewis, Wendy Kendall, Wayne Ude and Dean Wells.
The conference begins Friday at 6 p.m. with Scott’s keynote address. Best known as a writer of historical romances, she has upwards of 65 books in publication, including her 2019 novella, “An Invitation to a Cornish Christmas: Unwrapping His Festive Temptation,” which was a 2020 Booksellers Best Finalist. Scott got her start at a TCC Writer’s Conference back in 2003. She is a professor of Communications Studies at Pierce College. After her address, there will be a question-and-answer session.
Scott will also teach a master class on Saturday and, according to Inglebritson, four lucky conference participants will have the opportunity to meet with her privately.
Other Saturday-morning workshops include: “Story Forms: Pros and Cons” with Wells and “From Page to Screen: Book-to-Film Adaptation” with Sadono-Fletcher at 10 a.m; and “Writing Novellas” with Kendall and “Master Microsoft Word for Writers” with Hall at 11 a.m.
Afternoon sessions include: “How to Create Plot Twists that Keep Readers Reading” with Brooks and “Overcoming the Inner Obstacles to Writing Success” with Dubois at 1 p.m.; “The Devil is in the Details” with Balmer and “Marketing Your Self-Published Book” with Jeanne Lewis at 2 p.m; and “Real-Life Characters and Other Troublemakers: Make Them Toe the Line” with Ude and “The Art of the Hook” with Kendall at 3 p.m.
Write in the Harbor began in 2015 when the TCC administrators realized that Gig Harbor has many writers and writing groups, and many writers who wanted to learn more and develop their skills, Inglebritson said. It has remained a small, local conference, but COVID has actually created some positive changes.
“Since going remote, we have people signing up for the conference from outside the Gig Harbor area,” she said.
For more information or to register for the conference, call (253) 566-5020 or visit tacomacc.edu/academics-programs/continuingeducation/writeharbor/.
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