AUGUST 15-16, 2008

Howard Bahr -  Bahr served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and worked five years as a railroad
yard clerk and brakeman before beginning a long-time position as curator at Rowan Oak, the home of William
Faulkner in Oxford, where he also taught literature at the University of Mississippi. He began writing in the 1970s,
publishing historical fiction and nonfiction in such publications as Southern Living and Civil War Times Illustrated
and co-editing a short-lived publication, Lagniappe (1974-1975). In 1987, he published a children’s story, Home for
Christmas, which was re-issued following the publication of his first novel in 1997. The Black Flower: A Novel of
the Civil War is a historical novel set during the 1864 Battle of Franklin in Tennessee. The novel was nominated for
several awards, earning the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He
followed that with The Year of Jubilo in 2000, set in a fictional Mississippi town following the Civil War. His most
recent book is The Judas Field (2006), in which a veteran of the Battle of Franklin returns to the battlefield years
later to recover the body of one of the fallen soldiers, and in the process remembers that fateful day. For thirteen
years he taught at Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, Tennessee, but he has since returned to
Mississippi to teach creative writing at Belhaven College in Jackson, where he now resides. His next novel, Pelican
Road, is about working for the railroad and is scheduled to be published in the spring of 2008.

Tom B. Sawyer - Novelist, screenwriter, playwright Thomas B. Sawyer was Head Writer/Showrunner of the
hit series, Murder, She Wrote, for which he wrote 24 episodes. Tom has written 9 network TV pilots, 100 episodes,
and has been Head Writer/Showrunner or Story Editor on 15 network TV series. He wrote, directed and produced
the cult film comedy, Alice Goodbody, is co-librettist/lyricist of Jack, an opera about John F. Kennedy that has been
performed to acclaim in the US and Europe. He is publisher of Storybase 2.0 and The best-selling
mystery/thriller, The Sixteenth Man, is his first novel. Both his book, Fiction Writing Demystified, and Storybase 2.0,
are Writer's Digest Book Club Selections. His next thriller, No Place to Run, will be published in 2008. He's taught
writing at UCLA, at other colleges and universities, teaches at numerous major writers conferences, and online at
Writers University where he currently teaches Storytelling:
How to Write Stories That Will Grab and Hold Your
Audience. Mr. Sawyer has been nominated for an Edgar and an Emmy. (See Workshop Descriptions Below)

Gary Heidt is a literary agent with Fine Print Literary Management based in New York, NY.  FinePrint launched in
September 2007 as the merger of the Peter Rubie Literary Agency and the Imprint Agency. Fine Print represents
both fiction and nonfiction for adults and young adults and welcomes a wide range of fiction, both literary and
commercial, including thrillers, mysteries, fantasy, women's, romance, chick lit, YA and middle grade readers.  Gary
is a published poet and columnist. His librettos for composer Evan Hause's Defenestration Trilogy earned praise
from Newsday, Opera News and the New York Press, and his musical comedies (he has written several in
collaboration with Gary Miles, including The Feng Shui Assassin and American Eyeball) were described by The
Onion as "strangely funny." Originally from Texas, he has lived in New York City for a decade and a half. (
Workshop Descriptions Below)

Sue Brannan Walker - Sue Brannan Walker is known nationally and internationally for her poetry, as well
as for her critical articles on poets and writers such as James Dickey, Marge Piercy, Flannery O'Connor, and
Carson McCullers. As Publisher of Negative Capability Press, and of the journal Negative Capability, she has
published not only such authors as Jimmy Carter, E.O. Wilson, John Updike, William Stafford, Gerald Stern, Jack
Coulehan, David Ignatow, Mary Oliver, Pat Schneider, Karl Shapiro, Richard Eberhart, Diane Wakoski, Roald
Hoffman, Bernie Seigel, and Rita Dove, but also numerous Alabama poets and writers, providing them a greater
audience and some of them their first opportunity to be published. She has continued this work since 1981 — a
distinguished effort recognized by Writer's Digest when it ranked Negative Capability Third in the Nation in Poetry
in the early 1990s out of approximately 2700 markets.
(See Workshop Descriptions Below).

Walker’s poetry, prose works, and community service have deservedly garnered numerous awards, grants, and
fellowships. She has published six volumes of poetry. Her latest collection is It's Good Weather for Fudge,
Conversing with Carson McCullers.

Another recent book, Blood Will Bear Your Name, won Book of the Year from Alabama State Poetry Society. Life on
the Line: Selections on Words and Healing attests to Walker’s interest in medical humanities. This anthology,
edited with Rosaly Roffman, won the William Crawford Gorgas Award from the Medical Society of Alabama and a
book award from the Alabama State Poetry Society.

Walker serves as the chair of the University of South Alabama English Department. Current works in progress as of
2004 include: a study of Deep Ecology in James Dickey’s work; a novel on the 1878 yellow fever epidemic in
Mobile, Alabama; a biography of Jefferson Davis in sonnets; and work on Flannery O’Connor.

Cheryl Sloan Wray -  Cheryl Sloan Wray is a full-time freelance writer who has had more than 1000 articles
published in such newspapers and magazines as The Birmingham News, American Profile, Family Fun, and Home
Life. She is also the author of six books, one of which is the popular Writing for Magazines: A Beginner's Guide,
which is used on college campuses across the nation and was a Featured Selection of the Writer's Digest Book
Club. Cheryl also has experience as a book editor and a newspaper reporter. She has a bachelor's and master's
degree in journalism from the University of Alabama, and currently lives in Hueytown, Alabama, with her husband
and three daughters.
(See Workshop Descriptions Below).

Rebecca Jernigan -   Back by popular demand, MWG was honored to have Rebecca, who participated in
the guild’s first conference, agree to participate in our 2nd MWG Conference.  Rebecca Jernigan is an
accomplished actress and playwright.  Her play with original musical sequences, The Front Street Journal, offers
insight into the cotton driven world of her hometown, Memphis, Tennessee.  Produced in 1998 by Theatre Oxford, it
drew critical acclaim.  With a collaborator, she was co-winner in 1980 of the Starving Artist Award at Actor’s Theatre
of Louisville for “The Yonge Nunn’s Songe.”  Her 10 minute play “Earrings” was also produced at ATL.  Freeway
Sunday toured Kentucky through a generous grant from the Kentucky Humanities Council.  Selections from
Recollections have been performed in New Orleans for Dog and Pony Theatre, at the University of Mississippi by
Miss Elsie Productions for the Southern Writers Conference, and in North Carolina for Alternate Roots Annual
Meeting.  “Mending the Circle True,” was produced by Theatre Oxford and published in Ten Minute Plays from
Oxford.  For the Walter Anderson Centennial Year, 2004, she adapted the writings of Agnes Grinstead Anderson’s
remembrances of her artist husband as the performance piece A Magic Hour.  The piece has been performed in
Ocean Springs, in Poplarville, and as a Katrina benefit for the Anderson art holdings several times in Oxford.  She
serves each summer on the faculty of the Yoknapatawpha Writing Seminar at Ole Miss, and in the summer of 2006
was on the faculty of the Mississippi Governor’s School teaching “Playing the Words: A Workshop in Script
Writing.”  Rebecca is a member of Actor’s Equity, the Screen Actor’s Guild, Alternate Roots, Mississippi, a member
of the Board of Directors for Theatre Oxford – a company committed to developing new scripts.  In the summer of
2007 she played the nurse in Romeo and Juliet for the Oxford/University Shakespeare Festival.  Film credits include
"The Client," "Ode to Billy Joe," and the mini- series "Black Beauty".  She is on the artist roster of the Mississippi
Arts Commission, storyteller and scholar for the Mississippi Humanities Council,  and an enrichment artist for the
Department of Defense Schools overseas.
BATTLEFIELD INN(Click on link to see Battlefield Inn.)
VICKSBURG, MS (Click on link to see Vicksburg, MS.)

Friday August 15th, 2008

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Registration and book sales

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Dinner/Mingle/reception

7:15 – 9:00 p.m. Literary Artists on Stage (LAOS), Battlefield Inn

Saturday August 16th, 2008

6:30 – 8:00 a.m. Breakfast

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.  Registration/Orientation/ Opening Comments
-                             Tom Sawyer

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Workshop I

10:45 – 11:45 Workshop II

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch/Book Sales/Autographs

1:15 – 2:15 p.m. Workshop III

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Workshop IV

3:45 – 4:45 p.m. Panel Discussion/Awards/Closing with
Gary Heidt/Door Prizes

5:00 – 5:20 – Book sales/autograph

5:30 – 6:30 – Formal Critiques/Informal Critiques


    EARLYBIRD REGISTRATION (Must be received by June 30, 2008):

    Friday night: Speaker Reception/LAOS – FREE

    8:00 – 12:00 Saturday welcome, opening address,
    and morning workshops -                                       $60.00 member
                                                                                  $70.00 non-member

           Lunch on your own

    1:15 – 5:20 Saturday afternoon workshops,
    panel, and closing                                                  $60.00 member
                                                                                  $70.00 non-member

    Full Day:        Member -                                        $115.00
                         Non-Member –                                $135.00

    *Formal critiques by a conference speaker (see guidelines below):
    Thorough beforehand critique with 15 minutes discussion session -
    $35.00 MWG Member; $40.00 non-member (For Early Registration
    Attendees Only.  Others may join informal critique sessions. Bring five
    copies of no more than ten manuscript pages.)

    Discounted early-bird package: includes all day Saturday sessions,
    and one professional critique: $150 member; $175.00 non-member


    Friday night: Speaker Reception/LAOS – FREE

    8:00 – 12:00 Saturday welcome, opening address,
    and morning workshops -                                    $70.00 member
                                                                               $80.00 non-member

           Lunch on your own

    1:15 – 5:20 Saturday afternoon panel discussions,
    closing, workshops -                                            $70.00 member
                                                                                $80.00 non-member

    Full Day:        Member -                                     $135.00
                   Non-Member –                                   $155.00

    CANCELLATION POLICY: A 50% refund will be granted for
    registration cancellations made prior to August 1, 2008. No refunds
    after August 1, 2008.

    *Manuscripts must be double-spaced, Courier 12 font. Page 1 should
    include your name, address, email address, and phone number in top
    left corner. First paragraph should begin in the middle of the page. All
    other pages must include manuscript title and page number in the top
    right-hand corner. Send no more than 25 pages paper-clipped DO
    NOT STAPLE. Manuscripts must be received June 30th, No
    exceptions. Manuscripts that have not followed submission guidelines
    will be returned unread with attendee's conference packet.

    Mail Registration Fees with registration* to:

    2008 Conference Registration
    Mississippi Writers Guild
    P. O. Box 3845
    Meridian, MS 39303-3845

Registration form if postmarked by June 30, 2008 (officially over)

Registration form if postmarked after June 30, 2008

Pay by PayPal

Cheryl Sloan Wray:

How to Succeed as a Magazine Writer
Learn the ins-and-outs of writing for magazines. This workshop will
include such topics as: the opportunities for freelancers, types of
articles published today, how to market your work, basic guidelines
for article construction, working with editors, and a step-by-step
framework for getting published.

Let's Write a Query Letter!
The query letter is essential in getting a magazine article published.
Learn about the importance of query letters, then learn how to put one
together. The workshop will include Cheryl sharing her own successful
query letters, and then students writing their own letters.

The Secrets to Sparkling Magazine Editors
What makes one magazine article "sparkle" with style, while another
one is ineffective? This workshop will tackle this topic by discussing
the different elements that make a magazine article effective--such
elements as logical construction, meaningful quotes, meaty
information, important message, and lively style. The workshop will
include writing exercises that encourage the use of such

Gary Heidt:

Writing Winning Query Letters

For many writers, writing a query letter can be more painful than
writing the book.  Agent Gary Heidt reads dozens of query letters a
day, and can help you avoid the most common pitfalls.  How do you
sum up your book in a sentence?  How do you best present your
credentials in a short paragraph?  And most important, to whom do
you send the query?  Participants in the workshop will be given a
short writing assignment and will be evaluated on their efforts.

Extra Hats for Writers: Be An Editor, Be a Critic

Many writers are afflicted with the benighted notion that editors and
critics are failed writers.  The fact of the matter is that the a very high
percentage of the world's best writers are also editors and critics.  
Writers all depend on the existence of a vital literary culture.  Today,
although book reviews are dying in print newspapers, the Internet has
created many opportunities for book reviewers.  Writing book reviews
is a great way to 1) force yourself to discover and read what your
colleagues out there are writing; 2) help guide like-minded people
toward great new books and away from clunkers; 3) to accumulate
writing credits that will bolster your credentials as a writer.

Editing is like criticism in that it involves sharpening your own faculties
of discernment, but it is much more painstaking.  Form small groups
of like-minded writers and edit each other, and you will all benefit.  If
you have a lot of talented people in your circle, why don't you start a
web-zine?  Don't sit around and wait for New York City to come to its
senses and discover your greatness-- make something happen, and
the world will come to you!

Tom Sawyer:

Part 1: Beginnings, Middles, Endings & Arias: Using cinematic
language to write better novels (and screenplays).*

Part 2: Beginnings, Middles, Endings & Arias: Using cinematic
language to write better novels (and screenplays).*

Pitching - Making The Sale to Others - And To Yourself: Knowing –
really knowing – what your story is about.

* Includes DVD film clip compilation

Handouts provided for all presentations.

Sue B. Walker:

1. The Art of Imagination: Prose to Poetry, Poetry to Prose: or how to
make a grandmother who didn't want to go to Florida become a
verse) Writers write an exercise in prose and then turn the prose
piece into poetry)

2. For Art’s Sake with the Fiddler in the Wings: (Exercises in
Ekphrastic poetry brings renewed attention to visual art – with close
listening, attention to how words trill and thrill. Simply put – writing that
comes from viewing art – along with sound enhances; the music of
what we say)  Writers will be given a work of art -- i.e. Van Gogh's
"Starry Night" and use it as a prompt for poetry.  They will then work
on adding elements of sound.
Sue B Walker:

3.  I've Never Had So Much Fun In My Life No Matter Where I Roam
(Exercises in writing about place: how setting is important in poetry
and prose)  Writers use setting (or place) as a beginning point in
writing a poem.  

Rebecca Jernigan:

Workshop I
Faces and Places: The Dramatic Monologue

Workshop leader Rebecca Jernigan, playwright and actress will model
dramatic monologues. Writers will then focus on crafting dynamic
dramatic monologues They will be challenged to compose original
pieces based on visual prompts of "faces and places." Some writers
may choose to draw upon historic Vicksburg. Writers with interests in
poetry and narrative will learn to sharpen dialogue and explore the
dramatic voice of poetry.

Workshop II

Graduating to Script Writing

The elements of script writing will be introduced by playwright/actress
Rebecca Jernigan. Building on the work explored in Workshop I,
"Faces and Places, the Dramatic Monologue" participants will work
individually and in teams to develop short dramatic scripts. Writers
who missed the workshop on dramatic monologues will have ample
opportunity to explore with the other participants the dynamics of
dramatic literature and its impact on our culture

Howard Bahr:

Writing the Past: Workshop on writing historical novels.

Creating Character: Learn to develop different character types,
dialect, and techniques to create interesting characters

Entering Space: Focus on setting, negative space, and the way
characters move through their environment.
So far we have attendees
from California, Texas,
Louisiana, Alabama,
Virginia, and of course,
Mississippi.  It's not too
late to join in the fun and
celebration of creative
for the
MWG Writers Conference!
With pen and paper, create
the stories and characters. You
decide their failures, successes,
and their fates.  Register today!!

You won't regret it

Mississippi Writers Guild, a statewide non-profit organization with its home office in Meridian, has been awarded a $2,700 grant from
Mississippi Arts Commission. The grant is a portion of the $1.2 million in grants the Commission will award in 2008-2009
and will be used towards the 2008 Mississippi Writers Guild Writers Conference, which will be held Aug. 15-16, at Battlefield Inn in
Mississippi Arts Commission is a state agency that serves more than 1.7 million people of the state through grants that
support programs to enhance communities; assist artists and arts organizations; promote the arts in education and celebrate
Mississippi’s cultural heritage. Established in 1968, the Mississippi Art Commission is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, the
National Endowment for the Arts, the Wallace Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, Donna & Jim
Barksdale, the Phil Hardin Foundation, and other private sources. The commission serves as the official grants-making and service
agency for the arts in Mississippi.