3rd Annual Mississippi Writers
Guild Writers Conference
August 14-15, 2009
To be held in Historic
Vicksburg,MS right on
the Mighty Mississippi
August 14-15, 2009
Bring your families to enjoy Vicksburg's
Historic Tours and beautiful scenery.
Riverwalk Casino
Conference Facility
Overlooking Ole Man River

Friday August 14th, 2009

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Conference Registration and check-in

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Mingle (Dinner on your own)

7:15 – 9:00 p.m. Literary Artists on Stage (LAOS), Riverwalk
Conference Facility

Saturday August 15th, 2009

6:30 – 8:00 a.m. Breakfast (on your own) & Registration

8:15 – 9:15 a.m.  Registration/Orientation/Opening with Keynote
speaker, Angela Ball

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Workshop I

10:45 – 11:45 Workshop II

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch (On your own) 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. Speaker Panel Discussion/Awards/Closing with
William M. Akers/Door Prizes

5:00 – 5:20 – Book sales/autograph session

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

Angela Ball’s poems and translations have appeared in journals including Atlantic Monthly, Colorado Review,
Denver Quarterly, Field, Partisan Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and The New Yorker.  Her books of poetry include Kneeling
Between Parked Cars (Owl Creek Press, 1990); Possession (Red Hen, 1995); Quartet (Carnegie Mellon, 1995); and The
Museum of the Revolution (Carnegie Mellon, 1999). Her newest collection, Night Clerk At the Hotel of Both Worlds
(University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007), received the Donald Hall Prize from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.
The recipient of an Individual Writer’s Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ball has represented the U.S. at the
Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam, and has been a writer in residence at the University of Richmond and at Chateau
Lavigny near Lausanne, Switzerland.  Ball teaches in the Center for Writers in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she is Poetry
Editor for Mississippi Review.  She lives with her two dogs, Maggie and Scarlet, and a cat, Frank O’Hara.

MWG welcomes an amazing slate
of speakers!!

Paul S. Levine ”wears two hats”–he is a lawyer and a literary agent.
Mr. Levine has practiced entertainment law for over 27 years, specializing in the representation of writers, producers, actors,
directors, composers, musicians, artists, authors, photographers, galleries, publishers, developers, production companies and
theatre companies in the fields of motion pictures, television, interactive multimedia, live stage, recorded music, concerts, the
visual arts, publishing, and advertising. In 1998, Mr. Levine opened the Paul S. Levine Literary Agency, specializing in the
representation of book authors and the sale of motion picture and television rights in and to books. Since starting his literary
agency, Mr. Levine has sold over 80 fiction and non-fiction books to at least 30 different publishers and has had many books
developed as movies-for-television and feature films.
The fiction which Mr. Levine represents tends to be commercial—thrillers, mysteries, women’s fiction, “soap opera” in the
vein of Danielle Steele or Jackie Collins, and literary fiction. The non-fiction which he represents also tends to be
commercial—self-help, how-to, relationships, memoirs, health, women’s issues, pop culture, new age, and business. For
both fiction and non-fiction books, his biggest successes have been with authors who originally self-publish their books and
then wish to have their books republished by a major publishing house.
For the film screen, he represents a wide range of scripts, from romantic comedies to thrillers to historical epics. In
television, Mr. Levine mainly represents writers and producers of true life-story movies-for-television, as well as the subjects
of those docudramas. He also represents writers and writer-producers of network and non-network series television, both
dramas and comedies, as well as reality shows, game shows, talk shows and the like.

Irene Latham was named 2006 Poet of the Year, and her first full-length collection of poems WHAT CAME
BEFORE (Negative Capability Press, 2007) earned a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publisher) Award and was named Alabama
State Poetry Society's Book of the Year. Her poems have appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies, including
FROM THE BIG TABLE (Churn Dash Press, 2007),  and EINSTEIN AT THE ODEON CAFE (Churn Dash Press, 2009).  
Irene also serves as program chair for Alabama Writers' Conclave and as poetry editor for Birmingham Arts Journal,  and her
first novel LEAVING GEE'S BEND (historical fiction for ages 8 - 12) is scheduled for release by G.P. Putnam's Sons in
spring, 2010.  When she is not writing, Irene spends as much time as possible with her husband and three school-aged sons
at their home in Birmingham, Alabama

William Akers -  Your Screenplay Sucks  Akers is a Lifetime Member of the WGA and has written
screenplays and television for twenty years. Rare among how-to screenplay book authors, Akers has actually had his work
produced.His script for ERNEST RIDES AGAIN, fifth in the legendary Ernest series of comedies, was produced and directed
by John C. Cherry. The film starred Jim Varney and Linda Kash. THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE was produced
by Margaret Matheson and Mark Forstater for Zenith Productions, London. Directed by Stuart Orme, it starred Stephanie
Beacham, Mel Smith, Jane Horrocks, Richard O'Brien, and Geraldine James. Akers's screenplay for THE WOLVES OF
WILLOUGHBY CHASE was nominated for a CableAce. He adapted Simon Murray's million selling non-fiction account of his
five years in the French Foreign Legion as SIMON: AN ENGLISH LEGIONNAIRE, an epic love story set against the Algerian
revolution. It was independently produced and directed by Martin Huberty and stars Paul Fox and Kate Maberly. He has
written feature screenplays for Bruce Gilbert & MGM, John C. Cherry & Disney, and Jon Avnet & Universal Studios.

Faith Black - Faith Black is Editor at Avalon Books where she acquires romances, mysteries, and Westerns.
Previously, she worked at New Horizon Press and Cambridge University Press. She is a graduate of Williams College where
she earned her degree in English. She also received her Masters from Rutgers University in English and previously studied at
Oxford University. Faith joined Avalon Books in December 2006 as Associate Editor and was promoted to Editor in April

Jeanne Leiby  - Louisiana State University -Southern Review Jeanne Leiby grew up Downriver
Detroit. She graduated from the University of Michigan, earned her MA from the Bread Loaf School of English/Middlebury
College, and her MFA from the University of Alabama. Her stories have appeared in Fiction, New Orleans Review,
Greensboro Review, Indiana Review among other magazines. Her collection of short stories title Downriver, winner of the
Doris Bakwin Prize from Carolina Wren Press, was published in fall 2007. For nearly a decade, Jeanne has lived in Orlando
and taught creative writing at the University of Central Florida, where she also edited The Florida Review. In January 2008,
she moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana as an associate professor of English at Louisiana State University and as editor of The
Southern Review.

Classification                Early           Regular
by 6/30/09      7/1/09 and after

Member                        $106                $125
Non-Member                $125                $144

Group: (8 minimum)
Per person                   $ 96                 $112

Member                        $ 80                 $ 94
Non-Member                $ 96                 $112

Class: (8 minimum)
teacher + 7 students
Per Person                   $ 80                 $ 94

Sponsor                       $ 80                 

Half-Day sessions (includes two workshops and one
session (closing or opening):

MWG Member              $ 65   a.m.              p.m.

Non-Member                $ 80   a.m.              p.m.


Contact and book orders for conference bookstore
must  be made through MWG or On-Site Bookstore,
Lorelei Books, Vicksburg, MS by July 1, 2009.  No
books may be brought and sold at conference
except those that have gone through the proper
conference channels. Only conference attendees
may sell books at MWG Conference. NO
EXCEPTIONS.  Please print
self-published book
form, fill out, and bring to the conference.

Mississippi Writers Guild (MWG) is proud to announce that for each conference
year we have reduced the registration fee. This yearly decrease is due to
increased participation in this and other MWG writing programs during the year
throughout the state. We happily return MWG's success to its dedicated
participants and hope this remains a yearly success so you continue to reap
the benefits.

Isn't it nice to see a price go DOWN instead of UP?
2009 MWG
Writers Conference
Keynote Speaker
Angela Ball
Angela Ball:

The Source of Poetry:  A discussion of the nature and origins of poetry, this workshop aims
to help writers generate ideas and methods for poems.

Revising Poems: A workshop using participants' poems to exemplify ways that poems can be
re-worked to maximize clarity, music, and excitement.

Paul Levine:

The nuts and bolts of the business of writing: How does a writer get an agent and an
attorney? How does the writer’s work get sold and how is the writer compensated? What will
the agent and the lawyer do for the writer? How are they compensated?

Publishing Lawyers and Agents and Publishing Agreements; what agents do and what
lawyers do, how their functions sometimes overlap and how they differ and three reasons why
they are an absolute necessity; a review, in detail, of a typical publishing agreement--
royalties, advances, rights granted and rights withheld, etc.

The submission/editing/publishing process: what happens if the publisher rejects the
manuscript, the publisher’s ultimate acceptance of the manuscript, actual publication after
acceptance, and promotion and publicity.

Faith Black:

Tips for Writing Romance: a 50 minute workshop that focuses on the do's and don'ts of
writing romance. How to craft a winning tale, what to avoid, how to: pace, build characters,
create tension, write dialog, etc. It comes complete with handouts and writing exercises and a
list of publishing houses currently accepting submissions for romance

How to Find a Publishing House: Tips on what editors are looking for, things to avoid, how to
search for a good agent that represents what you write, etc. Comes with handouts which
includes examples of rejected queries and winning queries.

"An Informal Chat with editor Faith Black" Come and talk with  NYC editor on any topic you
like. It will be a relaxed format with an open Q&A. Bring your questions about writing, agents,
editors, rejection letters, query letters vs. cover letters, or anything regarding publishing.

Irene Latham

Writing in Color: How to Bring Historical Fiction Novels to Life What’s a writer to do when the
world one is writing about is only available in black-and-white? Learn how focus research
efforts and determine which details to include in order to create an authentic story.

Geography of the Heart: How to Write Poems about Love and Loss Do you find yourself
writing about important life events, but have difficulty finding terrain that hasn’t already been
trampled? In this workshop learn how to banish cliché and find the right concrete words and
imagery to imply emotion without getting sentimental.

The Author-Editor Relationship: What to Expect After the Sale Learn about editorial letters,
the different stages of editing and how to handle conflict as your book becomes a
collaborative effort.

Jeanne Leiby:

Workshop:  Narrative Shape and Design of Short Fiction:  This workshop will explore different
narrative shapes and the overall form of the short story.

Workshop:  Getting Your Work Ready For Submission:  This workshop will focus on revision
and submissioin of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, striving to answer this question:  
How do I know when my work is done?

William M. Akers:

Screenplay Format and Writing Killer Outlines – Screenplays not formatted properly will not
be read.  Why a script looks like a script.  Why Final Draft doesn’t solve all formatting
problems, and more.  Along with formatting, this workshop covers how to write an outline.  
How to manage 3x5 cards and the “random thoughts” process of outlining from your heart,
not your head.

How to Structure a Screenplay – Three-act storytelling structure demystified.  Basic
techniques for story creation.  Story elements you have to have.  The one-line outline and
how to use it.  Why you need reversals, and more.

(Although these workshops target screenwriting, the ideas and concepts of story, dialogue,
and character development relate to, benefit, and improve all writing – novels, plays, stories.)
9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Workshop I

1A - Angela Ball - Source of Poetry
1B - Paul Levine - Nuts & Bolts of Writing
1C - Irene Latham - Writing in Color
1D - Jeanne Leiby - Narrative Shape

10:45 – 11:45 Workshop II

2A - Paul Levine - Lawyers & Agents
2B - Faith Black - Writing Romance
2C - Irene Latham - Geography of the Heart
2D - William Akers - Screenplay Format/Killer Outlines

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch (On your own) Book Sales/Autographs

1:15 – 2:15 p.m. Workshop III

3A - Angela Ball - Revising Poems
3B - Faith Black - Finding a Publisher
3C - Irene Latham - Author/Agent Relationship
3D - Jeanne Leiby - Ready for Submission

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Workshop IV

4A - Paul Levine - Submission/Editing/Publishing Process
4B - Faith Black - Chat with an Editor
4C - William Akers - Structure a Screenplay
4D - Jeanne Leiby - Narrative Shape (Repeat of Session 1D)

Single registration form here

Group registration form here

Questions: email here
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.)

*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 by June 30th, No
exceptions. Manuscripts that have not followed submission guidelines will be returned
unread with attendee's conference packet.

CANCELLATION POLICY: A 50% refund will be granted for
registration cancellations made prior to August 1, 2009. No refunds
after August 1, 2009.

Mail Registration Fees with registration to:

2009 Conference Registration
Mississippi Writers Guild
P. O. Box 3845
Meridian, MS 39303-3845
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