The Third Annual Southwest Washington Writers Conference at Centralia College


Write a memoir, a mystery, a magazine article, or a novel—and learn how to publish and market it.

The Third Annual Southwest Washington Writers Conference at Centralia College on Sept. 17 will offer a choice menu of workshops for writers of all levels, taught by award-winning authors.

“By attending this local conference at a reasonable rate, people can interact with successful writers in an intimate setting,” according to Julie McDonald Zander, regional author from the Southwest Washington Writers group. “We bring the best of Northwest writers to a place within driving distance.”

Jennifer Lauck, Portland author of the New York Times bestselling memoir “Blackbird,” will keynote the event, Zander explains. Lauck’s poignant childhood memoir has been translated into 22 languages and earned her appearances on “Oprah,” “BBC News,” and “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.” In addition to her keynote address on artistic perseverance, Lauck will teach three sessions on writing essays, memoirs, and novels.

For lovers of mystery, Seattle writer Mary Daheim, author of more than 60 bed-and-breakfast cozies and mysteries, will discuss her 33-year publishing journey and offer workshops on her genre and developing characters.  Melanie Dobson, Carol Award winner of 15 historical and romantic suspense novels, will return to the Centralia conference to lead her popular session on “Writing Historical Fiction for Contemporary Readers.” She, Amish fiction writer Leslie Gould and author Terri Reed will head a panel on navigating the publishing world.

Independent publishing will spotlight sessions taught by Kyle Pratt of Adna, Carolyn McCray of Centralia, and Oregonian Maggie Lynch, while marketing expert Veronika Noize of Vancouver will repeat her workshop “Marketing Your Work and Yourselves” and present a new one on social media strategies.

Young adult and sci-fi author Jill Williamson, who won a Christy Award for her first novel, plans to teach “Punctuation 101” and “Writing Great Villains.” Poet Jennifer Messing of Portland will lead a session on magazine writing amid a busy life.

The Southwest Washington Writers Conference will be at the Walton Science Center at Centralia College Sept. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The $85 fee includes lunch. A professional photographer will be available to take cover and publication photos. Lunch will be provided, and the proceeds will benefit the historic Centralia Fox Theater restoration. Register at or email for more information.

For further information, contact Julie Zander at 360-431-5847 or Sandy Crowell at 360-561-0866.

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