For the seventh year, Pell City’s Writers Anonymous and the Pell City Library will be hosting the Mid-Winter Writers Conference. While the event has been great every year, this year it promises to be phenomenal!

Some of our “regulars” like David Bennett (“HomeLife Magazine”), Sue Brannan Walker (Negative Capability Press and one of Alabama’s Poets Laureate) and Ellen Sallas (Little Roni Publishers) will be returning. In addition, we’ll see a few new presenters, who will cover every topic and genre you can imagine.

One of our new presenters is Todd Gerelds, author of “Woodlawn” and “Always Fall Forward.” “Woodlawn,” which was turned into a movie, is based on a true story about high-school football and courage during a time of racial tension in Birmingham. It’s an amazing story, written about his father and how one man’s courage can heal a city. Todd will also be doing a keynote, titled “Why You’re the Right Person to Write Your Story.”

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better than that…surprise, it can! Sean Dietrich (“Sean of the South”) will be doing a general session titled, “"What to Write About When You Don't Have Anything to Write About." During this 45-minute session, Sean will talk about writing in general and where he gets topics. It will include a time where attendees can ask questions.

In addition to Sean’s daytime conference workshop, he will be bringing you “An Evening with Sean of the South.” This event will also be hosted by Writers Anonymous and the Pell City Library, and both the conference and “An Evening with Sean of the South” will take place at the Pell City Library at 6:30 p.m., with heavy appetizers and a chance to network from 5 – 6:30 p.m.

The date for the Mid-Winter Writers Conference is Saturday, January 25. The doors open at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast, and the morning will start with a welcome and keynote by Rita Moritz at 8 a.m. Registration includes both breakfast and lunch as well as two keynotes and a choice of five workshops. Workshops will cover every genre and topic you can think of, from poetry to how to become the writer editors love and everything in between.

The cost for the Mid-Winter Writers Conference this year will be $80 for the conference only, $100 for both the conference and “An Evening with Sean of the South” and $25 for “An Evening with Sean of the South” only. Tickets are limited, and preference for the evening program with Sean will be given to people who are attending the conference.

It’s hard to make a list of all the benefits writers will experience when they go to a writers’ conference. It’s a chance to attend workshops to learn new skills and improve the ones you already have and to hear encouraging keynotes. It gives you an opportunity to hear from the “experts” about how to get your work seen, and it’s often the way new writers get their first chance to submit their work.

Registration is open now, and you can register and pay online or print out a registration form to mail with your check at www.mwwconference.com. You can also pick up a registration form at the Pell City Library.

I hope you’ll be able to join us on January 25. You won’t want to miss any of it. Remember that tickets are limited to space available with preference for conference attendees.

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