Sanibel Island Writers Conference
Spent last Thursday through Sunday working at the first annual Sanibel Island Writers Conference. Just a tremendous weekend, with a wonderful set of writers, valiant and energetic participants, all in a perfect island and pefectly intimate setting. Tom DeMarchi, the Director of the Conference, did a stupendous job in getting writers to work for next-to-nothing, working through the joys of university bureaucracy, and making it all fly within ten months.
Above is Tom offering introductory remarks at the BIG Arts Auditorium.
John Dufresnes and Jonathan Ames Signing Books
A Rapt Audience
Unfortunately, I took only interior shots, which misses the entire charm of the BIG Arts faciltiy: a Key-West-ish style complex, with open breezeways and courtyards, all in a rough, native garden landscape, and less than five minutes from the beach itself. We also lucked out on the weather: dry, highs in the mid-80s, and perfect blue skies.
Yes, we had some kinks with the sound system, perhaps creating more break time between sessions, adding more agents and publishing representatives, and the like, but it was quite a success for the first go around. Lynne Barrett, a wonderful fiction writer, commented on how good of a start this program was, comparing it favorably with the very good FIU Seaside Writers Conference. For the participants, the highlight had to be the accessibility and availability of all the writers. We didn't have a prima donna in the group, and all gave so generously of their time and energy.
And for me, I got to hear two very fine "dress" stories that I can't wait to transform into poems: kisses to Colleen (and Caitlin) and Cristin! All those C's!