heartland writers

The 14th Heartland Writers Conference, 'Great Beginnings' and 'Great Successes' Writing Competitions

June 3-4, 2011
Coach House Inn
Sikeston, Missouri

Conference Information/Registration: (pdfs)

2011 Conference - What's New

Latest Conference Update: 05-19-2011

Mary Jansen Parrent, newly added to our list of speakers, was raised in Germantown, Illinois, a small rural community. She left the area to pursue a family and a career. After living in several cities and states, Mary returned to her hometown to retire. With movie software, she began making a genealogy DVD for her family. While doing research for it, she learned many stories about her hometown shared by friends, relatives, and neighbors. It was then that she realized that her town's history had to be preserved. Mary is a first-time author. Her first book will be published by Arcadia Publishing and will be released in July 2011. Mary enjoys doing historical research and will be discussing her first major writing project in a workshop at the conference.

Henry Sweets, the curator of the Mark Twain Museum in Hannibal, Missouri, will be the keynote speaker at the Awards Banquet Saturday evening.   Sweets has been with the museum 32 years and has lectured at numerous locations around the country.  He has chaired writer’s conferences and the Teacher’s Workshop on Teaching Mark Twain.  Sweets also serves on the Missouri Board on Geographic Names.  The title of his banquet presentation will be “The Relevance of Mark Twain Today—the Huckleberry Finn Controversy.”  Sweet will discuss how Mark Twain sold his books and explore the writing of Huckleberry Finn, its reception through the years, and its current debate.  He will also discuss Mark Twain’s popularity today and his run-away best selling Autobiography.

Linda Swift has been added to the conference presenter list. One of Heartland Writers Guild Writing Conferences led to Swift’s first book publication with Zebra/Kensington and also the acquisition of an agent. After three books and a long hiatus due to the mid-list author crisis, she became a digital author, now contracted with seven publishers.  She has six ebooks of fiction (two also in print), a volume of prose poetry (ebook and print), and one short story available.  Two books of fiction (ebook and print), a Haiku collection,   and two short stories will be released in 2011. Swift will be discussing digital publishing in her conference presentation. Prior to becoming a free lance writer and award winning author, Swift worked in public  education as a teacher, counselor, and psychometrist.  She divides her time between her native state of Kentucky and Florida.

2011 Conference Information:

This year, at the conference, we are trying out some new ideas.  First, we decided to kick the conference off on Friday evening, after registration from 3-6 pm.  Dinner is on your own.  Several sit down restaurants are available in the vicinity of the motel including Lamberts, Ruby Tuesdays, El Tapitio, and various fast food restaurants.

Starting at 6 pm, we have planned a full evening with a speaker, a double session on blogging and social networking and several critique groups.  There will be a “Get- Acquainted- Mixer” with light snacks at 8:30.  The Saturday line up includes a full day of workshops, pitch sessions, a book signing, and the much anticipated awards banquet.

Check out our new categories in the writing contest.   This year we have added “Great Successes”categories to our writing competition for writers who have writing published in 2009 or 2010 that they would like to enter.  Attendees may enter either published or unpublished stories in the Flash Fiction section of the contest.

An expanded continental breakfast will be provided for attendees who stay at the Coach House Inn.  Lunch and the banquet dinner, both vegetarian friendly, will be served buffet style.

We are looking forward to getting together with writing friends in a friendly environment where we can share writing experiences, pick up new ideas, learn from editors, publishers and published authors, hone writing skills, and pitch writing ideas to our guest editors and publishers.

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