>I’m Presenting at the Southern Women Writers Conference: September 24-26

>Mark your calendars for the Eighth Biennial Southern Women Writers Conference at Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia. The dates are September 24-26, 2009.

Conference speakers include: Judith Ortiz Cofer, Allison Hedge Coke, Natalie Daise, Thulani Davis, Connie May Fowler, Melissa Fay Greene, Sarah Gordon, Sharyn McCrumb, Marsha Norman, Mab Segrest, and Natasha Trethewey. I heard Marsha and Natasha speak at the Conference on Southern Literature in Chattanooga in April, and I’m looking forward to hearing both of them again, as well as the other keynote speakers.

I’m thinking about ordering Sarah Gordon’s book, Flannery O’Connor: The Obedient Imgination, to read before the conference. Check out this fantastic book cover with the illustration of O’Connor’s short story, “Parker’s Back”!

The theme for the 2009 conference is “Many Souths: Remembering, Sustaining, Creating.”

The call for submissions is closed, but the Emerging Writers Contest and Workshop Application deadline is June 15, 2009. I just submitted a creative nonfiction essay for the contest today.

I’m excited because my essay, “Are These My People,” was accepted, and I’ll be on the first panel of the three-day conference:

Thursday, September 24: 9:00-10:30 a.m.
Explorations of the Old South/Old South Ideologies (scholarly/creative)

Amy Pardo, Mississippi University for Women, “Utopian Re-visionings in the Post-Bellum South: Dorsey’s White Feminist Heroisms”

Eleanor Hersey Nickel, Fresno Pacific University, “‘But This Is the South’: Ambivalent Regionalism in Jan Karon’s Mitford Novels”

Susan Cushman, Memphis, TN, “Are These My People?” (memoir)

This is my first time to be a presenter at a writers conference, so I’m a little nervous but excited at the same time. I’ll be reading my essay, and my fellow panelists will read theirs, and then all three panelists will take questions on our subject, “Explorations of the Old South/Old South Ideologies.” Ours is one of 6 sessions scheduled during the weekend. In between there will be several keynote speakers, fiction and poetry workshops, luncheons and dinners, and Open Mic Night.

They’ve created a Facebook group for the conference; you can search for “Berry College Southern Women Writers Conference.” (I’m not on Facebook, but if you are, feel free to go there.)

Hope to see some familiar faces there!

Last night I went to Burke’s Books here in Memphis for Neil White’s reading/signing of his new book, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts. There was standing room only. Neil did a great job. He’ll be in Oxford Saturday at 5 p.m. at Off Square Books, so I might catch his reading while I’m there.

This morning I’m off to Oxford, Mississippi, for the 2009 Yoknapatawpha Summer Writers Workshop. It’s my third time to participate. Can’t wait! Watch for a blog post with photos early next week. Have a great weekend everyone!

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