The Seaside Writers Conference, which takes place in the Academic Village in Seaside, includes a full week of intensive writing workshops, one-day seminars, agent consultations, school outreach programs and social events.
The conference provides an opportunity for beginning, intermediate and advanced writers to celebrate writing, to network, and to hone their craft.
Headlining authors Chris Offutt (True Blood, Weeds, My Father The Pornographer, The Same River Twice, No Heroes: A Memoir Coming Home) and Antonya Nelson (Funny Once, In The Land Of Men, Bound, Live To Tell) will each lead a seminar and reading while guest editor Margeaux Weisman (Vintage Anchor/Knopf Doubleday) and other agents and editors to be announced, will offer one-on-one consultations with attendees.
“We are so fortunate to continue to attract high-caliber writers such as Chris Offutt and Antonya Nelson,” said Conference co-founder, author and faculty member Matt Bondurant (The Wettest County In The World, made into the film Lawless; The Night Swimmer; The Third Translation). “We know we have a secret weapon, though. There is no other writers conference that allows you to step out of intimate workshops with national award-winning authors and agents directly onto the white sand of the Gulf of Mexico. Our writers love that, and they also appreciate the people and culture of the community.”
Bondurant and conference co-founder, faculty member and poet Seth Brady Tucker (Mormon Boy; We Deserve The Gods We Ask For), are joined by visiting faculty members Michelle Tea (The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl, Valencia – now a film; The Chelsea Whistle, Rent Girl; How To Grow Up) and Anton Disclafani (The Yonalohssee Riding Camp For Girls; The After Party).
”We started this conference with a few key goals in mind: create a personal experience for our writers, give them a beautiful place to write and discuss with great teachers and good people, and to give back to the local community, ” said Brady.
“In the past few years, we have accomplished these goals, and the feedback from our attendees shows they feel the same way,” he said.
Other components of the conference are the Scholars and Fellows Program, including the Celia Baker Veteran Scholarship, and the public-school outreach program organized by conference co-founder and Seacoast High School Principal Jonathan D’Avignon in which Scholars and Fellows work directly with 8th and 11th grade writers in the schools. Some of the students go on to read their work publicly as part of the conference alongside a headliner.
The Seaside Writers Conference is produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and sponsored by the University of Mississippi, Visit South Walton and The Seaside Institute.
“The Cultural Arts Alliance is proud to have partnered with the Conference Founders to produce this conference,” said Cultural Arts Alliance Executive Director Jennifer Steele. “Attendance increases each year and we know it will continue to grow as word spreads of the special nature of the Conference. The conference fulfills part of the Alliance’s mission to bring literary programming to the community while providing opportunities for hands-on literary arts enrichment in our public schools. We are grateful to the partners that have made the conference possible.”
Participants who pay the early bird rate for the full conference tuition ($550 up until March 20) will be able to take part in an intensive workshop and all daily activities, including special events, receptions and dinners. À la carte pricing is available for classes, workshops, consultations, and events perfect for locals who want to see what the the Conference has to offer. Accommodations can also be secured through the registration process by paying the all-inclusive fee of $1550.