Smart Book People to Invade St. Louis in April


The Missouri Writer's Guild has announced plans for its 2011 "Just Write!" conference, to be held in St. Louis next April 8 through 10. 

According to the Guild, the conference will bring the opportunity to pitch to editors and agents and attend workshops, panel discussions and break-out sessions, as well as take part in everyone's favorite business card-trading ritual: Networking.

Behind the cut, check out a list of guests scheduled for the conference.

Mary Troy, director of the MFA program at UMSL, will be Saturday's luncheon keynote speaker, and Elaine Viets, a former Post-Dispatch columnist and bestselling mystery writer, will be keynote speaker for Saturday evening's awards banquet. 

Here are more featured conference attendees, as per the Guild's press release: 

Additional speakers scheduled to participate are small-press publisher Billy Adams, author and poet Faye Adams, Natural Bridge managing editor Kelli Allen, The Storyteller editor Regina Williams, inspirational writer and speaker Linda Apple, who has published dozens of stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, award-winning historical romance writer Jeannie Lin, and Cindy Lovell, executive director of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum.  Also participating will be Feast editor Catherine Neville, New York Times bestselling mystery writer Nancy Pickard, Washington University professor, author, editor, and poet Catherine Rankovic, author and digital publishing guru Patricia B. Smith, International Book Award Winner Sandra Carrington-Smith, author and Cape County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle, and Joanna Beth Tweedy, author of The Yonder Side of Sass and Texas.

Agents planning to participate in five-minute pitches include Krista Goering of the Krista Goering Agency, Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency, Kathleen Ortiz from Lowenstein Associates, and Marcy Posner from Folio Literary Management.  Editors hearing pitches will be Lia Brown from Avalon Books, Susan Swartwout of Southeast Missouri State University Press, Stephen George from The Saturday Evening Post, Margaret Mincks from Spider magazine for children, and Deborah Reinhardt from AAA's Midwest Traveler.

Registration for the conference, which will be held at the Sheraton Westport Plaza, is now open, with early bird rates applicable until December 31. More information about the conference can be found on the Missouri Writer's Guild website or the conference-specific blog


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