A Gathering of Scribes

Art-2Catamaran Literary Reader hosts writers conference in Pebble Beach

If you’re a writer, you know what it feels like to notice that it’s late afternoon and you’re still in your pajamas. You know how to ignore phone calls, friendships and dirty dishes to write detailed descriptions of pirate ships. You also know how to avoid the page at any cost. It’s a wonderful, terrible contradiction, the writing life, but what it often lacks is kindred spirits. This is where a Writer’s Conference can be a great opportunity—not only to get out of your pajamas—but also to hone your craft and share your work in the company of other writers, teachers, and experts in the field.

Catamaran Literary Reader is offering just that chance this summer, at its second writers conference, from August 12-16. July 15 is the deadline for registration, and if you can attend, you should. The venue is stunning, right at Pebble Beach on the campus of the Robert Louis Stevenson school, where writers will experience four days of enviable food, lodging and inspiration.

We often forget that we live in the landscape that inspired John Steinbeck and Robertson Jeffers. Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” came to life at Point Lobos, which is among several excursions that will take place at the conference. In addition, there are workshops, lectures, craft talks, and even a late-night, open mic spoken-word workshop.

Catamaran’s founding editor Catherine Segurson sums up this meeting of minds under the cypress trees of 17-Mile Drive. “We take our model from what we do at Catamaran,” she says, “which is promoting good writing and getting it out into the world. The conference is about getting your writing to a publishable form with the workshops, taking inspiration from the teachers and surroundings, and drawing career knowledge from the publishing panel.” The editors at Catamaran will be there, too, she adds, so you’ll get to meet the people running the literary journal. “We continue to keep in touch with our attendees with the intention of eventually publishing their work. Literary agents and publishers will also be available for one-on-ones.”

Segurson reflects on the writing life, saying, “Art is long, and good writing can be a lonely process. To have the best work you can present, you need to be nurtured, and that writing needs to be fostered and improved. That’s what we’re trying to do here, create a community around you. Forming friendships with other writers in intimate groups and getting to know the instructors is like forming a tribe you can take back into your writing life and reach out to for support.”  

Cost of attendance is $1,250, and includes lodging, 12 meals, four days of literary workshops in a small group. To find out more about the conference and to register, visit PHOTO: A writers conference in Pebble Beach seeks to teach writers how to get published, hone their craft and network with kindred spirits.

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