2019 Writers Conference

Dine With an Author

Have you ever wanted to meet a published author up close and personal? Now might be your chance! Enter our essay contest on Submittable explaining why you and your closest friend should have dinner with conference faculty member Ron Currie.

Currie is a novelist and screenwriter whose books have been translated into fifteen languages and won awards from the New York Public Library, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Library Association. His short fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Salon, The Believer, and elsewhere. He's a native of Maine, where he still lives.

Currie will choose the most compelling essay and, if chosen, you and a friend will spend an evening chatting with him over dinner on Monday, November 18 from 6 - 8 pm. Dinner is on us *alcohol excluded.

Share Your Work

This year we’re also offering a conference prompt engaging with the library’s fall theme “Unlocking the Mind.” You can share your work with other local writers on our new write.as community blog by responding to the question: “How has writing helped you through difficult times?” We’ll post submissions to our conference blog and conference organizers will review and invite select local writers to share their work at the conference kickoff alongside some of our faculty on Thursday, November 14.

Check out what’s already been submitted here!

Get Feedback

This year we are offering several opportunities to have your work critiqued.

Huascar Medina, Poet Laureate of Kansas, will offer both live editing of selected submitted works, as well as two small group poetry critique sessions.

Stuck in the middle? Ron Currie offers a weekend intensive workshop designed to help writers with works in progress get over the hump and move towards a conclusion.

1st Page Reads, always a popular session, will be offered both Friday and Saturday. Submit work for potential live editing by Eric Obenauf, Polly McCann, and Jessica Conoley. Learn what makes these editors keep reading on. Or what makes them click next.

Get to Work

If you’re looking to do some freewriting or jump back into a pre-existing project, we’ll be offering inspiration and space to put pen to paper. The conference will feature competitive NaNoWriMo Word Sprints for those wanting to hit their big word count goals. If you’re in need of ideas, Story in a Bag will help you begin a new story or develop a concept, or our partners from KC Zine Con will help you create a zine and leave the conference with a completed project.

The 2019 Writers Conference has more opportunities than ever to get inspired and involved. We hope to see you there!

We’re excited to add Joshua Mohr to our faculty list for the 2019 Writers Conference!

If you saw Joshua Mohr when he was here in September 2018, you’ll be as excited as we are that he’s returning for the conference. He’ll be teaching about Conflict and Tension, sitting in conversation with his writing partner Ron Currie, and again with his publisher Eric Obenauf.

Joshua Mohr is the author of the memoir "Sirens" (2017), as well as five novels including "Damascus", which The New York Times called "Beat-poet cool." He’s also written "Fight Song" and "Some Things that Meant the World to Me," one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as "Termite Parade," an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times. His novel "All This Life" won the Northern California Book Award. He is the founder of Decant Editorial.

Read an excerpt of Sirens over at BuzzFeed.

Read An Unexpected Beautiful View of Fatherhood, From the Bathroom Floor over at the Washington Post.

Also on our 2019 Writers Conference faculty:

Eric Obenauf founded the publishing company Two Dollar Radio with his wife, Eliza. Their publications have been honored by the National Book Foundation, named Notable Books at the New York Times, finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and placed on best-of-year lists at O, The Oprah Magazine, the Washington Post, NPR, and others. He was included in Publishers Weekly‘s ’50 Under 40’ list, and was a finalist in the magazine’s 2016 “Star Watch” program. Two Dollar Radio runs The Flyover Fest, a multidisciplinary festival featuring artists working in music, literature, and film over the course of 4 days in Columbus, Ohio, and in 2017 opened a bookstore/bar/plant-based cafe and event space called Two Dollar Radio Headquarters.

Leatrice "Elle" McKinney, writing as L.L. McKinney, is a poet and active member of the kidlit community. She’s an advocate for equality and inclusion in publishing, and the creator of the hashtag #WhatWoCWritersHear. Elle's also a gamer, Blerd, and adamant Hei Hei stan living in Kansas City. She spends her free time plagued by her cat Sir Chester Fluffmire Boopsnoot Purrington Wigglebottom Flooferson III, esquire, Baron o'Butterscotch or #SirChester. Random fact: Chester is a huge BTS fan, Elle has video proof. A Blade So Black is her debut novel, released fall 2018, with the highly anticipated sequel slated for later this year.

We also welcome Ron Currie to our 2019 Writers Conference faculty. Currie is a novelist and screenwriter. His books have been translated into fifteen languages and won awards from the New York Public Library, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Library Association. His short fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Salon, The Believer, and elsewhere. He's a native of Maine, where he still lives.

  • Joshua Mohr
    Joshua Mohr Joshua Mohr
  • Eric Obenauf
    Eric Obenauf Eric Obenauf
  • L. L. McKinney
    L. L. McKinney L. L. McKinney
  • Ron Currie
    Ron Currie Ron Currie