THE HISTORY OF THE SANTA BARBARA WRITERS CONFERENCE — 1974

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The Santa Barbara Writers Conference Scrapbook  — Words of Wisdom from Thirty Years of Literary Excellence 1973 – 2003

In 1974, building on the success of the first SBWC, the Conrads produced a line-up of speakers that would be the envy of any well-established conference:

• Alex Haley introduced Budd Schulberg and a showing of his film, “Waterfront.”
• James Michener gave an evening address
• Mel Torme explained why “I’d Rather Write Than Sing”
• Ross MacDonald (Ken Millar) spoke on Writing, Mystery & Suspense

Afternoon speakers included Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, Alex Haley, Clifton Fadiman and James Sheldon.

The conference was underway when Barnaby got a phone call from Frankfurt, Germany from James Michener asking if he was still invited to speak at the conference. If so, it was going to cost the Conrads extra.

With some trepidation Barney asked, “How so?”

“It’ll cost $50 to change my airline ticket.”

Barnaby came up with the $50.

 

Sid Stebel and Ray Bradbury -- 1974

Sid Stebel and Ray Bradbury — 1974

 

James Michener

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An Excerpt from: THE HISTORY OF THE SANTA BARBARA WRITERS CONFERENCE

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The Santa Barbara Writers Conference Scrapbook  — Words of Wisdom from Thirty Years of Literary Excellence 1973 – 2003

The very first Santa Barbara Writers Conference took place in forty three years ago. To give a little perspective:

In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade, gasoline cost 40 cents a gallon, Morton’s Frozen TV Dinner was 36 cents, and men’s paisley slacks went for $23.95 a pair.

In Carpinteria, California, Mary and Barnaby Conrad held the first Annual Santa Barbara Writers Conference on the grounds of Cate School with the blessings of headmaster Fred Clark.

The cost of the conference was $200, or $150 without room and board.

Held June 22nd to June 29th, the first conference featured speakers included Ray Bradbury, Clifton Fadiman, Ross MacDonald, Don Freeman, John Leggett, Budd Schulberg, and Jessica Mitford.

In total there were six workshop leaders and 37 students.

“Ray Bradbury showed up that first year with a sleeping bag,” Mary Conrad recalls. “Every night he bedded down with the male students and regaled them with stories. With Ray it was always stories, stories, and more stories.”

 

SBWC 1st year flyer0004

 

 

 

 

 

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SBWC January Newsletter

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Snoopy

ABOUT | 2016 CONFERENCE NEWS | FOR MEDIA | RESOURCES | CONTACT
Hyatt

The Santa Barbara Writers Conference: June 5-10, 2016

June 5-10, 2016
SwirlSBWC 2016: June 5-10, Hyatt Santa Barbara
Dear Writers,Registration for the 2016 Santa Barbara Writers Conference is open!

The 44thAnnual SBWC will take place June 5-10, 2016.  Be sure to note your calendars.

Like going back to our favorite summer camp, we’ll return to the Hyatt Santa Barbara armed with our manuscripts, laptops, and fresh ideas.

Get ready to rub elbows with talented writers and workshop leaders, hear famous authors talk about their process, and feel the energy of the writing muse. And don’t forget to bring your super-sized travel mug to sip coffee into the wee hours during the pirate workshops.

This year’s evening speakers will include: Rufi Thorpe(The Girls from Corona del Mar), Gayle Lynds(The Assassins), F. Paul Wilson (Aftershock), Aline Ohanesian (Orhan’s Inheritance) and Monte Schulz(Crossing Eden).
 
The early rate is available until March 15, and registration is limited to the first 200 students. 

Our 44th Year!

Snoopy

“A most stimulating time—a glorious week!”
— Eudora Welty

“The best in the nation.”
— James A. Michener

“An important and wonderful week.”
— Elmore Leonard

“SBWC offers aspiring talents opportunities to have their work seen by professionals who can help them reach publication.”
— Los Angeles Times

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For those of you hoping to schedule a private meeting with an editor or agent this year, Advance Submission will open for registration March 1. You must be a registered student to take part in Advance Submission. More about the program can be found here.We hope you’ll join us for our fabulous 44th year!

Write On!
Grace Rachow and the SBWC Team

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” — Ernest Hemingway

2016 Important Dates:

  • January 1­­- March 15Register for the early rate of $575
  • March 1: Advance Submission opens (sign up to meet with an agent or editor)
  • March 15: Last day for early registration price of $575
  • March 16: Regular registration begins — $650
  • May 1: Last day to sign up to meet with an editor or agent
  • May 6: Last day to take advantage of our group rate at the Hyatt Santa Barbara
  • June 5 – 10: SBWC at the Hyatt Santa Barbara!

Be sure to “like” our official Facebook page, which is the best place for conference updates. You can also join our new Facebook group for fun postings from SBWC workshop leaders and students.

News, Announcements & Happenings from SBWC Workshop Leaders, Students & Speakers

***If you would like your news to be included in the next SBWC e-Newsletter, please send in an email to info@sbwriters.com with the subject line NEWSLETTER.***

Copyright © 2015 Santa Barbara Writers Conference, LLC, All rights reserved.Our mailing address is:
Santa Barbara Writers Conference
27 West Anapamu Street, Suite 305
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Questions or Comments:
info@sbwriters.com

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THE HISTORY OF THE SANTA BARBARA WRITERS CONFERENCE

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Many people newer to the SBWC are not aware of its rich literary tradition.

How many know that Ray Bradbury kicked it off for thirty seven years?

Armando Nieto, a long standing staff member, Mary Conrad, one of the conference founders, and I have been collaborating for the last six months on: The Santa Barbara Writers Conference Scrapbook  — Words of Wisdom from Thirty Years of Literary Excellence 1973 – 2003 which is the working title.

A large part of the project is driven by the thirty years of photo albums and scrapbooks that Mary has, which are all being scanned.

At the request of Queen Grace, we will be posting tidbits each Friday to share part of the treasure trove that we have been exploring.

For this first post I am sharing a program from an earlier conference to give an idea of how many famous writers have contributed.

I’d also like to invite anyone who has ever been involved with the conference to send along any memorabilia they might have.

1990 Schedule 2Write On – Matt Pallamary

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June 5-10, 2016: Santa Barbara Writers Conference!

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I hope the family of SBWC writers has had a good year for writing in 2015. However it is time to ring in the new year.

The Santa Barbara Writers conference is on for June 5-10 at the Santa Barbara Hyatt.

Registration for the conference will open on New Years Day 2016, and we look forward to seeing you in June.

There will be more info in coming weeks about panels, agents and other news. We will keep you posted here. Sign up for our e-news letter.

Happy New Year!

Grace Rachow

SBWC Conference Coordinator

 

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Best Opening Contest: Thanks & Congratulations!

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Dear Writers,

Thank you to those of you who entered our Annual Best Opening Contest. After reviewing over 200 entries from all over the United States, we’d like to congratulate our winner and two runner-ups.

Louisa Lucie-Smith from Santa Barbara was our winner and the recipient of the full tuition scholarship to this year’s conference, June 7-12. Here is her winning entry:

Chute picked up the bullwhip. One crack and the snake was dead. The children stared from the stranger to the dead rattlesnake and dropped one by one from the apple tree to inspect the remains.

We’d also like to congratulate two honorable mentions: Cat Robson and Sarah Nickerson will both be receiving partial scholarships to the 2015 conference.

 We appreciate every writer who took a chance and submitted their writing to be considered. We know that an opening line is important, but also difficult to write. Stephen King says an opening line “should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.” Quite a task for any writer!

Opening night is nearly two weeks away, and we are looking forward to another fabulous year. If you haven’t already registered, now is the time!

www.sbwriters.com

Write On!
SBWC Team

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Marla Miller SBWC 2015 Workshop Guest Leaders

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Marketing the Muse 1-3:30pm, 6/8/15-6/12/15

by Marla Miller


My afternoon workshops remain the same—a combination of read/critique (openings only), fiction & nonfiction. We will also listen with an ear for organic social media strategies that may flow from story & enhance/build the presenter’s platform. For the past five years or so, my workshops have also included guest speakers, mostly authors carving their way thru Indie’s publishing maze.  In this session, I devote two afternoon workshops, TH & FR, to Indie publishing.

Several years of watching/following/editorializing about Indie and traditional publishing lead me here: In my humble opinion, Indie’s major role will be delivering good writers’ published works into traditional publishing’s arms. For this reason, I only follow Indie leaders and am very pleased that two will lead my workshops: Carla King on Thursday, 6/11/15 and David Wogahn on Friday, 6/12/15.  

Carla King is an Indie publishing leader and bestselling travel writer. Her workshop, a mix of editorial and marketing strategies, is aimed at the Indie author. The road to success (assuming you have writing chops) is very confusing and why I think it’s best to only follow the leaders. Carla King is one. She loves interacting so bring your ideas and pick her brain. In addition to travel writing for major brands and publishing all over the world, Carla heads up the San Francisco Writers Conference’s Indie publishing arm that includes moderating a panel of leaders who are the Who’s Who in Indie publishing.

On SBWC’s last day, I’m pleased that David Wogahn, a pioneer designer of ebook platforms and C.E.O. of Sellbooks, will run the afternoon workshop with me as assistant. I love ebooks and have published several. David is producing a three-ebook series for one of my clients, Alicia Marie. There’s so much to know and ebooks are so worth learning about, even if a writer only uses them as business and/or marketing tool. David likes the give & take of work shopping so bring your ideas, openings, proposal Overviews and questions. As long as queries relates to ebooks, (fiction & nonfiction) he’s glad to get ‘specific’ with one writer’s project believing, as I do, that what helps one of us helps us all. That’s why we workshop, isn’t it?

 

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Last Scholarship Opportunity for 2015 SBWC: Enter our annual BEST OPENING contest!

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Dear Writers,

Enter to win a scholarship to the 43rd Annual Santa Barbara Writers Conference! 

Send us your BEST OPENING, up to 50 words — a beginning most likely to compel a reader to turn the page. We will award one full tuition scholarship and two partial scholarships to the authors of the best openings. 

Here’s how to enter:

  • Email all entries to: sbwcBestOpening@gmail.com
  • Please include contact information: name, phone number, email address, & mailing address
  • Paste your entry and contact information into the body of the email
  • Word Count: Up to 50
  • All genres welcome
  • This must be your original work, published or unpublished
  • One winner will receive a full tuition scholarship, and two honorable mentions will receive partial scholarships to the 43rd Annual Santa Barbara Writers Conference, June 7 to 12, 2015**
  • No entry fee
  • Open: Today!
  • Deadline: Tuesday, May 26, at 3 PM (PST)
  • Winner Announced: Wednesday, May 27

Please share this opportunity with writers you know.

Write On!
SBWC Team

“I think your opening is enormously important. You’ve got to write a first line that will haunt you. It’s got to be magic.” – Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina, and keynote speaker at SBWC 2012

**In the event that any of the winners cannot attend the 2015 SBWC, June 7 to 12, the scholarship and award will go to the contestant next in line.

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Marla Miller’s 2015 SBWC Workshop Schedule

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Marla Miller.com

2015 SBWC Workshops

1–3:30 pm, Monday through Friday, 6/8 – 6/12, 2015

My afternoon workshops remain the same -a combination of read/critique, openings only, fiction & nonfiction. We will also listen with an ear for organic social media strategies that may flow from story & enhance/build the presenter’s platform. For the past five years or so, my workshops have also included guest speakers, mostly authors carving their way thru Indie’s publishing maze. In this session, I devote two afternoon workshops, TH & FR, to Indie publishing. Several years of watching/following/editorializing about Indie and traditional publishing lead me here: In my humble, Indie’s major role will be delivering good writers’ published works into traditional publishing’s arms. For this reason, I only follow Indie leaders and am very pleased that two will lead my workshops, Carla King on Thursday, 6/11/15 and David Wogahn on Friday, 6/12/15.

Carla King is an Indie publishing leader and bestselling travel writer. Her workshop, a mix of editorial and marketing strategies, is aimed at the Indie author. The road to success (assuming you have writing chops) is very confusing and why I think it’s best to only follow the leaders. Carla King is one. She loves interacting so bring your ideas and pick her brain. In addition to travel writing for major brands and publishing all over the world, Carla heads up the San Francisco Writers Conference’s Indie publishing arm that includes moderating a panel of leaders who are the Who’s Who in Indie publishing.

On SBWC’s last day, I’m pleased that David Wogahn, a pioneer designer of ebook platforms and C.E.O. of Sellbooks, will run the afternoon workshop with me as assistant. I love ebooks and have published several. David is producing a three-ebook series for one of my clients, Alicia Marie. There’s so much to know and ebooks are so worth learning about, even if a writer only uses them as business and/or marketing tool. David likes the give & take of work shopping so bring your ideas, openings, proposal Overviews and questions. As long as queries relates to ebooks, (fiction & nonfiction) he’s glad to get ‘specific’ with one writer’s project believing, as I do, that what helps one of us helps us all. That’s why we workshop, isn’t it?

SBWC Platform Building Panel, 6/12/15, 4 pm

I once again am honored to moderate SBWC Platform Building Panel that will include Carla King, David Wogahn and long-time SBWC devotee and newly published author, Ara Grigorian, who is also a Scrivener wizard. Brief introductions followed by a lively Q/A so bring your questions and ask!

SBWC/News/UPDATE: Carla King will be available for 15 minute free consultations from WED afternoon @ 2 pm thru FRI morning.  ‘How/Where To Sign Up’ details will be announced @ conference.

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Congratulations Joanell Serra! Winner of SBWC’s 2015 Mother’s Day Scholarship Contest

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Tasty Prose

by Joanell Serra

My mother chose words like gems, plucked from piles of baubles and trinkets. She never settled for the first, lazy, easily discovered, word. Her hands, crippled over time by a relentless disease, would move gently through the air as she searched for the right descriptive.

He was recalcitrant. She might say, in describing her grandfather. She was infatuated when she met my father, at seventeen. And he, the handsome man who walked up and down the aisles of her high school typing class dictating, was dapper. Even debonair.

As a writer, I long for her expertise, years after her death.  Curled up on a chilly afternoon with a cup of lukewarm tea, I muse over the page I’ve just written, then eye the shadows in the corners for a presence, hoping for a mellifluous whisper from beyond.

I’m searching for her kind of words – words that will make my reader’s heartbeats accelerate. Words that are as sweet as the nectar of honeysuckle flowers, that pull one sentence to another, like the taffy pulled in the summer time at the Jersey Shore. Words that stretch, or poke, or even pinch, like a feisty Aunt. Words that awaken all the possibilities of prose. Words that shift the lens from blurry to startlingly clear.

I say to my ghost mother, who is as real to me as my characters, gathered in my mind, “Here is my struggling scene, still embryonic:

My character is not just old but . . very, very old?  The beer he drinks is too warm. He neglected to drink it, caught in the web of an old man’s thoughts. The cane, dragged across a room, makes that scratchy noise. What is that sound? And the first star, appearing in the twilight sky early and unexpected, awakens in the old man a sliver of hope, a feeling so unusual it pains his slowing heart. But not hope, that is too mundane, too pedestrian, an overused word altogether.”

And my mother reaches across time and space, from death to life, from the Elysian Islands to San Francisco, and teases the words out of my unconsciousness, onto the page. As she once guided my steps as I wobbled across the wet grass, my hand as she taught me to write letters with long, gentle strokes.

The man is not just old, he is archaic. The beer is tepid. His cane rasps across the rotting wooden floor. And the hope he feels, as the first star appears? Just a sliver of expectation, a breath of anticipation. Perhaps a shiver, in recognition of his previous sanguinity?

Yes. That’s it. A recognition of previous sanguinity.

My mother instilled in me a hunger for delicious prose, and then fed words to me with each meal. Words that stretched like my grilled Swiss cheese sandwiches, words as tart as her apricot and plum pie, words that dripped, like honey dripping from the spoon, words that wafted like the steam from my fresh cup of tea.

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