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Blue Ridge GA - BRMAA - 26th Annual Blue Ridge Writers' Conference

Writers' Conference 

Annual Blue Ridge Writers' Conference

The Blue Ridge Writers' Conference mission is to educate, inform and inspire writers. 

Throughout the conference, writers will network with fellow writers, expand their knowledge base and learn to hone their skills in various breakout sessions.

The 26th Annual Conference begins with a Workshop Intensive held on Friday, April 14th from 10:30am-2:30pm and a Writers' Meet & Greet will take place Friday evening at 5pm.

Writers' Conference sessions begin at 9am on Saturday, April 15th.

Book sales from our conference speakers and member writers will also be made available throughout conference events.

Please note: Pre-registration for this event is required!


Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle 



2023 Keynote Topic 
Breathing Life and Lives into Fiction 

Reading is an intellectual and emotional activity, one that necessitates a physical experience. Our bodies both trigger and are triggered by sensory memory. We may not remember a conversation with a loved one, but we remember the coldness of their touch, how heavy the words felt in our ears, or the smell of their skin. By employing our own bodies in the craft of writing to create new worlds, new experiences, and new energy, we empower our stories to invoke a corporeal experience. Clapsaddle will explore methods for infusing physical sensation into your writing through practice, observation, and structure.


Dana Wildsmith

DANA WILDSMITH - Workshop Intensive
Writing Through Change

Over the past few years, we've all learned to adapt to the way we live in a changing world. With some of us, this time of change has resulted in an outpouring of writing which may not be as focused as we need it to be. Others of us have felt our creative life become as cautious and isolated as society has too often seemed. We all need to make sure our writing process has adapted to who we are now, and to what the reading public most needs at this time. Bring excerpts of your works-in-progress and through a mix of discussion, prompts and critique, we'll explore how our writing can be made more useful to ourselves and to the world.


Karen Holmes

Translating the World: Imagery in Poetry

This workshop will focus on voice and imagery in poetry. Struggling to find our voice in writing, we want to produce poetry a reader will listen to and read. We will explore subject matter, diction, point of view, syntax and grammar, and imagery to allow the voice of our poetry to distinguish itself from others'. Images can be literal or figurative, translating the world through our five (or six) senses so they produce insights for a reader. In addition to looking at published poets, we will also discuss drafts and revisions, so please come prepared to write and bring along some work you've already begun.

Poetry Writing Jumpstarts

So much of our writing is based on personal experience through the lens of self. This workshop will focus on developing writing skills based on external prompts and stimuli. As we learn to look outward, we develop a whole new set of experiences from which to write and acquire a brand new "reference library." Bring pen and paper, partial poems, complete poems, and even the "failed" poems you just can't give up. Be ready to write, write, and write!

 Jessica Handler

Looking Back, Moving Forward:

Writing About Grief, Loss, and Trauma
Robert Frost wrote, "no tears for the writer, no tears for the reader," but how do we create effective story from emotionally difficult material? Writing well about loss requires more than capturing slippery memory on the page - reflection must advance the narrative. In this workshop, we will examine elements of renowned trauma memoirs and engage in writing prompts that will help us examine how conflict and joy are put to work in powerful prose. Participants will explore strategies for writing about loss and trauma in pursuit of insight, wholeness, and connection to readers. We will end our time together with a new understanding of the little-known continuation of Frost's quote: "No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader."

Writing History: Yours and Others

How do writers of fiction and nonfiction prose present vibrant history on the page? How does a writer convey a place and time, and make historical characters' worlds resonate with contemporary readers? Through writing prompts and discussion of professional examples, we'll examine the author's craft of bringing history to life. This workshop is suitable for writers of historical fiction, memoir, and narrative nonfiction, and is open to writers with all levels of experience. Participants will gain tips and insight into techniques applicable to their own work.

 Sonia Kamal

Text and Subtext Part 1

What are you trying to convey to the reader in your writing? How can the reader "hear" the story you want to tell? This workshop will explore your fiction's reality and how to weave your message into the prose.

Text and Subtext Part 2

A continued exploration of communicating deeper ideas within the plot of your novel.

 Heather Newton

Thievery, Loss and Scars:
​A Fiction Workshop

Books on creative writing sometimes encourage you to interview your characters to get to know them, but does discovering that your character's favorite color is blue and her favorite food is beef stroganoff really make your fiction better? In this generative workshop we'll dig deep into your characters' minds, memories and emotions, to force them to tell us the good stuff. Come prepared to write and share your work with others.

The Use of Sound in Prose

Of all the sensory details used in fiction and nonfiction, sound may get the least attention. Yet sound can be key to depicting character, setting and tone. How can you describe sound in a way that is both original and instantly familiar to the reader? How can you avoid clichés (screen doors banging, hearts pounding like drums)? In this class we'll look at examples of sound well rendered on the page, and do in-class exercises including aural prompts to get you thinking more deeply about how to give sound its due. Come prepared to write.

 Michelle Moran

Panel Moderator

April 14, 2023

Cost: See above for Time Schedule & Fees



The Art Center - Blue Ridge Mtn Arts Association
420 West Main Street
Blue Ridge , GA 30513

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Phone: 706.632.2144
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