Writers Guild conference set for weekend

Published 12:21 am Friday, August 5, 2016

NATCHEZ — For seasoned writers, aspiring writers or those who just like to be around writers, the Mississippi Writers Guild has a weekend slate of events sure to please.

Celebrating its 10th year, the state organization is hosting its annual conference at the Hotel Vue in Natchez. The conference filled with speakers and workshops begins tonight and ends Saturday afternoon.

“We decided to celebrate our 10th anniversary in Natchez, because it was also celebrating a momentous birthday,” guild president and local author Mark LaFrancis said.

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One of the highlights of the weekend includes a salute to Natchez writer and New York Times Bestselling author Greg Iles, who will be presented with the guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be presented at a noon luncheon.

Iles is the second recipient of the award and will be at the luncheon to offer remarks and autograph books, LaFrancis said.“We will have his latest two books for sale, which are first-edition novels,” LaFrancis said.

“Natchez Burning” will be available in paperback and “The Bone Tree” will be available in hard cover and paperback. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the guild, LaFrancis said.

Cost of the awards luncheon is $25 per person. The public may attend the awards presentation without lunch to hear Iles speak for free, LaFrancis said.

The full day of workshops planned for Saturday costs $100. Teachers may earn six hours of continuing education credits through Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

Authors from around the state will be autographing books for sale during the conference.

Local author Christine Brinegar will unveil her newest book “Modern Day Kaintucks,” about local bicyclists who have ridden some or all of the 444 miles of the Natchez Trace Parkway. The book will debut Friday night at the conference.

A schedule of workshops and other information about the conference is available at mississippiwritersguild.com or by calling LaFrancis at 601-442-0980.