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Writers conference returns to BSU

BEMIDJI — The deadline to register for the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference at BSU is Monday. The conference is once again bringing established and awarded-winning authors and instructors from across the country.

The weeklong conference starts June 22, with sign-in starting at noon followed by the informal reception with opening night dinner speaker/poet Aimee Nez (Nezhukkumatahil), which leads off a full week of readings, writing and leisure activities, daily workshops from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with visiting faculty, craft talks and nightly readings. Register online at and use the drop-down “Apply Now.”

To reach the conference coordinator Matthew Hawthorne, email if you have more questions. Conference director Sean Hill may also be reached at the same address and will be in Bemidji shortly after his teaching stint in Alaska. For the entire week of activities, the cost of the conference is only $545 with optional lodging at Linden Suites for $25 per night.

Bemidjians who want to the option to attend some of the events may register at Auditor Option for $125, which includes all conference amenities and events but does not include the workshops.

But aspiring authors should seriously consider paying the full price because the workshops include bringing in samples to be critiqued by the members and faculty. An added bonus at this conference is having Patrick Thomas of Milkweed Editions on hand to discuss working with a publishing house.

The Reading Series, open to the public at no cost, will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the American

Indian Resource Center located on campus. Pam Houston, distinguished visiting writer will be speaking June 23 with a craft talk and conversation prior to the public talk. Visiting faculty involved in the conference, in addition to Houston and Nez, are Rebecca Brown, Camille Dungy, Sheri Joseph, and Judson Mitchem will lead workshops in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and multi-genre novice. The schedule for the individual talks may be found at the website and will be published nearer the dates in Pioneer Previews.

Bringing together in one place for a week of collegial work, with the range and depth of the faculty backgrounds is a rare chance for locals and visitors because of the opportunity to learn from a professional author on an almost one-to-one basis.