Registration Open for Bemidji State's Northwoods Writers Conference

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Registrations are now being accepted for the Sixth Annual Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference, to be held June 15-20, 2008 at Bemidji State University.

Each June, writers gather at Bemidji State University on the shores of Lake Bemidji for an enlivening week of literary activity at the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference. Each morning, participants gather their thoughts, notebooks and writing utensils and head off to workshops where teachers and fellow participants provide constructive feedback and encouragement.

The conference features a novice workshop and sessions in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. A symbolic modeling workshop to help writers locate rich subjects, discover hidden knowledge of these subjects and interrogate drafts.

The conference also features an evening reading series by faculty and a publishing seminar.

The conference costs $470 for those who apply prior to the early application deadline of March 1. After March 1, registration increases to $495. No registrations will be accepted after May 1. There is an additional $40 charge for those wishing to attend the symbolic modeling workshop.

Writers at any stage of their development may apply for thet poetry, creative non-fiction, fiction and symbolic modeling workshops, but must submit a five- to 10-page writing sample with their application. Submissions will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, and participants will be selected on the basis of promise or accomplishment in the writing sample.

Those interested in the novice workshop do not have to submit a writing sample.

The faculty for the 2008 conference are:
Victoria Redel, professor at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University; novice workshop
Terrance Hayes, professor of creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University; poetry workshop
Judith Kitchen, professor at Pacific Lutheran University; creative non-fiction workshop
Judson Mitcham, professor of creative writing at Mercer University; fiction workshop
Tina Parke-Sutherland, professor of English and creative writing and the dean of liberal arts at Stephens College; symbolic modeling workshop

Pulitzer Prize winner Nathasha Trethewey, the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry at Emory University, will serve as the distinguished visiting writer during the week. She will meet with conference attendees and read from her works.

Trethewey is the award-winning author of Native Guard, for which she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize; Bellocq’s Ophelia, The American Library Association’s 2003 Notable Book; and Domestic Work, which was selected by Rita Dove as the winner of the inaugural Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African American poet and which won both the 2001 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize and the 2001 Lillian Smith Award for Poetry.

Trethewey is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. Her poems have appeared in such journals and anthologies as American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Gettysburg Review and The Best American Poetry 2000 and 2003.

The Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference is directed by Susan Carol Hauser, administrated by Sean Hill and coordinated by Tammi Hartung.

Application materials and complete guidelines are available from the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference. Visit the conference on the Web at, via e-mail at or by phone at (218) 755-2068.