Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST
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KSU Center 
3333 Busbee Drive
Kennesaw, GA 30144

Driving Directions 


Jessica Wilson 
Georgia Writers Association 

Red Clay Writers Conference 2017

The Red Clay Writers Conference will be held on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at the KSU Continuing Education Center in Kennesaw from 9 AM-5 PM in Rooms 400, 300, and the atrium.


Andrea Jurjevic

Border Crossings: Original Poems and Poetry in Translation

Poetry provides a connection and lets us lean into a shared, borderless world. This reading and discussion will focus on poetry that is informed by war and female experience. It will cover issues such as losing and navigating one’s culture—whether as outsiders or natives—as well as intimacy and love in the times of political conflict or national unrest.

Andrea Jurjevic, a native of Croatia, is the author of Small Crimes, winner of the 2015 Philip Levine Prize. Her poems, as well as her translations of contemporary Croatian poetry, have appeared in journals such as Epoch,TriQuarterly, Best New Poets, The Missouri ReviewGulf Coast, and elsewhere. Her translation of Mamasafari (And Other Things) from Croatian will be published by Diálogos in 2018. She works as a Lecturer in English at Georgia State University.

There will be eight, one-hour literary events. Attendees will be able to participate in four events in addition to hearing our Keynote, Andrea Jurjevic at 3:45 PM-4:45 PM in Room 400. For more information on our invited authors, visit our 2017 Invited Authors  page.

2017 Schedule 

Nicki Salcedo

Building Your Characters: 9:30 AM-10:30 AM, Room 400

People read stories for characters. Characters evoke emotion and empathy. Characters drive action and react. Characters evolve. Great characters are stay with your readers long after the story is over. How do you craft believable characters? They must make us feel something. In this class, you will learn how to develop characters sketches. Try method writing to get into the head of your character. Practice writing exercises that show the value of likable characters and the importance of characters we hate. We will delve into motivation, flaws, and mannerism that will strengthen your characters. Strong characters impact the plot and theme of your story. This class is for both writers of fiction and narrative non-fiction. You may bring characters from a work in progress or come ready to brainstorm ideas to create new character.

Angela DeCaires

Don’t Get Ripped Off When Publishing: 9:30 AM-10:30 AM, Room 300

There are so many horror stories these days about writers falling victim to scams, shams, and poor providers of publishing services. How can a writer hire editors, designers, or publishing support companies that they can trust? This session run by the Director of BookLogix includes: Questions a writer should ask, samples they should ask for, and red flags to look out for.

Jessica Handler

Looking Back, Moving Forward: 10:45 AM-11:45 AM, Room 400

A well-written memoir about grief or loss demonstrates that the writer has moved forward enough to look back. But how does a writer’s “back” shape his or her “forward?” If we intend to write well about our loss, ‘looking back’ on positive and negative experiences involves more than just capturing slippery memory on the page. Looking back creates forward motion in the story. In this workshop, participants will discuss examples from classic memoir, and generate new material from writing prompts generated by the workshop.

 Photo Credit: Sarah Wooods for SuperLux

Rona Simmons

Ready, Set, SELL!: 10:45 AM-11:45 AM, Room 300

You’ve written “the end.” You have your books in hand. You grab your coat, and…Wait! Where’s your marketing plan? What have you been doing all these months? In the “Ready, Set, SELL!” session, published author, GAYA 2017 nominee, and non-stop-marketer Rona Simmons will share the elements of an author’s marketing plan with practical tips on how to write and execute your own (including how to work with book festivals, book stores, and publications). Without a plan, she says, everything seems like a good idea and nothing works.

12:00 PM-1:00 PM Lunch provided by KSU Catering 

Anne Corbitt

It's Not What You Say; It's How You Say It: Ten Tips for Better Dialogue: 1:15 PM-2:15 PM, Room 400

Nothing turns a reader off faster than weighty or unrealistic dialogue, but for many writers, crafting engaging, believable, and effective scenes can be a real challenge. The good news is that improving your dialogue can be easier than you think! We'll discuss ten simple tips for getting your characters to talk and your writing to sing.

Aaron Levy

Success and Challenges in the Young Adult Market - Present and Future: 1:15 PM-2:15 PM, Room 300

The young adult market has exploded in fiction AND film/tv. If you have teen angst or folly in your pen, don’t ignore this rich genre and how it’s expanding! Join the conversation about the creation and release of Aaron Levy’s debut YA novel, published by Good Reads Press. This session will discuss the current and future young adult market and all the possible publication options, i.e. big houses, smaller publishers, independents, and the whole Amazon “game.” Also discover how “unknown” young adult authors with low to zero budget from the publisher, successfully market, especially where teachers, librarians and students fit into the marketing mix. 

Gregg Murray, Anna Sandy, and Anna Schachner

Editor Panel: 2:30 PM-3:30 PM, Room 400

During this Q &A, Gregg Murray (founding editor of Muse/A Journal), Anna Sandy (Editor-in-Chief of New South), and Anna Schachner (Editor of Chattahoochee Review) answer questions about submitting, researching, and publishing poetry and prose in both online and print literary journals.


Stephanie Storey

Writing Historical Fiction: 2:30 PM-3:30 PM, Room 300

Participants will discuss issues of historical fiction like: How much artistic license should you take with history in order to tell a compelling, fictional story? How to organize and manage large amounts of research? When to call in an expert? How to deal with anachronisms and dialogue? How to integrate fictional characters with real-life historical figures? And other issues of historical fiction.

Additional Breakout Sessions Include:

 Consults with Literary Agent Cherry Weiner

Each participant will submit their work prior to the event for her to read and critique using the format listed below. Due to time constraints, slots are offered only to the first twenty registered applicants. The first 20 pages of your work, double spaced, and a one page synopsis must be emailed to administrator@georgiawriters.org by October 21, 2017.

Available Openings: 20

Additional Charge: $40 for 10 minute consult, Cherry is graciously donating $5 of each fee back to GWA

 Photo Credit: Rena Mason

Poetry Consults with New South Poetry Editor Caroline Crew

Each participant will submit their work prior to the event using the format listed below. Due to time constraints, slots are offered only to the first seven registered applicants. Please submit five poems for review.  Include a brief note on any specifics you're looking for, and if the poems are part of a larger project. Email to administrator@georgiawriters.org by November 1, 2017.

Available Openings: 7

Additional Charge: $45 for 50-60 minutes

Thank you to our sponsors: 



GWA Member – $40

Nonmember – $50

KSU Faculty/Staff/Students – $30

Admission Includes:

  • Complimentary Morning and Afternoon Refreshments
  • Bag Lunch
  • Access to Literary Events

Additional Charges

  • Consult with literary agent
  • Consult with poetry editor