This time of year, I'm normally packing my bags to head to San Luis Obispo, enthusiastically anticipating hanging with my Central Coast Writers Conference buddies, spending a week teaching, laughing, connecting with writers, and topping off the event with amazing vineyard tours.
Wine, writers and friends. What could ever keep me away?!
Enter the dreaded COVID and all our plans of writer-fueled fun were tossed right out the window.
But have no fear! This year, the CCWC team decided the show must go on... remotely via Zoom. Sure, we'll all miss gathering together in person, but now more people than ever can attend the event, September 24th to 26th, without the limitations (and expense) of traveling.
“We are adapting to the many changes 2020 has brought our way and nothing will stop our conference!” said CCWC Executive Director Teri Bayus. “We have an award-winning staff dedicated to helping writers at all levels achieve their goals. Although it’s true our 36th annual event may look a bit different than years past, people from all over the world may join in as our classes, workshops, and keynote presentations will be offered completely online.”
Master Classes are on Thursday, and over 60 sessions fill Friday and Saturday schedule. I'll be teaching a class about writing your first script, and you'll recognize other Script contributor names on the speaker list, like Doug Richardson, Donald Hewitt, Danny Manus, and Bryan Young.
“As always, our conference is ideal for writers of all ages and experience levels,” said Bayus. “Our presenters are fabulous, experienced, and the best in their industry when it comes to teaching screenwriting, novel writing, beginning writing, poetry, business, and more.”
The 2020 keynote speakers are Christopher Moore, Jordan Rosenfeld, and Monica Piper. Scholarships are available for Teachers and include opportunities to attend the Teen Program, and Finding Your Voice Program, sponsored by Chevron and Cuesta College.
“Class attendees will also be given the opportunity to submit stories for possible publication in our 2021 book, Connections,” said Bayus. “There is so much to be excited about this year, and we truly have something to offer to all writers, whether they are experienced or just starting on their writing journey. Our goal is to help every writer that attends our conference take their writing to the next level. So, sign up today and join us for CCWC 2020!”
The registration fee includes a recorded copy of every class for all attendees. Find more information and registration forms at CentralCoastWritersConference.com. Contact Cuesta Community Programs at 805-546-3100 ext. 2284. Follow CCWC for the latest updates: Instagram and Twitter @CCWritersCon and Facebook @CentralCoastWritersConference.
While I'll miss seeing everyone in person, the conference is still an amazing event for all writers, whether you're a poet, novelist, journalist, or screenwriter. Check out the entire conference schedule and see for yourself!
For the first time in 36 years, the Central Coast Writers Conference will go virtual. Hosted by Cuesta College, online workshops will be Sept. 24-26, 2020, with 12 presenters of color and a new "Voices of Color" scholarship. Video by David Caraccio.