This January, Yamhill County high school writers and writing teachers spent a full day at the Chehalem Cultural Center participating in the inaugural Fire Writers Conference.
Organized by retired McMinnville educator/administrator Dr. Deborah Weiner, this conference connected writers and teachers from nine schools. Students spent the day learning the craft, understanding the varieties of ways writers can earn a living, and discovering ways to enrich their own writing practices.
The conference offered insight into many writing genres: poetry, journalism, memoir, writing for theatre, or science fiction. Thanks to funding from YCCC, teachers could attend the conference with their students, and experience their own teaching workshops with Oregon Poet Laureate, Kim Stafford and with Oregon Book Award winner and educator, Joe Wilkins.
Oregon poet laureate, Kim Stafford gave a timely, inspiring keynote address. Fire Writers workshop presenters/noon hour panel participants were: Alex Dang, Fonda Lee, Eder Campuzano, C. Morgan Kennedy, Kate Carroll de Gutes, Kerrie Savage, Jules Ohman, Joe Wilkins, Jose Araguz, Kate Ristau, Angela Newport, Teresa Klepinger, Courtney Terry, Sean Andries.