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St. Francis Writers' Conference to Emphasize Regional Writing

The Writers Conference of Northern Appalachia (WCoNA) is coming to Saint Francis University in Loretto, Friday, March 15 through Saturday, March 16.

The program features 25 workshops and presentations on topics including poetry, voice, developing a sense of place, screenwriting, marketing your book, publishing, Appalachian heritage and history, character development, and memoir.

During the Friday evening opening, USA Today best-selling author David Poyer will offer a special presentation on writing in the age of AI.

The event, focused on building recognition for the region’s literature and helping its writers hone their craft, kicks off with an open mic on Friday evening. WCoNA invites participating authors to sign and sell books at the conference’s book sale.

Attendees will have opportunities to network and establish new relationships based on the common appreciation for the literature of northern Appalachia.

According to WCoNA founder and president PJ Piccirillo, a novelist from Elk County, the contributions of writers interpreting life in northern Appalachia have been underrecognized, though the region’s people, places, cultures, and landscapes are as rich as those that have given rise to renowned literary traditions.

“We believe the stories, poems, and essays inspired by our experiences deserve to be represented and valued as a body of work,” Piccirillo said. “To increase access to this outstanding literature, we’re building a brand for our writers among booksellers, agents, publishers and, most importantly, readers.”

After a distinguished career as editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, keynote Maxwell King served as president of The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation. He has written a poetry collection, Crossing Laurel Run, followed by the New York Times-bestselling biography, The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers.

Most recently, Mr. King published American Workman: The Life and Art of John Kane, a book about a man whose experience in northern Appalachia typifies the misunderstood and overlooked voices of the region.

Registration is open with early-bird pricing through February 15 at http://www.wcona.com.

About WCoNA

The Writers Conference of Northern Appalachia (WCoNA) annually gathers writers and others interested in the region’s literature to honor their work and enhance the craft of our authors. WCoNA is a catalyst to inspire more novels, poetry, essays, history, memoir, and drama that represent, in some way, northern Appalachia, and so create and promote a canon of writers and writing of northern Appalachia.


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