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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Hosts Annual "Sanibel Island Writers Conference" On Sanibel Island Nov. 6-9

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University invites aspiring writers to attend the Sanibel Island Writers Conference to be held Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 6 through Nov. 9, at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island. Participants can attend a variety of workshops, panels, lectures and readings presented by celebrated and experienced writers and teachers.

The daily schedule is from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

According to Tom DeMarchi, director of the Sanibel Writers Conference and instructor in the FGCU College of Arts and Sciences, "The conference is open to any aspiring writer who wants to create new work or refine a project already in progress."

Attendees participate in a variety of morning workshops in fiction, poetry, screenwriting, children's literature, memoir, songwriting, and creative nonfiction. Afternoon panels include workshops in publishing, freelance writing, journalism, and the creative process. Each evening will feature readings and book signings with two to three authors, as well as a musical performance from John K. Samson on Saturday night. Participants registered for the entire conference can attend all events. Tickets for nightly readings will be sold to the general public through BIG ARTS and at the door.

Keynote speaker Sena Jeter Naslund is author of New York Times bestselling novels Ahab's Wife, Abundance, Four Spirits, and Sherlock in Love, and the short story collection The Disobedience of Water. Naslund is Writer in Residence at the University of Louisville, Program Director of the Spalding University brief-residency MFA in Writing, and current
Kentucky Poet Laureate. Recipient of the Harper Lee Award and the Southeastern Library Association Fiction Award, she is cofounder of The Louisville Review and the Fleur-de-Lis Press.

Presenters include celebrated writers Lynne Barrett, Jim Brock, Ron Carlson, John Dufresne, Beth Ann Fennelly, William Giraldi, William Greenway, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Mary Beth Lundgren, John McNally, Leonard Nash, Neal Pollack, Michael Steinberg, and Ian Vasquez.

Literary agents Eve Bridburg and Christopher Schelling will discuss how they recruit clients and manage their careers. Literary editors Camille Cline, Jeanne Leiby, and Jocelyn Bartkevicius will hold panels on choosing which authors to publish, and how much they edit.

John K. Samson, leader of the band The Weakerthans and co-founder/Managing Editor of Arbiter Ring Publishing, will conduct a three-day songwriting workshop and concludes the nightly reading series with a Saturday night concert that is open to the public. The Weakerthans have released four successful and critically acclaimed albums-Fallow, Left & Leaving, Reconstruction Site, and, most recently, Reunion Tour. The Weakerthans have been nominated for numerous awards, and recently won the 2008 XM Verge Music Prize for the Artist of the Year.

Cost for participants is $350, which includes all workshops, panels, lectures and readings. Registration is limited to 150 participants on a first come, first serve basis. Registration forms are available at

For an additional $50, participants can meet privately with a writer or editor to discuss a maximum of 10 pages of a pre-submitted manuscript. Space is limited for individual manuscript consultations.

For more information, media representatives should contact DeMarchi at (239) 590-7421 or, or visit the conference website at

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