Look Who’s Keynoting the ’09 Hawaii Writers Conference

Our opening keynoter at last year’s Hawaii Writers Conference was the incomparable Bryce Courtenay. Amazon had just notified him that his life-changing novel The Power of One has been their 5th biggest-selling book for years . . . just after To Kill a Mockingbird. Go Bryce!

Bryce rocked us in our seats with his oh-so-true observation that “Writing is a perishable skill.” Are you waiting for the “write” time to finish your book? What if those perfect circumstances never come?

If you have a story to tell and a message to share, join us Labor Day weekend at the historical Royal Hawaiian Hotel (yes, the famous Pink Palace) on the beach in Waikiki for our 17th annual www.HawaiiWritersConference.com

We have an incredible line-up for this year’s event. It starts off with a week long intensive retreat (August 28 – Sept. 3) in which you have the luxury of immersing yourself in your project while working in a supportive small group with an instructor dedicated to helping you move your manuscript forward.

The impressive instructors include such notables as Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Powers (Flags of our Fathers, Mark Twain) and first-Oprah-pick Jacquelyn Mitchard (Deep End of the Ocean). And yes, I’m heading up the Business/Self Help section and looking forward, once again, to helping participants in my group crystallize a commercially-viable project that gets interest from agents and editors.

The conference itself (Sept. 4–7) begins with a gala starring songstress Norah Jones. I’ll be Emceeing (for the 17th year) and am excited about our great keynoters including:

* Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)

* Jospeh Finder (The Moscow Club, High Crimes)

* Alice Hoffman (Here on Earth, The Story Girls)

* Kristin Hannah (Firefly Lane, True Colors)

* Michael Arndt (Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay – Little Miss Sunshine)

* Bobby Moresco (Co-producer for Oscar winners Million Dollar Baby and Crash)

* Diane Ossana (Golden Globe for Best Drama – Brokeback Mountain)

Are you in the market for an agent, publisher or producer? Jump the chain of command and take advantage of this rare opportunity to meet face-to-face with publishing and Hollywood insiders who have the power to give you a contract. MWC (renamed Hawaii Writers Conference since we’ve relocated to Waikiki) originated the concept of giving authors and screenwriters the chance to pitch their projects directly to decision-makers.

Save yourself time, money, frustration and the SLUSH PILE by connecting directly with such powerful agents (Jilian Manus) and editors as Neil Nyren of Putnam (represents Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell, Ken Follett, Clive Cussler) and Georgia Hughes of New World Library (Ekhart Tolle’s The Power of Now).

If you have always wanted to get published or produced,THIS is your opportunity to stop wishing and start acting. Fast-forward your cookbook, childrens’ book, business or self help book, memoir, screenplay or novel’s success by putting yourself in the place where luck is most likely to happen. Hope to see you in Hawaii for this chicken-skin (Hawaiian for goose-bumps) experience.

  1. Sam, I used to go to the MWC (7 years!) and did attend the first year of the new Honolulu-setting conference right before my wedding, but I was so disappointed. While it’s true there are really so many great things about the conference in general, I have to say that the location on Maui was as much, if not even more, important to re-connecting with my inner urge to write, and my works-in-progress, as any speaker I heard. Maui was just flat-out the best muse one could find. Waikiki was not inspirational at all, in fact I may as well have been in Chicago, for the traffic, the difficulty getting to classes on time, the overall hubbub. It wasn’t worth the money. Maui was absolutely magical, everything so intimate and immediate. The new conference is so different, it’s lost its feel. And the 4 other women (we all went to college together and I turned them onto this) who always have gone with me decided not to attend anymore. It’s just not worth the price. One of them did communicate to the organizer and she was sent kind of a snotty email back… like, (“well you obviously don’t care why we did this so I won’t take the time to go into it any further…”) I am looking for another smaller kind of conference, with some peace and good vibe to it. If you know of one, please let me know. Stuck in traffic in Honolulu, hot, horns honking, sitting in a car for over 45 minutes and NOT being able to “let go” and breathe and say, “Okay, this is for me, this treat, this re-connection to a part of me in this awesome, relaxing place” was a deal breaker for me. I KNOW many people will disagree, but I’ve never felt as connected to that core of myself (the writer) as I did on Maui. And I want to find that again! Thanks for listening.

    • Wanted to take a moment to get back and let you know I miss Maui too.

      You’re right, it was the perfect muse for writing and for the special community we try to create at the conference.

      The challenge was, we needed a hotel that would help host the conference and we were no longer able to find that on Maui.

      This year we’re at the Royal Hawaiian (the historical pink palace on the beach in Waikiki) and I’m going to do my best as Emcee to capture that special mana of the islands to create an ohana at the retreat and conference.

      Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback, Molly. Best wishes and write on.

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