Order of Events

The Red Clay Writers Conference will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2016, at the KSU Continuing Education Center in Kennesaw from 9-5.

Keynote Speaker: Phillip DePoy

Breakout Sessions Include:


Individual Critiques with Renea Winchester: If you’re not quite ready to share your work with a group, Renea Winchester offers individual critiques during the Red Clay conference. Each participant will submit their work prior to the event using the format listed below. Renea will offer personalized, and private, feedback of your work. Critiques are scheduled every fifteen minutes beginning promptly at 1:15. Due to time constraints, critique slots are offered only to the first eleven applicants. After the last Red Clay conference one of the manuscripts Renea critiqued was acquired by St. Martin’s Press.

Please respect your colleagues’ appointment and arrive promptly. Renea will stay after the last appointment for those who wish to discuss their work past their allotted time. Renea does not critique: Poetry, Young Adult, Erotica or Paranormal. Renea loves both fiction and nonfiction work where the characters have a strong voice and the author draws her into the story using powerful, descriptive words.

Please submit no more than 15 pages double spaced with 1 inch margins using Times New Roman Font. Ideally, submitting from the first chapter allows the best critique. Participants will receive a concept critique. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, line edits aren’t available. However, Renea will make notations in the margins when appropriate.

Available Openings:  11

Additional Charge: $40 for fifteen double-spaced pages


Critique Groups with Ann Hite: Ann works with attendees in an hour long workshop atmosphere critiquing twenty pages of their work during two group sessions at the Red Clay Writers Conference. Each attendee receives hand written notes and their piece is discussed within the workshop time. There will be two groups of ten people.

Available Openings: 20

Additional Charge: $20 for twenty double-spaced pages


All critique manuscripts must be submitted by email to administrator@georgiawriters.org no later than 5 pm EST on Thursday, April 21st. 



There will be eight, one-hour workshops. Attendees will be able to participate in four workshops in addition to hearing our Keynote Speaker, Phillip DePoy.  For more information on speakers, visit our Speakers page.


Raymond Atkins: Character Development 
In this short and informative workshop, Raymond L. Atkins discusses proven techniques for developing believable characters. During the course of this presentation, writers will learn the skills necessary to breathe life into their characters. Through discussions, examples, and interactive exercises, Atkins will teach writers the following methods and techniques.
· Picturing characters to make them come alive.
· Creating realistic and believable conversations.
· Turning the story over to the characters.
· Would they do that?
· Naming your characters.
· Show me, don’t tell me.
· Treating characters with respect.
· Developing characters, not caricatures.


Carol Crawford: Mend these Manuscript Mistakes Without an Editor
Save your editing dollars for content and development, and fix the speed bumps in your story that distract readers — such as head hopping, word swaps, faulty formatting, unsettled scenes, the aggressive passive, and others. Learn to spot and overcome the common mistakes that get in the way of your narrative, and keep the reader engaged to the very last page. This interactive workshop will be led by the president of carolcrawfordediting.com.


Angela DeCaires: Which Publishing Option Is Best?
The publishing industry continues to change, creating a growing number of options for today’s writers looking to publish their work. It can be overwhelming! With so many options how is a writer to know which path makes the most sense for their unique situation? In this session Angela DeCaires, publishing director at BookLogix, will break down the options and give the pros and cons of each potential publishing path to help writers get a clearer idea of the direction they should pursue. Questions are welcome throughout, and at the end of the session!


Renea Winchester: Ask the Author: Q & A Workshop Session with Renea Winchester 
Is this the year you plan to publish your manuscript? Do you have questions about writing, publication and marketing? Have you attended workshops in the past, but were afraid to ask questions? In this unique session, Renea answers those nagging questions you have about the publication process. Should you pursue self-publication? How do you get your book into a brick-and-mortar bookstore? How do you market your book? How much revenue should your book generate? How do you build a reader following? No question is off limits. Come with a list of questions and let Renea help you develop a plan toward publication.


Sally Kilpatrick: Conflict for the Conflict-Averse
Ever had an editor or agent tell you that your work is “too quiet” or that it “lacks urgency”? After several rejections with similar notes, Sally Kilpatrick began studying conflict. The result, her novel The Happy Hour Choir, was her first sale. Learn the strategies and resources that she uses to make sure her work has enough conflict to sustain the story.


Rona Simmons: Author Media Kit
Do you think only well-known, best-selling authors need a media kit? Do you think you can wait to create your own, or that you don’t need one at all? Think again. In the “Author Media Kit” session, published author and GAYA 2016 nominee Rona Simmons will share what a media kit is, why you need one, and how to construct your own. Having a media kit, she says, will save you hours of work and help build your author’s platform and marketing plan.


Ann Hite: Can A Novelist Write Nonfiction? 
This workshop will be a discussion about stepping outside of our writing boxes. Ann talks about her process of writing fiction and how it differs from writing book-length nonfiction narrative. Research and footnotes are discussed. How does a writer decide whether to write nonfiction or fiction. This will be a casual workshop, where attendees will be encouraged to speak out.


Panel Presentation with K.B. Kincer, Christopher Martin, and Cheryl Stiles: The Four Pillars of Poetic Practice
Please join us for an informative and lively panel discussion with three practicing and well-published poets and editors. The poets will talk about the “four pillars”  of their own poetic practices—vision/inspiration, composition, revision, and publication. You will  hear many practical suggestions including: how to deal with writer’s block as well as rejection letters from editors, how to master the finer points of revision and how you can turn rejection into acceptance, how to find potential online and print journals where you might submit your work,  how to put “the odds ever in your favor” when you submit your work for consideration, and what you should know about starting your own online poetry journal, small poetry press, or even a poetry-based radio program.


Lunch and Refreshments

A bag lunch will be provided to all Red Clay conference attendees. Water, coffee, and tea will be available throughout the day.