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Inaugural Great Valley Books Writers Conference

March 22, 2006

MERCED - The Heyday Institute, the Merced County Arts Council,
and the University of California, Merced, are proud to present the
first Great Valley Books Writers Conference — a stimulating,
interactive literary gathering that aims to cultivate audiences of
writers and readers in this rapidly changing, creatively dynamic
part of California.

The event will be held at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center
in downtown Merced on April 15, 2006 (645 W. Main St, Merced,
California (209) 388-1090. Complete details are available at

Organizers have split the conference into two sections: (1) a
morning series featuring intimate 25-person creative writing
workshops co-taught by two prominent valley writers and (2) a free,
open to the public afternoon program featuring panel discussions of
publishing and literary professionals, readings from high school
students in the Valley Voices Poetry Program and a closing keynote
by nationally acclaimed poet Juan Felipe Herrera. Registration for
the morning series is $50. The afternoon sessions are free.

The Central Valley of California has long been fertile literary
territory, producing spectacular poets and writers for generations.
However, as rich and continuous as the tradition of Valley writers
is, there have been very few ongoing venues where these writers
could meet, expand their audiences, and share concerns of craft and
regional issues with other writers, both established and novice.

The goal of the Great Valley Books Writers’ Conference is to
engage people from all parts of the Central Valley by allowing them
to disseminate their work to a wider audience, develop their skills
at readings and teaching, and increase the appreciation and value
of Central Valley literature.

To register for the Great Valley Books Writers’ conference,
fax a registration form to (510) 549-1889 or mail to Attn: Great
Valley Books Conference, P.O. Box 9145, Berkeley, California 9460.
For more information, contact Patricia Wakida at
or (510) 549-3564 x307.

About Great Valley Books

Great Valley Books is an imprint of Heyday Institute, created
with the help of the James Irvine Foundation and the Great Valley
Center to showcase art and literature from and about the Central
Valley of California. With these books we strive to inform,
promote, and develop a deeper appreciation of various aspects of
the region’s unique history and culture.

Conference Schedule

8:00-8:30 Registration

Merced Multicultural Arts Center, Gallery

8:30-9:00 Welcome remarks by Paul Buxman

Merced Multicultural Arts Center, Studio Theater

9:00-12:00 Creative Writing Workshops

(Each workshop is co-taught by two instructors. Registration
required for workshops. $50 per workshop, including lunch. Each
workshop is limited to 25 participants.)

* Workshop 1: Fiction - Gerald Haslam & Lucy Corin

* Workshop 2: Poetry - Tim Z. Hernandez & Lawson Fusao

* Workshop 3: Nonfiction - Mark Arax & JoAnn Levy

Merced Multicultural Arts Center, Classroom, Multipurpose
Room, Dance Music Rehearsal Studio, and Studio

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-1:30 Merced Union High School students from the Valley
Voices Poetry Program will read original work from their Footsteps
in Time project. Directed by Ocean Jones

Merced Multicultural Arts Center, Studio Theater ***FREE***

1:30-3:00 Writing from the Valley: Experiences by Valley
Journalists - Panel Discussion

Moderated by David Hosley, KVIE public television

Featuring panelists: Steve Magagnini, Sacramento Bee; Franz
Weinschenk, Valley Writers Read (VPR 89.3 Fresno, KPRX 89.1
Bakersfield); Eduardo Stanley, Pacific News Service and KFCF 88.1;
Dr. Andy’s Poetry Hour (KDVS 90.3 FM); Karen Tellalian, Refine

Merced Multicultural Arts Center, Studio Theater *** FREE***

3:00-3:15 Break

3:15-5:00 Do Books Matter? Building a Literary Community - Panel

Moderated by Ray Tatar, California Arts Council

Featuring panelists: Cheryl Klein, Poets & Writers; Vicki
Bailey, Merced Barnes & Noble; Cindy Wathen, Yosemite Writers
Conference; Steve Mettee, Quill Driver Books; Howard Lachtman,
Stockton Writers Group.

Merced Multicultural Arts Center, Studio Theater. ***FREE***

5:00-5:15 Break

5:15-6:00 Keynote speech by Juan Felipe Herrera

Merced Multicultural Arts Center, Studio Theater. ***FREE***

6:00-7:00 Closing Reception ***FREE***

8:30-10:00 Open mike reading

Merced Multicultural Arts Center, Studio Theater. ***FREE**