The Central Coast Writers Conference kicks off Thursday at Cuesta College, and there’s a lot to look forward to.
The conference’s director, Teri Bayus, says there are 80 courses being offered this year that can prepare any writer who is at any stage of their craft, from beginners to advanced.
“Writers are always in different stages of development of their career and so I have a whole beginning track,” Bayus said. “That’s what we try to do. We try to make, anyone can write anything.”
The conference was the catalyst for local author Eldonna Edwards in getting one of her novels published. Before her novel was published, she volunteered, worked at and attended classes at the conference since the early 2000s. It was in 2013 that she won the Lillian Deal Award for the opening of her coming of age novel, This I Know.
“I can use that when I was quarrying agents and saying I won the Lillian Dean award for the opening of this novel,” Edwards said.
From there, Edwards says she was able to use honor and distinction as leverage to ultimately get her book published. While that’s a huge success in itself, she says it’s not the only benefit this conference has provided her.
“The thing that helps the most is the confidence,” Edwards said. “Then you realize you found your tribe there and we are all writers, we are all creators.”
Edwards’ other works include Lost in Transplantation, detailing her experience on donating a kidney to a stranger. Next year, she’ll also have another book due out called Clover Blue.
For anyone thinking about putting their thoughts into a story, this is Edwards advice for you:
“If you’re on the fence, get off. I guarantee you will walk out of there geeked to go sit down and write something.”
Space is still available for the 34th Central Coast Writers Conference, which lasts from Thursday and goes until Saturday. For more information, click here.