WriteAngles: A Straw Dog Writers Guild Conference - Saturday April 6, 2024
In 2022 the WriteAngles, Inc Board decided to disband and transfer the conference to Straw Dog Writers Guild. A group of volunteers drawn from over a dozen regional literary organizations has been meeting since July 2022 to brainstorm ideas and plan a writers’ gathering that is both old and new.
Some elements of the old conference will be carried over:
- The small size (100-150 participants).
- A combination of workshops and panel discussions.
- A strong emphasis on celebrating western Massachusetts writers and writing organizations
- Opportunities for networking.
- Agent meetings and a literary fair.
Some elements of the 2024 conference will be new:
- The Daisy Matthias Scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduating high school senior pursuing creative writing.
- The Abel Meeropol Social Justice Writing Award will be presented to the keynote speaker.
- Sponsorship and partnerships with local arts and businesses will help keep the conference affordable and pay presenters for their work.
The organizers hope to expand the reach of the conference to the far corners of Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties. We hope to attract writers who are curious and committed; who are interested in either/both classic and hybrid forms; who love language and are open to all the ways it can inspire and teach.
We are committed to writing that illuminates our broken world, that strives to make change, that seeks to break our hearts and stitch them back together.
We are committed to continuing the legacy of being a conference by writers, for writers.
The Story of WriteAngles
First held in 1987, WriteAngles was sponsored by the local chapter of the National Writers Union until 2007, when it became an independent project run by volunteers.
Keynote speakers over the years included Elinor Lipman, Marilynne Robinson, Jonathan Harr, Barry Werth, Madeleine Blais, Suzanne Strempek Shea, Dennis Lehane, Augusten Burroughs, Martín Espada, Breena Clarke, Patricia Smith, Magdelena Gómez, Andre Dubus III, Julia Glass, Richard Russo, Roland Merullo, Jane Yolen, Maria Luísa Arroyo, Ann Hood, Pat Schneider, David Anthony Durham, Susan Stinson, and Grace Paley.
The conference was featured in Writer’s Digest “Conference Scene” as a “budget-friendly event,” and despite its low registration fees, it was able to distribute grants to western Massachusetts organizations that promote writing and reading.