Calling All Authors (Even Newbies) 3

Southwest OKC Public Library Sets Writers Conference

The Southwest Oklahoma City Public Library invites authors at all stages of their writing journey, from those just starting out to those working on a manuscript to those with multiple published works, to its free, one-day Writers Conference, on Saturday, May 7.

The event begins at 10 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m. in Rooms A and B of the library, 2201 SW 134th St., and will feature sessions on a variety of topics, including self-publishing and writing query letters.

The keynote speaker for the event is Sonia Gensler, author of the 2012 Oklahoma Book Award-winning Young adult novel The Revenant, as well as The Dark Between and Ghostlight. She also was a contributor for the 2014 anthology Grim, a teen work inspired by classic fairy tales.

In addition to her writing, Gensler also has made presentations at libraries as well as for students at the middle school, high school and university level–a familiar setting for her, as she is a former high school English teacher and university writing instructor.

The event will feature breakout sessions led by the following authors:

  • Pati Hailey, author of Te Ata: Oklahoma Cultural Treasure, who will present on “Solving Story Problems Through Creative Visualization”
  • Ashley Nixon, author of the Cutlass series, who will present on self-publishing
  • Kim Ventrella, author of the 2017 release The Skeleton Tree, who will present 10 novel-writing tips and elements of a query letter

The conference also will feature panel critiques on first pages and query letters. A potluck lunch will be provided for attendees.

The conference follows a three-part series the library conducted this winter and spring for aspiring authors.

“It has been fantastic connecting with such a diverse spectrum of writers,” said Ventrella, one of the organizers of the conference and the earlier writing series. “One of my favorite parts of the writing life is building community. Writing can be a very solitary pursuit, but events like this foster collaboration and mutual support.”

The participating authors seek to help writers at all levels of skill and experience.

“My goal is that all participants will come away feeling empowered to tell their stories,” Ventrella said.

The writing conference is geared primarily to adults, although teens ages 12 and up are invited as well. Space is limited, so registration is required in advance.

Find out more by visiting the library, calling 979.2200 or going online to