Writing Course Broadens and Inspires students minds

Jennifer Byrd

Volunteer Writer


There were approximately 150 attendees who heard more than 20 speakers at the first annual Short Course on Writing held Sept15 and 16 in the Tom Steed Community Learning Center.

William Bernhardt successful in helping to plan and coordinate short course on writing. Photo courtesy of Jim Ward

Executive Director William Bernhardt said the turnout was more than twice what was anticipated when planning started last year.

Courses on Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Memoir, and Magazine writing were offered to those in attendance. As well as presentations from New York Literary Agents on what they are and are not, looking to publish in today’s rapidly changing market. Authors also gave their personal insights into the current market and valuable education on the writing process.

Keynote speaker Phillip Margolin, a New York Times Bestseller 16 times over, gave an inspiring speech on how he became a novelist and received the Rose State Distinguished Author Award. Michael Wallis was awarded the Oklahoma Writer of the Year Award for his numerous contributions to Oklahoma Literature. Some of Wallis’ books include “The Wild West: 365 Days,” “David Crockett: The Lion of the West,” and “Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride.”

Lauren Zuniga, voted 2012’s Best Local Artist by the Oklahoma Gazette, recited a few of her lively and thought provoking poems during the Saturday evening program. When asked about writing and whether or not someone is on the right track she replied, “When you read your work out-loud, if you get goose bumps, if your tear up you’re doing something right.” Many people that night looked to be teary eyed and many had goose bumps as she spoke.

William Bernhardt repeatedly expressed his immense appreciation to the RSC faculty and staff for making the event possible. “Rose State has been great. We’ve been planning this event for over a year and I think it shows.” From the quality and quantity of speakers to the flawless audio/video service and great catering, this program has raised the bar for writers’ conferences in Oklahoma.

When asked if anyone had learned anything over the weekend, every hand in the room rose. Aspiring writers don’t want to miss next year’s event which is anticipated to be even bigger and better. Stay tuned to the rose.edu website for upcoming announcements about 2013’s Short Course on Writing.

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