by David Koon
The 12th Annual International Conference on the Short Story is coming to North Little Rock June 27-30. Even better, if you've got a short story or a paper you'd like to share, you might be able to be part of it all (if you hurry).
The bi-annual conference, the largest dedicated solely to short fiction, will bring a host of world-renowned authors to NLR, including Bret Anthony Johnston, Katherine Vaz, Robert Olen Butler, Bharati Mukherjee, Velma Pollard, Clark Blaise and over a dozen other writers from around the globe. The conference will also feature performances, dance, art, films and writing workshops. Venues listed on their website include the Clinton Presidential Center, Starving Artist Cafe, Argenta Community Theater and the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel.
The registration fee for the conference, which includes admission to all readings, panels and receptions (but not the workshops... see below), is $275 per person now, but will jump to $300 on May 1 (unless you're a student. Valid student ID saves you $100 bucks).
Eight writing workshops on both poetry and fiction will be held in two sessions at the Wyndham Hotel on Tuesday, Jan. 26: a morning session from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., and an afternoon session from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Enrollment in each workshop is limited to 15, and the cost is $100 per person, per workshop (participants may enroll in both a morning and afternoon workshop if they're willing to pony up).
A full list of writers is available at the conference webpage. The event is presented by the University of Central Arkansas, the Argenta Arts Foundation and the North Little Rock Visitor's Bureau.
If you move lightning fast, you can still make the deadline to submit paper proposals (guidelines here). The submission deadline for paper proposals is March 1. There is also a short story contest being held in conjunction with the conference, with cash prizes for win, place and show, and the winner allowed to present his or her story during the event. The deadline to submit a short story (along with a $30 reading fee) is March 31.