“Writers of the Purple Sage” convenes with a reception at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 19, and proceeds at 8 a.m on Saturday, October 20 at Kanab Middle School. The writing retreat covers a broad array of literary genres and is presented by the Center for Education, Business, and the Arts (CEBA). Keynote speakers for the retreat include authors Maximilian Werner, Logan Hebner, Dr. Stephen Armstrong, Jana Richman, and Writers Cubed. 

Friday’s reception features a book presentation by Maximilian Werner, a speaker from the Authors on Main Street (AMS) program from the Utah Humanities Council. Werner is the author of Black River Dreams, a collection of literary fly fishing essays, and the novel Crooked Creek. He has two books coming out in spring of 2013, a memoir/natural history titled Chronicles of the Pleistocene Mind (Torrey House Press, June) and the memoir Gravity Hill (University of Utah Press, March). Food will be provided at the reception and is free to anyone attending.

Saturday’s breakfast will be served at 8 a.m. and break-out sessions start addressing ways to improve communication skills through the literary arts. Presenters will discuss topics such as working with an editor and resources available to help writers succeed in Utah, by David Pace, from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. Pace is a writer, editor, critic and arts administrator. His fiction and creative non-fiction has appeared in Dialogue and Quarterly West, among other journals and magazines.  

Writers Cubed, founders of the Teen Author Boot Camp, will teach how writing can work for you in: corporate freelancing, blogging/marketing, and traditional/independent publishing. Group presenters include Lois Brown, Jen Jenkins, James Lewis, Margie Jordan, Jo Schaffer, and Tahsha Wilson.

Logan Hebner, author of Southern Paiute: a Portrait, will also give a keynote presentation on Saturday morning with a breakout session at 9:15 a.m. entitled, “Traversing Worlds: the evolution of Southern Paiute: a Portrait.” Hebner is a distinguished author and he, along with his wife Angie, founded the International Legislative Exchange, where they work with new parliaments emerging from ex-Soviet republics. Hebner has been published in High Country News, Best of Writers at Work, and Northern Lights.

Another component of the “Writers of the Purple Sage,” is presented by Dixie State College with English Professor Stephen B. Armstrong, and professors from the English Department, who will be available to consult individually with event attendees to assess their works and provide feedback and input.  Armstrong will also present a break-out entitled “Queries and Proposals: Connecting with Editors.” Armstrong earned his Ph.D. in English (Creative Writing) from Florida State University in 2004. He has published articles and reviews in numerous  publications, including Film Score Monthly, Film Quarterly, Filmfax, Classic Images and Films of the Golden Age. He is the author of two books: Pictures About Extremes: The Films of John Frankenheimer (McFarland, 2008) and Andrew V. McLaglen: The Life and Hollywood Career (McFarland, 2011). Armstrong will be accompanied by John Chavez, Jim Haendiges, Elaina Westegaard, Elaine Wilson-Sharpe, Garrett Faylor and Erica Campbell.

Lunch and a keynote will conclude the 2012 retreat, with a presentation by Jana Richman, an award-winning author of two books: Riding in the Shadows of Saints: A Woman’s Story of Motorcycling the Mormon Trail, a memoir published by Crown, and The Last Cowgirl, a novel published by William Morrow/HarperCollins, which won the 2009 Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction and the 2009 Utah Artys Award for Best Fiction. She is also the author of numerous periodical publications including articles, essays, reviews, interviews, and editorials. Jana’s provocative prose has been compared to that of Pam Houston, Barbara Kingsolver and Pat Conroy.

To register for the purple sage retreat visit http://purplesagewriters.eventbrite.com. The event registration fee is $15 and the fee includes breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Everyone is invited to attend the reception on Friday at no cost thanks to the Utah Humanities Council AMS program.

For more information, contact Kelly Stowell directly at (435) 899-0443, or by sending an email to stowell@dixie.edu.