The Kanab Writers Conference has a tradition of including a free public event as part of the conference lineup.

This year, the community engagement speaker will be Lee Nelson, and he will be featured at the new Kanab Center on Friday, November 8, at 7 p.m.

Author of over 30 books, Lee Nelson is widely known for killing a bull buffalo from the back of a galloping horse with a bow and arrow, a research project for his Storm Testament series of historical novels on the old west. Nelson’s books have sold over a million copies. Friday evening, he will lecture on Butch Cassidy and literary research.

Lee has owned cattle ranches in Utah, Nevada, and Montana. He is a team roper and invented the Heel-O-Matic – the preferred practice machine for cowboys who rope feet – featured in a Chevy truck advertisement during the Super Bowl.

Western Horseman Magazine ran a feature article on Lee selling 83 trucks in a saddle horse race with a Montana rancher in a dispute over the price of a new truck.

Lee and his wife, Sharon, live on a small farm in Mapleton, Utah, where they raised eight children who have given them 26 grandchildren.

Refreshments will be served at the community engagement event, and Lee Nelson’s books, along with books by other conference presenters and local authors, will be featured in the conference bookstore.

The public is invited to browse in the bookstore before and after the presentation beginning at 6 p.m. Nelson and other authors will be available to visit and sign copies of their books.

The Kanab Writers Conference is held among the brilliant red cliffs of southern Utah and is popular because the boutique nature of the conference allows attendees the opportunity to rub shoulders with presenters.

Unique to this conference, on Thursday afternoon attendees can enjoy a hike and plein air writing experience in the colorful desert landscape. Thursday evening writers can choose to attend a retreat-like writing venue or a critique party.

Friday morning will be devoted to workshops on the nuts and bolts of self-publishing. The full writers conference begins with lunch on Friday, followed by four breakout sessions of four classes each, followed by Lee Nelson’s community event.

Saturday morning’s session of the conference begins with a keynote by Lisa Mangum, followed by four more breakout sessions.

The conference will feature classes for beginners and accomplished writers alike. Published writers will teach craft basics, as well as advanced craft, poetry, motivation, marketing, nonfiction and memoir.

This event is made possible through a grant from Utah Humanities. Utah Humanities empowers Utahns to improve their communities through active engagement in the humanities. Find out more about their range of humanities programs at www.utahhumanities.org.

Kanab Writers Conference also receives support from Kane County Office of Tourism and Garkane Energy. Their sponsorship allows the conference to charge much less than comparable events elsewhere.

Attendees who have written books are invited to sell their books in the conference bookstore.

To read more about the conference and register, go to www.kanabwritersconference.com.