The annual Kanab Writers Conference will kick off with its traditional community engagement gathering Thursday, November 4, at the Kanab Center. The public is invited to this free event.

The conference bookstore, featuring books from local authors and conference presenters will open at 6 p.m. Authors will be on hand to sign books and visit with attendees.

At 6:30 p.m., the featured speaker, Elaine/E.B. Vickers, will talk to the community. She is an award-winning author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels that aim to help readers of all ages find connection and belonging. 

Ms. Vickers grew up in a small town in the Utah desert where she spent her time reading, playing basketball and exploring. Several years and one PhD later, she found her way back to her hometown, where she now spends her time writing, teaching college chemistry and exploring with her husband and three kids. Read more about Elaine Vickers and what she writes at www.elainevickers.com.

Ms. Vickers will be visiting several area schools while she’s in Kanab.

Along with the community speaker, Kanab Writers Conference is sponsoring an essay writing contest, with selected entries being read by their authors on Thursday evening after Elaine Vickers speaks. All essay entries received will be included in the conference anthology, a printed book which will be for sale in the bookstore.

There are three categories for essay entrants: Category One: grades five through eight; Category Two: grades nine through 12; and Category Three: adults. Entries can be up to one thousand words long and should be submitted in the body of an email sent to kanabwritersconference.contest@gmail.com">kanabwritersconference.contest@gmail.com.

The subject line of the email should read “Essay Contest.” The first line of the email should contain the entrant’s name, category, and essay word count. Essays will be sent to judges as blind documents, so no one will know who the author is.

Deadline to receive entries is October 1.

The theme of this year’s writers conference is “Rise Above,” and essays should reflect this theme in some way.

Any questions about the essay contest can be sent to the same email address: kanabwritersconference.contest@gmail.com.