During a three-day writers conference in Carson City, prospective authors can advance their submissions past the "slush pile" of manuscripts directly to publishers.
"We want to help writers from Northern Nevada go right to the yes-no people," said conference co-director Bill Cowee. "The object is to bring people who write together with people who want writing."
The Juniper Creek Writers Conference, called "The End Game: Publication and Beyond," is at the Brewery Arts Center July 16-18.
A Friday night poetry reading and wine tasting with hors d'oeuvres is free and open to the public.
"That will be a chance to schmooze with the speakers," said the other organizer, Ellen Hopkins. A writer of 20 published nonfiction books, Hopkins owns Juniper Creek Publishing. She publishes 27,000 copies monthly of the children's newspaper "Three Frogs Jumping."
Hopkins and Cowee have lined up editors, agents and writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children's books to speak Saturday and Sunday.
Debra Ginsberg will discuss her three memoirs, including "Waiting," her gritty tale of working as waitress. Channel 2 meteorologist Mike Alger will speak about his fictional book "Snow Storm." Author and illustrator Sarah Wilson will lead workshops on her specialty: children's' books. Appeal columnist, author and Nevada Magazine publisher Richard Moreno will speak and sign books.
Twenty-four workshops will be offered Saturday. Because they will happen four at a time, the schedule will repeat Sunday.
"That way, if there are two workshops someone wants to attend at 10 a.m. Saturday, they can do one Saturday and the other Sunday," Hopkins explained.
More than 100 writers are already signed up, coming from as far as Massachusetts, Illinois, Louisiana, Texas and Utah.
Compared to other writing workshops like those at Squaw Valley and Truckee Meadows, the Juniper Creek conference is less expensive, organizers said.
"We wanted something where people who were interested in writing could come in and, at reasonable cost, figure out if writing is something they want to be involved in," said Cowee, a Governor's Arts Award and Nevada Art's Council fellowship winner.
The event will include a regional editors' round-table discussion Saturday night. After a book sale, authors' signing and keynote speaker, editors from Nevada Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, Reno Magazine and other publications will answer question from freelancers.
Authors with finished manuscripts can have their work critiqued for $30. Manuscripts, poems -even illustrators' portfolios - can be turned in before the conference.
"They'll get a one-on-one meeting with editors," Hopkins said. "It's not like we're just going to look at them, make some marks, and hand them back."
Work to be critiqued must be sent in before the conference to firstname.lastname@example.org or Juniper Creek Publishing, P.O. Box 2205, Carson City, NV, 89702.
Poems turned in for critique will automatically be entered in a contest. The winner will receive $100 Saturday night.
Registration is 4-6 p.m. Friday night and 7-8:30 a.m. Saturday. The cost is $100 for all three days.
Hopkins, whose verse-novel "Crank" is due out in October, wants to make the conference an annual event in Carson City.
"We already have people calling up wanting to speak at next year's conference," she said.
If You Go
What: Juniper Creek Writers Conference, "The End Game: Publication and Beyond"
When: July 16-18. Friday wine tasting at 6 p.m., poetry reading at 7. Saturday welcome at 8:30 a.m.; workshops 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Same schedule Sunday.
Where: Brewery Arts Center, 449 W. King St.
Cost: Registration is $100 for three days. A manuscript critique costs $30.
Contact Karl Horeis at email@example.com or 881-1219.