WriterCon set for in-person, online | Arts-entertainment

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma writer William Bernhardt watched as the COVID-19 lockdown caused one writers conference after another to cancel—and was determined not to let that happen to WriterCon, the conference he hosts at Oklahoma City’s Skirvin Hotel every Labor Day weekend. He consulted with an Okalhoma City firm, TitanAVI, to add streaming to the conference so writers and aspiring writers can enjoy the entire three-day conference without leaving their homes.

“The conference will still take place at the Skirvin, and many people plan to attend in person. But I understand that some are reluctant to go out, and now they don’t have to,” said Bernhardt.

WriterCon is set for Sept. 4-6, and will feature more than 60 presentation from authors, agents, publishers, and experts in the book world. In addition, WriterCon will offer attendees a chance to pitch their books to agents and publishers. Attendees can enter writing contests, and the winners will be published in the literary magazine, Conclave, while the manuscript selected as Best Novel will be offered a publishing contract. The keynote speaker is Christopher Vogler, nationally acclaimed author of “The Writer’s Journey,” recently reissued in a 25th anniversary edition.

He added that the conference sessions will be posted online after the conference, so even those busy when the conference takes place can view the presentations for two weeks after the conference concludes.

“We have a long history of helping writers obtain the knowledge they need to achieve their dreams,” Bernhardt said. “Many successful writers got their start at WriterCon. Due to the lockdown, some people have more time for writing than they did before. I wanted to make sure they got the support they needed to get their work published and start building their careers.”

Bernhardt, a Choctaw resident, is the nationally bestselling author of more than 50 books, most recently “Judge and Jury,” a legal thriller released Aug. 25. He hosted his first writers conference in 2007. Bernhardt gave many Oklahoma writers their start, including bestselling author P.C. Cast, fantasy author Tamara Grantham, and new Oklahoma author Betsey Kulakowski, who will debut her first published novel, “The Veritas Codex,” at WriterCon.

In 2018, Bernhardt invited Write Well Sell Well, another Oklahoma-based writing group, to co-host the conference. They specialize in Christian and inspirational writing, which added a new dimension to the conference, according to Bernhardt.

“By combining our interests we were able to create one of the best conferences in the country – and the only one that hasn’t been cancelled in 2020,” Rene Gutteridge of Write Well Sell Well said.

For those attending WriterCon in person, face masks will be required, hand sanitizer will be plentiful, and social distancing will be strictly observed.

For interviews or questions, contact Bernhardt at 405-203-8641 or willbern@gmail.com. For more information about WriterCon 2020, visit www.writercon.org.

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