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How to Create Effective Conference Advertising - Association of

Offi ci al Ne w sl et te r of Wr i t e r s’ Co nfe re nce s & C e n t e r s
A Pub l ic at ion of th e A ss oci at ed Wri t ing Pro g ra m s
How to Create Effective Conference Advertising
by David Sherwin
This is the first in a series of articles
about how to successfully market
your writing conference. Next
issue, we will address how to create
effective web pages.
very day, we see ads—in
print, on the radio, on television, via billboards, dragged
across the sky by airplanes,
wrapped around buses, written
across blimps, tattoed on someone’s arm—and most of us ignore
them. There are just too many to
But when it’s our turn to create advertisements, for our writing conferences or festivals, the
tables are turned. We have to
think of ourselves in the third
person: as we walk down the
street, bombarded by advertising,
what will attract our attention?
While advertising costs can be
an added expense to an already
tenuous budget—especially if
your budget is so slim that you
can’t hire a graphic designer to
create the ads—the benefits of a
well-researched advertising plan,
when coupled with a good advertising design, will help you
attract more potential attendees
for your writing conference. Part
1 of this article will address the
benefits and pitfalls of print
advertising, and how to find an
effective advertising plan, while
Part 2 will discuss ways of creating effective print ads.
For marketing, writers’ conferences can simply draw from their
immediate surroundings: the local
community, the nearby or sponsoring university, the county or
state newspaper, and trade maga-
zines—and many of them will list
information about conferences,
provide a link to your website, or
write an article about your conference. Often, an effective press
release and direct mail campaign
will help accomplish these goals.
But if your aim is to draw your
per thousand readers for your ad,
and the ad will be visible for
three months.
Alternatively, American Poetry
Review (APR) charges $855 for a
full page. At 15,000 readers, you
are paying $57 per thousand readers, and your ad is visible for two
months. Does this mean that
Story Magazine is a better
value for your money? Not
necessarily. We have to take
many different factors into
account: the readership you
are trying to reach, how
active the readership is (i.e.,
how often they purchase
products or services from ads
in that magazine), and the
actual size of the ad in the
Students and faculty at the Napa Valley
Story, since it only prints
Writer’s Conference. See profile on page 2.
fiction, would be a good
market for a fiction writing
attendees from around the world,
conference, while APR would be
the three best ways are to create
better for a poetry-only confereffective direct mail pieces, web
ence. If your conference addressed
sites, and print advertising in
both, then ads in both publications
newspapers and magazines.
would also work, although there
are other magazines that address
Part 1: The Advertising Myth
similar audiences.
But, if you take the size of the
Myth #1: Print advertising is too
ads into account and the effecexpensive.
tiveness of the magazine layout,
your impressions may change.
Yes, print advertising can be
Story keeps its short fiction comexpensive, especially if you want
pletely separate of the advertisto place your ad in high-circulaing, which runs in the front and
tion magazines or newspapers.
back of the magazine. APR scatThe cost of an ad is based on a
ters their ads throughout the
magazine’s circulation and fremagazine, making the advertising
quency. Story Magazine, for
more visible. Also, a full-page ad
example, charges $1,085 for a
in APR is 9 3/4” x 13 1/2”—
full-page advertisement. Since
extremely large, since APR is in a
their circulation is 40,000 copies,
tabloid format—while Story’s full
quarterly, you are paying $27.13
page ad is 4 3/4” x 7 1/2”, less
continued on page 6
Director Profile:
The Napa Valley Writer’s Conference
by Liesl Swogger
he Napa Valley Writer’s
Conference takes place for
one week during the last week of
July or the first week of August each
year in St. Helena, California. They
enroll 48 fiction writers and 48
poets each year, and have just added
creative nonfiction with an emphasis on personal memoir as a genre.
According to Mark Wunderlich,
one of two managing directors of the
conference, their single largest challenge is raising enough funds to keep
the conference solvent. The aim is
for tuition costs to remain as low as
possible in order to keep the conference accessible. Tuition only covers
part of the conference’s costs; the rest
is supported by donations solicited
from individuals and institutions in
the Napa Valley as well as funding
from the Poets & Writers Readings/
Workshops program for California.
The conference has had a close
relationship with local businesses,
specifically the wineries, since its
inception. Robert Mondavi
Vineyards has hosted a reading at
their winery since the very first conference, and others have hosted
readings year after year as well. This
situation has huge benefits for both
parties: the conference has a generous host and unique venue for their
readings, and the wineries have an
opportunity to show off their vineyards and wines.
Marketing is an important
aspect of any successful conference.
Napa Valley advertises its conference
in Poets & Writers and Poetry Flash
and mails its brochure to the AWP
mailing list and a mailing list of
their own. The emphasis is on the
conference’s small size and the
opportunity for participants to work
closely with nationally recognized
writers in one of the country’s most
beautiful settings.
An additional point to emphasize when marketing a writer’s conference is the faculty. Napa Valley
looks for writers who have a strong
national reputation and are known
as good teachers. While the conference has faculty who return to teach
at the conference regularly, such as
Brenda Hillman and Jane Hirshfield
for poetry and Michael Cunningham and Christopher Tilghman for
fiction, they also develop relationships with potential faculty members
on a regular basis. Since summer
schedules are booked a year or two
in advance, early planning is the key
to a successful conference.
The conference has always
relied on the faculty to help shape
its structure—how the workshops
should function, who should be
asked to teach, what a fair work
load for the faculty is—and the
administration tries to be very
responsive to the faculty’s ideas and
O ff i c ial ne ws l ett e r of Wr i t e r s’ C on f e ren ce s & C e n t e r s
A pub l ic at i on o f t h e A ss o ci at e d Wri t i n g Pro g ra m s
The Director, a biannual publication appearing in the spring and
fall, is the official newsletter of Writers’ Conferences & Centers, the
national organization serving directors of writers’ workshops, conferences, festivals, and centers. WC&C is a division of the
Associated Writing Programs. The Director is not for commercial
distribution or sale. Our address is: WC&C/AWP, Tallwood
House, Mail Stop 1E3, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
22030. Please submit articles to Carol Jane Bangs, The
Marrowstone Institute, Box 92, Nordland, WA 98358.
Page 2 • The Director
concerns and makes changes accordingly. The faculty are in a position
to best respond to the needs of the
students. They see the writing the
students bring to the workshops
firsthand, and are able to tell the
administration how the workshops
might best respond to the needs
and aspirations of the participants.
The involvement and commitment
on the faculty’s behalf is vital to
the success of the conference.
The Napa Valley Conference
has divided the administrative duties
into two parts: daily responsibilities
and advance planning. The daily
responsibilities fall under the direction of two managing directors.
Those responsibilities are subdivided
into poetry (Mark Wunderlich) and
fiction (Andrea Bewick). Two program directors, Anne Matlack Evans
and Jack Leggett, take care of the
overall conference planning process.
Planning includes everything from
recruiting faculty to making
arrangements with local residents to
offer rooms in their homes to conference participants who cannot
afford local hotel prices.
Wunderlich stresses early planning and the soliciation of participant’s suggestions for improvements
in their conferences, but most of all,
“remember to have fun when the
conference takes off!”
Carol Jane Bangs ,
[email protected]
The Marrowstone Institute
Michael Pettit
Open Road Writing Workshop
David Sherwin
Jason Gray
Supriya Bhatnagar
Liesl Swogger
WC&C and AWP in Kansas City
by Carol Jane Bangs
President, WC&C Council
t’s not too early to begin making plans to attend the year
2000 Associated Writing
Programs annual meeting in
Kansas City, March 29–April 1.
In addition to the WC&C annual
council meeting, space and time
will be set aside for conference
and festival administrators to
meet around the table for one or
more roundtable peer discussions.
An informal social gathering
Thursday will provide a chance to
�meet and greet’ colleagues and
guests, and the structure of the
conference will make it easy to
contact possible faculty writers
and presenters.
From the beginning, WC&C
members have identified the
annual meeting as one of the
most important services provided
with membership. Now, in affiliation with AWP, conference and
festival administrators will have
both WC&C’s tradition of informal peer interaction and AWP’s
large schedule of informative pan-
els, entertaining readings, and
active socialization.
One of the highlights of recent
AWP meetings has been the
Bookfair, with representatives
from magazines, presses, and
workshops sharing their materials
at over 100 tables. WC&C members will have a special table on
which to display brochures and
other information, whether or
not they are able to attend the
meeting in person.
WC&F BecomesWC&C
by David Fenza, Executive Director
ast year was a transitional
year for the members of
WC&F. WC&F was dissolved as
its own nonprofit corporation,
and its former members became
members of a division of AWP.
This division has been renamed
Writers’ Conferences & Centers
(WC&C). This year we we will
finish integrating the former
members and services of WC&F
into our association. We will
continue to improve our services
to you and add to them as well.
Among the improvements that
excite us the most are the
changes we have made in our
Web site. We have added a Web
conferencing board to our Web
site. This will give you access to
various discussion groups and
our Job List. Visit our site
<> and go to
“Web conferencing.” The user
name and password you enter
for yourself will remain valid as
long as you remain a member.
This new, expanded service
replaces WC&F’s list server on
Active Windows.
As we improve the Web site,
the number of frequent visitors
and new visitors continues to
increase; so please make sure your
information on our calender and
directory of conferences is up to
date. The Web site is an extremely effective promotional tool.
We are now in the process of
updating the listing of publications that extend advertising discounts to members of WC&C,
and we will send you the update
in November.
We have designated more staff
members to our Career
Placement Service. If you need a
teacher, visiting writer, or lastminute replacement, we can
refer you to hundreds of writers.
The improvements we are
making in our services and our
association are all-encompassing.
The board and staff are now
working on a strategic plan for
the next five years of AWP’s
development. If there is something you would like to see our
association address, please contact me or Carol Jane Bangs.
We encourage you to participate in the governance of our
organization. Information on
the next elections to the board
can be found in the October/
November issue of The Writer’s
WC&C members agree to conduct their programs according to the
highest personal and professional standards and to strive at all times to act
with responsibility and good faith in their dealings with fellow members,
program participants and faculty, and the community at large. The
WC&C Council reserves the right to terminate an existing membership
or to deny new membership to any organization or individual judged
to have failed to act within these parameters.
Fall 1999 • Page 3
Director Profile: Sewanee Writers’ Conference
by Jason Gray
the rest of Williams’ estate came to
fter ten years of operation, the
conference, and among other
Sewanee Writers’ Conference
the conference was able to
has become one of the most
almost twice as many felrenowned of the summer worklowships
and scholarships as it had
shops. Having over 1,400 requests
years. Because of
for applications for 105 slots, the
the conference
conference draws some of the best
young writers in the country.
Wyatt Prunty, Director of the
Conference and poet (Unarmed
monetarily through scholarships
and Dangerous: New & Selected
offered by Jack Wahl and George
Poems, Johns Hopkins), says the
Anne Borchardt.
conference is so successful at drawSpace
was also tight. There
ing applicants because of the “diswere
worthy programs hosttinguished character of faculty,
that needed to be
guest editors and visitors.” Some
of the 1999
Foote, Alice
Alice Quinn
(The New
Yorker) and
Joseph Parisi
(Poetry). But
word of
mouth, said
Mr. Prunty,
A workshop at SewaneeWriters’ Workshop
is the best
way to attract new attendees.
worked around, said Mr. Prunty.
Direct mail, if you can get a good
He “had to carve out space for the
mailing list, and magazine adverconference. You want to have classtising are also a good idea. He also
lecture halls, eating facilisuggested that conferences can
together.” When space
draw a larger and better pool of
Mr. Prunty
applicants with a strong faculty;
of the local
the faculty and guests were “the
up its
first order of business, the begindoors
ning and end of everything.”
Mr. Prunty runs the confercome
writence with the help of a conference
administrator who works 3вЃ„4 time
hand in hand, as the community
during the year, and an approxiserved as home for so many of
mate staff of eight during the sumthem,
including Allen Tate, Robert
mer. In the beginning, money was
Katherine Anne
tight, even with an initial grant
from the Tennessee Williams
this is
Estate to establish a fund encourwhat
aging creative writing. With the
death of Williams’ sister in 1996,
Page 4 • The Director
year, as well as Sewanee’s idyllic
setting on the Cumberland
Plateau. The University of the
South’s domain of 10,000 acres
provides ample opportunity for
hiking, softball games, and other
escapes for the visiting writer. “I’ve
been telling everyone what a good
experience I had at Sewanee,” says
Andrew Sofer, poet and 1999
attendee, “and that I chalk up to
the accessibility and skill of the
faculty, the supportive atmosphere
among the participants, and the
hospitality of the staff. I expect to
stay in touch with many of the
friends I met there.”
There are new challenges and
opportunities for the Sewanee
Writers’ Conference. They have
recently initiated the Sewanee
Writers’ Series with Overlook Press
(distributed by Penguin). “It’s a
very exciting project,” says Prunty,
“but it’s very demanding.” Two
titles are out so far: John Bricuth’s
Just Let Me Say This About That,
and Dan Mueller’s How Animals
Mate, a Barnes & Noble selection.
Upcoming titles will include Siam,
or, the Woman Who Shot a Man, by
Lily Tuck and The Determined
Days by Phil Stephens.
Also begun recently is the
Tennessee Williams Fellowship
Program, which works like Yaddo
and other residency programs.
Young writers are invited to spend
a semester at the University of the
South and are given a house to live
in and a stipend. While they are to
teach a workshop one afternoon a
week, the bulk of the fellows’ time
is intended for their own work.
Past visitors have been Tony
Earley, Ann Patchett, and A.
Manette Ansay. Many of the
Fellows have been former attendees, scholars, and fellows of the
Sewanee also has a Young
Writers’ Conference that takes
(continued on page 10)
WC&CScholarship Program
Writers’ Conferences & Centers • 2000 •
Writers’ Conferences & Centers (WC&C) is conducting its annual competition to provide
scholarships for emerging writers who wish to attend a writers’ conference. The scholarships
will be applied to fees to attend any of the member conferences of WC&C, an association of
outstanding conferences, colonies, and festivals for writers.
For a complete directory of WC&C members, please visit WC&C’s web site <http://>. Or you may purchase a directory for $7 from the Associated Writing
Programs. Write to: WC&C Directory, Associated Writing Programs, Tallwood House, MS
1E3, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030. Checks should be made payable to the
Associated Writing Programs.
The competition is open to all writers who would like to attend a member conference of
WC&C. To enter the competition, please follow the guidelines below. Two scholarships of
$500 will be awarded.
The scholarships are sponsored by AWP.
Guidelines for Submissions
• Submissions in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry will be considered. Separate submissions in different
genres are permitted.
• Writers’ names must not appear on submissions. A separate cover sheet must accompany submissions
and include the following: genre and title of submission(s), writer’s name, address, and telephone
number. Previous recipients of WC&C scholarships are not eligible to submit.
• All manuscripts must be typed. Prose must be double-spaced. A maximum of 25 pages of prose or
10 pages of poetry will be considered.
• Submissions must be postmarked during the months of January or February, 2000.
• A $10 reading fee, either a check or money order in U.S. dollars made payable to Associated Writing
Programs, must accompany all submissions, except those by finalists from the previous year.
• Winners will be notified by April 30. All submissions should include an SASE for notification of results.
Manuscripts cannot be returned.
• Two winners will receive $500 scholarships to attend a WC&C member program; funds are paid
directly to the program selected. (Member conferences reserve the right to determine participants in
their programs; winners select a first choice and two alternates.) Winners and finalists also receive a
one-year individual membership in WC&C.
• Inquiries (with SASE) and submissions should be mailed to
WC&C Scholarship Program
Post Office Box 386
Amherst, MA 01004
Attn: Michael Pettit
Writers’ Conferences & Centers is a division of Associated Writing Programs,
a nonprofit association of writers and writing programs.
Fall 1999 • Page 5
News from the Frontline:
Prague Summer Seminars
by Bill Lavender
“I wrote more in those two weeks than
I have in the last 2 years put together.”
—Sarah Heller
“Yesterday a friend asked me if I could
say one thing about Prague, what
would it be, and I was, uncharacteris tically, speechless. There’s no one thing
about any of it: not the scenery, the
history, the people, the prices, the liter ary community, the numerous offerings
in classes and lectures, films and read ings, the temptation and tug of week end trips to Krakow, Budapest, the
ultimate surprise of it all. I guess the
best endorsement for the program is to
say that I’m going back again the sum mer of 2000!”
—Kathy Hughes
he 1999 Prague Summer
Seminars featured workshops in writing led by Arnost
Lustig, Stuart Dybek, Stanley
Plumly, Carol Muske, Alison
Deming, and Richard Katrovas.
Miroslav Mandic led the screenwriting seminar, and Miroslav
Jindra led the translation workshop. There were readings and
workshop visits by guests Gerald
Stern, Philip Levine, Angela Ball,
Andrei Codrescu, Diane Johnson,
Carolyn Kizer, Iva Pekarkova,
Ivan Klima, Alan Levy, Patricia
Hampl, Tereze Bouckova, Steve
Stern, myself, and more. We also
had 16 lecturers on Czech literature and culture, plus classes in
photography, Jewish studies, and
music. We had 110 American,
Canadian, Japanese, and Western
European students, including the
three recipients of the 1999
AWP/Prague Summer Seminars
fellowships, and 12 Czech translation students.
If it sounds like a lot to squeeze
into four short weeks, it is.
Readings, each featuring two
writers, are held every Tuesday,
Wednesday, and Thursday, with
student readings on Friday.
Mondays are reserved for the
Czech film series. A typical
writer's weekday schedule might
include a 3 hour workshop in the
morning and a photography or
(continued on page 10)
(continued from page 1)
than half the size. In a larger
format, a larger ad is often more
striking—if it is designed well.
Plus, if you are considering
placing advertising in any magazine, it’s usually a good idea to
see the results of a reader survey, which are usually included
with a publication’s rate card. If
the readers aren’t interested in
what your conference has to
offer, such a magazine might be
a poor match for your needs.
By balancing all of these factors—the per-thousand cost, the
actual size of the ad, and the
preferences of the readers—you
can budget fairly inexpensive,
targeted ads.
Myth #2: Print advertising is inef fective. I can never know how
many people actually see the ad.
Advertising is only ineffective if it
is poorly placed or poorly
designed. As long as you know the
Page 6 • The Director
interests of the magazine’s readership and design your ad with the
readers in mind, your ad will generate responses.
Advertising can often verge on
a science. When hunting for new
markets to place ads, you can calculate how your money is spent,
and, if your advertisement receives
a 0.1% to 0.2% response, you can
see how much business you will
gain. If someone spends $400 on
an ad for a conference that costs
$15 to attend, and 40 readers out
of 40,000 decide to attend, you
can already see that the ad has
paid for itself. However, keeping
track of these numbers is difficult
if you don’t track who sees the ad.
And when you’re running a conference, it’s even harder to keep
track of those who request information and those who actually
choose to attend.
If your budget is limited,
don’t lock yourself into advertising contracts with any one
magazine. First, make sure that
your ad is effective in that publication. The best method for
this is to place the ad once,
with a special code or number
in the response information. For
example: if you advertised in
APR, in the return address,
include “Dept: APR.” If someone calls up for information, ask
where they heard about your
conference or festival, and at
the end of every year, tally up
the responses and who actually
attended your conference
because of the ad. This kind of
research is indispenable, as you
can discover which markets better suit your needs at a minimum of fiscal risk.
Part 2: Designing the Ad
Creating an effective advertising program requires research
and careful planning; designing
your advertising materials
requires both pratical details
and Г¦sthetics.
If you open any newspaper or
magazine, you will see three distinct kinds of advertising:
• Vanity, empowerment, or
“branding” ads, such as car commercials and their ilk, are selling
the image of you owning a product. For example: Apple
Computer’s “Think Different” ad
campaign is not selling specific
computers, but the image of you
owning a computer—and being
as much of a innovator as Albert
Einstein, Elvis, etc.
• Direct response ads, which
allow you to purchase their products directly. These ads include
phone numbers or addresses; you
write to them and directly purchase the product or service.
Traditionally, these kinds of ads
are for single, low-priced items
and clubs, such as QPB,
Columbia House, and the
Franklin Mint.
• Informative ads, which introduce products or services, and
then offer a number or address
where you can request further
information, such as a videocassette or booklet. These approaches
are often used for expensive items,
such as exercise equipment or prescription drugs.
Since most conferences
require applications, a small to
medium-sized informative print
ad serves as the best way to reach
a broader audience. By asking for
interested parties to contact you
for more information, you can
send them a direct mail piece
that includes details about the
conference along with the application. This also allows you to
build a database of prospective
applicants, that you can update
from month to month and reuse
as your budget permits.
No matter how you put
together your ad, there are certain elements that should
always be included. A print ad
can be designed by you, at
home, with inexpensive software such as Microsoft Word or
Publisher, PageMaker, Corel
Draw, Adobe Illustrator, or such
high-end programs as
QuarkXPress or Adobe
Photoshop, if you have access
to them in your community or
at a local university. If you are
working with a graphic designer, you should be sure to address
these points in your ad. But, for
our purposes here, let’s begin by
developing the most important
elements of a successful ad:
well-written advertising copy,
the artwork accompanying the
ad copy, and the arrangement of
the artwork and the copy.
Shaping the Advertising Copy
When writing your ad copy,
keep it to the bare minimum. If
you try to cram every detail
about the conference into your
ad, you will both run out of
space and risk losing their interest—and their reason for calling, visiting your webpage,
mailing, or e-mailing you for
more information. This doesn’t
give you license to sound like
Hemingway, though. Instead,
consider a simple slogan or
description for the conference,
a listing of the faculty, scheduled activities (will there be
workshops? readings? trips? lectures? food?), and a website,
mail address, phone number, fax
number, and e-mail address,
along with any pertinent deadlines. If there is an image, this
can be worked into the copy.
For example:
“Fairfax Writers’ Conference.
July 18–24, 2001. Fairfax,
Virginia. Seven days of intensive workshops in fiction and
poetry with accomplished writers, plus readings, trips to
Mount Vernon and the
Shenendoah Valley, and nights
on the town. For aspiring and
publishing writers.”
The next part of the copy is
your faculty list. If you have
space, you can include their
most recent books, in case your
potential attendees are unfamiliar with a few writers on your
faculty. Listings of previous faculty are not as important as current faculty, which should
always take precedence.
Finding the Right Artwork
Many types of photographs or
artwork work well with conference advertising: pictures of the
conference location, if it is
especially striking; photographs
of people engaged in workshop
(especially if you can include
the conference site); pictures of
local flora or fauna; any graphical flourishes that the name of
your conference suggests; etc. If
you are unable to find any artwork, you can often use the letters of the conference name as a
graphical element. Pictures of
faculty work well, if you have a
small faculty and a large ad;
otherwise, you should save such
graphics for your brochures.
Arranging It All on the Page
When laying out your ad, make
sure that you keep a good balance of white space, text, and
image. To keep it simple, make
sure that you keep type sizes
and styles consistent. For examples of how to put together an
ad, see page 8.
Most magazines will accept
camera-ready copy (a good
printout of your ad), but be sure
to do it on a laser printer with
at least 600 dpi output. Most
Kinko’s and other service
bureaus can help you.
Otherwise, when the magazines
go to shoot your ads, they will
come out looking fuzzy.
And don’t forget: always send
press releases and announcements about your conference
with your advertising. You
should take every opportunity to
interest an editor at a magazine
or newspaper with news about
your conference—unlike advertising, it’s absolutely free.
Fall 1999 • Page 7
Arranging & Designing Your Print Advertisement
First, write out all the advertising
copy you will use in the ad and
separate it into different sections:
the initial headline, a short
description of the conference, the
faculty list, and the mailing
address, phone and fax numbers,
e-mail, and web page address.
Fairfax Writers’ Conference. July 18–24, 2001. Fairfax, Virginia.
Seven days of intensive workshops in fiction and poetry with
accomplished writers, plus readings, trips to Mount Vernon and
the Shenendoah Valley, and nights on the town. For aspiring and
publishing writers.
Faculty: Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, Dawn Powell, T.S. Eliot.
Writers-in-Residence: Henry James, Harriet Stowe.
For more information, contact: Fairfax Writers, 1839 Beale St.,
Fairfax, VA 22039, call (703) 382-1938, e-mail
[email protected], or visit
When designing your ad, it’s a
good idea to use the rule of
thirds. Take your ad space (the
actual dimensions of the ad) and
then draw lines at one-thirds and
two-thirds of the total width and
height (see right). Where the
lines intersect are the places within the ad that a readers’s eye is
most likely to fall first. Do not
center your pictures or text, as
that will create dead space.
When integrating your copy,
photographs, and headlines, it is
often effective to “overprint”
white lettering on a black box.
This technique provides contrast,
makes an advertisement more
striking, and often allows you to
better organize your text, as you
can place your featured faculty or
address and phone number in a
separate, eye-catching area. For
newsprint, it’s generally a bad
idea to overprint lettering in sizes
smaller than 14 points.
Virginia Woolf
D.H. Lawrence
Dawn Powell
T.S. Eliot
Henry James
Harriet Stowe
Next, consider including artwork
to accompany it. In this case,
we’ve selected a photo by Michael
Pettit of a conference teacher
critiquing a student’s work—
which conveys a serious and
scholarly image for our conference. Other possible art could
include photos of Old Town
Fairfax, a collage of writers and
students enjoying themselves, etc.
The art can then be “screened”
behind text in gray—a trick
which can be accomplished by
most graphics programs. Make
sure your photographs are at least
300 dots per inch (dpi).
If you have a particular design for
the name of your conference, you
will want to use that for your
headline in the advertisement.
The fonts should match, although
special fonts associated with your
conference logo or identity are
also fine. This is a good ad for a
dreary location—on the left-hand
bottom corner of a magazine
page. But does the arrangement
of this ad work well if you have
good ad placement?
In this arrangement, your eye is
more likely to fall on “Fairfax”
first, especially if the ad is placed
on the right side of the page—an
ad placement you should always
request, as when you turn the
page of a magazine, you immediately notice ads placed on the
right-hand side. Without the
screened photograph, the headline
gains more impact, and the picture, which now accompanies the
descriptive copy, gives an idea of
what the workshop offers.
Virginia Woolf
D.H. Lawrence
Dawn Powell
T.S. Eliot
Henry James
Harriet Stowe
Virginia Woolf
D.H. Lawrence
Dawn Powell
T.S. Eliot
July 18–24, 2000 • Fairfax, Virginia.
Seven days of intensive workshops in fiction and poetry
with accomplished writers, plus readings, trips to Mount
Vernon and the Shenendoah Valley, and nights on the
town. For aspiring and publishing writers.
Henry James
Harriet Stowe
For more information, contact: Fairfax Writers, 1839
Beale St., Fairfax, VA 22039, call (703) 382-1938,
e-mail [email protected], or visit
July 18–24, 2000 • Fairfax, Virginia
Seven days of intensive workshops in
fiction and poetry with accomplished
writers, plus readings, trips to Mount
Vernon and the Shenendoah Valley,
and nights on the town. For aspiring
and publishing writers.
For more information, contact: Fairfax Writers, 1839
Beale St., Fairfax, VA 22039, call (703) 382-1938,
e-mail [email protected], or visit
Virginia Woolf
D.H. Lawrence
Dawn Powell
T.S. Eliot
Henry James
Harriet Stowe
Sewanee Writers’ Conference
(continued from page 4)
place a few days before the adult
counterpart. Mr. Prunty is very
pleased when some of the adult
attendees and faculty come to
take part in the Young Writers’
Conference. “I can’t imagine a
better faculty,” he said. Ho rt o n
Foote, Alice McDermott, and
other conference faculty come a
few days early to join the
younger writers on staff, teaching kids who Mr. Prunty finds
are very talented. In a year,
Sewanee hopes to start a summer theatre program for high
school students.
There is a wealth of opportunity at Sewanee, all of which
contributes to its popularity
and its success in encouraging
and aiding young and emerging
writers. As poet and 1999
Fellow Marilyn Taylor said,
“The Sewanee Conference featured an amazing assemblage of
talents, plus an ongoing sense
of mutual supportiveness and
good cheer—which is not
always the case when writers
convene for the purpose of
honing their craft. I felt little or
none of the competitive edginess some writers’ gatherings
are famous for.”
Prague Summer Seminars
(continued from page 6)
Jewish studies class in the afternoon, another 3 hours, followed
by dinner and the reading. By
Friday, then, everyone is both
exhausted by the schedule and
inspired by what it contained,
and the student readings are a
time for us all to relax and have
a good time.
We did have a good time this
year, and not only at the student
Some high points:
• Pavel Srut’s bilingual reading,
which gave our American ears a
taste of the music of Czech
• Gerald Stern and Philip
Levine’s reading: it seemed
almost too good to be true to
have these two great poets on
stage at the same time.
• Miroslav Mandic’s screenwriting seminar: every year students
tell me over and over what a
great teacher Miroslav is.
• A photography show on the
last day: all the photography students, 40 in all, about half of
whom were also writers this year,
displayed their work in the classroom building lobby, a wonderful show mounted by photography teachers Harry Mattison and
Annette Fournet.
• Field trip to Kutna Hora, and a
view of some ancient Czech history, including the famous bone
chapel, led by the brilliant
Charles University historian
Vaclav Cilek.
We had our share of problems
too. The dorm was, as usual, a
trial. Several students had complaints at the beginning. But the
shared tribulations of this Sovietera structure in the end proved
to be just one more source of
camaraderie. I think almost
everyone went home having
made new and dear friends, with
a sense of shared experience that
will not be soon forgotten.
Two Ways AWP Can Help Your Conference:
AWP Mailing Lists
Hundreds of talented writers—available for
readings at your writers’ conference at
a low cost to you!
Targeted lists of creative writing programs, students,
teachers, subscribers to The Writer’s Chronicle and
AWP Job List, Award Series entrants, and more.
The AWP Reading Series
For more information on AWP Mailing Lists or the AWP Reading Series, please call
Maryrose Flanigan at (703) 993-4396 or e-mail <[email protected]).
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