Get up from the computer, walk to your 2011 calendar, and write "Desert Nights, Rising Stars" on the following dates: March 3, 4, 5, and 6. Then come back here.
Good. You've just penned your first words for Arizona State University's annual "Desert Nights, Rising Stars" writers conference, scheduled to take place on those dates at the Tempe campus. Feel inspired yet?
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If not, how about this: The state's biggest deal get-together for scribes includes four days of workshops and panel discussion as well as nightly author readings.
For the 2011 edition, published fiction, non-fiction, and poetry writers, including Tony Hoagland, Robert Boswell, and Andrea Barrett, will post up at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing to lecture and discuss topical matters in writing.
Whether it's an economy thing or the fact that the conference moved venues in 2005 (from a centrally-gathered, party-focused venue in North Scottsdale to the more serious Piper Center and its surrounding spaces), attendance the past few years has been a bit low. Which could be good for you if you really want to hog the attention of a particular favorite author.
Early registration discount ends October 31. For more information and/or to register, go to www.asu.edu/piper/conference.