Jill McCorkle

CAA Announces Visiting Authors For 5th Annual Longleaf Writers Conference

5th Annual Longleaf Writers Conference Slated For May 13 – 20, 2018

Featuring Visiting Authors Tom Franklin and Jill McCorkle


SANTA ROSA BEACH, FL (February 1, 2018)— The Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) of Walton County announces the 5th annual Longleaf Writers Conference to take place May 13 – 20 in Seaside, FL as part of Art Week South Walton.

The Longleaf Writers Conference (formerly named Seaside Writers Conference) includes a full week of intensive writing workshops, one-day seminars, agent consultations, school outreach programs and social events. The conference, which takes place in and around the Academic Village in Seaside, FL, provides an opportunity for beginning, intermediate, and advanced writers to celebrate writing, to network, and to hone their craft.

Visiting authors Tom Franklin (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, Poachers, Smonk, Hell at the Breach) and Jill McCorkle (The Cheerleader, Life After Life) will each lead a seminar and reading while guest agent Annie Hwang (Folio Literary Management) and guest editors Sara Weiss (Ballantine Books/Random House) and Eliza Borne (The Oxford American), will offer one-on-one consultations with attendees.

“We are so fortunate to continue to attract high-caliber writers such as Tom Franklin and Jill McCorkle,” said LWC co-founder, author and faculty member Matt Bondurant (The Wettest County In The World, made into the film Lawless; The Night Swimmer; The Third Translation). “And there is no other writers conference that allows you to step out of intimate workshops with national award-winning authors and agents directly onto the white sand of the Gulf of Mexico. Our writers love that, and they also appreciate the people and culture of the community.”

Bondurant and conference co-founder, faculty member and poet Seth Brady Tucker (Mormon Boy; We Deserve The Gods We Ask For), are joined by visiting faculty members Beth Ann Fennelly (Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs, Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables), Vandana Khanna (Train to Agra, Afternoon Masala, The Goddess Monologues), and Jennine Capo Crucet (Make Your Home Among Strangers, How To Leave Hialeah).

”We started this conference with a few key goals in mind: create a personal experience for our writers, give them a beautiful place to write and discuss with great teachers and good people, and to give back to the local community,” said Seth. “In the past few years, we have accomplished these goals, and the feedback from our attendees shows they feel the same way.”

Other components of the conference include the Scholars and Fellows Program for developing writers, the Celia Baker Veteran Scholarship, and a scholarship specifically for writers of color. Longleaf also sponsors a public-school outreach program in which Scholars and Fellows work directly with 8th and 11th grade writers in the Walton County schools. Some of the students go on to read their work publicly as part of the conference alongside a headliner.

The Longleaf Writers Conference (LWC) is produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and sponsored by the University of Mississippi, and The Seaside Institute.

“The Cultural Arts Alliance is proud to have partnered with the Writers Conference Founders to produce this conference,” said CAA Executive Director Jennifer Steele. “Attendance increases each year and we know it will continue to grow as word spreads of the special nature of LWC. The conference fulfills part of the CAA’s mission to bring literary programming to the community while providing opportunities for hands-on literary arts enrichment in our public schools. We are grateful to the partners who continue to make the conference possible.”

Participants who pay for the full conference tuition will be able to take part in an intensive workshop and all daily activities, including special events, receptions and some mealsA la carte pricing is available for classes, workshops, consultations, and events perfect for locals who want to see what the SWC has to offer. Walk-ins are welcome. The Visiting Writer Readings are free and open to the public. Accommodations can also be secured through the registration process by paying the all-inclusive registration fee. Special Early Bird pricing available through March 20. Visit longleafwritersconference.com to register and for more information.