Dr. Arsenault is the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History and Program Advisor of the Florida Studies Program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where he has taught since 1980.

A specialist in the political, social, and environmental history of the American South, he has also taught at the University of Minnesota, Brandeis University, and at the Universite d’Angers, in France, where he was a Fulbright Lecturer in 1984-85. 

4:30 Closing Keynote: Dr. Ray Arsenault

3:15  Session Three  - choose one workshop:

Book Design. Printers. Copyrights. ISBN numbers. Book covers. Copy editors. Promotion. These are some of the basic nuts and bolts of all publishing, but self-published authors have to do it all themselves.  Learn how to cover your bases in this in-depth workshop from photographer-author Laurie Ross, whose book Shop Dogs: A Photo Essay of Dogs That Go To Work, was published in 2013. Laurie Ross Photography, LLC, specializes in unique portraits, animals, and events. Laurie's photographs have appeared in newspapers and magazines, on commercial websites, and in local juried art shows.

Warren Firschein is the author of the middle grade novel Out of Synch, published by Chapter Two Press in 2015 and the co-author of A Brief History of Safety Harbor, Florida, published by History Press in 2013. He graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in political science, followed by a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He lives in Safety Harbor, Florida with his wife, Dawn, and their two daughters, Sophie and Elena.

11:30 Session One - choose one workshop:

What Happens Next: Using the Hero's Quest Template to Complete Your Novel

The elements of ancient mythological epics have provided the basis for storytelling for over 2,000 years. Today, these traditional narrative structures and character archetypes are widely incorporated into modern blockbuster films, plays, and bestselling books. As novelists, we can use these tools to construct stories (or subplots) that will be dramatic, entertaining, and gratifying. Join author Warren Firschein as he discusses the patterns of mythology and explains how you can use them to complete your novel in a way that will satisfy the timeless needs of the human psyche. This lecture draws from the classic text on screenwriting, The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, by Christopher Vogler, based on the works of mythologist Joseph Campbell.

9 - 9:50 a.m. Registration: mingle, enjoy complimentary coffee, pastries and fruit.

Tickets are now available for this full-day writing event where you'll experience  some of the area's most interesting, talented writers and poets including: Roy Peter Clark, Ray Arsenault, Gregory Byrd, Nicole Caron, Janet Lee Stinson, Jim & Maura Sweeney, Warren Firschein, and Laurie Ross. Subjects and classes will range from plotting, poetry, sentence-level editing, to blogging and e-publishing. The cost for this conference is $75. and $85 the day of the event. If you are a student with valid ID, you qualify for the student rate of $45.

Sunday, November 8, 2015 at the Safety Harbor Public Library

Janet Lee Stinson is committed to inspiring others. She has a long history of doing so, including as English Department Chair/teacher, university instructor, K-12 student success consultant, curriculum services leader, instructional writer and international presenter. She has maintained her popular educational blog, This Side of the Mirror, for 3 years while leading a blog team of writers for WeInspireFutures.com. In 2014, Janet Lee collaborated with Joe Davison to write a screenplay about the life of Arnie Stewart. Her company, Best Day EVER Productions, is on the move as she collaborates with clients to communicate positive messages in the media. Currently, Janet Lee is a columnist/blogger and Video Production Manager for Conscious Shift Magazine. Her column entitled, Be the Change, focuses on living life to the fullest.

5:30 - 7:00 Book Sales, poetry readings, free zine workshop taught by artists Heather Richardson and Katie Bush, wine and cheese ... and more! Location: Sideshow, 737 Main Street, Safety Harbor (Just down the Street!)

Blogging on Purpose: The Journey to Authentic Voice

It's Never Too Late to Get on the Bus: Stories from the Freedom Struggle

Note: Roy Peter Clark will sign books and greet conference attendees from 11 to 11:30

From 1980 to 1987, he was the co-director of the Fulbright Commission’s Summer Institute on American Studies at the University of Minnesota;  he has served as a consultant for numerous museums and public institutions, including the National Park Service, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Rosa Parks Museum, and the United States Information Agency; and he has lectured on American history and culture in a number of countries, including France, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Norway, Turkey, and Jordan.

Arsenault was educated at Princeton University (B.A. 1969) and Brandeis University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1981.  He is the author of two prize-winning books–The Wild Ass of the Ozarks: Jeff Davis and the Social Bases of Southern Politics (1984, pbk 1988) and St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream, 1888-1950 (1988, pbk. 1998), and of “The End of the Long Hot Summer: The Air Conditioner and Southern Culture,” Journal of Southern History (1984), which won the Southern Historical Association’s Green-Ramsdell Prize. An edited volume, Crucible of Liberty: 200 Years of the Bill of Rights, was published during the 1991 Bicentennial of the Bill of Rights. His recent publications include Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice (Oxford University Press, 2006), Paradise Lost? (2005) an anthology (co-edited with Jack Davis) on the environmental history of Florida, The Changing South of Gene Patterson: Journalism and Civil Rights, 1960-1968 (2002), co-edited with Roy Peter Clark, and “The Public Storm: Hurricanes and the State in Twentieth-Century America,” in Wendy Gamber, et al. eds., American Public Life and the Historical Imagination (2003).  He is currently working on Landmarks of American Sports, co-edited with Randall Miller. 

Since 1996 he and USF history colleague Gary Mormino have served as the co-editors of the University Press of Florida’s highly acclaimed “Florida History and Culture” book series.

An active member of the Florida affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union since the early 1980s, he served two terms as state president (1998-2000) and received the Nelson Poynter Civil Liberties Award in 2003.

Turbocharge Your Writing

12:30 - 1:55 LUNCH! Bring your brown bag or enjoy a meal named after a famous Florida author in one of Safety Harbor's unique restaurants, including Whistle Stop Grille, The Sandwich Shoppe, Joey Biscotti's and more (to be announced.)

What happens when life calls you to share your ideas with the world? Be inspired with real life examples, ideas and the learning process of writing around your life purpose while creating a lifestyle business. 

Several years ago, Jim and Maura Sweeney left behind a thriving computer rep firm they’d built from scratch to launch out anew. They turned their life passions into purpose and are discovering fun and fulfillment along the way.  

Writing Around Your Life Purpose

Metaphysical Connections—The Obvious Metaphor You Didn’t See Coming

One of the most important parts of a poem is the ability to make use of metaphor and symbolism—figurative language—to convey the idea, feeling, impact of a poem.  Poetry, after all, works by managing to circumvent our usual, logical, way of thinking to create a new insight, to bring the reader to that “ah-ha” moment or to laughter or to tears.  Metaphysical poets such as John Donne and contemporary poets such as Mary Oliver do this exceedingly well.  We will discuss some examples of this aspect of poetry and suggest ways in which you may keep on the lookout for symbols in your own work that the reader may never realize as such until the final piece of the poem connects everything together and . . . a-ha!

Your writing feeling a little sluggish? Readers not dropping everything to race to your blog post or book to scoop up your latest written gems? Sign up for "Turbocharge Your Writing" and breathe new life into your prose, both fiction and nonfiction. Learn some fun techniques for playing with language, editing for concision and power, and packing some punch into your paragraphs. In this session we'll look at some examples of hot writing, and you'll get to apply techniques right away for getting your writing back on track. Please bring one to two pages of a work.

Do you want to be published? With blogging, you only have to press the PUBLISH button and you are out there. Blogging on Purpose goes beyond simply “being published”. In this workshop, Janet Lee will discuss how to generate blogs audiences will read and share. Learn how to connect with others about topics you love and explore your own unique voice through the blogging framework. If you are new to blogging and are looking for concept structure and inspiration, this is the workshop for you!

Creator of a trademarked sports character named MIKE, Jim Sweeney combines his love of sports with an alter-ego that educates, entertains and opines in ways that traditional sports writers won’t – or can’t. Jim has written 700+ blogs and published 37 sports comic books under the MIKE pen name.

Maura took her life experience as a miscast youth groomed for a career in law to inspire others toward “Living Happy – Inside Out.” With a brand called Maura4u, she’s an author, blogger, Huffington Post contributor and international speaker who encourages others to pursue lives and careers that resonate from within.

Jim and Maura Sweeney are both 1980 graduates of Boston College. Jim’s background includes corporate import manager at Eckerd Drug Company followed by over two decades of computer brand sales to some of the largest distributors in the world. At 57, the former Division I basketball captain is a 3-time world masters basketball champion and serves as the USA Rep for FIMBA. 

 Maura Sweeney left Seton Hall Law School in 1982 and became a decorated manager at two national telecommunications corporations. A former home schooling mom and co-owner in the couple’s computer firm, she’s thoroughly enjoying her Third Act -- one she was preparing for all her life! 


A note from the organizer:

I've been working to organize a writers conference to Safety Harbor for about three years - since I was awarded a FEAST grant. I am thrilled to be able to bring these amazing writers, poets and teachers to our community and hope you will find  tools and inspiration to help you on your writing journey.  I want to thank the Safety Harbor Library Foundation for their help in bringing one of my favorite writing teachers, Roy Peter Clark,  to our conference.  With thanks and appreciation to all of you,

Laura Kepner

Nicole Caron is the ESL & Writing Coordinator at Ringling College of Art + Design in Sarasota, Florida. Nicole is also a freelance copywriter specializing in headlines and taglines. Nicole has published a textbook, a book on small business direct marketing, and many articles for trade journals and regional periodicals. She is at work on one novel and two personal essays.

Reading and Writing with Roy Peter Clark:  Twerks and Quirks from His Greatest Works

10:00 Keynote Speaker: Roy Peter Clark - is a writer, editor, and teacher who has become a writing coach to an international community of students, journalists, and writers of many sorts. He is also senior scholar and vice president of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a journalism think-tank in St. Petersburg, Florida, and is the founder of the National Writers Workshop. Clark has appeared on several radio and television talk shows, speaking about ethics in journalism and other writing issues.

Notice: The location has changed and we will now be at the Safety Harbor Public Library, 101 2nd St. N., Safety Harbor, FL 34695.

Gregory Byrd grew up in the Florida Keys, where some of his poems are set. His experiences with fishing and the Florida landscape influence his poems as much as his interest in myth, archetypes, visual art and music. Greg’s most recent book, Salt and Iron, came out with Snake Nation Press in 2014.  1995, his chapbook Florida Straits won the YellowJacket Press Florida Poets Chapbook Contest.  He has been published in various journals such as Tampa Review, Apalachee Review, Cortland Review, and, in Albanian translation, in Milosao and Poeteka. Among his awards are a Pushcart Prize nomination and a Fulbright fellowship in poetry to Albania in 2011. He lives in Clearwater, Florida where he fishes, sails and cycles. He teaches at St. Petersburg College.  Poet Silvia Curbelo calls his poems “Life-sized, transformative and singularly American.”  Florida Poet Laureate Peter Meinke calls his poems “painterly narratives told with a quiet intensity that produces, like all good poetry, a mixture of sorrow and relief.”

Self Publishing Success Strategies

2:00 Session Two - choose one workshop: