Reading the West 9-28-09
Several award-winning professional writers will participate in readings, presentations, and panel discussions at the Heber City Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Fair, November 6-7. The programs will appeal to both aspiring and accomplished authors, as well as readers of Western literature and film.
“We have talked with the Cowboy Poetry Gathering organizers for several years about doing this,” says Johnny Boggs, president of Western Writers of America. “The Gathering is a major event, attracting thousands of people interested in the culture of the American West, so it seemed like a natural fit for WWA to get involved.”
Tom Whitaker, founder and president of the Heber City Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Fair, now in its 15th year, agrees. “Our mission is to promote Western heritage and culture. Western writing – history, fiction, poetry, songs, movies, television – that’s all part of it. Since Western Writers of America represents hundreds of authors in all those areas, we wanted the organization to be part of our event.”
WWA will have a dedicated lecture room, the Campfire Stage, Friday and Saturday at the Gathering. Among those scheduled to appear are screenwriter Kirk Ellis, winner of Emmy, Golden Globe, Wrangler, and Spur Awards for his work in movies and television, including the miniseries “Into the West” and “John Adams,” and “Ranger Doug” Green, of hall-of-fame musical group Riders in the Sky, who is also author of several books on music history and many magazine articles.
Other notable authors on the schedule include award-winning Utah historian Will Bagley, who both writes and edits books considered definitive works in Western History, including “Blood of the Prophets” and the series “Kingdom in the West;” Johnny Boggs, a New Mexico freelance magazine writer, prolific novelist, and winner of numerous Spur and Wrangler Awards; Jon Chandler, Colorado singer, songwriter, novelist, and recipient of several awards in both music and literature; Candy Moulton, Wyoming author of a Spur Award-winning history of Chief Joseph as well as other historical books and magazine articles; Michael Zimmer, Utah author of five historically accurate novels about the West, the fur trade, and buffalo hunting; Wyoming archeologist and author Terry Del Bene, whose work includes numerous museum and roadside exhibits as well as the popular “Donner Party Cookbook;” and Rod Miller, Utah author of numerous poems, magazine articles, two books of history, and a Western novel.
“We’ve put together a lineup with broad appeal,” says WWA president Boggs. “Our featured writers’ expertise covers practically all forms of Western literature, from Kirk Ellis’s work for film and television to Will Bagley’s critically acclaimed histories. Western fiction, nonfiction, poetry, song – it’s all there. And, with notable performers ‘Ranger Doug’ and Jon Chandler scheduled to appear, WWA programs should be entertaining as well as informative.” Boggs says books and CDs by the featured authors will be available for sale at the Gathering, with the writers on hand for autographs and signings.
According to event organizers, the author appearances promise to deliver insights into the writing process, Western subjects on movie and television screens, research techniques for both fiction and nonfiction, inside information about publishing and marketing, adapting writing skills to multiple genres, as well as tips and advice for both readers and writers.
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