Keynote speaker Michael Jinkins, newly-inaugurated president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will be joined by more than a dozen nationally-renowned practitioners of virtually every style of writing when the Presbyterian Writers Guild (PWG) hosts its annual Writers Conference May 16-17 on the campus of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary here.

“I think we have an eclectic mix of speakers and seminar leaders for the conference this year,” says Duane Sweep, communications director for the Synod of Lakes and Prairies and chair of the PWG conference planning committee. “We have everything from something called ‘Chancel Drama and Big Heads’ to the new Presbyterian hymnal. That strikes me as quite a span right there.”

The conference will also include sessions on how to get writings published. “Everyone will have a chance to spend an hour or so with David Dobson of Westminster John Knox Press,” Sweep adds. “It’s something different than a piece on writing, but that element of writing in which we’re all interested: the publishing end.”

There will also be a workshop on acquiring and working with literary agents.

“The Presbyterian Writers Guild seeks to support and enhance the art and craft of writing. We want to inspire and inform writers and help them meet the people who can open doors for their writing careers,” says Writers Guild President Bill Lancaster of Greenville, S.C.

“At the 2011 Writers Conference, we have a wonderful array of accomplished writers who know the ropes, who know editors, agents and publishers in different fields of writing,” Lancaster says. “These leaders know what it takes to fulfil the dream of making significant contributions through writing. We believe they can help move aspiring writers forward in their efforts. That's what we want to accomplish through this conference.”

Types of writing to be covered in the 16 workshops being offered during the two-day event include hymn writing, Christian comedy and drama, news, secular religion writing, writing for children and young adults, curriculum, magazine features, poetry, writing on environmental issues, writing for spiritual growth, free-lancing, ghost-writing and writing video scripts.

Presenters include Mel Bringle, Dean Seal, Bethany Furkin of Presbyterian News Service, Peter Smith of the Louisville Courier-Journal, Kent Ira Goff, Rick Dietrich, Ruth Boling, Rebecca Barnes-Davies, Toya Richards, Emily Enders Odom, Paul Seebeck and best-selling novelist Beverly Bartlett.

“I’m looking forward to it, Sweep says. “We have Beverly Bartlett, author of Princess Izzy and the E Street Shuffle. The title alone intrigues me.”

Online registration for the PWG’s 2011 Writers Conference is open now at the Presbyterian Writers Guild website. For more information, visit the website or contact Duane Sweep by email.