Columbia State Hosts Writers' Conference

Manuscript Submission Deadline March 20

Register Now!

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Feb. 8, 2017) - - - Registration is now open for Columbia State Community College’s second annual Duck River Writers’ Conference on April 8. The 2017 conference will build on last year’s success by expanding the number of workshops and craft talks offered.

Panelists for the conference include Marilyn Kallet, University of Tennessee, Knoxville professor of English; Jeff Hardin, Columbia State professor of English; Beverly Mitchell, Columbia State professor of English; Tiana Clark, award-winning poet; and Steven Womack, Nashville mystery, crime and screenplay writer and winner of the 1994 Edgar Allan Poe Award.

“Last year’s attendees were so excited to have this type of conference in our hometown,” said Judith Westley, Columbia State assistant professor of English and conference chair. “The enthusiastic response showed us how deeply our region values literature and wants to promote creative writing in our community.”

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conference events will continue through the afternoon followed by a book signing and reading. This year’s conference will also feature impromptu writing led onsite in the DRWC’s own Take Flight Café. The café will offer original writing prompts together with feedback from several of the college’s working writers, including Shelly Ganter, Columbia State associate professor of English; Bobby Thym, Columbia State instructor of English; Shane Hall, Columbia State instructor of English; and Joan Cook, Columbia State associate professor English and education.

Registration fees are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Attendance is free for Columbia State students with a college ID. Lunch is optional and will be a separate charge.

The conference will feature craft talks and workshops for poetry, fiction and creative writing by teens.

Visit for a full schedule of events, additional conference information and to register.

In addition, the manuscript submission deadline is March 20. Writers are encouraged to submit poetry, short stories, excerpts from novels and teen poetry and fiction. Manuscripts will be reviewed by a panel of judges prior to the conference and a workshop will be held during the conference to provide professional feedback for accepted submissions.

Non-refundable fees for manuscript submissions are $15, separate from conference registration fees. Columbia State student submissions are free. Manuscripts should be sent to Payment instructions will be emailed to those making submissions.

For additional information, please call (931) 540-2871.

Duck River Writers' Workshop
Photo Caption:
2016 Duck River Writers’ Conference

Special thanks to our sponsors:

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Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at

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