An Important Message about our Conference

by admin Conference News, Upcoming Events. Posted on March 12, 2018.

An Open Letter to Local Writers

Dear fellow writers, friends and WOTR members,

Here in 2018, Write On The River’s twelfth year serving local writers, the board of directors has made some major changes to our programs. Some of you have joined us for our new offerings: a summer garden party, the fall writing retreat, the first of our intensive Saturday workshops, and our monthly meetings, now called Writers Meeting Writers. And there is more to come.

We have suspended the annual conference, however. Some of you have been understandably distressed about that. As the founder of Write On The River, I share your disappointment. We have loved being able to bring a writers’ conference to Wenatchee, and we cherish the experiences we have shared with local writers throughout the years. Some of you who have helped with our conferences know how labor-intensive it is. Combined with the year-round programming offerings, we found that our volunteers just could not continue to devote the time needed for such an intensive annual enterprise.

Typically, work on the conference began in August and we pushed hard through the year to carry it off. While we had several committed volunteers, along with board members, we often found ourselves overwhelmed with the work load. Board member turnover, WOTR members’ busy lives, and the relentless need for marketing, fundraising, and presenter recruitment have brought us to the conclusion that we lack the volunteer base for a writing event of this size. We continue to make our need for volunteers known, such as we did with the board’s message to the attendees of the 2017 conference.

We have also experienced a decline in conference attendance. As a result, some years have been financially difficult. Although we take heart from the contributions of those who are paying members, and despite best efforts in promoting our organization, our membership is not growing. Appeals for donations come from so many organizations; it has been difficult to gain enough donors and members for the conference to remain financially viable.

Still, the board is determined to find the right mix of programming that meets our local writing community’s needs. Through surveys, we’ve heard from you that you’d like opportunities to write together, make writing contacts, and continue to work with talented teachers on a range of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Check out the WOTR website for the offerings we’ve devised to better meet your

 needs this year.

My dream when I moved to Wenatchee was to have a first-class writing conference for North CentralWashington. We’ve loved doing it and still hope that in a future year the conference will return. Dreams are worth pursuing. We hope that if you share that dream, you’ll help us shape and create it.

With best wishes in the writing life,

Kay Kenyon