Music Mountain Writer’s Conference just around the bend

I looked out my new window at the surrounding mountains visible against the blue sky. That inspires me and widens my horizon.

The history, natural wonders, people and the high desert continue to add more stories that I want to share. I have been amazed at the number of writers, from beginners to nationally-known individuals, that live in Mohave County or have deep roots here.

I am equally amazed at the long list of untold stories in this crossroads of the Southwest. We will share all that at the first Music Mountain Writers’ Conference May 19, 20, 21 at the Kingman campus of Mohave Community College with the MCC Foundation Kingman Chapter as cosponsor.

I am organizing the three-day workshop with a lot of assistance from MCC staff and the Foundation.

The Music Mountain Writers’ Conference program and theme is built around the rich resources of the area with talented, successful writers conducting workshop sessions. Each participant will find opportunities to improve writing skills, learn the importance of location as a theme and find ways to publish their literary efforts.

Kingman native Bob Boze Bell will keynote the conference and highlight the Friday activities. Bell is an Old West speaker, humorist, author and president of True West Magazine.

Master storyteller Bill Lovejoy has published 20 thriller-suspense mysteries in four languages. He taught writing at the University of Northern Colorado and was a faculty member at Pikes Peak Writers’ Conference, one of the best around. Lovejoy is MCC vice president for administration and a member of Mystery Writers of America.

Mohave County historian Dan Messersmith has researched and written the history of this county and was named “Honorary Mohave County Historian” in 1997 by the county supervisors. He retired as dean at the Kingman campus last summer and continues to serve MCC as assistant for college advancement to President Tom Henry. Messersmith is executive director of the MCC Foundation with chapters in Kingman, Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City.

Additional staff is being added as the program is set for the May conference.

Opportunities are open for local citizen volunteers to get involved in various parts of making the conference a success. First, writers of all levels of experience are urged to take advantage of the early registration discounts. Cost will be $215 at the door with early registration prior to March 31 at $149 for the three days and includes the Friday evening Western Hoedown, two light breakfasts and a luncheon with the conference staff.

The Friday event features Bell and Messersmith, music and a chance to meet staff and other writers informally.

The Hoedown will be in the new outdoor event area at MCC and is open to all who would like to attend. It is included in the price of the conference or tickets for the event will be available.

Second, volunteers are needed for planning, assistance with the workshop activities, making the Hoedown special and planning a vendor area. Committees are being formed and there is a place for anyone interested.

You can check out the conference on the Internet at Shaw Guides or Writers Digest.

It is my vision to make the Music Mountain Writers Conference an annual event that will bring opportunities to Mohave County authors without the expense of travel and lodging. Our goal is to become a conference of the same reknown and quality as Pikes Peak. That will take some growing.

Writers from all over the United States will see the conference outline on the Internet and some will take advantage of the rich resources and inspiration of our wide open spaces.

If you are interested in helping, need more information or want to take advantage of early registration, write to Marvin Robertson at the Miner or at MCC, 1971 Jagerson Ave., Kingman.

Or e-mail me at 

Window Pain 

 February is Black History Month, and two women critical to changes for African Americans, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, died recently. I found it interesting that Mrs. King was the first black and first woman to lie in state at the Georgia state capital building in Atlanta with the first Republican governor since the Civil War presiding.