Alice Speilburg, Jane Friedman, & Gabehart Winners Announced

July 12, 2019
Paths to publication are markedly different for the three main genres represented at the Kentucky Women Writers Conference. With fiction, you must wait until your work is complete: no agent or editor wants to speculate on an unfinished story. With nonfiction, however, a sample chapter and outline are often enough to earn a publishing contract. With poetry, the readership is smaller, meaning that agents cannot earn a livelihood by selling it, and you must approach editors directly.
For our annual look at what writers need to know about getting published, we are delighted to feature Alice Speilburg giving two talks at KyWomenWriters2019:

  • Representationship: Manager, Editor, Therapist -- What To Expect from a Literary Agent, and
  • First Page Critiques: How to Write the Opening that Publishing Pros Want to Read

Alice is the founding agent at Speilburg Literary Agency and has worked in publishing since 2008. Prior to launching the agency, she worked for John Wiley & Sons and Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. Alice represents narrative nonfiction and commercial fiction for adult and YA readers, and her remarks at KyWomenWriters2019 will focus primarily on those subgenres. She will also offer a limited number of one-on-one manuscript consultations: these slots go fast, so don’t delay in signing up. If you have already registered for the conference and would like to add this option (for an additional fee of $45), let me know and I can add it to your enrollment.
Those of you fortunate enough to hear publishing consultant Jane Friedman at our conference last year know what a gold mine of advice and insight she is. In 2013 she created a sort of Rosetta Stone of book publishing, which she revises every year to reflect industry trends, and she just issued the most recent update. You can find that on her Twitter page @JaneFriedman, and here is what it looks like (don't even try to view this on your phone!):

         We still have 3 slots left in tomorrow's pre-conference workshop on the fiction of Lydia Millet. This workshop, led by Katy Yocom, will introduce you to Millet's work and give writing prompts based on her short fiction. The workshop is FREE and limited to 12 participants. To secure your spot, please email, and we’ll email you a pdf of the assigned story by Millet, “Girl and Giraffe.” Saturday, July 13, 10:30a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Carnegie Center, lower level, Pam Sexton Room.
        Finally, we are delighted to announce this year's Gabehart winners. The Betty Gabehart Prizes in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry recognize and support talented writers who show potential for excellence in their literary endeavors. Winners receive a $300 honorarium, a reading at the conference, and enrollment in a small-group writing workshop. Congratulations to:
  • Poetry winner: Lupita Eyde-Tucker of Palm Bay, Florida, for “How to Ride a Train in the Andes” and other poems. Lupita will give a reading at the conference paired with DaMaris Hill.
  • Honorable Mention: Carrie Green of Lexington, Kentucky, for “Hurricane” and other poems
  • Fiction winner: Monica Hanna of Long Island, NY, for the short story, “In the Name of the Father.” Monica will give a reading at the conference paired with Chantel Acevedo.
  • Honorable mention: Esther Magdalena Reed for the short story, “The Lingering Fragrance of Lilacs”
  • Nonfiction winner: Pamela Parker of Mayfield, Kentucky for the essay, “Memento Mori, Memento Vivere.” Pamela will give a reading at the conference paired with Darcey Steinke.
  • Honorable Mention: Lia Greenwell of Grosse Point, Michigan, for the essay, “Your Soul Doesn’t Need You”

Many thank to our judges, Sylvia Ahrens, Holly Barbaccia, Cam Holzer, Sarah McCartt-Jackson, Ashley McGraw, and Jessica Winters, whose service on our board and in this contest demonstrate their generous commitment to supporting women writers.