A Message from the Director

December 11, 2020

Dear Friends,

As this very different holiday season unfolds, I am thinking of mothers. Two in particular were brought to life in one of the most inspiring sessions from our September conference.  Lisa Kent, our Gabehart nonfiction winner, read from her beautiful memoir-in-progress about her mother, Death, Rock Me to Sleep, and Bridgett M. Davis read about hers in her memoir, The World According to Fannie Davis, also slated to become a major film, for which Bridgett is writing the screenplay. It’s going to be a long winter, and we are going to need provisions. As our holiday gift to you, I offer this recording of Lisa’s and Bridgett’s reading. That session is hosted by Board member Camilla Holzer, who just completed her three-year term. We thank Cam for her time, talents, and huge heart!

Our September 2020 conference yielded the highest number of registrants we’ve had in years—133—and our 4 free events were attended by a combined total of 260. We were thrilled to receive glowing feedback from our audiences, some of which is now shared on our website here. Because a virtual event is less expensive to produce, we were able to lower our ticket prices while still paying our presenters their pre-pandemic fees. We were helped in no small part by the following attendees who included a donation with their registration: Diane Bailey-Boulet, Lois Barr, Jennifer Bartlett, Karisse Carmack, Elizabeth Rouse Fielder, Kelly Flood, Susan Hill, Leigh Hoopes, Jan Isenhour, Maria Johnson, Leatha Kendrick, Tom Kimmerer, Dodie Kuzneski, Paulette Livers, and Candace Owens. Many thanks to these 16 individuals for their support! If you would like to join them by including us in your year-end giving, please visit this link to donate with a credit card, or mail a check payable to “Kentucky Women Writers Conference” to:

               Kentucky Women Writers Conference
               PO Box 23552
               Lexington, KY 40523

All of our normal sources of support are likely to be stretched thinner than ever in 2021, and your gifts will help us continue to offer incomparable literary learning and networking experiences to our attendees.

For some, the holidays include a renewed reverence for the mother of God. For others, the holidays bring to mind the many chores of the season that fall disproportionately on mothers: sending holiday cards, decorating homes, buying and wrapping gifts. This comes after a year in which mothers of young children endured unimaginable burdens from school closures and remote learning. For me, a mother of teenagers who sleep through much of my working day, it’s actually not unimaginable: I can envision what it would be like to have young children at home while trying to work, and it makes me angry that the resources needed to keep schools opens hasn’t been higher on the pandemic priority list.

As a final tribute to mothers, I would like to recognize my own, Dodie Kuzneski, whose memories and love were instrumental to my thesis—a memoir—for the degree I finally earned this semester. Mom, those new letters after my name are thanks to you!

Sincerely,

Julie Kuzneski Wrinn, M.F.A.
Director

P.S. Dates for the next Kentucky Women Writers Conference will be September 9–12, 2021, and registration will begin on July 1, 2021. Its modality (in-person, online, or hybrid) is tbd.

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