Praise for the 2020 Conference

"Evie Shockley. Wow. I could have listened to her all night. I wasn’t familiar with her work, and to have her energy right in my living room? I think the virtual environment was possibly more powerful and intimate for this poet. I will treasure it always. Last year I went to Lexington with 2 friends in my writer's group. The conference was life-changing for me: a crisis of confidence, a change of direction, then rebuilding all came about in 4 days. This year, I was stunned and humbled to win the Gabehart prize, affirming my decision to pursue writing. Confronting anxiety, communing with other writers, continuing to learn and grow, these have been the incredible benefits of the conference for me." –Lisa Kent

"I enjoyed myself immensely but, of course, I’d rather be in Lexington. I felt very challenged by Evie Shockley’s workshop and also stimulated. The coffeehouses were a wonderful opportunity to chat and meet new people."  –Lois Barr

"I am SO glad the conference was held virtually this year due to Covid-19. As much as I love to travel, having an event that promotes curiosity, creativity, and writing and expression in a supportive, welcoming, inclusive environment is such a gift to have in this region. And of course, an in-person conference offers the opportunity to meet other writers and speakers face to face and to experience readings in a group setting, which is a wonderful aspect to the conference that I missed this year and look forward to returning to once it's safe to do so! You all made the process seamless and easy to navigate and I so appreciate all of your efforts to bring the conference to me since we are all unable to be together at this time."  –Neleigh Olson

"Kudos to what must have been an incredibly difficult Kentucky Women's Writers Conference to present. My workshop with Bridgett Davis was FANTASTIC and we had very few technical issues. I learned so much from her and the way she interacted with the other students and their work. Great job!" –Shelley Bendall

"Loved the sessions with Erin Hosier. This is the most in-depth info that we’ve gotten from a literary agent about how they sell to a publisher. The coffee shops were nice. I think everyone did their best to make us all feel welcome and comfortable in this Covid-isolating world. While I wish I were there in person, eating at local Lexington restaurants and visiting Joseph-Beth for Sunday breakfast, this is a welcome change of pace to break up the monotony of my own company." –Maria Johnson

"Roxana’s session on dialogue . . . presented so many interesting aspects of dialogue I'd never considered, many of which have direct bearing on how I approach a poem. Especially meaningful to me were her thoughts on knowing your characters' backstory and allowing them to drive the dialogue and hence the story. I am 60, and one thing I really liked was that the presenters were of various ages. Also, I’m glad there was racial diversity. The Sonia Sanchez documentary was stunning. Kudos to all of you for putting this on virtually. All the Saturday sessions were so vibrant, I felt I was in the room with everyone." –Lynn Lampe

"The workshop with Darcy Steinke was wonderful because she offered opportunities to discuss readings as well as create our own work around the central topic. I appreciated that she stayed on topic but still allowed the subject (writing from the body) to expand. She also offered a very academic yet warm intellectual environment that made me feel challenged but also safe to share new work with. I think you did an outstanding job of making Zoom user friendly for everyone. I have conducted a couple of Zoom workshops myself and the efforts that you made to make things easy for people were fabulous." –Ruth Crocker

"I’ve attended hundreds of Zoom classes, workshops, conferences, talks, and live events and have seen all sides of them. It’s a tricky bit of work to bring a conference like this together and you all have done a fabulous job." –Trina Drotar