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Jambalaya Writer's Conference Scheduled for March 14 Has Been Cancelled

Thursday March 12, 2020 11:15 am - 2359 Views - Posted By Items of Interest
Jambalaya Writer's Conference Scheduled for March 14 Has Been Cancelled

The 17th Annual Jambalaya Writers' Conference has been cancelled due to a lack of presenters.

All contestants who already entered the writing contest will still be judged, and the winners will be notified. 

The Friends of the Terrebonne Public Library and the Terrebonne Parish Library System announce the 17th Annual Jambalaya Writers’ Conference, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at the Main Library.

Doors open at 7:30 a.m. for registration with sessions starting at 8:30 a.m. Pre-registration is $35 and $40 at the door the day of the conference. Students may register for $10 with their student ID. Conference attendees must register to attend the keynote presentation and to receive a lunch ticket. Registration forms can be found at

New York Times bestselling thriller novelist Lisa Gardner will give the 2020 keynote address. With over 22 million books in print in 30 countries, Gardner’s  suspense novels captivate audiences all over the world. Gardner began her career as a research analyst, and her novels combine her passion for investigation as well as her fascination for police procedure and forensic analysis. Titles include The Neighbor, Right Behind You, Find Her, Never Tell, and When You See Me, among others. She has appeared on TruTV and CNN, and four of her books have been adapted for the small screen--At the Midnight Hour, The Perfect Husband, The Survivors Club, and Hide.

Author Caroline Kepnes will also be in attendance. Kepnes is best known for her Joe Goldberg novels, You and Hidden Bodies, which have recently been adapted into a popular series on Netflix. Kepnes graduated from Brown University and has written for Tiger Beat, Entertainment Weekly, 7th Heaven, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. 

Other writers scheduled to appear are New York Times and USA Today romance writers Carolyn Brown, Laura Drake, and Sable Hunter, thriller author Samantha Downing, novelist Maurice Carlos Ruffin, poets David Middleton, John Doucet, and J. Bruce Fuller, memoirist Margaret McMullan, urban fantasy author Diana Rowland, and many others. 

Those aspiring to write in children’s and young adult fiction can mark their schedules for sessions with Marti Dumas, author of Jupiter Storm and the Jaden Toussaint series, author and illustrator Alexis Braud, middle grade fantasy novelist Lindsey Duga, Alys Arden of The Casquette Girls series, and Darcy Pattison, author of Nefertiti the Spidernaut and The Nantucket Sea Monster.

Gwen Hawkes, editor at St. Martin’s Press, and Melissa Carrigee of Brother Mockingbird will offer insight into the current state of publishing. Both Hawkes and Carrigee will take pitch appointments throughout the day for writers with a completed manuscript. Attendees can sign up for pitch sessions during registration. Sessions are first come, first served. For those interested in self-publishing, authors FJ Roberts and Madison Granger will host a panel.

Kathy Murphy, founder of the Pulpwood Queens book club, will make a special appearance alongside several members of the club, including Johnnie Bernhard, Melissa Carrigee, and Susan Cushman. JWC will include a panel featuring the Pulpwood Queens as they discuss the book club and offer insight into helping others find their own reading and/or writing communities. The Southern Writers’ Workshop, an adult creative writing group at the Main Library, will also host a panel on how to find and/or develop a writing community.

First Page American Idol is once again to wrap up the conference. Those interested in having their work critiqued by a panel of judges may submit the first page of a piece of writing during registration the day of the conference. The pages are read aloud during the session and subsequently critiqued by the panel. The author’s name is always kept anonymous. The session goes through as many pages as time allows.

For those interested in the fiction and poetry contests, submissions must be turned in by Friday, February 21. Fiction submissions are an extra $10, poetry an extra $5 (per piece of writing). Fiction submissions must be no longer than 1,500 words. Poems must be no longer than 100 lines. Contest participants must be registered for the conference. Winners will receive a monetary prize, and the fiction recipient a guaranteed slot with an editor.

The Jambalaya Writers’ Conference is made possible by the Friends of the Terrebonne Public Library and the Bayou Regional Arts Council. Contact Jessi Suire at 985-850-5301 or for more information.


Hours of Operation

  • Monday thru Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Mailing Address

  • P. O. Box 2768
  • Houma, LA 70361
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