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A Message From The Director

We're excited to announce that the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference will return March 3-6, 2011. Those of you familiar with the conference will recognize the basic features: readings, panel discussions, question-and-answer sessions and the option of intimate Master Classes with some of the finest teachers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in the country. At the same time, the conference will have a new format, beginning with a welcoming banquet Thursday evening, where faculty and participants will be introduced and get the chance to know one another, and ending with a Sunday brunch and closing discussion that will send everyone back to their desks (or laptops) eager to write. For registrants looking for ways to get first drafts on paper, we're introducing a new feature, Write Here, to jump-start the creative process each day.

Be sure to check back, as we'll begin to announce the conference faculty in the coming weeks. Registration is due to open in August. While we don't anticipate having to cap general registration, Master Class registration will be limited, to ensure that those small groups offer the concentrated experience and opportunity for in-depth conversation and instruction writers value most.

Also keep an eye out for the new roster of Piper Writers Studio courses, which begin in October. Registration will open August 1 for some old favorites as well as exciting new opportunities, including the chance to study with this past semester's Distinguished Visiting Writer in Residence Kevin McIlvoy, who gave a beautiful talk at our end-of-the-session celebration.

All the best,

Peter Turchi
Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing