Flathead Writers’ Conference Features Hollywood Editor

Jeff Giles and others help “writers find their voices” during September conference

New & Notable

Whitefish author/editor Jeff Giles has a new job as Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Executive Editor. Just before he leaves Montana, he’ll make a farewell appearance at the 29th annual Flathead River Writers Conference, Sept. 14-15, 2019 at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell.

In a recent interview, Giles said “speaking at the conference – and helping writers of all kinds find their voice – is going to be especially bittersweet because it will remind me of what a terrific place I’m leaving behind.”

Giles’s vast experience includes stints as deputy managing editor of Entertainment Weekly, and as contributing writer to The New York Times and Newsweek.

Go Find by Susan Purvis
Go Find by Susan Purvis, who attended the Flathead River Writers Conference a dozen years ago as a beginner.

“I wrote two novels that I’m really proud of here in Whitefish,” he says. “They were so informed by the landscape and the people that I couldn’t have written them anywhere else.” The young adult novels – The Edge of Everything and The Brink of Darkness – are centered in Montana and feature fierce heroine Zoe and her star-crossed boyfriend X.

Also presenting at the conference is Susan Purvis, another local success story. A dozen years ago, Purvis attended the event as a beginner who wanted to tell her story about training an avalanche search dog but had no idea how to write a book. Her memoir, Go Find: My Journey to Find the Lost – and Myself, was published in 2018, garnering prestigious awards. Purvis will describe the trajectory of her career from novice to bestseller.

Additional speakers include Bob Mayer, author of more than 70 books including the mega-hit Area 51 sci-fi series; Haven Kimmel, author of New York Times #1 bestseller A Girl Named Zippy; veteran New York literary agent Bob Mecoy; and Simon & Schuster editor Ben Loehnen.

Writers interested in self-publishing can learn from authors Jess Owen (fantasy novels) and Kathy Dunnehoff (romantic comedy novels and screenplays), who will offer insights into crowd-funding and marketing as an independent.

Tuition to the conference is $160 for both days, which includes lunch and a Saturday evening social. Single-day cost is $90. Registration is limited to 100 to preserve the friendly, intimate atmosphere.

For more information or to reserve a spot, visit Authors of the Flathead; or mail a check to Authors of the Flathead, P.O. Box 7711, Kalispell, MT 59904.

– Debbie Burke