CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the state Library Commission will hold their annual "Writers' Toolkit" conference at the Culture Center at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston.
The event offers workshops in creative writing, which are free and open to the public, on Saturday, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The conference will begin on Friday evening at 7 p.m. with a keynote address by Charleston children's book writer Sarah Sullivan. Her most recent work, "Passing the Music Down," is a picture book based on the lives of Melvin Wine and Jake Krack, two old-time fiddle players from West Virginia.
Sullivan's talk, "Bright Streets and Dark Paths: The Often Painful, Sometimes Glorious Journey from Rough Draft to Polished Manuscript," will be followed by a reception in the Great Hall.
On Saturday, the Writers' Toolkit will feature four different workshops:
• "Craft and Creativity in Picture Books" with Sullivan, who holds a master's degree in writing for children from Vermont College.
• "Screenwriting for Beginners," with Danny Boyd of Charleston.
• "Short Takes: Writing from Life," with Sunday Gazette-Mail columnist Karin Fuller of South Charleston.
• "The Seven Deadly Sins," with Sandy Tritt of Parkersburg.
Boyd will talk about how he develops and constructs stories for movies, from the original ideas to final movie scripts.
A professor of media studies at West Virginia State University since 1983, Boyd actively engages students in his film projects. In 1994, he created the Paradise Film Institute at WVSU. "Chillers," his first feature film, was released in 1988.
Fuller will focus how people can select material from their own lives to create newspaper columns and stories. Since 1997, she has published "Smell the Coffee," her weekly column in the Sunday Gazette-Mail.
Fuller will lead participants in a writing exercise teaching them how to find details to make characters real to readers, and how to use those details to build up short romantic stories.
Tritt will examine seven common mistakes in writing, including: poor grammar, misspelling, overly-dramatic prose and repetitiveness.
A writer, ghostwriter, editor and speaker, Tritt is chief executive officer for Inspiration for Writers Inc., an international editing and critiquing group that helps aspiring writers. She has edited hundreds of manuscripts.
Participants should bring pens, pencils and writing tablets. They also are welcome to bring a bag lunch to eat between noon and 1 p.m.
For more information about the workshop, call Caryn Gresham at 304-558-0220.