Posted on June 9, 2017

Homer, Alaska and the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference 2017

I am looking forward to attending the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference this weekend. It’s always a highlight of my writing year. The information and inspiration can’t be beat. There’s also an interesting history of the bay and Homer, AK.

Homer is the biggest settlement on the bay. The site was occasionally used as a camp by early Alutiiq Indians. The town was founded by the Cook Inlet Coal Fields Company when they built a coal mine, dock, town and railroad in the 1890s.  It may be best known as the “End of the Road” of Tom Bodett fame. (Thank you, Tom!)

The town was named for Homer Pennock, a gold mining promoter who built living quarters for his men on Homer Spit, a thin line of land that juts into the bay. That same spit is now home to the small boat harbor, restaurants, shops, and other amenities for the fishing and tourism folks that now make up most of the town’s business. The beauty, art and recreation also draw Alaskans to the area, including my friend, author Jennifer Bernard. 🙂

The Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference (http://writersconference.homer.alaska.edu), sponsored by the University of Alaska’s Kachemak Bay Campus, is held at Lands End Resort at the end of the spit. The most challenging thing for participants is to ignore the scenery outside the windows and focus on the speakers and our fellow writers in the workshops. The view is magnificent!

This year, the keynote speaker is novelist Jane Smiley. The faculty includes writers and other experts from Alaska and other parts of the world. See more details at the website, and I hope to see you there!

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