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Quad-Cities area is rich in writers

The Mississippi Valley Writers Conference is a sterling example of what David Collins thinks is a very active writing community in the Quad-Cities.

In fact, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the conference, held at Augustana College each June.

``There are some bigger cities that don't have something like this,'' Mr. Collins said. ``The fact that it has lasted 25 years shows this is an active writing community.''

The conference offers workshops on beginning writing, children's literature, poetry, memoirs, biography, novels, short stories, non-fiction, creative photography and, starting this year, how to market your writing.

Published and unpublished writers work beside each other, polishing their craft, taught and guided by experienced, professional writers. Awards are given in each workshop, including awards for beginning writers.

The local writing community is a strong yet subtle part of the area's fabric, according to Mr. Collins.

``People will say `I never realized we had so many writing groups and conferences,' but they didn't try and find them,'' he said. ``They weren't tuned in, but once they are, they see it.

``The literary arts don't get the splashy coverage of the performing arts.''

-- By Kurt Allemeier (January 22, 1998)

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