Arts and Entertainment

Whidbey writers plot out their next moves

Though not alphabet, the soup that flowed at the Whidbey Island Writers Association annual meeting satisfied a crowd that appreciates the written word.

The Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, parent organization for the association, hosted the event Sept. 14 at Whidbey Pies Café, Greenbank Farm.

The program included networking with other writers, editors and NILA board members, dinner and drawings.

Board president David Brooks handed over the reins of the organization to incoming president Allan Ament.

Other new board members introduced included Mary Kay Chess, Nancy Ruff, Larry Cheek, Garr Kuhl and Don Haynes.

NILA is made up of four programs that serve writers. Originally founded in 1998 as Whidbey Island Writers Association, in 1999 the group created the Whidbey Island Writers Conference. Then, in 2005 the association went on to found the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program. NILA was later created to be the managing body for all three programs. A fourth program, Soundings Review literary magazine, began publishing in 2008.

At the meeting, the four program chairs shared accomplishments and plans for such events as: Writers Lockdown Weekend, which took place Oct. 21 to 24  at the Captain Whidbey Inn in Coupeville, a social media and marketing class series ongoing through the fall, and the schedule for the 2012 conference, which will be held in Langley, March 2 through 4.

A $15,000 grant received this year from is helping NILA expand into further programs geared toward preparing writers for the next big thing in the literary and publishing world.

NILA invites all writers and lovers of literature to join in supporting the literary arts on Whidbey by joining WIWA, attending classes, enrolling in the MFA, registering for the conference and subscribing to Soundings Review. For those interested in making a place in the literary world, there are also opportunities available to help with conference and event planning and with publishing Soundings Review.

The organization has just launched a new website There, one  can get questions answered about the MFA program, submit work to Soundings Review and join the association. People can also now register online for the 2012 conference at Register before Jan. 15 and get a discounted rate.


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