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Aloha Writers Conference to be Held in Kapalua

First annual event offers scholarships to Hawai‘i’s writers.

January 10, 2013
The Maui Weekly

The Aloha Writers Conference will be held Friday through Monday, Jan. 18 to 21, at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Designed to motivate, educate and elevate, the first annual Aloha Writers Conference will feature world-renowned writers, best-selling authors, poets and scriptwriters.

Writers of all ages and genres, avid readers and imaginative minds are welcome to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event on one of the world's most magical islands.

All presenters have been specially selected as outstanding members in their field and their great teaching abilities.

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Authors presenting at the first Aloha Writers Conference include New York Times best-selling author Kaui Hart Hemmings, who wrote “The Descendants,” a novel set in Hawai‘i and made into the popular movie starring George Clooney.

Authors presenting at the conference include New York Times best-selling author Kaui Hart Hemmings, who wrote "The Descendants," a novel set in Hawai'i and made into the popular movie starring George Clooney.

Award-winning Hawai'i author Rebecca Walker and Hawai'i's first poet laureate, Kealoha, will also be joining the faculty of the Aloha Writer's Conference.

The conference will also include Jacquelyn Mitchard, whose blockbuster novel, "The Deep End of the Ocean," was the first book in the Oprah Winfrey Book Club; master of courtroom drama, William Bernhardt; and popular thriller writer John Lescroart.

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William Martin, whose recently released historical novel, "The Lincoln Letter," which is receiving excellent reviews, will teach, as will crime writer, Thomas Cook, winner of two Edgar Allen Poe Awards.

Television and screenplay writer Diane Lake, famous for "Frida," winner of two academy awards, will also be a presenter.

Hawaiian Voices, Saturday night from 6:30 to 9 p.m., will feature Hawaiian authors and those who have made Hawai'i their home. This event is free to the public.

Mitchard, Lake, Bernhardt, Martin and Cook are the workshop facilitators at the Aloha Writers Retreat.

A generous donation has made it possible for the Aloha Writers Conference to offer a limited number of partial scholarships to promising writers, and those with interesting and worthwhile projects.

Recipients to-date include a female Post Traumatic Stress Disorder survivor from the war in Afghanistan, a bilingual speech pathologist writing for parents, a former New York City police officer now living in Hawai'i, and a woman writing about surviving domestic abuse.

Financial need is a consideration, but the writer's passion and project are the most import factors in qualifying for the scholarship. Scholarships are available for both the conference and the Aloha Writers Retreat, which will be held Tuesday through Sunday, Jan. 22 to 27, at the Pioneer Inn in Lahaina.

Day passes for the conference are also available.

For a complete schedule of events and to register for the conference, visit or call Conference Coordinator Vicki Draeger at (808) 218-5396.

The Aloha Writers Conference is hosted by Keiki O Ka Aina Family Learning Centers, a Native Hawaiian nonprofit with a focus on literacy.



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