By Doris Schroeder
On Sunday we finished our yearly state-wide writer’s convention of 2014 in Hutchinson at the former Ramada Convention Center. Again, it felt like a giant family reunion, not because we were related by birth but by the camaraderie of a shared passion that was given to us by our Creator. Our theme coincides with our share passion of writing: “The salt of the earth!”
The Kansas Authors Club is probably one of the oldest writing groups in America and perhaps in the world. It was started in Topeka in 1904 and has continued through the years with such illustrious members as Margaret Hill McCarter, the first woman to address a Republican National Convention.
There was William Allen White, the well-known newspaper editor and writer from the Emporia Gazette who wrote “I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.”
Of course an illustrious member was Arthur Capper, a two term governor of Kansas and a five term senator who demonstrated his interest in young people with the establishment of the Capper Foundation for crippled children. He was an active member of the Kansas Authors Club. He believed “If we are to perpetuate the state, we must not only produce citizens but good citizens…men and women of sound bodies, clear minds and clean souls.” To him, it started with the children.
We have continued the passion to help young people become writers by our Youth Contests. Last Friday night was the ultimate for them at the convention as the prize winners of the Youth contests were announced at the hotel. Parents were present and had a chance to hear a little of their work. This was followed with a celebration of cake and punch. How exciting it was for the future generation of writers!
Saturday was the big day of the convention for those of us no longer children. During the day we got together for a business meeting, enjoyed the wisdom of writers at our choice of six work shops, given in the morning and afternoon sessions. The leaders were Roy Beckemeyer on Technical Writing, Allen Krehbiel on Heart Strings: Crafting Lyrics and Melody, Tom Mach: Stories with a Twist. The second group was Ronda Miller: Stand up Poetry, Nancy Julien Kopp: Basics of Writing, and Roy Wenzl: Telling True Stories.
In the later afternoon, we saw The History of the Salt Industry in Hutchinson by Steve Conard and Steve Harmon and later participated in a Read Around. In the evening we enjoyed a banquet with Roger Cornish, Wichita KTVH newscaster, telling about “Television: Changing more than just the Channel.”
Book awards were given out by Roy Beckemeyer, KAC vice-president. Membership awards by William Karnowski, KAC president, and Merit and Service Awards by Cynthia Ross. The evening concluded with special music by Allen Krehbiel.
On Sunday we started out with our general business meeting and the state officers were voted on and introduced. We had a Rosemary time followed by a worship service “The Salt of the earth” with Pastor Wayne Pittman, the pastor for seniors at the Crossroads Christian Church. A workshop “A children’s book? Can you make it happen?” by Marilyn Hope Lake was the next item on the program.
The luncheon was followed by the annual contest winners and awards ceremony by Alan D’Souza and Ronda Miller. They awarded the prizes for the annual KAC writing contest This was followed by the KAC District 1 members inviting everyone to the next annual convention in 2015.
During the convention we had a book room operating by the 7th District of the KAC Convention. They sold books by the authors of our group and it was well attended. It gives a wonderful situation for both new and old writers.
Our theme this year was “The Salt of the Earth.” When you think about it, isn’t that very true. We love to read about God’s creation with descriptive phrases that we relate to. We find peace in reading words that will help us in this life’s journey that is full of scary discontent. Good writing in this world by writers who are helpful are truly the salt of the earth.
Our convention was closed for another year. Somehow it reminded me of the motto of our Buhler high school graduating class of 195l… “Enter to learn, depart to serve!” That is what our conventions do for us. Anyone who has any talent or wish of writing is welcome to join our Kansas Authors Club. You will find out anything you need to know by looking up the website of Kansas Authors Club or we will be more than happy to inform you. Come and join our family of writers.
Doris welcomes your comments and can be reached at [email protected]