The much-anticipated 2020 Oklahoma Writers Conference, “Bridging the Gap,” scheduled for May 1-2, has been cancelled in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Writing Contest, however, will proceed as scheduled.
Here is the information as given by Shelley Pagach, OWFI President.
Thank you for your patience as we took the necessary time to explore all our options before responding to the COVID-19 situation.
Unfortunately, the Bridging the Gap Conference for May 2020 is now cancelled.
Conference registrations will be refunded.
Considering the circumstances, we are waiving the $50.00 processing fee. Our treasurer will begin working on this immediately. Those who have paid by check will be refunded by check, and so forth. Please be patient and do not bombard her with questions or emails. If you have any questions, please direct them towards me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2020 contest will proceed as scheduled!
Aleasha, Traci, Christina, and I are already working on plans to announce the 2020 contest winners virtually. We are considering Facebook Live at the moment and will keep you updated as progress is made.
Hotel reservations will be refunded.
In our meeting with the Embassy Suites, Debi Neumann, director of sales, confirmed that attendees who have already made reservations for May 2020 will be fully refunded. Please contact the hotel as soon as possible.
Looking ahead to 2021.
Our current hope is to pause and pick this conference up where we left off in 2021. We have already coordinated with the hotel to set the tentative dates as April 29, 30, and May 1, 2021. Our perfect contingency plan would be to keep everything on the schedule the same, just change the date. Aleasha has notified the faculty by email about the cancellation. She is also checking with them to see if they are available and interested to attend in 2021. We have already heard back from several who are on board.
I am happy to report Alton Carter has already agreed to continue as our keynote speaker!
In addition, Debi shared some exciting news. The hotel is in the process of renovations and will have a completely new and update looked once we return.
What will we do in the mean time?
We are considering the possibility of offering a virtual event sometime in the summer. For now, this is just in the research stage, but it will be different from our current bi-monthly virtual workshops. Some of our speakers are even planning to join.
I want to thank everyone on the board and involved with running this conference for the support and encouragement they have provided in this unprecedented situation. I want all our members to know they have an amazing group of people with a heart for this Federation of Writers and we will continue to support and encourage everyone on this journey. Until we can meet again, keep writing!