Registration is open for the inaugural “Fresh Water, Fresh Voices” writing conference in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The event will combine workshops led by accomplished authors with outdoor activities along the Lake Superior shore. Hosted by the English department at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, the conference is scheduled Thursday, July 20, through Sunday, July 23.
Half of each day will be spent in workshops, panels, craft talks and readings focused on topics related to the outdoors. The other half will be focused on guided group adventures such as hiking, biking, rock climbing, kayaking and canoeing. Participants can spend each evening listening to readings and communing with other writers over dinner and cocktails.
Diane Les Becquets, Pam Houston and Frank X. Walker will deliver keynote presentations. Other award-winning authors comprise the conference faculty.
Registration is $590 with campus housing or $550 without; NMU faculty and students pay $520. The fee covers the three-day conference, all outdoor activities, continental breakfast and boxed lunch Thursday-Saturday, plus dinner on Thursday night. Meals are locally sourced from U.P. farms. The registration deadline is May 5. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available for those with financial need who submit their applications by Wednesday, April 5.
Participants have the option of closing out the conference on Sunday with a celebratory Rad Bike Tour of local farms, with food tastings at each stop along the 30-mile loop. There is an additional $55 cost for this activity.
The conference also falls on the same weekend as the 39th annual Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival in Marquette. Participants who wish to arrange their own lodging are encouraged to reserve early.