In conjunction with the AWCS/WGA Joint Conference – May 28-30, 2021 – we are pleased to welcome Pulitzer Prize Winner, Anthony Doerr for two great events.

The conference will kick off with a welcome and In Conversation with Anthony Doerr, hosted by Samantha Warwick.

Then on Saturday, enjoy a day with Anthony where we learn how to Break the Pre off the Dictable.



Samantha Warwick, In Conversation w/ Anthony Doerr

May 28, 2021 | 7pm

Virtual via Zoom Webinar

 AWCS/WGA Members: $50 | Non-Members: $75 

This event is part of the Re/Orientation – WGA/AWCS Conference – if you have already registered for this event, you will receive a discount coupon for the conference. Don’t wish to attend the conference? You can still register for this event separately. Otherwise, check out the conference schedule for an event packed weekend. 

Join us for a mesmerizing evening with Anthony Doerr as he spills the details on the writing life, why stories are so important to our cultural landscape and the wonder and awe in the world around us. A Q & A to follow.


Samantha Warwick (she/her) is the author of the novel Sage Island, nominated for an Alberta Book Award and recently named one of Canada’s top ten and most commonly taught texts to use sport in literature. Her essays and poetry have been broadcast on CBC Radio and appeared in various literary and commercial publications including the Globe & Mail, GeistEventDog Eyes Magazine and FASHION. For over a decade Samantha directed literary events for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta (Calgary) where she interviewed dozens of authors about their creative process, including Christos Tsiolkas (The Slap, Barracuda) and Anna Porter (Kasztner’s Train). In 2019, she received a leadership award from Frontier College for her dedication toward the cause of literacy in Canada. She is now at work on her second novel. Website: | IG @sam_and_lulu_


Breaking the “Pre-”  off the “-Dictable”

A writing workshop exploring habit and strangeness, with the goal of seeing our work—and the world—with new eyes.

We humans need habit: habit helps us cook dinner, feel safe, and find light switches in the dark. But as an old proverb puts it, “habits are cobwebs at first, cables at last.” How often do we rely on the habitual in our writing? In this four-hour workshop, we’ll try to investigate the formulaic and the familiar—from cliches at the sentence level to cliches at the structural level—and understand how we might better recognize, utilize, and resist the habitual in our novels, stories, essays, and poems. Do we want our work to be soporific, or do we want our work to wake our readers up to the exquisite miracles of being alive? As Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us, “People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.”

May 29, 2021 | 10am-2:00pm

Virtual via Zoom

AWCS/WGA Members: $200 | Non-Members: $225 

This workshop is NOT INCLUDED in the conference package. Additional registration is required.

About Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the author of the story collections The Shell Collector and Memory Wall, the memoir Four Seasons in Rome, and the novels About Grace and All the Light We Cannot See, which was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

Doerr’s short stories and essays have won four O. Henry Prizes and been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, New American Stories, The Best American EssaysThe Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction, and lots of other places. His work has been translated into over forty languages and won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, an Alex Award from the American Library Association, the National Magazine Award for Fiction, four Pushcart Prizes, two Pacific Northwest Book Awards, four Ohioana Book Awards, the 2010 Story Prize, which is considered the most prestigious prize in the U.S. for a collection of short stories, and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, which is the largest prize in the world for a single short story. 

All the Light We Cannot See was a #1 New York Times bestseller, remained on the hardcover fiction bestseller list for 134 consecutive weeks, and is being adapted as a limited series by Netflix.