Ninety newspaper writers, book authors, and poets from around the state came together over the weekend for the Kansas Authors Club 2008 state convention in Dodge City.

    “Come West and Go Wild with Words” was the theme of the convention, co-hosted by District 7 (Dodge City, Colby, Garden City and Hays) and District 6 (Great Bend and Hutchinson).

    The convention’s keynote speaker, Charlotte Hinger of Hoxie, has written several history and mystery books. Her magazine articles have appeared in True West and Kansas History, and her short stories have been in several anthologies.


Ninety newspaper writers, book authors, and poets from around the state came together over the weekend for the Kansas Authors Club 2008 state convention in Dodge City.
    “Come West and Go Wild with Words” was the theme of the convention, co-hosted by District 7 (Dodge City, Colby, Garden City and Hays) and District 6 (Great Bend and Hutchinson).
    The convention’s keynote speaker, Charlotte Hinger of Hoxie, has written several history and mystery books. Her magazine articles have appeared in True West and Kansas History, and her short stories have been in several anthologies.
    Hinger encouraged authors at the KAC convention to write about Kansas, saying, “There are not that many people who are writing about Kansas." She emphatically called for “accuracy, accuracy, accuracy.”
    “Much of the historical information — the data you find— is wrong,” she said.  “Family histories are ‘sanitized,’ while what people tell you behind the scenes is mesmerizing. The good news is that people are still reading books, and people are still writing books.”
    Growing up on a farm in Lone Elm, Hinger has written that she spent her childhood “listening to world-class story-tellers and natural born liars who populated this tiny community.”
    She collected and edited a two-volume hardcover collection of 800 of those family stories, plus 500 articles and original photographs. The two volumes are entitled “Sheridan County, Kansas: a History of Faith and Labor.”
    One workshop presenter, William Mark Simmons of Hutchinson, author of seven science fiction and fantasy novels and a novella, warned his audience not to rely too heavily upon computer spell-checking for accuracy.
    “Some words have as many as three meanings," he said.
    The highlight of the three-day convention was the presentation of awards, which occurred Friday and Saturday evenings and again at the Sunday luncheon.
    The prestigious J. Donald Coffin Award was presented to Sam Pierson of Lebo for her book “Targets of Rage.” The Nelson Poetry Book Award went to historical novelist and poet Tom Mach of Lawrence for his book “The Uni Verse, a Journey into Our Amazing Cosmos.”
    The Kansas Historical Book Award was given to Richard Paul Tanos of Coffeyville, author of 13 books, for “The Best Ever, 100 Years of Fairs-Races-Rodeos” in Coffeyville.
    Among the multiple winners in several categories were authors Barbara Brady with eight wins; Evie Green with five wins, and Tom Mach, Ursula Turner and Frankie Roland with four wins each.
    Alexandria Joy Webb, a 13-year-old freshman at Northeast High School in Wichita, took first in the Karnowski Youth Poetry Award.
    Antonia Garcia took second place.
    “We are so proud of our daughter,” said Alexandria's father, Larry Webb.
    Antonia's grandmother, Carolyn Clark, said: “I am especially proud of Antonia, because she was adopted from India and is only 12 years old.”
    Dodge City Marshal Allen Bailey provided a well-attended hour of western entertainment — songs and poems — during a Saturday afternoon session.
    KAC District 7 members meet from 1 to 3 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Dodge City Senior Center. Officials said new members are invited to join.
    The meetings are open to the public.  

Awards
Kansas Author's Club award winners:
    J. Donald Coffin Award — "Targets of Rage," By Sam Pierson, Lebo.
    Nelson Poetry Book Award — "The Uni Verse, A Journey into our Amazing Cosmos," by Tom Mach, Lawrence.
    Kansas Historical Book Award — "The Best Ever, 100 Years of Fairs-Races-Rodeos," by Richard Paul Tanos.
    Short Story — Steve Laird, District 2.
    Feature Article — Tracy Simmons, District 2.
    Theme (Prose)  — Ian Hall, non-member.
    Children's (Prose) — Barbara Brady, District 1.
    First Five Pages of a Book — Bonnie Eaton, District 3.
    Inspiration (Prose) — Frankie Roland, District 3.
    Memoirs — Ursula Turner, District 3.
    Theme (Poetry) — Barbara Brady.
    Free Verse — Kristine Polansky, District 1.
    Haiku — Barbara Brady.
    Whimsy (Poetry) — Jo Chenoweth, non-member.
    Rhyme — William Karnowski, District 4.
    Narrative Verse — Tom Mach, District 2.
    Classic Forms — Ted Farmer, District 5.