For those who may be avid readers of this column, you may remember that I’ve written about the annual Gold Rush Writers Conference hosted in Mokelumne Hill every May. I can’t really sing enough praises of this conference; as an amateur (and young) writer with absolutely no connections with other writers, attending this local conference opened a lot of doors for me in the publishing industry, and continues to do so.

The conference is a great networking opportunity for writers of all levels who would like to branch out. Panels are led by published authors, poets and screenwriters who have been there, done that, and have a wealth of knowledge to pass on to budding writers.

Plus, it’s held at the Hotel Leger in the heart of downtown Mokelumne Hill, one of my favorite places growing up that I rarely have chance to visit much anymore. So that’s a big draw for me personally.

The conference covers a variety of genres and mediums of writing, from fiction to nonfiction, from novels to screenwriting and playwriting. Really, if you are a fellow writer who wants to take the leap and share your work with other writers and get advice, this is the conference for you.

This is why, when I heard about the Calaveras County Arts Council Writer’s Grant, I had to talk about it. I’ve already registered for the Gold Rush Writers Conference, but felt that it was vital to share this opportunity with other aspiring writers such as myself.

This is the second grant offered by the Calaveras County Arts Council for one writer to attend the 14th annual Gold Rush Writers Conference, held on May 3 to 5. According to the website, the organization is looking for “a writer who is committed to the art and craft of writing.”

You don’t have to be a young adult to apply for this grant; it’s open to all ages, just as long as applicants are a resident of Calaveras County. However, Maggie Sloan, of the Calaveras County Arts Council said, “While the grant is open to all ages, the arts council wants to encourage young writers to apply to this grant.”

You don’t have to be a member of the arts council to apply. It is accepting submissions by email only, and all applicants must include all requirements in one document attached to the email.

All applicants are required to submit the three following items:

• A 100- to 200-word bio about yourself and your experience and goals for your writing. While it is not necessary to be a published writer, the Calaveras County Arts Council would like to see intent to one day be published.

• A short cover letter detailing why you’re apply for the grant, including your need and interest.

• A 250- to 500-word essay answering the question, “Why the arts are necessary?” The essay may be a personal essay about why the arts have been necessary in your life, or a researched creative nonfiction piece, or poetry or fiction. Do not go over the 500-word limit.

Include your name, address, email and phone number with your submission.

The Calaveras County Arts Council must receive applicants’ submissions by midnight on April 1 to ccacinbox@gmail.com with the subject line “workshop submission.” For more information about the writer’s grant, email ccacinbox@gmail.com, call 754-1774 or visit calaverasarts.org. The recipient will be notified on April 4.

For more information about the Gold Rush Writers Conference, including a list of workshops and guest panelists, visit goldrushwriters.com.

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I’m a local girl raised in Calaveras County. When I’m not working for the Enterprise, I’m either writing a book or riding a horse at the family ranch.

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