From the Executive Director

Find Your Writing Community at the Books-in-Progress Conference
Summer 2019


Dear Carnegie Friends:

I was a self-made author for much of my writing career, but if I were to do it again, I’d bring in others from the start.

Back in the early 1990s, I didn’t have many writer friends in Lexington. The Carnegie Center was just being born, and our writing community was widely dispersed. So I worked from home, alone, in a spare bedroom. Then, in 1997, I learned of Carnegie’s Nonfiction Writing Group. With writing friends and good editing, I published two books between 2001 and 2006.

Today, Carnegie is teeming with help for emerging writers, including the upcoming Carnegie Books-in-Progress Conference, now in its 8th year. The conference brings to Lexington some of the best teachers of writing in the nation, along with literary agents who can introduce your work to major publishers.

This year, we’re especially excited about our keynote speaker, Chris Offutt. Offutt was born in Lexington and grew up in Rowan County in Appalachia. He published his first short story collection, Kentucky Straight, in 1992, and has since written nonfiction, novels, comic books, screenplays, and TV scripts. His 2016 book, My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir, was a best-seller. He teaches at the University of Mississippi and writes about Kentucky.

At the Books-in-Progress Conference, you’ll also find help for each step of the book process, from basic craft to national marketing. (For more information on the Conference, see the back cover of this catalog.)

If your ultimate goal is to produce a book for publication, don’t wait: Call in others. Attend a conference, find a writing group or partner, barter with a freelance editor–do whatever it takes to keep your writing life afire so you can share your work with the world.


Neil Chethik
Executive Director

For more information on the Books-in-Progress Conference, click here.