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Time to start planning for 2012

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It seems impossible, but 2011 is quickly coming to an end. Did we see you at Snowbird in July? If not, I hope it’s because you’re saving your pennies for the trip northward a year from now, for the much-anticipated OWAA conference in Alaska. Our 85th year!
As you read this, OWAA Conference Coordinator Jessica Pollett is already hard at work with 2011 conference program chair Bill Graham, 2011 conference local chair Chris Batin and the folks in Fairbanks and at Chena Hot Springs, hashing out logistics and planning, planning, planning. What’s in the works so far? You can read Batin’s piece on page 7 about some of the exciting pre- and post-conference opportunities, and Graham’s piece about the program on page 6. They’ve been working on some of the pieces for a year already, and are poised to welcome you to one of the most exciting conferences OWAA has had the pleasure of planning.
But let’s cut right to the chase. The Alaska conference, for many reasons, will be a unique opportunity for OWAA members. The headquarters resort, Chena Hot Springs, offers a multitude of story ideas, from green energy and sustainable practices to outdoor adventure and travel to recreational opportunities like dog sledding, horseback riding, canoeing and fishing. And let’s not forget about the hot springs — the resort’s namesake. But what the resort does not offer are cold sterile ballrooms, televisions with too many high-def channels, and the “same old, same old,” in terms of what you’ve come to expect from OWAA conferences. Throw away all your preconceived notions and memories of conferences past and get ready for the experience of a lifetime. Get ready for OWAA Summer Camp 2012!
In the coming months, our local committee will fill you in on all the logistics and different opportunities for you to make the most of your trip north. But one thing you don’t want to do is wait to register. Register now! Because of the overwhelming response we’ve received about this conference, we anticipate participation to be high. Don’t get left out. Online registration opened Sept. 1 at www.owaa.org/2012conference.
What else do you need to plan for? Why, the 2012 Excellence in Craft contests, of course! We heard you loud and clear during the entry process for the 2011 contests, and a committee was reconvened to further refine the new rules. The 2012 contest rules are on pages 18-22, with entry opening on Oct. 1. Start compiling your best work from 2011, and keep the contests in mind as you pen, shoot or record your work through the end of this year. And make plans to head north to Alaska to pick up your Excellence in Craft winnings at the awards banquet Sept. 6, 2012. ♦
— Executive Director Robin Giner, rginer@owaa.org
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