The Sinclair Lewis Writer's Conference, which bills itself as one of "the longest-running, most respected writers" conferences in the Upper Midwest," will celebrate its 30th year in Sauk Centre Saturday, Oct. 5 at First Lutheran Church.

This year the conference keynote speaker will be Bart Sutter, the only author to win the Minnesota Book Award in three different categories (poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction). Sutter will explore some mysteries of the writing life, including how certain subjects seem to choose writers more than writers choose them.

The day-long conference will dig into the process of writing as well as selling. Other speakers include Wendy Johnson, the president of Elder Eye Press, who will help writers explore their options with on-demand publishing; Joe Amato, an author, teacher and speaker who will focus on forms and uses of historical imagination in writing; and Kurt Vonnegut scholar Max Goller will highlight the struggles Vonnegut faced in writing "Slaughterhouse Five," which was published 50 years ago, and will also discuss the connections Vonnegut had with other prominent Midwestern authors, such as Sinclair Lewis.

Keynote speakers at previous years have included Leif Enger, Will Weaver and Jon Hassler.

Cost to attend is $75, including a catered lunch and breaks. College students and senior citizens may register for $70; high school students may attend for free, but must register and pay $20 for lunch and breaks. The conference day ends with a reception at the local Palmer House Hotel (door prizes and cash bar).

For conference details, visit or call Jim Umhoefer at 320-429-0825 in the evening.