Longleaf Writers Conference Contingency Plans Update March 15th, 2021
Dear friends, supporters, enrollees, alumni, and everyone who has made Longleaf such a success over the past seven years. Covid and this new way of living has made things difficult for everyone over the last year and likely the next, of course, but we WILL be having our conference in one form or another for 2021.
We are working under the assumption (from Biden’s recent State of the Union Address) that all Americans will have access to the vaccine by May 1st. This won’t mean everyone is vaccinated, but we are working hard to ensure that our faculty will be vaccinated by their arrival and that we will be working in smaller groups in outside events. We believe that we can do this safely and that we can have some face to face experiences thrown in. Of course, this is a developing situation, but we plan to make our decisions by the dates associated with the options below.
OUR CURRENT PLANS (UPDATE F2F on March 15th):
As of this week, it seems that we have a reasonable, collective agreement that we are past the worst part of the virus and that vaccinations are moving quickly and efficiently. Currently, we plan to hold the conference much like we have in the past, but at a much-reduced size and almost all of our events completely outside. We will essentially host fewer workshops (right now we have two prose and one poetry with backup faculty in the wings if we get more enrollments) and generally have shrunk the size and nature of the conference accordingly in order to facilitate more distancing, etc. We believe that we can have our readings and events and beach bonfire and seafood boil as usual but safely as we operate them outdoors. If at a later date we feel the workshops can be expanded as we respond to the changing nature of the pandemic we will bring in contingent faculty and open up more spots. We are working on being VERY FLEXIBLE here.
If you have paid for housing (see below, please reach out if you haven’t), the conference will be able to provide shared housing as we have done in the past with no shared bedrooms and only private baths for each person.
Otherwise, WE ARE NOT OFFERING A HOUSING OPTION. All attendees should plan to find your own house or lodgings through Airbnb, VRBO, or other methods. The best strategy is to find properties through the online route listed above, then contact the management companies directly for discounts.
IF YOU HAVE PAID FOR 2021/DID PAY FOR 2020, PLEASE LET US KNOW ABOUT ANY ISSUES AND CONTACT US ASAP ABOUT HOUSING NEEDS if you haven’t aready.
Conference Enrollment Options (see website for details):
Full Registration: $720 (2021 is reduced 20%)
All-Access (no workshop but access to all events): $399
‘Seminars Only’ Pass: $229
Option 2 UPDATE HYBRID REMOTE/F2F* (April 15th):
If it seems clear that we have too many attendees and not enough space to keep things safe, and things are progressing but vaccinations are still not yet widely available to the general population, we will make our decision on April 15th to shrink our outside workshops and reduce the number of enrollees and faculty and then provide the option for all enrollees to attend live and/or through ZOOM. This version of the conference might look a little like it did in 2015 when we were still growing, but with serious measures for social distancing and keeping safe in outside spaces and by offering remote options to all of our patrons. In this case, we would likely not have the Seafood Boil or any other events where we cannot control social distancing, and we would offer workshops and seminars and readings as hybrid webinars.
Again, we will not be able to provide housing as we will not potentially put someone in an unsafe situation. Reach out and talk to us about how we can help. The following prices were determined by our need and costs, but also by setting our price lower (in almost all cases) that what other conferences and literary centers are charging for online events.
Conference Enrollment Option for HYBRID (see website for details):
Full Registration F2F: $599
Full Registration Remote: $350
All-Access (no workshop but access to all events): $299
All-Access Remote (no workshop but access to all events): $199
‘Seminars Only’ Pass (remote or F2F): $159
*We are thinking pie in the sky here, but we have to face the fact that there is always a chance that we will be forced to move to a fully virtual conference with only a few options for local writers. In any case such as this, rest assured that we will refigure enrollment costs for each and every one of you. We are reasonably optimistic that this won’t happen and currently we have all our faculty committed to being in attendance in Seaside.
Again, PLEASE do all you can to support us. We have not come out of this year unscathed and the loss of our 2020 event was financially catastrophic. I don’t think it is any secret that we offer this conference ‘out of pocket’ every year, depending almost solely on the grants we have secured, donations, volunteer work (including our own), with all of the proceeds going back into the conference each year to keep us (barely) afloat. The reason we mention this: we need help from everyone! We would love to see donations and enrollments to ensure we are in the black for 2021.
In the meantime: we love and miss you all and are lucky to be at the helm of this thing we have built and we owe it ALL to you. Be well, in spirit, mind, body, and art.
Seth, Matt & Jonathan