6 July 2017
Dear WLA Presenters and Members:
Boozhoo! Hello from the land of 10,000 lakes!
Registration for the WLA 2017 conference in the Marriott City Center in Minneapolis, MN is now open! Early registration ends September 20, 2017, so please try to save yourselves some money! Note to registrants: guest status means spouse, partner, sibling, grandparent—anyone coming along to be your cheerleader or to enjoy the Twin Cities while you are involved with WLA business. Guest status does not refer to a WLA member who is not presenting a paper.
We are excited to be welcoming you to beautiful Minnesota, a landscape that was first inhabited over 12,000 years ago by the ancestors of our many Native communities. The mighty mythic Mississippi owes its creation to the last Ice Age, and you will be able to explore its banks and falls while visiting Minneapolis. Fort Snelling , built in 1819 as Fort Saint Anthony as one of the first western military outposts, is now a National Historic Site and worth a visit while you attend WLA. The West of WLA begins on the west banks of the Mississippi, and we have a program of nearly 300 presentations to enrich your minds and expand your vision of western North American writers, playwrights, filmmakers, storytellers, poets, and scholars.
We encourage you to come in time for our Wednesday evening kickoff, which features two Minnesota treasures—Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen and storyteller Kevin Kling—to get you feeling Minnesota. Other featured writers are Will Weaver, Linda LeGarde Grover, and Heid Erdrich. Our Distinguished Achievement Award recipient playwright Rick Shiomi will be bringing some actors. We will be announcing an amazing band shortly that adds to the celebration of Minnesota greats!
You can begin your registration process at
Our conference hotel is the Marriott City Center in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Reservations must be made by 26 September 2017 or until the block is full to assure the conference room rate of $150/night. Our group rate is available 3 days prior to and 3 days following the dates of our conference based on availability. When making your reservation, inform the reservation agent that you are receiving the Western Literature Association group rate for your visit. Reservations can be made at: https://aws.passkey.com/e/49008766 or 1-877-303-0104.
Once again, WLA has contracted with United Airlines for a 5% discount for WLA members. United has numerous domestic and international flights to the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport daily. For your discount, please book online at united.com/meetingtravel. Use the code ZY5Y175071. MSP also serves all major North American airlines.
We will send ground transportation information later this summer. Travel to and from the airport is easy via light rail. Amtrak also arrives and departs from the beautifully restored Union Station in St. Paul. Light rail then provides ground transportation into downtown Minneapolis as well. Many of you are Uber and Lyfft customers and have that option as well.
We are hard at work on the conference program. As soon as the first program draft is completed, we will put it on the conference website and alert all participants via ConfTool. Please note your two deadlines: September 20, 2017 for early conference registration and September 26, 2017 for your guaranteed hotel group rate.
Miigwech, thank you, WLA colleagues! We look forward to serving as your hosts to the 52nd Annual Conference of the Western Literature Association, 25-28 October 2017.
Florence Amamoto (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Susan Maher (email@example.com)
Reminder: If you want your conference paper considered for the Manfred award (creative writing) or the Taylor or Grover awards (best grad student papers), please send final copies to us (copy both co-presidents) by Aug. 15. Grad students wishing to be considered for the Owens awards (to foster diversity), please send application material to Lisa Tatonetti (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Aug. 15. More detailed descriptions of WLA awards on the WLA website.