“No one writes better about mountaineering than David Roberts” (Submitted Photo)
For the first time since 2004, the Outdoor Writer’s Association of California (OWAC) will hold its semi-annual conference in Mammoth Lakes beginning on Saturday night and running through Tuesday morning.
Local writer David Page, whose work has appeared in The Sheet, as well as lesser publications such as Men’s Journal and the New York Times, helped put together the conference, which is expected to draw 70 attendees.
Saturday night’s kickoff event is free and open to the public. It will feature readings by David Roberts and Mary Sojourner.
Roberts is popularly viewed as the Krakauer before Krakauer, and writer Jon Krakauer says “No one writes better about mountaineering than David Roberts.”
Roberts has authored 22 books and has made countless first ascents in Alaska and elsewhere. His work has appeared in National Geographic, Outside Magazine, et. al.
Sojourner is an NPR commentator and essayist who has written several books about the southwest.
The reading is scheduled of 7 p.m. in the U.S.F.S. Welcome Center Auditorium. The group is expected to repair to the Rafters for cocktails afterwards.
The ensuing two-day conference on Sunday and Monday will feature seminars as well as outdoor activities which several local entities (Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mammoth Lakes Tourism, Mono County Tourism, Mono Council for the Arts, Bishop Chamber of Commerce, Inyo County, Inyo National Forest) had a hand in organizing.
As Page says, this is not your father’s OWAC, which formerly tended to feature hunting and fishing writers working for local newspapers. The group has expanded to include photographers, videographers, bloggers and even radio personalities, and Page says hosting such a conference can be a very cost-effective means of marketing.
Sheet: You mean we’re plying writers in need of story ideas with food, drink and an otherwise good time?
In response, Page diplomatically told a story about the last OWAC conference, held in Morro Bay, where a conference attendee ended up placing a four-page spread on Morro Bay in Style Magazine.
In other words, plying writers with food and drink is good business – writes the writer.