After 15 years of a mega successful run on the Valley Isle, the Maui Writers Conference and retreat this year moves to Waikiki under the banner Maui Writers Conference on the Road in Honolulu. The new hospitality sponsor is Outrigger Enterprises Group with the conference being held at the Hawaii Convention Center Aug. 2-Sept. 1. The Outrigger Reef on the Beach and Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk hotels will host this year’s pre-conference retreat  Aug. 22- Aug. 28.


The 2008 conference will highlight the fields of fiction, nonfiction and screenwriting. Also scheduled this year are specialty workshops on the business of writing, children’s and young adult books, journalism, magazine writing, food and cookbook writing, and poetry. One-on-one consultations with agents, editors and publishers will be available during the conference with more than 35 literary agents, editors, and film and TV executives participating.


Featured presenters include: Bryce Courtenay, Australia’s top selling novelist; Steve Berry, whose first two books The Amber Room and The Romanov Prophecy were both national bestsellers; and William Bernhardt, author of fourteen books. Other notable authors include James Rollins, William Martin, John Lescroart, John Saul, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Thomas H. Cook, Ann Hood and scriptwriter Michael Palmieri.


There’s an advanced screenwriting class for screenwriters who want to aggressively learn the craft. They must submit a treatment for the idea they’re working on and have preferably completed at least one screenplay. The master classes are designed for screenwriters who have completed at least two screenplays and have participated in Maui Writers Retreat Screenwriting Program at least once (or a comparable progra) elsewhere. There will be two small groups: one led by Academy Award nominated writer Diane Lake, and John Soriano, screenwriter and senior story analyst at Paramount Pictures. In the master class, writers rewrite their first 15 – 30 pages and workshop them in class. There will be a screenplay competition where one writer from each Master Class will be chosen by their fellow classmates based on their rewritten pages. 

The winner will receive $1,000.00 cash, a 2009 entry into Maui Writers Retreat and Conference, and Final Draft software packaged provided by Final Draft. One scene will be chosen from their screenplay and produced by the University of Hawaii – Academy of Creative Media. The intention is to screen the scene the last night of the conference.


Screenwriting Track: Mark Fergus (producer) co-wrote the current blockbuster film Iron Man and was one of the Academy Award nominated screenwriters for the film Children of Men. He also directed Guy Pearce in the feature First Snow, which he co-wrote with his screenwriting partner Hawk Ostby.  


Academy Award winning writer Bobby Moresco – Crash and Million Dollar Baby – will present a seminar to the Screenwriting Program.



The conference also will hold a free screening of The Kings of Appletown at 7 p.m. August 30 at Sunset on the Beach in Waikiki. The Kings of Appletown is a family movie inspired by the novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. The movie is directed by  Moresco (right). The film was directed by Moresco’s daughter – Amanda Moresco (left), who has worked on multiple projects including the television series’ Falcone and Hell’s Kitchen as well as feature films One Eyed King, Million Dollar Baby and Crash. She’s also written The Prince and the Pauper. Dad and daughter will attend The Maui Writers Conference at the Ala Moana Hotel the next day to discuss the movie which will be released in theaters this winter.


For more information log on at or call (808) 879-0061. You can also email






Tropic Thunder opens nationally Wednesday to huge fanfare, critical praise, and a lot of crossed fingers. On Thursday, Aug. 14,  a special invitation only premier on Kauai will be shown at Kukui Grove Cinemas in Lihue. A short opening ceremony starts at 7:30 p.m. with screening at 8:30 p.m...The film stars Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black...Trivia: Downy started working on Tropic Thunder two days after he finished Iron Man


Nick Nolte plays the Vietnam vet and double amputee whose book inspires the war movie they’re making. The film satirizes Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter, Platoon, Hamburger Hill, Full Metal Jacket and several other war dramas…


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