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Press Release

Release Date: August 10, 2018

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

ADA, Okla. – Whether a writer has been pursuing the passion of crafting stories for a year or for 30 years, there is always room to grow. The Chickasaw Nation is hosting the Imanoli Writers Conference to help writers do just that.

The conference will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, at the East Central University Chickasaw Business and Conference Center, 830 East Main Street.

The conference is designed for writers looking to enhance their skills. Professionals from diverse fields of writing will share their knowledge about the different aspects of the writing process and writing styles.

Featured writers include Hannah Harrison, Margaret Ferguson, Kate Hart, Sara Hoklotubbe and Sarah Sawyer.

A love for art and writing led Harrison on a path to becoming a children’s book author and illustrator. Her first book “Extraordinary Jane” received three starred reviews, was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, won the Oklahoma Book Award for Illustration and was selected for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Her following books “Bernice Gets Carried Away” and “My Friend Maggie” also received rave reviews. Her latest book “Friends Stick Together” released April 2018.

Chickasaw author Ferguson started writing poetry and short stories as a teen and at 18 wrote her first novel. For 30 years, she juggled kids and work while her manuscripts piled up. In 2015 with the encouragement of her husband and closest friend she picked up the pen, dusted off the manuscripts and began again. Her books include “Meeting Melissa,” Letters from Becca” and “Destiny by Chance.”

Hart, a Chickasaw citizen, debuted her novel “After the Fall” in January 2017. “After the Fall” tackles issues many teenagers face from sexual assault and consent to poverty and reputation. She is also a contributor to the 2018 anthologies “Toil and Trouble” and “Hope Nation.” When Hart isn’t writing, she sells woodworking and fiber arts and even builds treehouses for people of all ages.

Hoklotubbe, a Cherokee citizen, is the author of the award-winning Sadie Walela Mystery Series set in the Cherokee Nation where she grew up. She is the winner of a WILLA Literary Award, a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award and a Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers Award.

Her books “Deception on All Accounts,” “The American CafĂ©,” “Sinking Suspicions” and “Betrayal at the Buffalo Ranch” are all published by the University of Arizona Press.

Choctaw storyteller Sawyer inspires readers with traditional and fictional tales based on the lives of Choctaw people. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian honored her as a literary artist through their Artist Leadership Program for her work in preserving stories about the Trail of Tears.

The deadline to register is Thursday, Aug. 16. The conference is open to the public at no charge.

For more information, or to enroll, contact arts and humanities at 580-272-5520 or visit

Last Updated: 09/16/2016