By Des’ree Dallmann
College of Fine Arts and Communication Media Office

CONWAY — Cara Brookins, keynote speaker for the inaugural C.D. Wright Women’s Writers Conference and author of Rise: How a House Built a Family, will visit the University of Central Arkansas as part of the conference on Saturday, Nov. 4.

An author from Little Rock, Brookins will give the keynote lecture at 12:15 p.m. in McCastlain Hall Ballroom.

Brookins wrote Rise as a memoir of her experience after leaving an abusive relationship and building a new house for herself and her four children.

Rise shows how, equipped only with YouTube instructional videos, a small bank loan and a mile-wide stubborn streak, Brookins built her own house from the foundation up with a work crew made up of her four children,” Sandy Longhorn, conference director and assistant professor of Creative Writing at UCA, said.

Brookins’ book has been selected for 2017 Indie Next Pick and for Barnes and Noble’s “What We’re Reading.”

Longhorn said Brookins also had cultivated an online presence, which has acquired an enormous following. Brookins also runs a weekly podcast where she interviews activists and experts on their own personal triumphs.

“Brookins was chosen to keynote the conference because of her inspiring memoir and because of her success as a woman writer,” Longhorn said.

UCA students are welcome to attend the keynote or the entire conference for free but must register before Oct. 26, 2017 by emailing

For all others interested in attending, the conference, which begins Friday evening Nov. 3 and continues through Saturday, Nov. 4, costs $100.

For more information, visit or contact Longhorn at 501-450-5108 or 

The UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication includes the Departments of Art, Music, and Film, Theatre and Creative Writing, as well as the School of Communication. The College’s primary mission is the preparation of the next generation of artists, educators and communicators. For more information about CFAC, visit or call 501-450-3293.