The annual Maui Writers Conference, drawing on an extensive collection of authors, editors and agents as faculty, has now, in its eighth year, reached "critical mass," according to organizer John Tullius.

The conference, held over the Labor Day weekend, drew 1200 to 1300 writers and would-be writers to the Hawaiian island this year, to be taught by a faculty of more than 100 that included bestselling authors Terry McMillan, Dave Barry, Richard Carlson, Nicholas Sparks, Mitch Albom, Carrie Fisher, Ridley Pearson, Terry Brooks, Jack Canfield, Bryce Courtenay, Dan Millman, Elizabeth George and John Saul. There were also about 60 agents and 25 editors, and Tullius said his ultimate aim is to get 100 agents and 40 editors, representing what he calls "the food chain," making connections among themselves as well as with the writers and would-be writers who attend. He also wants it to become "a kind of forum to talk about the business," and a first step this year was an informal gathering of editors and agents discussing mutual problems.