One thing that writers love is their cave. It is warm, cozy, and quiet. Coffee, tea, or other favorite libations are always at hand while the mind agitates.
A single reader can elevate an author into the stratosphere with a kind comment or an Amazon Review. Out of that deep grotto, a connection is made.
Once the first flush of achievement fades, the next questions that authors must ask is how to get more readers and how to improve writing skills?
“If you want to be serious about writing, treat it like a business,” says Jordan Fisher Smith, a conference keynote speaker.
Joyce Wycoff, a event board member, says that when a writer attends a conference, “You are showing up for your writing.”
A writing conference is a place to;
- hone your craft
- make connections, and
- establish an action list
“Agents and publishers often say that writers’ who attend conferences are more serious about their craft and are more likely to succeed,” Wycoff comments.
This year’s conference was on the same day as the Women’s March.
Politics was not discussed, but keynote speakers recognized the passion that the marchers expressed.
“A writer is not outside of what is going on,” said Molly Fisk. “People recognize themselves in our writing.”
“Being a writer opens a door,” she continues. “It is permission to think.”
“Art happens when people get together to share their struggles,” Jordan Fisher Smith, commented. “You write because you are called to it.”
Following my current interests, I attended Marketing and Publishing and Guided Critique break-out sessions.
Catharine Bramkamp, a writing coach and social media expert discussed a variety of platforms, member demographics, and analytics. “Know where to spend your time on social media. Be aware of the results that you want to achieve. Keep yourself from getting sucked in, but do enough to have a presence online.”
Bob Jenkins, is a professional storyteller with a PhD in criticism. “Criticism is theanalysis of art; what works and why it works, as well as what doesn’t work and how to fix it,” he explains.
Jenkins delighted his listeners, and the brave souls who pre-submitted writing samples, with dramatic readings of their work. His suggested improvements were striking and gratefully received.
“When writing historical fiction, it is important to let people know what is fact and what is fiction,” says Weideranders.
Connections happen with shared experiences;
- standing in line to get coffee
- looking through books on display
- the person you sit next to during lunch break
First Sentence Contest
A confidence booster was winning the First Sentence Contest. Below is my entry along with the artwork (on my cell phone) that inspired the words.
For an introverted author, making oneself mingle goes outside the bounds of the comfort zone. Realizing that many authors share the same feelings makes it easier.
My ‘meeting people strategy’ is simple; smile, make eye contact, and have a genuine interest in the person I want to talk to.
The next time I step outside of my cave, it will be with increased confidence, improved skills, and more people I know in my writing community.
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Additional Writers’ Conferences – Poets & Writers
Writing Contests and Competitions –