Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Where Do Writer's Go? Part II

All writers need a retreat once in awhile!

I need to warn you that Writers Conferences have so many interesting classes and workshops, that a writer can get weary. It's okay to skip a class or two, and enjoy some time alone!

The first question to ask yourself when planning to attend a writers conference, is: What do I want to get out of this conference? Do I want to take classes to improve my writing skills? Do I want to have my work critiqued? Do I want to meet other writers? Do I want to connect with editors?

Writing is a lonely past time, and sometimes we need to pry ourselves off the computer and get out and meet other writers. If this is your goal, choose a one day conference. It’s a lot of fun to meet new friends and talk about, subjects like…”How do you carve out time to write?” and to actually have someone understand what your talking about when you complain, “I’m having trouble with my transitions”. My favorite conference for this mood, is “Spring Writers Day” put on by Orange County Christian Writers Fellowship OCCWF They have some great workshops and they always invite an editor or two.

Note: My conference experience has mainly been Christian Writer’s conferences.

If you want a longer and more intense conference experience, try Mount Hermon (California) or Glorieta in Santa Fe (New Mexico) or SandyCove (Maryland) These larger conferences last several days. If you liked going to camp as a kid you’ll love the experience! You get to bunk with other writers, eat, drink, laugh, cry, and even sing. Yes, we sing in the evenings at Mt. Hermon.

These larger conferences can be quite intense, as you usually sign up for a specific group of classes in the morning (fiction writing, writing for children, etc.) Then in the afternoon you choose from an array of electives. In the late afternoon you meet in small groups with different publishers, and are allowed to ask them about what their needs are. You are also able to submit your work to editors for their feedback.

Yes, there are many great opportunities out there. Sharon Elliott, who is in my critique group, hosts a seminar on how to write, and actually complete that book you’ve always dreamed about. How do you organize and get this book done? Check out Authorize Me

And a good writer always welcomes adventure. One never fails to have at least one or two exciting things happen at these gatherings. Like the night I decided to play hooky from the evening session, and hiked back to the cabin for some rest and relaxation. Later, I stepped outside for a moment to look at the stars and locked myself out. I’ll never forget hiking back to the conference area, in my P.J.’s, to ask for help.

Happy Writing!


The GateKeeper said...

Well done, well done, well done. I'm writing a piece on writers' conferences for AC. If you'd like to help we can split the loot!! Woohoo! In all seriousness, nice job, SL. I wish I could go to Mount Hermon this year.

Janey Loree said...

Love your avatar GateKeeper! I wish that I had the time to go a writer's conference or two!! Thanks for the info CB!!!

Jane Rumph said...

Ha! Loved the P.J.'s story. I can just picture it. Sounds like a lovely conference anyway! Keep writing!