This Blog by Cher’ley Grogg
As we were preparing to leave for a Women of The Salvation Army Spiritual Retreat, some of the folks we were traveling with debated if we needed the trailer that was attached to the back of the bus. It was only partially filled, but I said, “Yes, we need it!” Going down not so much, but coming back we’d have all the items I knew I’d buy while we were there, and I filled up one corner on the return trip.
The Retreat was a blast. We got to spend the weekend with 19 of our closest friends, ate like Queens and were treated like Princesses. We stayed in air-conditioned cabins with our group and studied the Book of Esther from the Bible. Since it is a light-hearted retreat, every year the organizers bring in a comedian who understands women. I look forward to this retreat every year.
In a couple of weeks, I will be going to Ripley, WV to The West Virginia
Writer’s Conference. I love it too. I prefer staying in the group quarters. I enjoy meeting new people and seeing my old friends. My biggest dilemma is what classes to sign up for. There are always a couple that I want to experience that are held at the same time. This year we have 21 presenters and two agents attending. One of the presenters that you may have heard of is C. Hope Clark, she is the editor of FundsforWriters.com, chosen by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for the past 12 years. Her newsletters reach 35,000 readers each week. Her nonfiction books designed to aid the introverted writer include The Shy Writer and The Shy Writer Reborn.
I will see some of my Facebook friends at this conference. Many I already know, but some of us will be meeting each other for the first time.
My main reason for going to my first writer’s conference was to meet the
featured speaker, Sue Grafton (The author of the ABC mystery series A is for Alibi ). I loved her books and thought it a perfect opportunity to meet her and I am so glad I did. She is lovely and gracious. I went back to Massachusetts several times to attend the Crime Bake Conference. The trip is a long way for me to travel, but the people are so friendly and make me feel right at home.
I didn’t have a novel finished at the time of my first Writer’s Conference. If you are a little nervous about going to your first conference, I suggest you get to know some of the other folk who will be attending. I got on all my email lists & groups I belonged to and said, “Are you going to _________? I’ll be there.” Now, I still do that, but I also get on Facebook and the Conference site and say, “I’m going to __________. Are you going to be there?” That way you are more comfortable when you get there.
C. Hope Clark says, “New writers might fear attending a conference. Seasoned writers may think they don’t need to go to conferences anymore. But I would like to argue that every writer should dare to attend one conference per year.” She talks about the following opportunities:
What kinds of career-building opportunities happen at a writers conference?
1) A published writer meets another published writer and learns more about selling foreign or film rights.
2) A struggling writer meets one with more experience who has a fantastic blog and offers an opportunity to guest post.
3) You analyze the way author tables are decorated and develop some great ideas for a new banner.
4) You study business cards and bookmarks handed out and see why yours aren’t cutting the mustard.
5) You hear about new magazines seeking freelancers and decide to pitch a few
A new conference I’m going to this year, affectionately known as the C3–Creatures, Crimes & Creativity literary conference who’s purpose is to gather readers and writers of mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, sci-fi, fantasy and steam punk. It will be held in September and you guessed it… The main reason I’m attending is to meet Jeffery Deavers, he’s written many books among the one that was made into a movie, “The Bone Collector”. I love his style of writing.
I won’t be attending the Crime Bake Conference this year because it is held in November and I have a Great Grandbaby due around that time.
I will be attending another Salvation Army Spiritual Retreat at the end of August and a family reunion in September.
Did I mention, that I always sell a lot of Novels at these Retreats and Conferences? I would go anyway, but this is an added Treat.
- How about you, do you plan on attending any Treats, Retreats or Conferences this year? Please share why you go to these? What is your favorite and what is your least favorite part of the experience?
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