This Post by SJ Brown
Writers are generally solitary people. We spend endless hours at our computers, pace across the room and read out load to ourselves. However there are a few occasions when we all join together. Writers Conferences are one of those occasions. Every writer should take the time to attend at least one writers conference each year.
A conference is a place to re energize, socialize, learn and encourage one another. Recently I attended the West Virginia Writers Conference. For me this is a 5 hour drive. But once I am there I have 3 days with no phone, no internet, no television, workshops, and lots of old friends.
After registering I received my goody page filled with books, magazines, and a few surprises. Then it was off to my first workshop. Each workshop is unique, Some are serious with lots of note taking and facts to fill the class time. Others are more creative and aid us in exploring our imaginations. After each workshop I have new handouts and a lot to think about.
Between classes we gather in the porch at the assembly hall. There I had a chance to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen since last years convention. The porch is filled with poets, playwrights, graphic novelist, fiction writers and folks working on memoirs and other projects. There is always an exchange of ideas, information, notes and a chuckle or two. Everyone here has one thing in common, they all have something to say. We attend the conference to learn better ways to say it.
This year during one of my breaks on the porch a fellow author surprised me with the following statement.
“ Why do you come to a writers conference ? You’re a wildlife photographer?”
My answer is, I am wildlife photographer that writes. This leads me to believe I really need to work on promoting my written words. So here is an excerpt from “Close Ups & Close Encounters.”
I never took my eyes off of that alligator; if he came at me, I wanted a chance to evade him. Crawling ever so slowly backward; thankful for each growing inch of distance between us, his menacing eyes watched my every move.
Then something grabbed the back of my sweatshirt! I had been so focused on putting space between that alligator and me, I had no idea what was behind me. With a quick jolt I was propelled backwards.
Now, back to the conference. The West Virginia Writers Conference also features an awards banquet on Saturday night. This years speaker focused on the lighter side of writing and kept all of us amused. Thanks once again to some great organizers and judges the banquet rewarded writers from all age groups and genres for their works.
It doesn’t matter what you write or your comfort level around crowds I highly recommend attending a writers conference. Conferences are a chance to socialize with like minded people, learn about your craft and marketing it. Also someone else does all the cooking and it’s a chance to get away from the real world for a few days.
Yes, while I was there I spent some time with the dragonflies, butterflies, geese and ducks.
Have you ever attended a conference or convention? If not what are you waiting for?
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