Conference By S. J. Brown


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.”

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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.

June Alligator

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.

June ButterflyJune Mallard

Yes, while I was there I spent some time with the dragonflies, butterflies, geese and ducks.

June GooseJune dragonfly

Have you ever attended a conference or convention? If not what are you waiting for?

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S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover

Thanks for stopping by.



25 thoughts on “Conference By S. J. Brown

  1. Gayle and I attended the Colorado Christian Writers Conference this year, I have attended several times before as well as the Jackson Hole Writers Conference, and some local writers’ retreats. All good places to go for insipiration, learning what’s being sought now, getting critiques, and meeting other writers and resources. The workshops are always helpful. Glad you enjoyed your conference. Love your pics.


    1. Glad you enjoyed the photos. I always enjoy the WV Writers Conference. I generally combine the conference with a visit with my daughter and her family which is an added bonus.


  2. I love going to conferences, especially when they’re far enough from home that I can feel like I’m having a vacation. As for the excerpt about the alligator–I feel like something has grabbed the back of my sweatshirt. I can’t imagine being so close to that beast.


  3. What? No Internet? No cellphones? Maybe if there’s an icebreaker social with liquor. Just kidding. Sounds like fun. There’s one in Vegas sponsored by my writers’ group. This year, though, it was financially difficult. I am trying to save up to fly to NC to visit a friend battling cancer. Now I have a $875 transmission bill coming up. Trip to NC has to be delayed a month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mike, I have no cellphone, no internet. I am very low tech, prepaid cell phone and a desktop computer. Yes there is liquor at some of the evening gathers. It really is a good time. It is also one of the less expensive ones around. Each year there are new workshops to discover and panel discussions.

      These things seem to come in 3’s. Sorry about all your troubles right now, but things will get better.


  4. Conferences are a blessing to writers, both novices and longtime writers. You learn so much and meet the greatest people. Doris


  5. I went to the SOKY Book Fest a couple of springs ago and to the Chicago Writers Conference last October. I had a great time at both. I don’t have anything planned for this year, because of the move and new job, but I do want to go to another at some point.


    1. Now that you are in a new area you have the chance to attend a conference or two that was to far away last year. Hope you are enjoying your new place and having fun exploring the area.


  6. I enjoy going to writing conferences. I get to meet new people, meet people I’ve known through social in person, see writers I admire, and of course, learn from experts about different topics. In the crime fiction world, it is a very supportive community. After a few conferences, I got to know a lot of people that I know see every year.


    1. It is surprising how people who write different genres always have things in common. Going to a conference that is focused on a particular genre must be amazing with so much to talk about and learn.


  7. Glad to hear your conference went so well! I enjoy conferences, too, but with the rising costs of them each year, I’ll be cutting back to every other year and stay more local. I’m excited to see your coloring books — I hear these are making a comeback, especially with adults. So great you’re on that forward-moving bus!


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