Once again, I wish I could go to the Fall Conference held in Raleigh at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley on November 4 - 6. I would especially like to attend the Art of Memory: Creative Nonfiction Master Class with Haven Kimmel. I have long been a fan of her writing. I often recommend her memoirs to my students. A Girl Named Zippy, her best selling memoir, is one of my favorite books.
I wish all of my students who dread the idea of promoting their writing could attend the session by Alice Osborn. She will teach How to be Rock Star at PR. Alice is a good example. I remember when she first came on the literary scene in North Carolina ten years ago. She says this workshop is useful for all writers across all genres and publication achievements.
The Problem of Plot (Creative Nonfiction) with Brook Wilensky-Lanford is another session I would love for my memoir students to attend. We all want to start at the beginning of our story and often use pages of description to "set up our story" when it might be better to start at another point. Some of the best books start at the end. Knowing where to begin your book is important and this workshop seems to be one where structure of the story, emphasis and possibly changing the order it is written will be explored.
Salem Dockery, Membership Coordinator for the Network wrote a column in this newsletter on dealing with rejection. She is young and she almost gave up on her poetry because of rejections, but some wise person who has been writing a long time told her that if you submit fifty times in a year, you might only get one or two acceptances.
That is so true for all of us, poets and prose writers alike. Salem learned that a rejection is only one person's opinion of your poem. Continue to submit your work and read at Open Mic nights or Coffee with the Poets and Writers here in Hayesville each month. Join a writers group and make friends of other writers. Share your work with them.
The NCWN Fall Conference is always a good place to meet other writers, editors and publishers. Maybe you will meet an agent who likes your book. Get your elevator speech ready and be able to pitch your book in a few sentences. I don't care what anyone says about good writing is all it takes to get published. It helps to meet the right people at conferences. NCWN even offers a registration fee for those who only go to visit with old friends, make new friends and to sit in on the open sessions with no instructors. For members that is only $200.
The schedule allows those NCWN members who can only attend one day, Saturday, to have a discounted fee of 210 dollars with meals. If I thought the environment of the hotel would not make me sick, I would go for the Saturday events and stay one night. But most large hotels use automatic "air fresheners" throughout the entire building and those chemicals are poison to me. They are also poison to anyone who breathes them, but most people don't have the drastic reaction I have.
On May 6, 2017, NCWN-West will hold a one day conference in Sylva, NC in the library which was once the old courthouse, and, I am happy to say, we won't have the problem of air fresheners polluting our meetings.