Showing posts with label writing conference. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing conference. Show all posts

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The making of a Writers Conference

We have had some unseasonal weather, warm and almost spring-like, but maybe more snow on Sunday.

It is good weather for working indoors. Between de-cluttering or downsizing I have been busy for months working on the NCWN-West writers conference, A Day for Writers.

This one day conference will be chock-full of interesting information for writers. We have two headliners: Terry Kay, award-winning author of 17 novels who will  talk in two sessions on writing fiction. Visit his website to see what this man has done in his life. He has had a phenomenal career. Three of his books were made into movies by the Hallmark channel. 

Kathryn Stripling Byer is our other headliner. She is not only an outstanding poet, she is the first woman to be selected as Poet Laureate of North Carolina. Read about her achievements and on her website

Putting together a conference like this takes hours of time and it doesn't happen quickly. I enlisted some of our members of NCWN-West for ideas. They were helpful. My job then was to contact people, see if they were interested in coming and make them an offer I hoped they would accept. 

Some writers and poets volunteered to speak and some I contacted said they could not come for one reason or another. One of the novelists never responded to my e-mail. 

I am lucky that over the past twenty years working with our writing group in volunteer positions and as Program Coordinator, I met many, many writers. Some of them write children's books, some speak and teach freelance writing, and some are playwrights. I contacted the writers I thought would do a good job for us at our conference. I am very happy that we will have Deanna Klingel, Tara Lynne Groth, and storyteller, folklorist, and playwright, Gary Cardin on our program. 

Catherine Carter, outstanding poet and professor at Western Carolina University, is one of  our presenters, and she has been extremely helpful to me in planning this conference. Catherine's poetry is well-published and highly praised. Her books will be for sale at the conference, as will those of all our presenters. 

Few people realize the time it takes to organize and gather good presenters for a conference. Once I had the  names of those on the program, I had to figure out a schedule for the day. I also figure the budget and hope we have enough registrants to take care of our costs. 

With the  help of Joan Gage we have begun publicity on 
Our news about A Day for Writers will be published on our blog. 

Although the conference is five months away, all the details must be ready to publish soon so people can put this date on their calendars. My job includes finding volunteers who will help with registration, collect brochures, fill packets, alphabetize them with name tags to hand out the morning of the conference. We will need a volunteer to take charge of lunch, coffee all day  and pastries in the morning. So much goes on behind the scenes while we hope those attending have all they need to make their day as perfect as possible. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Invest in Yourself

Alice Osborn sends out a newsletter chock full of good advice for writers. This is a little snippet from one of them.

  1. Invest in yourself with a good computer, and with go to conferences, classes/workshops to keep developing professionally as a writer. Read "how to write" books and books within your genre. Hire a writing coach and do your homework. You need to put some skin in the game and when you spend money on yourself, you’ll know you’re a “real” writer.
I believe that we must invest in ourselves as writers and in our writing
If I want to be a doctor, I will study medicine. If I want to be a painter, and I did at one time, I will study painting with the best teacher I can find.
When writers tell me they can't afford to go to workshops or study with writing teachers, my reply is we spend money where we want to spend money. We set our priorities. We pay dues to organizations for writers because the organization can benefit us and other writers. How do they do that? Sometimes it is simply by connecting us to those who can help us. It is by bringing together the best authors for us to hear and learn from their experience. 

I am pleased to look back on the past year of classes at Writers Circle. We hosted excellent instructors, some who teach at colleges in North Carolina and Georgia: Scott Owens, William Wright, Robert S. King, Carol Crawford, Karen Holmes, Robert Lee Brewer, Michael Diebert and Dr. Gene Hirsch. That is an outstanding line up of talented writers and poets. Thanks to Karen Holmes who introduced several of the poetry teachers to Writers Circle. She is already on the schedule to teach next year.

Beginning in March, 2014, we will start a new series of workshops and we are in process of lining up more excellent teachers for the writers in our area. I hope everyone will take advantage of the opportunity to study with them.

I am blessed to have had classes with outstanding writers over the past seventeen years including Kathryn Stripling Byer, Nancy Simpson, Steve Harvey, Maureen Ryan Griffin, Fred Chappell, R.T. Smith and so many other writers at conferences and through the John Campbell Folk School writing program. Conferences and week-long writing retreats are well worth the investment if you want to be a writer. But those who can't afford to spend a few hundred dollars in one lump sum, can certainly set aside $35 - $40 dollars a month for a three hour writing class. Meantime, they can attend critique groups and get feedback on their work. That is always helpful if you join a group with writers who are experienced and who have had their work published in reputable publications. 

Check our Schedule page on this site often to see who will be teaching at Writers Circle around the Table in 2014.

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