Here are my 10 top reasons for Attending Writer’s conferences


underword: flash fiction

underword: flash fiction (Photo credit: piglicker)

Today I went to a Writer’s Conference in Columbus, Ohio. It was a high quality conference held at Columbus State University.  The price was very reasonable. You wouldn’t believe it if I told you. How about $15.00 for breakfast and lunch? (Someone was very generous.)

There were high quality speakers: a poet laureate ( J. Patrick Lewis),  a Pulitzer Prize winning poet ( Tracy K Smith)  a Memoir writer ( Mary Anne Benedetto) and a writer and  Fulbright professor ( Professor Christine Buuck)  from The Ohio State University (she taught us a little bit about flash fiction.)

I received helpful handouts, recommendations of  good websites, several chances to write after some brief instruction, and an opportunity to buy books at a reasonable price.

1.  I met other people who share my interest.
2. I heard talented people talk about things they’ve done to further their careers
3. I learned some more about what websites are good for exploring the craft of writing.
4. I got the chance to buy some terrific books at very reasonable prices.
5. I learned about how to market from an expert marketer, John Kremer, http://www.bookmarket.com.  He also shared some great tips about exploring the internet.
6. There’s nothing like getting a poetry lesson from a Pulitzer prize winner, Tracy K. Clark. She also did some moving readings from her Pulitzer Prize book.
7. The writer’s answered questions, and were very thoughtful with their answers.
8.  Everybody is willing to network.
9. Attending these type of activities stimulates your mind, challenges and encourages you

10. The food and coffee were terrific, and it was just plain fun!

 

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You’re never too old to find a passion in life. Writing brings me joy!


Cover of "Immediate Fiction: A Complete W...

Cover via Amazon

A couple of years ago, I was reading an essay a friend of mine wrote for a well-known newspaper.

I thought, “i can do that.” I went home, pulled out an old story I wrote; I polished it up and sent it to The New Standardhttp//www.thenewstandardonline.com.

I was thrilled when the editor decided to put my piece on the front page. I’ve been writing for them ever since.

I’ve attended writer’s conferences, taken online classes, read about writing, and practiced my craft every day. I consider blogging another way, to practice my craft.

One of the books that really helped me write non-fiction is called  A Writers Guide to Nonfiction by Elizabeth Lyon. The book turned into my Bible. I will still open it up, and refer to it. It gave me different options that I found useful. .

Now, I’m exploring fiction and a book I’ve found helpful is Immediate Fiction, by Jerry Cleaver.

One thing I immediately liked was Cleaver’s suggestion that any method you use to get where you’re going in your story works. In real life I’m not much of a planner, so when I sit down to write this story, it just comes together on the paper.

Cleaver says that’s okay.  Do whatever works for you. We’re so brainwashed in school, that we figure you have to do things “correctly.” I like it when people say, there’s no correct way to do anything. Like it says, in the old Nike commercial, “just do it.”

Cleaver also talks about conflict, action, and resolution.  In a fictional story, if everything is happy, you have  no story. Okay, this is basic, but for a beginning fiction writer like me that’s helpful to get it drummed into my head. He also demonstrates how to show more than tell. That might be an old piece of advice, but still valuable.

Cleaver describes conflict in terms I can understand.

“Someone is faced with a problem (conflict), he must struggle with (action) and he wins or loses (resolution), writes Cleaver.  He also discusses at length how to get the reader to identify with the character, and how to get the characters to show emotion.

There’s a lot of great advice in this book. I only scratched the surface.

If you’re interested in fictional writing I would highly recommend this book. Especially, if you’re the type of person who likes to do things their own way!

Don’t be afraid to follow your passion

Don’t be afraid to follow your passion. So, what if you don’t become rich and famous? It helps you grow. If doesn’t matter if you’re 25 or 65. Old passions are easy to reignite.

What I’ve liked the most about the writing experience are the other people I’ve met through writer’s groups, conferences and even online classes.

Don’t limit yourself because you are afraid of what others think.

When you get right down to it, nobody is sitting around judging you. I think we’ve all been judged so much, especially during our school years, that we can’t get out of that way of thinking.

The one person you have to please is yourself.

Since I first started intensely following my passion,  I’ve been doing everything I can, to improve my skill.

I have some fictional pieces on http://www.fictionwritersplatform.net, and one piece published in “The Granville Magazine.” “The Columbus Dispatch” also published a piece I did. I still religiously write for “The New Standard.” I’ve only missed one edition.

I was shocked at how easily I could think up topics. No problem. I’ve read tons of books on writing, and I want to share one with you

IMy question: What is your passion, and how have you grown? If you are a writer, do you have any other recommendations for exploring Fiction Writing.