The Conference Event

The South Carolina Writers Workshop Conference (www.myscww.org/conference/) filled my life for the past weekend. After workshop sessions, critiques, and camaraderie with agents, editors and other writers, my mind is whirling with new ideas of ways to improve my writing. No matter how many writing workshops I attend, I always learn something new at each one 

This weekend, I attended informative workshops on fiction, non-fiction, and mystery writing, and how-to workshops on crafting first pages, choosing an agent, finding a publisher, and what to expect after the sale. The faculty was knowledgeable and friendly—and, best of all, approachable. Each evening between the day’s workshop sessions and the dinner hour, we mixed and mingled with other participants and faculty. Writers are friendly people who are willing to share writing experiences with other writers. At different stages in our writing careers—some participants have published several books; others are working on the first one; most are somewhere in between—we want to help each other succeed. 

Writers farther up the literary food chain inspire us, the newly-published or soon-to-be-publishe writersd, and we encourage newer writers to keep writing. I’ll never forget the editors, agents, and published writers who gave me advice,  reviewed work and gave a brief critique, and showed patience and understanding while answering my questions. In return, I do the same—share what expertise I have—for beginning writers who want to move up the food chain. 

Energy filled the atmosphere at this conference. I came away inspired by the accomplishments of others and motivated to keep learning and writing. This week, I listed my weekly writing goals on paper. Of course, my goals will differ each week, but one thing is certain: the goals will propel my writing forward. 

My goals include sending thank you messages to all faculty members whose session I attended at the conference; sending a message to all participants who shared their business cards with me; researching a book an agent requested I read; finding ten agents who handle my category of writing and writing a query letter to those agents; deciding whether I’ll make major changes in my novel’s protagonist. Whew! That’s enough to think about today.

This week I encourage you to set writing goals. Without goals, you cannot focus on serious writing because you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there. I hope one of your goals is to find an affordable writer workshop or conference and register for it. If you need help locating a conference near you, visit www.writerdigest.com or www.writermag.com.

 Take the weekly challenge and put your writing goals on paper—Write Now!

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About Susan Harvey

I'm a humor writer and a newly retired college English instructor. I enjoy reading and writing yet don't take time to do what I really love--writing. I began writing a mystery-romance novel three years ago. Now that I'm retired, I will make time to write with the goal of finishing my novel.
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