What’s a “Writers’ Conference”, anyway?
A Writers’ Conference can be a mixture of break-out sessions and programs, insights and intensives, and social and networking opportunities.
The conference faculty will be replete with experts in the fields of writing and illustrating, editing and publishing, and author representation.
When researching and registering for a conference, keep in mind the elements that fit your current needs as a writer. Choose the conference that best addresses where you are, where you want to go, what you need to learn and how you can accomplish your goals.
Among the many benefits of attending a Writers’ Conference are chances to:
LEARN FROM THE EXPERTS ABOUT THE PUBLISHING PROCESS
How does the publishing industry work? Who decides what gets published, where and how books are placed, what makes it to the front of a bookstore? Who designs the covers? How do authors get blurbs and reviews? What are the latest trends?
HONE YOUR CRAFT
Intensive Programs – in-depth hands-on workshops of interest that explore, examine, and educate the participant in specific content areas. They concentrate on deepening the craft for the committed writer
Break-out Sessions – targeted sessionson craft and creative process, knowledge and/or insight into the publishing industry, social media, networking, marketing and promotion
Critique sessions – one on one with an agent, editor or author who reviews your work and offers insight, feedback and/or and recommendations for improvement
Finding new writers are among the reasons thatagents and editors attend conferences. Attending a conference is a great chance to get a face to face moment with one of them. You should be prepared to tell them about your book. The best way to do this is to develop a perfect pitch – the“shortest summary of story that captures the core emotional conflict of a story”. Have your pitch memorized for those convenient and appropriate times to deliver. Sign up for a Pitch Session if available. Your pitch is your job interview.
Business cards/Illustrator Postcards – a professional representation of who you are to exchange with authors, editors and agents
Synopsis – one page describing your narrative arc, introducing your main character(s), revealing your inciting incident, compelling core conflict and the major plot twists and turning points, divulging the stakes, describing the emotional upheaval, climax, resolution and the change that will take place (Have one in case someone asks for it.)
Manuscript – your work in progress, written in proper format, edited and revised (Have one in case someone asks for it.)
NETWORK WITH INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS
Connect with industry insiders and fellow authors at informal social gatherings, autograph parties, luncheons, open mics, and red-eyes to exchange ideas, numbers, emails and form writing partnerships.
5 TIPS ON ATTENDING A WRITERS CONFERENCE:
- Come prepared with an iPad, laptop, or note pad
- Practice good etiquette andobservesocial media rules
- Be Professional andmakea good first impression
- Respect Agents, Editors & Speakers and their privacy
- Follow-up with a “Thank You!”
And, most of all, have a great time!
I hope to see you at my next conference:
Click here to register.
THE CULTURE OF BULLYING ADULTS
It’s International Anti-Bullying Day
Hear the word “bullying” and your mind quickly conjures up images of the bigger kid on the playground with his fist raised high above the trembling form of a smaller kid, or maybe the scene in the hallway of two boys tumbling on the floor AKA World Wide Wrestling style, or a group of “beautiful” girls in the lunchroom gossiping and pointing toward a pimply, fat, unpopular girl, calling out names like “Lardo”, “Fatty”, and “Ugly”.
Take those images into the next decade or two of the lives of those same kids and what do you see? Many times what you will find is that those young bullies, who found that sense of power, took that aggressiveness with them into adulthood. You might think that as we mature we, well, mature. Unfortunately, that false sense of power and control that some of us adopted into our identities as kids becomes a cornerstone of the adult persona.
Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to control, intimidate or abuse others. And an adult bully has the same basic goal as a child bully – to gain power over others and keep that imbalance of power in check. They humiliate, harass, and dominate their victims – or targets – to make them feel powerless, inferior, and afraid.
In many ways, we support and exist in a culture of adult bullying. For instance, from a recent NY Times report on an incident in the NFL: “On the Miami Dolphins’ practice field, players simulated sexual acts as they taunted a teammate about his sister. In the team’s hallways and meeting rooms, racist epithets and homophobic language flowed…verbal and physical abuse was widespread and even celebrated.” (“‘A Classic Case of Bullying’ on the Dolphins, Report Finds”, February 14, 2014)
A justification of “motivation” is always a poor rationalization for behavior in which any figure of authority uses intimidation, ridicule, or humiliation of another.
And that rationalization extends way beyond the football field into virtually every workplace where any one adult, or group, condones the use of intimidation to gain power and authority over others. It extends into the very fiber and fabric of our country. Adult bullying includes the mobbing tactic of global discrimination by one group against another based on differences of class, race, religion, gender, and sexuality.
What can we do about Adult Bullying? We can develop and adopt a broader concept of the “Golden Rule”, and not only treat others the way we want to be treated, but begin to:
- Dialogue With One Another – communicate effectively in an effort to bridge the differences that we share individually, and as a nation, and to reflect upon those differences in a positive and constructive way.
- Understand Our Differences – begin to use that communication to truly learn about one another, see things from the another perspective, and develop a new perception of reality that is inclusive of every human being. Often we are afraid of our differences only because they are something we don’t yet understand.
- Respect Those Differences – we are all citizens of one nation under God – however you choose to view and/or define God – we were created, and according to the eyes of God and the law of the land, we are equal.
Accept Those Differences – whether or not we agree, or adopt any certain belief or lifestyle, or adhere to any religious conviction – we can choose to learn about, to understand, to respect and yes – to love – one another.
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” Princess DianaRead More
WHAT’S A RESOLUTION, ANYWAY?
A resolution, a commitment, a promise to do something better, to improve oneself, of to improve the lives of others.
Typically, we spend more time reflecting upon them, pondering our goals, and declaring our vows, than we do in keeping them. According to some studies, we are terrible at keeping our resolutions. Exercising our willpower is doggone difficult! Training our brain to follow a list (often long) which is foreign to our nature and our current stasis – is uncomfortable.
Nonetheless, people around the world take the plunge and make the pledge. We announce our resolve to change our ways on January 1 of every year!
The TOP TEN RESOLUTIONS made every year:
10. Learn something new.
9. Get organized.
8. Volunteer to help others.
7. Get out of debt.
6. Spend more time with family.
5. Learn to relax.
4. Quit drinking.
3. Quit smoking.
2. Get fit.
1. Lose weight.
Many researchers suggest that sharing your resolutions with another helps your success rate. Peer support – whether a partnership with a spouse or a friend, or participating in a group – not only is more fun but offers accountability when working toward your goals. Programs such as The Biggest Loser, Alcoholics Anonymous, Weight Watchers, etc., have proven success rates for people who share their stories, their struggles, and their successes.
The main thing to keep in mind when you engage in the setting of goals is to make sure that they are attainable. Set small, measurable goals and design a method of charting your progress. Use a chart, or an app, to keep track of your successes!
This year I vow to focus less on what I resolve to QUIT, and more on what I pledge to START! Some years ago, I started a BUCKET LIST. I found it this morning. And although I can check a few things off that I have done, there are still some great ideas for a new PLAN of RESOLVE. So instead of the typical “New Year’s Resolutions”, I am drawing from my BUCKET LIST.
MY TOP FIVE GOALS for 2014
5. I resolve to relax more – to read, play, and enjoy my family, friends and blessings. (I will pledge to read a book a week. And I will carve out time to just play and have fun! I will call my family more often and show the people in my life how much that they are appreciated.)
4. I pledge more loving kindness and generosity toward others. (I will spend more time sharing and volunteering)
3. I resolve to seek peace in all situations. (That, admittedly, will be tough for me. But I vow to adopt some meditation techniques and pull from my own bag of counseling and behavior management methods and give real effort for this one!)
2. Create more art. (I will write, paint and make music – I might even join a band!)
1. Focus on God’s will and purpose for my life. (I will learn to be still and listen to the voice of God!)
Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions this year? Share some in the comments below! Happy Resolving!