Although some Writing Chapters had their conferences a couple of months ago, there are others gearing up for a chance to strut their stuff, so to speak. This weeks blog is to promote, promote, promote. Not any one Chapter in particular, but to actually stir the interest of anyone who has never attended one of these gatherings. When I joined my first writing organization in 1999 I met a group of women (no men at the time, that I knew of) who turned me on my heels. I attended my first ever conference in October of 2000, and can I just say how it shone a whole new light on this business. I attended the monthly meetings, and listened and watched as everyone geared up for the happening to come. But, no amount of paying attention and studying in the world could have prepared me for what lay ahead.
I just want to say, if you have never been to any of these functions, you are doing yourself a grave injustice, as well as that new career you have your sights peeled toward. Now, with my first, I did not stay at the hotel. I traveled one hour each way for two days, because it appeared easier – wrong. As breakfast is at the crack on the first full day, you really should be upstairs in a room where all you have to do is roll out of the shower, and into the dining room. Not only that, but staying over allows you the opportunity to socialize with these heavy hitters, publishers and editors as they mingle. But, as usual I’m getting ahead of myself. All of the fun and excitement begins the instant you register at the door – goody bags, boxes and totes, filled; giving you the impression you’re at the SAG Awards. Hey, in my opinion, just as important. I’m remembering back to a gathering where a very-very new member attended, and got to sit at a table with her favorite author, but, now, I’m having a senior moment. I can’t remember the particular author. In any event, the member beamed the entire evening, as someone made sure she sat at the same table, and had dinner with her woman of the hour.
Dinner at my first affair landed me at a table with an Editor, how great is that? At that time, I had a sister writer who took me under her wing, so to speak, and made that happen. Now, I want to mention that it’s not mandatory you work at these, however, I must say, I’m somewhat partial to Hosting. Why is that? On my second year, this same sister assigned me to host a Nora Roberts workshop. Once I helped out at that, the bug bit – WOW! – it gave me an entire new outlook, even though I did have to contend with being nervous. The second day, of course – expect a day filled with clinics; it will be difficult to choose. But, you’ll know to go with wherever your weakness lies. At lunch, you’ll dine while listening to top-notch, and New York Times Best Sellers – filling your head, and heart as well as your stomach. The evening activities consist of a dress-up night with more fraternization. Then, some chapters have an after conference party. Sort of officially culminating the event – an after party, party, if you will. Finally, on the last morning, you have the opportunity to meet and greet the authors, and buy books.
This has just been a short overview of what to expect at one of these fun-filled, and eventful weekends. In these difficult economic times, I completely understand if the finances aren’t there, but if you’ve been sitting on the fence for any other reason, just let go and pull out that old check book or credit card. I’m not asking for any acknowledgement whatsoever, I only want to make certain you don’t miss this occasion. You will absolutely never regret the information you take away. Not only will you come to view the true industry, but you will leave with enough information to fill your head, and keep the fire going for another year. You’ll also be captured by a magic that could never have been accomplished otherwise, soaring your writing to an entire new level.
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