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    Home Columns

    The Writer's Conference

    I have only 5 words for you on this subject - Go To A Writers Conference.

    Oh, come back here! It's not all that scary, I promise you. The Southwest Writer's Conference I attended was held last September 18th. Why, you ask, would I be so foolish as to fly from Phoenix Arizona to Albuquerque New Mexico a week after the worst terrorist act in our country's history?

    1. I didn't want to ride my bike that far.

    2. I figured security had to be at it's best, the week following the bombing. A no-brainer.

    3. I have never been to a writer's conference and I was so looking forward to it.

    Reasons NOT to go:

    1. While you are away at your conference, you will live on icky hotel food and little sleep. This is because you're too wired to pay attention to anything else but the conference. Wait a minute, that's a good thing.

    2. You are frozen with fear. You think you are a non-descript writer with very few credits and too many adverbs and you will meet strangers who will sneer at you. I guarantee there will be no sneering. Besides, this is one of those places you get to learn and maybe meet an agent or publisher.

      I wasn't happy about attending because I was in the middle of writing a Federal grant. My last column was filled with my whining about that job. The grant has since been finished, on it's way to whomever is planning to decimate it and yes, some of my hair haa fallen out, I have carpel-tunnel syndrome and my brain has turned to Tapioca. And I can't wait to get started on the next one. But that lunacy will have to wait for another column.

      The conference validated me as a writer. Whether you're an extrovert or an introvert, it's the perfect activity for you. A writer's conference will force you to take advantage of your position on the planet as a writer and introduce yourself to people. A lot. You just can't help yourself unless, of course, you're just naturally rude.

      I signed up for 5 workshops and 3 different volunteer slots at the Registration Desk. By noon the first day, I was having so much fun and meeting so many people that I decided to cancel all but one of the workshops and continue volunteering. I brought 100 business cards with me and I ran out by the 2nd day; I met some of the best authors in the field and several wonderful publishers, the last of which is definitely a bonus. Publishers don't lunch on writers, contrary to what you may have heard.

      Once you've listened to an author like Catherine Ryan Hyde tell an audience that she was rejected 140 times for "Pay It Forward" before it was accepted, you'll feel more confident about your own work.

      So look in the mirror, remind yourself that you're a writer, and go to that next conference. You'll feel connected - I met four writers who knew how to make an 8-foot paper-clip chain. Just like do.

      Copyright © 2001 Lyne Royce

      Lyne Royce is a freelance writer living in the desert east of Phoenix. She lives with her devoted husband and six spoiled and previously stray cats. She's fervent about Native American history and enjoys reading books on the subject when she has the time. After 15 years teaching software classes, and two years doing Web site design, Lyne decided to listen seriously to her muse and has participated in writing workshops and clinics on the Web, including the Writer's Digest Workshops' Fundamentals of Non-Fiction Writing, Focus on the Non-Fiction Magazine Article;'s Query Letter Clinic;'s workshop Writing and publishing Magazine Articles; the humor clinic, Writing from the Left Side of the Brain with Jane Combs; and Secrets of the Professional Freelancer at She belongs to several writers discussion groups but her favorite, Writers Pad, is where she enjoys learning from her writer friends on a daily basis that it is possible for a writer to become a published writer.

      The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ

      WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

      Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

      For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)


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