© Judy Bagshaw - All
This past May my local
writers group held our first Ontario Writer’s Conference. It
was a tremendous experience and I came home with so much
writing energy and new insights into the
Writers must write. It is what we do. And most often, writing
is a solitary pursuit. When actively involved in creating, a
writer is often isolated in their writing corner, hunkered over
a keyboard, oblivious to the turmoil of everyday life around
them. Families are neglected, chores ignored, the phone left
unanswered until at last they surface from that “other world”
and embrace the mundane for a while before once again
disappearing into their art.
But, a writer cannot
thrive in a vacuum. It’s important to nurture the creative
soul, to spend time with like-minded individuals, to network
and continue the process of learning the craft. Face it.
Nobody knows what it’s like to be a writer better than
another writer. Certainly local writing groups can do this
with regular meetings and by offering workshops from time to
time. But a conference; two days of intensive classes and
over a hundred writers from all over gathered in one place.
experience is unique, and there is so much you gain from
conference allows you the chance to take some
classes outside your usual writing realm. If you’re
a novelist, take a workshop on poetry writing. If
you only write non-fiction, try your hand at a
class on fiction writing. You will expand your
horizons, and with luck, learn something. This
might offer new publishing opportunities or open
doors previously unexplored.
You will be
energized. At a conference you are surrounded by
others who share your passion. You will have
opportunities, both formal and informal, to share
information and experiences. You will be inspired
by those who are ahead of you in the game, and you
will offer inspiration for those at an earlier
stage in their writing career.
With fall comes the
return to school for students and teachers. Perhaps it’s a
good time for we as authors to take the step “back to the
classroom” by choosing a conference. There are
For romance writers,
Romance Writers of America hold an annual conference.
Information can be found here. As well, the
various local RWA chapters hold their own conferences throughout the
listing of writing conferences can be found at Shaw Guides.
And for the thrifty,
there is the Muse Online Writers Conference. It’s
free, so you have to book early.
Although it is nice to
attend a genre specific conference, it is not entirely
necessary. Any writing conference will give you the tools
you need to perfect your craft, regardless of your genre of
So consider spending
some time with “your own kind” and find a conference to
attend. You won’t be sorry.
Some related articles
to also read:
Everyday Courage and
the Writer by Holly Lisle:
How To Be in
the Right Place at the Right Time: How I Got Published
by Katrina Kittle
About the Author:
Bagshaw has been published since 2000. Writing romance
featuring full-figured heroines, her publishing credits
include several novels, a collection of short stories,
and short stories in multiple anthologies. She was also
part of the writing team for the Ginn Reading Series, and
Reaching Readers Series, used in many elementary schools.
Retired from teaching, she writes full-time from her home
in Ontario, Canada. Visit Judy's website www.judybagshaw.com