Tag Archives: Writing Conference

The time and space to write

Image from Write by the Lake, Taylor’s Wave http://woodsgood.ca/Taylor/

The Restless Writers share something very similar: the burning desire to write. And let’s face it, an equally burning desire to escape the familiar. Announcement: we just booked our first-ever literary adventure—beyond the home office!

The most common problem writers have is not writing. But this fall, we’re giving a gift to ourselves: a writing retreat. Not a conference where our time is allocated to instruction, awkward introductions, and scheduled meals, but private time, where we can connect with our literary vision and avoid the distractions that intrude on a writer’s day.

We all have manuscripts on the go and our characters are screaming at us to spend some time with them. We’ll be answering their call from the comfort and privacy of a Bed and Breakfast on the sunny shores of Lake Huron. That is, until we qualify for the Berton House Writers’ Retreat or perhaps Writing Immersion in Sustainable Tuscany or even La Muse in France. Yeah, dream a little writer’s dream, you get the picture.

While writing demands solitude and focus, it doesn’t have to mean isolation and deprivation (note to self: it can mean 400 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets). Our upcoming adventure will supply us with an ambience conducive to creativity, plus fellowship and inspiration. Our retreat promises to contribute to a sense of luxury well-being and provide us with the opportunity to learn while propelling us to reach our writing goals—individually and as a critique group.

This is new to us and already we’re bursting with ideas for our upcoming retreat. Here’s a good resource if you’re exploring this idea too, the Writing Retreat Guide: a guide to writers retreat centers and events, for writing groups or your own renewal and exploration. Give it a try, and may the time and space to write be yours for the taking!

Have YOU experienced a writing retreat? Any advice? We’d love to hear about it!

BJas

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Filed under Author events, Group meetings, Inspiration, Motivation, Writing ideas

The Writers Are Getting Restless

Most writers – aspiring and seasoned – know that conferences are an essential resource. Last October, Maria and Beckie headed to British Colombia for the highly regarded Surrey International Writers’ Conference (I was already booked at a highly intoxicated Serbian wedding).

It was, by all accounts, a great success and we plan on attending a different conference this year. At our meeting last week, we discussed what we hope to get out of a writing conference and also debated locations. Here are some highlights, which I suspect are common for other writers, too.

Motivation
Writing is a solitary endeavour and even with a critique group, writers need a kick in the ass infusion of inspiration. Being around like-minded people provides the necessary perspective and encouragement we sometimes lack. The Restless Writers came back from B.C. fired up.

Networking
Not only is a conference a fantastic place to meet agents and editors, it also provides an opportunity to interact with your peers, some of whom may become future critique partners, colleagues or friends. I’d been stalking interacting with @ironic_mom for a couple of months on Twitter before she attended Surrey with her fellow Word Bitches. They connected with the Restless Writers at the conference and an informal affiliation was made (like sister cities, or Bennifer).

Sleeping
The idea of not waking up with miniature fingers exploring my ears and nostrils – for even one morning – is worth the price of a conference for me. This also applies to solitary peeing, but that’s for another post on another blog…

Location
Las Vegas. New York. Hawaii. Boston. La Jolla. These are just a few of the destinations from which we have to choose. Many conferences are held in the late winter/early spring, when a Canadian writer is in dire need of some vitamin D. Although most of our time would be spent in a hotel conference room, I suspect we’d find a way to extend our trip by a day or three.

What about you? Are you planning to attend any upcoming conferences? Which ones tickle your fancy? We’ll keep you posted on our progress and if we end up at the same place, let us know!

LD

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Filed under Group meetings, Inspiration, Motivation, Writing resources

Countdown to SiWC

Surrey, here we come!It’s less than a month until the Surrey International Writers’ Conference (SiWC). Here’s what I’m doing to prepare:

Logistics: This is all the stuff that makes it all feel real—booking a hotel room, buying plane tickets, figuring out how the heck to get from YVR to Surrey without breaking the bank or getting lost in the public transit puzzle.

Reading: I love it that my favourite pastime can also be considered pre-conference research. I’m booked into a Blue Pen Café session with Canadian author Tim Wynne-Jones, so I am reading his latest, “The Uninvited,” and two of his Rex Zero books. Ian from A Different Drummer Books will be ordering me a few other Wynne-Jones titles, just in case.

Writing: For my session with Wynne-Jones, I have to decide which piece I’d like critique on. Should I pick one of the short stories I currently have under way? A chapter from my novel-in-progress? Or do I write something brand-new to put under the microscope? Decisions, decisions…

Learning: And more decisions! Which workshops do I want to sign up for? Are there specific authors I want to hear from (Graphic Novels with Diana Gabaldon)? Or is there a particular topic that is relevant to something I’m working on right now (Creating Characters that Jump off the Page with James Scott Bell)? Or something else that piques my interest (like Steampunk Spotlight with Arthur Slade)?

Connecting: Most of all, I’m gearing up to meet other writers, especially those who I’ve met virtually via Twitter and the Restless Writers’ blog.

Are any of our blog visitors heading out to SiWC? Are any of you SiWC veterans with tips for us newbies?

Maria

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Filed under Author events, Motivation

WriteOnCon: Online Children’s Writers Conference

How would you like to attend a Writing Conference in your PJ’s?

Well, now you can! Registration opens July 1st for a FREE online writer’s conference for kidlit writers–called WriteOnCon. The conference is rated MC-18, for Main Characters under 18 only and is created by writers, for writers.

If you are a YA, Middle Grade or Children’s writer looking for a convention that works with your busy schedule and limited budget–then this is for YOU.

When? August 10-12, 2010
Where? http://writeoncon.com/
How? Various forms of social media

Why attend? Because Steven Malk, Catherine Drayton, Michelle Andelman, Suzie Townsend, Mark McVeigh, Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, Kathleen Ortiz, Lindsay Eland, Dan Ehrehaft, Mandy Hubbard, Lindsey Leavitt, Josh Berk, Anica Rissi, Jodi Meadows and many, many more will be joining YOU.

If you are serious about your writing, irrespective of the genre, then you already know the benefits of attending a writer’s conference certainly outweigh the decision not to attend. So, what are you doing August 10th?

Need help “Making the most out of a writing conference? Click here.

Beckie

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