Writers’ Conference Fun

I attended the Lancaster Christian Writers Super Saturday one-day writers’ conference on Saturday, April 8, 2017. It was so much fun because the speakers and seminars were extremely helpful and informative and because I was able to connect with some old friends and make a couple of new ones.

It’s always fun to connect with other writers because they understand me. They think like me. It’s great to be able to share challenges and successes and to be able to support and encourage each other.

I know I’ve said this before, but if you’re a writer and you haven’t been to a writers’ conference, you really should go. I’m sure you would enjoy it. I know most writers are introverts (including me), but you know, even we introverts need to step out of our comfort zones once in a while, and I don’t think there’s any place better to do that than with other writers because you’re guaranteed to have a common topic of conversation.

Here are some highlights from the day:

My dear friend, Mike Dellosso, author of Centralia and Kill Devil,  was the keynote speaker. (I’ve posted a couple of book reviews of some of Mike’s books here in the past. I’ve done an author interview with him as well and included some of his books on several of the Top Ten Tuesday posts I’ve done in the past.)

Mike was the first published author I ever connected with in public in regard to writing and he has been a great help and encouragement to me, and I can always count on him to give it to  me straight. Last year he looked over a few pages of my WIP and informed me that it was “lifeless”. Yes, he said that, but then he said, “I’m sorry, that sounded harsh.” And he followed that up with suggestions and explanation of how to fix the problem.

Anyway, his keynote this year was very good and inspirational. One quote that sticks with me: “Wherever you are on the road in your writing, that’s where God wants you at this time. Do your best.”

I also attended two seminars presented by Roseanna White, author of Lady Unrivaled. She presented a seminar on “Fiction Rules and When to Break Them” — one example: “Show Vs. Tell”: The Rule: Do this as much as possible because it may take longer and consist of more words, but it makes the story vivid. Her second seminar taught what’s important in a book cover and how to be sure the cover of your book is both professional and eye-catching, as well as the fact that it should evoke emotions, questions, or interest, and convey something important about the book.

Laurie Edwards was a fun speaker. She did a seminar about “Adding Emotion to the Page: Surefire Techniques to Connect with Readers” as well as a seminar about “Information Dump or Dramatic Flashback? Using Back Story the Right Way”. She had us do some very intriguing exercises in each seminar that really drove her points home.  She told us a story about a conversation she had with someone who asked what she did for a living, to which she answered that she is a writer. The other person asked a few more questions, one of which Laurie answered with, “My characters talk to me.” After a pause, the person she was speaking to said, “They don’t really, do they?” We all laughed. Non-writers just don’t understand those of us who write.   🙂

There were also seminars on marketing, social media, organizing your WIP for effectiveness, and how to turn your life into award-winning fiction. I was not able to attend any of these seminars.

At these conferences, several seminars run at the same time and you have to choose the ones you believe will be most helpful to you where you are currently at in your writing. However, I did pick up a book about marketing and one about social media. I can always read and study on my own. I actually do this a lot. There’s something to be said for being “self-taught”. Some of the most successful people in history were “self-taught”.

Have you ever been to a writers’ conference? What was your favorite thing about it?

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