I attended a wonderful conference at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA this past weekend. The Write Angles Conference is a one-day event that features keynote speakers,panels, agent one-on-one meetings, and workshops. I would highly recommend this conference to anyone who is a writer or who wishes they were.
For those of you who may not know, I have written two complete novels and one children’s book. I have one other good start for another novel, as well as an idea in my head for a young adult novel series. I went to the conference mainly to hear what the agents had to say, since I feel that is my next step (if I’m serious about this writing thing). I registered too late to get a one-on-one meeting with an agent but knew there would be a panel discussion where I could hear “how they think.”
What I walked away from was WAY more than I could have imagined. I left the conference, not only with a new friend, but with a
trough full of inspiration. Published authors led the workshops and so I, of course, hung on their every word. I took loads of notes and had some huge AH-HA! moments. My biggest AH-HA! moment deserves its own blog, which I will write soon.
The first workshop I took was The Novel as a Marathon: How to stay the Course. There were three authors on this panel. The
two that I connected with immediately took years to finish their books and had many revisions , and they both raised their children while doing it. I was so happy to hear that I wasn’t the only person to take almost a decade to finish a book. It is coming up on 10
years since I wrote my first book, and I am on revision number….I’m too embarrassed to tell.
The other panelist was a professor at a prestigious college. And well, let’s just say, he reminded me of Mitt Romney:
Clueless and out of touch. Sure, he has many published books but he has no clue what it means to be a writer. He is an academic not a creative. And, yes there is a vast difference. Not only did he contradict everything the other panelists said about their creative process, he put them down about it, which meant he was putting me down. He even sat in on another workshop that I was in and contradicted those authors as well. At one point, I had to talk myself out of standing up and calling him a jerk in front of everyone. Take away: I thank god that I don’t have to listen to him every day in class.
The next workshop was Why YA: Writing for Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction. Again, both the authors provided some great information and I got some great ideas that I can put into play with my young adult novel, which I hope to get writing for NaNoWriMO (National Novel Writing Month)
Maria Luisa Arroyo and Ann Hood were the two keynote speakers and they were beyond inspiring. I would need to do entire essays on these two women and how they have affected me because just a paragraph or two won’t do either of them justice.
It was a great conference and the price (at just $100) is unbeatable. I hope that I can attend next year as a published author!
To my fellow writers, don’t ever let anyone put down your creative process! Even if they are “published” To those who dream of
writing, get writing! Write a journal, write a poem, write anything that will get your creative juices flowing. Don’t think about writing the next best seller, or some sweeping novel that spans years, just write from your heart.Now….go write!