"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Friday, February 8, 2013

Passing on my knowledge

Next week is the Southern California Writers' Conference and I'm uber-excited. This organization holds two conferences a year, one in February and one in September, and I attend each one. It is a real working conference.

No sitting in a room in rows of chairs, being spoonfed information until you can't stay awake. This one has you sit down at tables because you might need to take notes or do some kind of writing exercise. Because you're a writer, right?

By the end of the weekend, you're so fired up, you can't wait to implement your new strategies for writing the best damn book in the universe and then letting the universe know about it.

The fun part about this February's conference is that I'm now a member of the staff. On the current schedule, I'll teach a workshop on Friday afternoon to talk about pacing your work, how to find the rhythm of it, and how to give your writing a punch. It's called Rhythm, Pace and AMUSEment. Here's the description:

Perhaps you’ve completed a 90,000 word story. Perhaps you’re still staring at a blank piece of paper. But you’re asking yourself the same question: how do I avoid boring the reader? Whether short or long, a written piece needs lively pacing to keep the reader engaged. No matter what your genre, this workshop will share some of the tools for developing the rhythm in your writing. Learn when to build tension and when to release it, how to increase the risks, and how a punch line can be your best friend.

On Saturday afternoon I'm teaching one of the popular DYI: Do Yourself Independence workshops about Self-Publishing Savvy: Why, How, Where, What You Need to Know. This is what it's about:

Self-publishing is big. It’s easy. Everyone’s doing it. But is it the right course for you? This workshop will give you information to help you ask the right questions and make good choices. You will learn about self-publishing options, their pros and cons, and get resources for finding out more. In this day of Do Yourself Independence, there is no one right answer. You may find there is a different answer for each of your projects. The only “right” answer is to be as informed as possible.

What other workshops are there? Beginning at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.,  there are at least three 90-minute workshops running all the time. There are also "Read and Critique" sessions, which are helpful in two ways. They are, of course, wonderful for feedback on your work, but most importantly, they are models for how to run a working writers' group. Their rules are the best. "Rogue Sessions" are offered at the end of the day - they are Read & Critique sessions that run from 9 p.m. until everyone is too tired to continue (some of these have gone until 6 the next morning).

There are special speakers first thing in the morning and last thing before the Rogue Sessions start. The speakers are usually not huge names. They have come into the publishing industry fairly recently, during its evolution, and know what we are facing. These speakers have been where we are, remember the hard times and the struggle and can at least show us how they managed it. They inspire us.

I'm telling you, if you live around southern California and are either a writer or are thinking about writing, you need to come. You'll learn so much.


Jennifer Carlevatti Aderhold said...

So excited!

Tameri Etherton said...

I'm looking forward to the conference! Congrats on being one of the staff now, Gayle! You are the best.

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