Posted by: alinesoules | February 22, 2018

San Francisco Writers Conference

I just attended the SF Writers Conference for 2018 and it was fabulous.  There were multiple tracks for fiction writers, non-fiction writers, memoir writers, poets, self-publishers, marketers—something for everyone.  For poets, one highlight was the keynote speech by Dana Goia, current poet laureate of California.  He spoke eloquently about creation and read a few poems.  He really knew how to inspire us.  I’d not been to this conference before and my main goal was to get my feet grounded in this conference to understand how speed-dating worked, how pitching worked, and practice.  When my novel is ready next year, I’ll feel much more confident; meanwhile, I received a couple of “nibbles” to send pages or a query when I’m ready.  Most encouraging.  As a result, I spent less time on poetry tracks, although I did have a 15-20 minute conference with Diane Frank, both poet and novelist.  She was most encouraging and she, too, offered me support on my novel based on its premise.

Writers conferences are a great blessing—from the small to the large, from the unknown to the famous.  They provide a writers’ community; learning opportunities from experts; connections to editors, publishers, coaches, and others; a sense of the latest trends; and, if you’re lucky, an opportunity to meet someone with the same sensibility, someone who can work with you in future through a writing group (online or in person).

Writers conferences are listed in a number of places, e.g., Poets & Writers (sign up for the e-newsletter if you can’t afford a subscription), Writers Digest (again, same set-up), Association of Writers & Writing Programs (same set-up), and lists through a standard Google search.  Get on the e-mail lists and you’ll get brochures in the mail, as well.  Costs vary, but events local to you will probably be your cheapest option.  The key is to connect and stay connected.  It will enrich your writing life.

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