The Page a Day Writers Group

Posts Tagged ‘writers’ conference

May 8 – What made you laugh

Many writers and want-to-be writers struggle to pursue their writing goals. Judy Reeves knows each one of us. Perhaps not by name, but by our writer’s soul.

I was lucky enough to meet Judy during a session at the Southern California Writers Conference. In a workshop called “20 Ways to Make It Better,” she strung together dozens of hands-on tips on how to take your writing deeper, employ all the senses and embrace language. It didn’t take long to realize that she spoke from experience, from her heart. Judy knew.

I’m working my way through her book, “A Writer’s Book of Days: A Spirited Companion and Lively Muse for the Writing Life.” So far, I’ve been encouraged, challenged and understood. I’m not alone.

Today I’m pondering all the things that make me laugh–everything from my husband’s quirky smile to reruns of “I Love Lucy” have made the list. The writing prompts are the book’s backbone, but every page holds other treasures in the form of advice, inspiration and some literary tidbits.

Musicians practice. Athletes practice. Writers should too. The daily writing prompts make practicing seamless. Writing from a prompt, Judy says, is like having someone provide the music when you want to dance.

A Writer’s Book of Days is $16.95 — less on sites like Amazon.

–Claire Yezbak Fadden

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Where can writers go to network? Get information on the writing biz? Get feedback on work and hone their skills? A writers conference, of course. Here in San Diego, there are two, usually in January or February. I went to both last year. San Diego State University (SDSU) sponsors a large event with scads of classes, fancy folders, and agents from all over the country http://www.ces.sdsu.edu/writers/. The information I absorbed at the conference helped me to develop my writing career in both fiction and nonfiction arenas, but truthfully, for me, this conference was a bit like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hose (trite, but the description fits).  The agents, editors, and presenters were swamped with writers tugging at their shirt tails, and I felt overwhelmed.

The Southern California Writers’ Conference (SCWC) offered fewer classes, but the smaller number of participants made the presenters and agents more approachable www.WritersConference.com. The atmosphere was more relaxed and not only made workshop information easier to digest, it created a clearing for writers to develop lasting relationships of support and comradary. I met writers last year that still keep in touch via Facebook and email.

I’m not saying one conference is better than the other. Both have merits. Depending where my projects are in their development at the end of 2010, I may choose to attend the SDSU- read “Big City” – Writers’ Conference.

But this February, I look forward to seeing some familiar faces and to showing around the Page a Day Writers Group at the SCWC conference. I can’t wait to learn from great classes given by accomplished writers (including Kirsten Imani Kasai!) and other professionals. I know I’ll meet lots more scribes on their way up in the writing world, and we’ll spend late nights sharing snippets of prose for kudos and critique to continue the endless journey of enriching our craft.

If you’re a writer and you’ve never been to a conference, or you’ve attended conferences, but it’s been a while, what are you waiting for? You’re bound to learn a lot and meet some interesting people. Maybe you’ll make some great connections with other writers, find an agent to market your book, get some insight on how to strengthen your project or flesh out an idea.

So do some cyber surfing for a conference near you, and take the plunge!

It’s been at least five years since I attended my very first writers’ conference. I was much younger then. A wide-eyed hopeful, soaking in as much information as I could. Good thing I didn’t know how much I didn’t know.

This February, I’m attending the Southern California Writers’ Conference in San Diego. And I’m going one better. I’m ready (I think) to submit my novel for an advance reading. I feel a little bit like a novice swimmer who insists on jumping into the deep end of the pool.

I’ll mail two copies of the first 10 pages of my labor of love, creativity and frustration to an editor/agent of my choice. As a mom of three, it’s sorta like sending my kid off to camp for the first time. I think I’ve prepared him well enough, but I won’t know for sure until he comes back.

And what can I expect for my additional $50 fee. “This is a unique opportunity to receive substantive one-on-on evaluation of your work,” says the brochure. At the very least, I’m expecting a professional, impartial, real-world review of my novel.

I hope I’m ready for that. But the phrase: “If you don’t want the answer, don’t ask the question” continues to roll through my mind.

Claire Yezbak Fadden


Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

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