Writing Conferences

Hello Everyone!

Tomorrow I’ll be attending the LDStorymakers Conference and I’m excited for the things I’m going to learn. My posts for the following weeks will be sharing some things that I learned.

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Today I wanted to talk about the benefit of writing conferences.

Writing conferences are not just places where writers can get good continuing education, although that is a big reason why I attend them. They’re places where you can network with other professionals within the field.

Talking with professional authors, editors, and agents is helpful on many levels. You can learn what they have done to become successful or learn what types of genres an editor takes. Things like that can be springboards to your success.

I’m also looking forwards to learning from authors that I admire. I’ll be attending a class where we talk about researching for historical fiction, but going beyond Google. I think that’s the one that I’m most excited for.

If you haven’t attended a writing conference, I would highly recommend finding conferences in your area to go to if they are available. They can make a big difference.

Here are some other posts I’ve made on conferences that I’ve attended if you want to check them out:

“Find the Music that Only You Can Make”

Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers

“Find the Music that Only You Can Make”

So last weekend I attended Salt Lake Comic Con and went to a panel where authors Brandon Mull (author of Fablehaven and Beyonders) and Shannon Hale (author of Princess Academy, Austenland, and Princess in Black) gave writing advice.

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Brandon Mull and Shannon Hale speaking at a panel at Salt Lake Comic Con

One of my favorite things said in the panel is the title of this post: “Find the music that only you can make.” Brandon Mull said this, meaning that we each have our own stories and our own voice. You’re the only one who can create that specific story.

Shannon Hale told us that your draft is like clay. It is not crap. Clay can be molded.

Don’t lose heart when you realize you have to toss out a chunk of your novel. You are getting the story to be the best it can be.

Brandon Mull said that finding your voice means finding the way you want to write.

You can do this.

Move forward with your story and you will create something great out of the clay you now have.

Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers

So on Wednesday I will be attending a workshop at the Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers Conference (WIFYR). I’m super excited because the workshop, entitled Writing Romance in the YA Novel, will be taught by an author that I really admire: Sarah M. Eden.

Sarah is a writer of Regency romance so I enjoy reading her Jane Austen-esque novels.

Needless to say, I can’t wait.

The director of WIFYR was one of my university professors: Carol Lynch Williams.

I want to share a little something about Carol because for me, she’s a lot more than a teacher.

When I was 9-years-old, Carol was one of my favorite authors. She co-wrote a series with another author and I absolutely loved them. My mom took me to our local bookstore to get a couple more books from the series and Carol was there along with her co-author.

Talk about making a child’s day.

I talked with both of them and they signed my books.

Soon after that, I started telling people that I would be a published author someday.

Carol inspired me.

In every autobiography assignment that I had to write for classes, I brought up that event because of the effect it had on me.

Fast forward to November of 2012.

I received an email from the professor of one of my classes for the upcoming semester: Writing for Children and Adolescents.

The email said that we wouldn’t be allowed to write fantasy or science fiction in the class so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay registered for the class, until I reached the end and saw the signature line: Carol Lynch Williams.

Needless to say, I did not transfer to another section of the class.

I couldn’t write what I usually do, but the things I learned help me in my current projects.

To add to that, I met my writing group in Carol’s class.

I honestly can’t thank Carol enough for inspiring me as a child and teaching me as an adult.

Who has inspired you in your writing?

WD