Places/Conferences writers

Five Reasons to Go To A Writers Conference

I enjoyed the James River Writers Conference in Richmond last weekend, and am combing through my notes for all the good ideas I wanted to apply. There are a lot of them, but they’re all lining up after the non-fiction proposal I have to finish and send. The best part of the conference was just being around so many other people who loved to write. We could talk writing morning, noon, and night, and no one started yawning after the first sentence!

Whether you’re an established writer or just getting started, a writers conference is a great place to be. Here are five good reasons to go:

  1. Meet agents, editors, and publishers, and maybe even pitch your ideas to them. Conferences are one of the few times you can catch them away from Mt. Olympus.
  2. Rub shoulders with the pros– people who are earning a living through writing. Ask questions and really listen to the answers. They have a lot of wisdom to share.
  3. Hone your craft. Attend workshop that will make you a better writer, then go home and apply what you’ve learned.
  4. Learn about the business end of being a writer. It is a business, you know!
  5. Hang out with writers, and easily open any conversation with “What do you write?” How many other opportunities do you have to talk writing with people who actually have a clue? Even if you’re an introvert, you can join in the fun.

Emyl Jenkins: I’ll Miss You

Emyl Jenkins, author of the Sterling Glass mystery series.It’s always a shock to pick up a newspaper and find a friend’s face looking out from under a headline such as “Author, writing mentor Emyl Jenkins, 68, dies.” It wasn’t that we were super-close everyday friends– we mostly met at writing events. Emyl, you see, was special. She was the first person who introduced herself when I first joined James River Writers, and I discovered that once she knew someone, she was never too busy to chat. We exchanged occasional e-mails and enjoyed catching up when whenever we met.

I enjoyed Emyl’s sense of humor in her two Sterling Glass mysteries, The Big Steal and Stealing with Style, and I’m glad I have them in my library (you can read a review of the first one at my NAIWE blog). They’ll always remind me of their author, a gracious Southern lady whose warmth and kindness brightened Richmond for far too short a time.

Requiescat in pace, Emyl. Thank you for everything.