It’s almost time for Writer’s Digest Conference, and oh my GOODNESS am I bursting with excitement! One week from now, I’ll be in New York City for this amazing literary conference that’s put on every year by Writer’s Digest magazine. And it’s going to be so much fun!
It doesn’t matter that this will be my fourth time at WDC. The thrill of learning more about the craft and business of writing, connecting with writers, reuniting with editor colleagues and my fellow staff writers at DIY MFA, and spending a few days in the Big Apple never gets old. (Oh, and N.K. Jemisin, one of my favorite authors, is delivering the opening keynote speech! Yay!) And coming from an introvert, that says a lot.
So, way back in August when I was at Writer’s Digest Conference, I joined several of my DIY MFA colleagues for a team podcast recording for DIY MFA Radio. 😀 It was SO much fun, and we talked about WDC, our tips on writing and attending literary conferences, and our DIY MFA “origin stories” (a.k.a. how we became involved with the site). The podcast is finally available for everyone to listen to on DIY MFA’s Patreon page for free. (In other words, you don’t have to be a paying patron to access it.) This episode is also a great resource for writers who are looking for tips on pitching their manuscript to agents.
Last January, a friend gave me this New Year’s party hat. The timing for this sparkling “gift” couldn’t have been more appropriate: I was ready to send a YA fantasy novel to beta-readers, and 3 weeks into a crowdfunding campaign to help me afford a trip to the Iceland Writers Retreat. Not to mention I had a whole list of goals and plans for 2017, and if things worked out the way I’d hoped, maybe I’d be closer to my dream of being published by year’s end – a pretty good “best year ever.”
Today, that hat still sits in my writing space (a.k.a. my dining room table), and I’m no closer to being published than I was a year ago. But that doesn’t mean 2017 was “not the best year ever.” Rather, it turned out much differently than I thought it would.
Was it challenging? Absolutely. Discouraging? At times, yes. But it was also one of the most exciting, inspiring, and humbling years I’ve had the privilege of living.
For all those reasons, I can’t write this annual reflection post in the same way I’ve written those of past years. Instead of focusing on milestones, blog statistics, and defined plans that could change in a few months, I’d like to share what I learned this past year. How certain events sent my mental health spiraling and shook my faith and self-confidence. How other events and important choices helped me heal and made me look at life – even why I write – from a different perspective. How it all, in the end, reminded me that I’m intelligent, creative, and determined enough to rebound from setbacks. Continue reading
Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the December holidays and had a fun, safe end to 2016. 🙂
Looking back on the year, one of the words that comes to mind is “growth.” This site especially was booming. Thanks to all your shares, likes, and comments, 2016’s stats in terms of page views and visitors doubled 2015’s. And that’s despite the fact that I slowed my blogging schedule to once a week. I may be the one who writes and runs this site, but you, the readers, deserve much of the credit.
So, thank you for stopping by and coming back, for sharing your thoughts and offering feedback, for spreading the word and celebrating milestones with me. But most of all, thank you for encouraging and inspiring me. Yes. You inspire me to be not only the best writer I can be, but also my best and fullest self. And for that, I’m truly grateful.
So, let’s get to the annual year-end wrap-up, along with some quotes that reflect my feelings about 2016 and my hopes for 2017.
Now that all of the late-summer busyness has passed, I finally have some time to tell you about this year’s Writer’s Digest Conference! And what an amazing four days it was. In fact, I think it topped the 2015 edition!
With this post, I’ll give a general overview of WDC 2016, including which sessions I enjoyed most and what I learned. Last year I did a trio of posts for DIY MFA; and while I would have liked to have covered the conference for the site again this year, it wasn’t possible with my friend’s wedding 2 weeks later. The good thing is, waiting to do this post has given me time to digest (no pun intended) everything I absorbed that weekend and feel grateful for continuing to invest in my writing career.
You might remember that I went to last year’s Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City, and had an absolute blast. So, guess what? I’m already planning to go back this year! 😀
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a enjoyable and safe end to your 2015; and would like to wish you the best in health, love, and creativity for 2016.
Also, I know I keep thanking you, the readers, for helping to make this blog what it has become… But, honestly, YOU deserve so much of the credit. Thank you for commenting on each post, sharing your thoughts and ideas, and sharing the links on your own blogs and on social media. Most importantly, thank you for your enthusiasm, encouragement, and thoughtful feedback. You put a smile on my face every day I’m here. 🙂
I used last year’s Happy New Year post to sort of “wrap up” the 2014 highlights for the blog and for me personally, and to look ahead to 2015. Since I was happy with the final product, I’ll do the same again for this year’s:
I’ve been ITCHING to share this with you for the past few months. However, I wanted to wait until everything was in order before I said anything. Now, all the necessary reservations have been made, and I’m thrilled to tell you that I’ll be in New York City this July and August for the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference!
Sponsored by one of the most renowned writing resources on the planet, the Writer’s Digest Conference is designed to offer a balanced education in both the craft of writing and the business of being a writer, all in an encouraging, inspiring environment. In addition to a schedule chock full of sessions that range in topic from promotion and author platforms to genre studies, there will also be book signings, keynote addresses, and exhibit tables. And for an additional fee, attendees can participate in the Pitch Slam, where writers can pitch their stories to preferred agents or editors in person and receive feedback.
I’ve said before that I want to visit the literary conference circuit whenever I can now that I’m taking my novel-writing more seriously. Writer’s Digest seems like the perfect opportunity to branch out to events outside of my local area (Greater Boston) without traveling too far. Plus, look at the schedule! It’s almost impossible to not fill your entire day with sessions because of how promising they sound. I’m especially looking forward to the Breaking In panel, where first-time novels will share their experiences; Hallie Ephron’s “Setting: More Than Creating a Sense of Place”; Rebecca McClanahan’s “Word Painting: The Fine Art of Writing Descriptively”: and N.K. Jemisin’s “Growing Your Iceberg: Crafting a Secondary World That Feels Ancient.” Yes, N.K. Jemisin the fantasy writer. I haven’t read her novels yet, but so many people have recommended them to me that I CANNOT pass up this session. 😀
The other reason why I’m attending is to root on my DIY MFA bosses Gabriela Pereira and Bess Cozby, who will be presenting at Writer’s Digest this year. Which reminds me: If you’re considering going to this year’s conference, DIY MFA is offering a special coupon code that will give you $25 dollars off the registration. Anyone who uses this code will also be invited to a special meet-up that Gabriela is planning. (And yes, I hope to be there, too!) Click here to access the coupon code.
Anyone else planning to attend this year’s Writer’s Digest Conference? If you’ve attended it in years past, what did you think of it? Let me know by commenting on this post. I’d love to meet up with you if you’re going!
What an excellent way of getting back into the literary conference swing! The Muse & The Marketplace 2015 (a.k.a. #Muse15) was this past weekend in Boston, Massachusetts – and though I was only able to attend on Friday, I absolutely loved it! In fact, as I was walking from Park Plaza Hotel (where the conference was held) to the Back Bay train station that evening, the first thought that bubbled into my mind was, “I HAVE to go all three days next year!” 🙂
So, yes, #Muse15 was a fantastic learning, networking, and confidence-building experience. Here’s my report on Friday’s events, from the general conference details, to the presentations I attended, to lessons learned and tips for attending future conferences.
It’s been over a year since I attended my last literary conference. Which is hard to believe, because I love those kinds of events. They’re such fantastic opportunities to learn about writing and the publishing industry, discover authors whose books you haven’t read before, and network with other writers, bloggers, etc. And earlier this year, I decided that if I truly want to take my writing career seriously, I should invest my time and money wisely in conferences and other events I’m able to attend.
So, I’m thrilled about finally going to Muse and the Marketplace this year! Coordinated by the non-for-profit writing organization Grub Street, this three-day conference in Boston, MA offers lectures, guided writing sessions, and discussion forums about writing, publishing, book promotion, and networking with agents, editors, and other writers. It also offers the Manuscript Mart (where agents or editors review the beginning of your manuscript), Shop Talk Lunch (where you dine and socialize with your choice of Muse presenters and attendees), keynote addresses, book signings, open mics, and much more.
Muse and the Marketplace 2015 (also known as #Muse15, which you can follow on Twitter) will be held on Friday, May 1st through Sunday, May 3rd. I’m only planning to attend on Friday – but I’m fidgeting with excitement for it!
By the way, did you notice that I said #Muse15 is my first conference of the year? There’s a second one that I’m planning to attend over the summer. More on that at a later date. 😉
Anyone else planning to attend the Friday events for Muse and the Marketplace? If you’ve attended it in years past, what did you think of it? Let me know by commenting on this post.