Authenticity, Vulnerability, and Synchronicity: My 2017 Writer’s Digest Conference Story

Wow. Was Writer’s Digest Conference really three weeks ago? Somehow it seems longer ago than that (maybe because I caught a cold on the final day, so it took a couple weeks to resume my normal routine). Yet I still remember that weekend as clearly as the last book I read – because the ideas and lessons I carried home this time struck very close to the heart.

It’s not right, then,  to write this year’s report as an in-depth overview like I did for last year’s. Instead, I’d like to share why WDC 2017 was so meaningful to me, more so than the 2016 or 2015 editions. So if you’re interested in learning about (or refreshing your memory of) the conference format, venue,  and range of writing and publishing topics, check out last year’s post. Otherwise, let’s start not at the beginning, but at the moment when the impact of this conference first began to sink in.
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Field Trip: Writer’s Digest Conference 2016

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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.
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5 on the 5th: Five Things I’ve Learned in the Past Year

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On the fifth day of each month, 5 on the 5th shares five of something that I like or recommend to readers. Whether it’s five items that share a common theme, or five reasons why I like the topic at hand, this monthly meme gives us an opportunity to talk about other subjects that aren’t normally discussed here at the blog. 

This might sound like a more appropriate post for New Year’s. But when I launched 5 on the 5th earlier this year, I realized what I was setting myself up for in September. And… well, I’m not the kind of person who runs around announcing her birthday to the world. (FYI: I HATE being sung to by a wait staff at a restaurant. It makes me want to curl up and hide.)

Last year’s birthday, however, was a milestone as well as a day of reflection. I thought back on the things I was grateful for, the lessons I’d learned, the goals I’m working towards – and it evoked a sense of wonder, excitement, and bravery for the future. I’d like to do that again this year through this month’s 5 on the 5th. Here are five things I’ve learned in the past year. Continue reading

Field Trip: The Muse And The Marketplace 2015

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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.
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Field Trip: WANACon February 2014

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In some ways, WANACon doesn’t count as a field trip in the true sense of the phrase. (Click here to read my “promo” article for WANACon.) It’s an online writing conference you can attend from the comforts of home, someone else’s house, a cafe – wherever you can bring your laptop and find a wifi connection. However, it meant two days of geeking out and investing time and money into learning more about the craft of writing, something I’m more than thrilled to do. I may have been at home and in front of my laptop for much of the time, but in my head I was seated in crowded classrooms and surrounded by other writers who shared my passion and excitement. I took flurries of notes, listened to each presenter with rapt attention, and almost immediately applied what I was learning to my work-in-progress (WIP). In other words, I was far, far away mentally – and I had a blast! Continue reading