Writing Conferences & Book Festivals by Jackie Rod

    Writing Conferences & Book Festivals by Jackie Rod3-free-dragonfly-clip-art-s

Recently I attended the NOLASTARS writing conference in Shreveport, Louisiana.  It was a delightful experience.  Well organized from the first hour until the last minute, it offered other attendees and me an opportunity  to renew our creative spirits.  The delicious food let visitors know the locals take dining seriously.  Workshops showed me new wrinkles of old ideas.  Generous agents/editors shared their time and asked for lots of submissions.

One of the most recognized names at the conference, Barbara Vey is a contributing editor for Publishers Weekly and travels across the country, covering book festivals, writing conferences, and DragonCon.  She is one of my favorite people on the planet.  Barbara brings readers and writers together with her popular blog, “Beyond Her Book.”  At the conference she shared her insights into the changing industry and explained the best way to build a platform and gain name recognition.  Her infectious laugh captured the audience as she went over a “do and don’t” list.  I agree with her.  I’m careful about what I put on the internet and try to be courteous, gracious, and positive at all times.  She reminded everyone to enjoy our time with other writers, but remember our fan base, the readers.

Writing conferences are great sources of education, inspiration, fun, and friendship.  The workshops provide writers new insight into honing our craft and making us better artists.  Whatever our weakness–characterization, dialogue, POV–we can find a program to improve our skills.  I plan to attend writing conferences as often as I can.

The energy of teachers and other writers inspires us to go forward and create a better product.  When life interferes, we must set our priorities and continue writing at some level.  We must stay focused on our goals, set a time limit on projects and periodically review the status of our work.

Don’t forget to have fun.  We must share our enthusiasm with other readers and writers.  Good stories come from life, so get out there and live a full life.  Learn a new skill—become a better dancer, a golfer.  Let’s travel more and see the beauty of the world.

I strive to stay connected to old friends and continue to make new ones.  A friend may be a neighbor, a fellow church or club member, or anyone who does nice things for me.  When we offer to help others, we will be helping ourselves.   Spending time with friends will make me a better person and a better writer.  I treasure those who make me who I am.

Writing conferences and book festivals enrich our lives, so I encourage you to add these two fun activities to your to-do list. Yes, I hope to see you there and talk to you about that jewel of a book you want to polish and publish.  You have a book in you, and the world is waiting to hear your story.

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18 Comments

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18 responses to “Writing Conferences & Book Festivals by Jackie Rod

  1. Jackie, NOLASTARS sounds like so much fun! I wish I could have gone with you! Next year for sure. I look forward to seeing all the exciting books Gilded Dragonfly will publish.

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  2. Good Tuesday morning, Jackie! I love the folks in NOLA. Barbara Vey is a cool and savvy lady.

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  3. I just attended a writing workshop sponsored by the Hot Springs Village Writers Club. Roland Mann led a workshop on writing unique characters. Now that’s my bag! I’ve written leprechauns, angels, djinns, ghosts, and assorted unique characters. I must say, Roland didn’t mean characters quite that unique, but still…. I’ve attended conferences where the speakers were interesting lecturers, but this is the first one where we actually wrote, passed the paper and wrote some more, passed the paper and wrote even more. It was a unique session that changed my perspective about developing characters. Lots to think about!

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    • Jackie Rod

      Melba & Mary,
      Thanks for your endorsement of NOLASTARS. Yes, we must go to the NOLA bootcamp/workshops in March, 2014.

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      • Jackie Rod

        Nancy, The Hot Springs Village workshop with Roland Mann sounds great! I absolutely love a “hands-on” workshop where I can hone my writing skills. Thanks for dropping by and sharing this info with all our fellow writers.

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  4. Martha Brown

    Thank you for giving such a thorough account of the NOLASTARS conference. Your enthusiasm has inspired me to look for the next learning opportunity. The world is, after all, our best classroom and your point is well taken about experiencing new skills, meeting new people and socializing with friends.
    You’re the best!

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    • Jackie Rod

      Thanks for your encouraging words, Martha. You are so right–the world is the best classroom. Good writers are great observers of life.

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  5. Great blog post on NOLASTARS! I’ll add it to my list of “places to go for book conferences.”

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    • Jackie Rod

      Brian, NOLASTARS is having a weekend bootcamp/workshop in March next year. We should all take a road trip and attend. 🙂

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  6. hamerse

    We were so glad you came, Jackie, and hope that we’ll see more of you in 2014 and 2015. NOLA Stars works hard to create a fantastic conference and we’re so fortunate to have such a great volunteer core to put these extravaganzas together.

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  7. Jackie Rod

    Thanks to you and all the NOLA STARS members for making the stars shine on Louisiana. 🙂

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  8. I enjoyed your post, Jackie. Conferences are a wonderful way to network and make new friends. They also offer lots of opportunity to learn the craft of writing. I’m glad you had a great time at the conference and wish I could’ve attended. Maybe, next year!!!

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    • Jackie Rod

      Thanks for your kind remarks, Pam. Yes, writing workshops and conferences help us hone our craft. Next year we will get together and do a road trip to Louisiana. 🙂

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  9. Sounds like a wonderful conference. Wish I could have been there.

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  10. Jackie, thanks for bringing Nola Stars to our attention. Conferences and workshops are an awesome way to keep connected, and they are so much fun….

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  11. i agree conferences are great. an exciting way to meet people, see friends and learn

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    • Jackie Rod

      Conferences are a great way to learn and network with other writers. It’s so exciting to be around people who love this business. Casi and Yasi you’re good role models for me.

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