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Conferring and Conferences

There's been a lot happening on Saturdays the past six weeks. A lot.

It started with The Authors' Zone writing conference held in Pittsburgh on September 10, 2016. I made some good connections there and found inspiration. I learned a few things, too, which is always good.

Then, on October 1, I participated in a "Meet the Authors" book signing event hosted by Leana's Books & More at Shenango Valley Mall in Hermitage, PA. It was great to meet so many regional authors and talk to interested readers.

On October 15, I journeyed on a journey to Erie, PA with fellow writer, Laura Lovic-Lindsay, to attend Pennwriters Area 1's fourth annual A Writer’s Road Trip writer’s conference. We were on the road from a little after 5 a.m. and didn't get home until late in the evening. It was a glorious day. The weather was so perfect that we climbed to the top of a tower and saw all the way to Canada on the other side of Lake Erie. A "Hunter's Moon" followed us home. The workshops were very interesting and I was able to grow my network of writers. I was lucky enough to win a basket raffle and that's not all. There was a "one-page" contest where conference attendees entered one page of writing. I entered a poem "Google Earth". Everyone who attended had one ballot to vote for their favorite piece. Laura won a gift card to B&N for third place, and I was very surprised to get first place. My prize is a free conference next year. I must admit that I felt excited, humble, and grateful...all scrambled together.

October 22 was yet another wonderful conference in Pittsburgh. If it wasn't for a glimpse of the sidebar on my Facebook page on the 16th, I wouldn't have known about it. I told my Tuesday writing group and there four of us signed up. One brought a friend. Conversations and Connections was hosted at Chatham College and sponsored by Barrelhouse Magazine. I was shocked at how affordable the conference was and how extremely useful all the sessions were. Included with the price of the conference was a ten minute one-on-one meeting with an editor. That was quite beneficial and inspires me to do more writing and submitting.

Beyond conferences, the past six weeks has also been full of other meetings. Of course I met with my local weekly and monthly writing groups, but also with a few authors who I'm working with on a few different projects, and also with an illustrator who is doing some amazing work with a bilingual picture book that I wrote.

Another event that proved to be very fulfilling was an author talk I gave at a local retirement facility on September 27. The residents seemed to enjoy the program and many of them had questions and showed great interest. It was good to connect with people who appreciate books and writing. Most of them were avid readers, a few had been writers, and of course there was one who decided to be a heckler. That's ok, though...kept it real and added to the interest.

One of the biggest projects I'm working on, though, is a Writers Micro Con, a one-day writing conference. I've run a couple in the past and am planning one for Saturday, February 25th, 2017. It's shaping up to be a truly fantastic event. Watch for details...coming soon!

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