Friday, October 5, 2012

What's Your Convention Personality?

The Kansas Authors state convention is this week-end. I've been on the planning end of this one for the past two years. Writers from all parts of our state will be attending. The theme this year is "Encouraging Words" which covers a lot of territory. Writers can spread encouraging words with whatever they write. Readers receive encouraging words when they read the novels, stories, article and poetry the writers offer. Writers need the encouraging words spread at a week-end conference like this. We used a play on words from the song "Home on the Range." You know the one that has a line that says, ...not a discouraging word...  We turned it into a more positive but are keeping with the Kansas theme of the place where the buffalo once roamed (and still do in a few areas in our state), where the wheat fields dot the landscape along with tallgrass prairie, the Flint Hills, and the flatter lands of western Kansas.

I've been thinking about how people participate at writing conferences, whether they are attended by small numbers or large. Some sit and absorb, taking copious notes, but never offer an opinion or thought when they attend the workshops. Others are more vocal and share their knowledge and experiences in the writing world with no urging.

Some network like mad with the other writers while others sit quietly and listen. Like all things, there are myriad personalities in our writing world. Some people write because they enjoy working on their own, are perfectly happy in a quiet one-person atmosphere. Others need that personal contact that these conferences offer. Both can benefit.

Whichever personality you are, there is much to be gained from the workshops and keynote speakers. For the quiet people, I would urge you to step out of your comfort zone and participate fully in the workshops. And for the more vocal, reach out to the quieter people, draw them into the conversation. A writers convention or conference is meant to enrich your writing world. Enjoy the time spent in workshops, the gathering together for meals or maybe a glass of wine, at the Read-Arounds and in the Hospitality Room.

This is the schedule of workshops we have lined up. Wish you could all be there.

Saturday Workshop Presenters:
Nancy Julien Kopp [graphic dot]“Creative Nonfiction & Writing for Anthologies"
Mark Bouton 
[graphic dot]“Let's Write a Novel”
Kevin Rabas
 [graphic dot]“Writing Flash Fiction and Narrative Poems”
Judy Entz
 [graphic dot]“In the Know Concerning Self-publishing”
Ann Zimmerman
 [graphic dot]“Songwriting Should Not Be Left to the Pros”
Jim Hoy [graphic dot]
“Serendipity, the Writer's Best Friend”[graphic dot]“Finding Gold in the Flint Hills or Wherever You Live" 
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
 [graphic dot]“These are the Materials; the Transformative Power of Fiction” & Keynote:[graphic dot]“Wreckage, Wonder and Ways Through the Impossible; Writing Life's Hard Stuff in Poetry, Fiction and Non Fiction"

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