Wednesday, April 1, 2015
The Madison Conference
In 2013, when I first began writing TWELVE THOUSAND MORNINGS, I set a goal for myself: have the book published and ready to take to the best writing conference in the Midwest. I'd been to Writers' Institute at UW Madison twice before--the first time, I met my fabulous agent, April Eberhardt, and the second time, she and I were invited to give a presentation on our non-traditional agent/author relationship.
I met my goal, launching TTM on March 12, and left for Madison, books in tow, on March 26th. In the photo above, I am behind the table (gray sweater & pearls) and April is standing to my left. This was the opening ceremony, with all presenters on stage.
The weekend was terrific. I can't say enough about how well-organized this conference is. Laurie Scheer and her team are efficient, thorough, and unfailingly cheerful and polite. The venue (Madison Concourse Hotel) is lovely, and the presentations are interesting, informative, and cater to beginning writers as well as those with a lot of experience. I wish I had been able to go to every presentation offered.
In addition to a talk that April and I gave on our continued work together, I also gave two workshops, one titled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective (Imaginary) Characters" and another on "Editing for the Faint of Heart." In this second presentation, I stressed the need for proofreading and editing, since poorly edited work is bad news for everyone. I'm pleased to say that all my advice was well-received, and I came home feeling quite proud.
In addition to the honor of being an instructor at this excellent conference, I also had the pleasure of seeing one of my short stories published in the literary journal (Midwest Prairie Review) associated with Writers' Institute. The minute I got home, I showed my husband the high-quality print journal, pointing out my story with great delight.
And there is where I learned once again that the old adage "pride goeth before a fall" applies as ever, for smack in the middle of my story sat the ugly toad of a major typo. I cringe thinking of the people who took notes in my editing lecture finding that error and wondering why I don't follow my own advice.