I fancy myself a writer.

Conventions & Conferences

Keep That Smile: The Booker Wright Story

"Finding Booker's Place" aired on Dateline NBC

“Finding Booker’s Place” aired on Dateline NBC July 15, 2012.

This afternoon, I had the opportunity to attend a presentation titled, Keep that Smile: The Booker Wright Story at Moraine Park Technical College in West Bend, Wisconsin. The presentation was conducted by Booker Wright’s granddaughter, writer and filmmaker Yvette Johnson.

Booker Wright was an African-American waiter who worked in a white-only restaurant in Greenwood, Mississippi in the early 1960’s. In 1965, he appeared in a short NBC television documentary titled, Mississippi: A Self Portrait: (more…)

Write on the World wins Sigma Tau Delta Individual Blog Award

Guess what, everyone – You are officially reading an award-winning blog! This morning, I found out Write on the World won the Sigma Tau Delta – International English Honor Society Individual Blog Award at the 2012-2013 Convention that took place in Portland, Oregon in March.

Sigma Tau Delta presents awards “annually in the areas of writing, performance, service, and website and blog construction.” According to their website, “individual blogs are judged on creativity, usability of design, and content, as well as how well they support or advance the purposes and principles of Sigma Tau Delta as outlined in the Society’s Constitution.” (more…)

AWP 2012 | Creative Writing in the Real World

Creative writing class-fine arts center (40269...

Creative writing class-fine arts center (402690951) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it April already? I meant to write a ton of compelling blog posts about all of the sessions I attended at the March 2012 APW Convention in Chicago, but I didn’t get past describing the first session. Although I’m a bit behind, I think a lot of the lessons I learned at the convention are essential. So today, I’ll take a peek backward and tell you about the second session I attended, titled, “Out There and In Here: Creative Writing in the Real World.”

This session was presented by Abby Bardi, Rick Kemp, Janice Meer, and Adeena Reitberger in the Astoria room of the Hilton Chicago. The AWP’s official description of the session follows: (more…)

AWP 2012 | Now That’s a Novel Idea: Marketability (Gasp!) and Creative Writing Programs (Part 4)

Novel & Short Story Writer's Market

Image via Wikipedia

Welcome to Part 4 of my blog series on the 2012 AWP Conference session titled, Now That’s a Novel Idea: Marketability (Gasp!) and Creative Writing Programs. I’m assuming you’ve at least read my introductory post, so I’ll just jump right in today and talk about the panelists’ views on query letters and agent-hunting.

First of all, what is a query letter, and why do you need one? Well, these days most publishers do not want to see your entire novel manuscript if they don’t already have a working relationship with you. In most cases, they want nothing more than a query letter, and possibly a short synopsis. The publisher will then use that information to decide if they think it’s worth their time to request a copy of the full manuscript. So, it’s important to write a query letter that really sells your manuscript.

Our session panelists provided the following tips for writing an effective query letter: (more…)

AWP 2012 | Now That’s a Novel Idea: Marketability (Gasp!) and Creative Writing Programs (Part 2)

Hilton Chicago

Hilton Chicago (Photo credit: Diorama Sky)

Yesterday, I began my discussion on the 2012 AWP Conference session titled, “Now That’s a Novel Idea: Marketability (Gasp!) and Creative Writing Programs.” Today I’d like to share some of the panelists’ advice on approaching the early stages of writing a novel.

Before I start, I should tell you that I arrived at this session late after getting lost trying to find my way to registration upon arriving at the conference. So, I missed out on the introductions and am unable to attribute some of the quotes I wrote down during the session. (Thankfully, I’m no journalist; otherwise I would probably be in big trouble!) I’ll do my best to give credit where credit is due, but if I get something wrong, please tell me so I can fix it.

One of the speakers at this session recommends that you write a synopsis of your novel early in the process to make sure you have a clear picture of what your novel is about. The synopsis will also help you sell your story to potential buyers (agents, editors, publishers, etc.) Remember, they won’t be interested in your novel if you can’t sufficiently tell them what the novel is about. (more…)

AWP 2012 | Now That’s a Novel Idea: Marketability (Gasp!) and Creative Writing Programs (Part 1)

publish #01

publish #01 (Photo credit: mediamolecule)

It’s been more than a week since I attended the 2012 Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference and Book Fair in Chicago, IL. So far, I’ve only barely scratched the surface of the convention. Today I’d like to dive into my notes and talk about one session I attended, which was titled, “Now That’s a Novel Idea: Marketability (Gasp!) and Creative Writing Programs.” (more…)

AWP 2012 Overview

Chicago 8

This looks exactly like some of the rooms where I spent last weekend! | Chicago 8 (Photo credit: penmanila)

I had to miss class Saturday morning to make it to the 2012 AWP Conference and Book Fair in Chicago. My Narratology instructor encourages students in our professional writing program to attend such events, so he was okay with a few of us missing class just this once. However, he asked that we each write a review of the conference and discuss what our biggest takeaways were so we could share the experience with our classmates who couldn’t make it.

I thought my review, with a few revisions, would make a good blog post for today considering I’m always short on writing time on Wednesdays (I teach 2 classes on Wednesdays.) Enjoy… (more…)

AWP 2012 Conference – Chicago

The Palmer House Hilton

The lobby of the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago - Image via Wikipedia

Well, I returned safely from my quick two days at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ 2012 Conference and Book Fair in Chicago. The conference was a whirlwind of activity with over 10,000 attendees filling ballrooms at both the Chicago Hilton and the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Windy City.

I came home with a good 10 – 15 pages of notes on the sessions I attended at the conference, so there’s no way I will hit it all in one blog post. But I do have a lot of useful information I’d like to share with my readers, so I think I will just touch on some of the surface fluff for today and then do a series of posts discussing the down and dirty writing stuff I picked up.

Since I wasn’t able to make it to Chicago until Friday afternoon (I was teaching a class Friday morning,) they were all out of AWP tote bags and conference programs by the time I arrived. So, I was a little disoriented trying to find my way around. By the way, I’d love to get my hands on a program still, so if you went and happen to have an extra one, I’d gladly take it off your hands!

I went to a couple of sessions Friday and then went out to eat with a professor and one of her friends at the Tamarind (I’m planning a restaurant review blog post too, so stay tuned for more info on that) before heading back to my room for the night.  (more…)

Windy city-bound today

English: Author Margaret Atwood attends a read...

I’m off to the Windy City today for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ (AWP) 2012 Annual Conference and Book Fair. This year’s conference includes a variety of readings from published authors, a keynote address by author Margaret Atwood (pictured at right,) and a plethora of educational sessions. There are so many options to choose from, I’m having a hard time deciding which to do. But here’s a quick-list of a few sessions I’m hoping to hit today: (more…)