While making the myriad preparations for an upcoming trip, I realized I had not yet published my post on the last conference I attended. So here it is.

Central Coast Writer’s Conference

I attended the Central Coast Writer’s Conference held annually in San Luis Obispo, California in September. It was a new conference for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Each of the workshops I attended was timely for me in some way; I either made a new contact or took away a tool to use in my writing projects.

Critique Session

Like many writer’s conferences I’ve attended, part of the conference fee, includes a critique session with one of the author/presenters. I chose Rachael Herron. She gave the keynote speech on the first morning and she is an amazing, dynamic speaker, full of energy and humour, not to mention wisdom and knowledge about the writing and publishing worlds.

All who attended the keynote received her book on writing memoir. An area of non-fiction I might like to try once I either need a break from fiction or have written and exhausted my fiction ideas. (Not going to happen, but non-fiction and memoir do appeal to me.)

For the critique session, we were asked to email three pages of our work a week ahead so the one giving feedback could go over it ahead of time. When I sat down with her, she was very positive. She gave me a couple of suggestions, but in all, she said it was really good and ready to go. She really encouraged me to continue with the manuscript and submit it. That took all of five minutes from the 15-minute allotment for the critique session. So I got her to sign my copy of her book, and we chatted about writing in general. She asked me where I was on marketing and I told her about my website/blog and newsletter. She seemed impressed that I have done so much work. I left that session very excited and feel a new fire underneath me to get back to finishing it.

Historical Research

The next session of note was a workshop on Researching the Historical Novel. The presenter was M. R. Arnold who wrote the novel Monster: The Story of Young Mary Shelley. ( I mentioned this encounter in a previous post here.) He discussed his research methods and I have some very good takeaways that I can incorporate into the organization of my research. I had an opportunity to chat with him later in the afternoon and discussed my historical novel project. He seemed very interested and even said he would buy my book when it came out.

Again, I was very excited. Now to get my first one done, the contemporary thriller, then the historical novel will be next. I am at the stage where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with this project and part of me is itching to get on with the historical novel.

Those were the two high moments for me at this conference. These are the gem-like moments that arise while meeting fellow travellers on this crazy creative journey to being published.It was well worth the financial investment of going. So much so, that I’m going to make just such a trip again.

In February, I will be attending another writers’ conference, near San Francisco, California. I have attended a few conferences now, but this will be the first with a Christian writing and publishing focus. I am quite excited.

4 thoughts on “Central Coast Writer’s Conference”

  1. The session with M.R. Arnold about historical research sounds great! I’ve been to a couple of different sessions at various conferences about this because I’ll be forever interested in how others approach research for their novel. BTW, I read the book, Romantic Outlaws, featuring Mary Shelley and Mary Wollestonecraft, and it was FANTASTIC. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

    1. Hi Tessa, Thanks for your comment and the book recommendation, I will check it out. It was a great workshop. We compared notes on spreadsheet use during our chat after the class, very encouraging. cheers

    1. Hello Paish, Thanks for commenting on my post. Yes, travel and writing are a nice combination indeed. Not to mention the visit with Beth. It was so good, we’re doing it all over again in February at another conference. hugs

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