Friday, February 28, 2014

Entry # 202 - "Writers' Conferences Are Good For You"

Maybe - Peggy's Cove - Photo Credit  - Jim Wilson - 2013
Writing is a solitary enterprise for the most part. Upon occasion, all writers should go to some kind of writing conference.  It is an enlightening experience. Meeting other writers is good for you. Most writers spend hours staring at their computer screens or journals. Many of us talk to ourselves while we work. A few of us sing softly under our breath and our families worry about us.  After too much time alone we need to rise up and connect with other writers for the sake of our work and our sanity. We need to find some like-minded solitary souls for support and information. We can not exist in isolation all the time.

So look within your local writing community and see how you can connect. There are always people writing. If you don't know how to connect, do an Internet search, go to your state's writing groups and join an association, or go to a local coffee shop, work up your courage, and go over and talk with that quiet person typing away on a laptop. Don't be a pain - just ask if they are a writer and what kind of writing they like to do - then play it from there. 

Most of us who write are quiet, shy, introverted folk who don't do well with public displays of inquiry, but writers do tend to recognize kindred spirits. And most are gentle people who want to help - in fact - most are longing to help with the kind of hot enthusiasm that you will encounter in an interaction with a dedicated librarian - since they (writers & librarians) tend to be quiet people who love books, ideas, and helping people discover information.

Last Saturday, February 22, 2014, I attended my fifth or sixth Bay to Ocean (BTO) Writers Conference sponsored by the Eastern Shore Writers Association at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD. It was time well spent.  I recommend this conference. Go online if you live in the DELMARVA area, but you'll need to sign up early next December, because it sells out fast and they close the sign up after they have two hundred applicants. So look around in your community and see how you can find other writers who are doing what you love to do. . . which is to write and write some more. Then go and share with others. It's good for you.
Peggy's Cove - Photo Credit - Jan Bowman - 2013
About Jan Bowman
Winner of the 2011 Roanoke Review Fiction Award, Jan's stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best American Short Stories, and a Pen/O’Henry award.  Glimmer Train named a recent story as Honorable Mention in the November 2012 Short Story Awards for New Writers.

A recent story was a finalist for the 2013 Broad River Review RASH Award for Fiction, another story was a 2013 finalist in the Phoebe Fiction Contest; another was a 2012 finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest.  Jan’s fiction has appeared in numerous publications including, Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, The Broadkill Review, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato Eyes and others.   She is working on two collections of short stories while shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection, Mermaids & Other Stories.  She has nonfiction publications in Trajectory and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of “Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and publishers.   Learn more at: or  visit blog:

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