October 8, 2019
by Samantha Hoffman
If you're a writer or an editor or a book publisher, or if you're a reader who wants to be a writer, you need to get yourself to a writers conference. There's no group more supportive and encouraging. You learn, you work, you get motivated, and there's nothing better than being in the company of other writers.
I go to at least one conference every year in some wonderful location.
Here's my memory from the Santa Barbara Writers Conference a few years ago:
What could be better than a writers conference in a place as beautiful as Santa Barbara? That's where I am, posting from my hotel overlooking the ocean. The sun's shining and I'm finished with my workshops for the day, having a glass of wine and getting ready to go downtown on the 25 cent trolley (with free transfers), which is very exciting, as witnessed by one of my fellow passenegers (left).
I haven't been to Santa Barbara in more than 30 years and it's just as beautiful as I remember.
When I run in the morning I feel as if I'm in a time warp; the homeless people sitting on the benches look as if they just hitchhiked back from Woodstock and there are vans parked at the beach painted with peace signs in psychedelic colors. Groovy, man.
The first person I met, at the opening night barbeque, is arguably the craziest person at the conference and I've been trying to avoid her ever since. She told me she writes literary erotica (which sounds like an oxymoron to me but what do I know), and said as soon as she gets published she's leaving her husband. Alrighty then. That's a motivating force.
I just got back from a humor workshop taught by Ernie Witham (very funny writer) where people read some amazingly great stuff. And then, after the engaging, funny stuff someone read a piece about special needs kids which broke our hearts but, excuse me, wasn't funny. Why the heck was she reading it in a humor workshop? Another person read a piece about getting beat up and biting off part of her tongue and having two broken shoulders. Ha, ha. Right?
But we all have our perspective, we're all children of the universe, the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter is aligning with Mars, and all is well with the world. Groovy, my brothah.
Registration for Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference will open on November 1, 2019. Make your own your memories. We'll look forward to reading them.
Writer, editor, personal assistant, private chef, runner (8-time marathoner), film and theatre buff, traveler… Author of What More Could You Wish For (St. Martin's Press). V.P. of the Chicago Writers Association, Executive Director of Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference.
Visit me at www.samanthahoffman.com
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