Sunday, August 7, 2011

Leaving the Safety of Home Base to Mingle with Other Writers

Me heading up to the podium to accept
my award. Sadly, the front-view shots turned
out too blurry to share. 

Last night I attended the awards banquet for the Willamette Writers Conference here in Portland, OR, to pick up my Kay Snow Award for my novel-in-progress.  I've attended numerous writer events throughout the years, including the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators winter conference in New York, and I always love the vibes at those places.

We writers tend to spend solitary lives behind the keyboard, so it's often a little strange to congregate in conference and banquet rooms brimming with other individuals working at the same profession. If you're a writer and you've never ventured out to workshops and other events geared toward inspiring and bettering our careers, I highly encourage you to give it a try. I don't consider myself to be the most outgoing person in the world, but the encouragement, support, and empathy found at such events is heaven.

I also got to see filmmaker Gus Van Sant accept his award for Distinguished Northwest Writer last night. That's another benefit of writers' conferences: you often get to hear words of wisdom from the highly talented people you admire.