Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Favorite Parts of PPWC 2012

Wow, Blogger has suddenly changed its posting format. Hmm... not sure if I like it, but I'll give it a shot before doing anything drastic, like moving to wordpress. Which I still might do anyway.

I just returned from the 2012 Pikes Peak Writers Conference in Colorado Springs. The conference actually ended on Sunday, but I stayed an extra day to visit with my kids and grandkids in Golden and Lakewood, so all in all it was a very satisfying trip. However, it's also good to be home. I have tons of work to catch up.

This was a good conference. I've attended a few PPWCs in the past when I still lived in Colorado and got a lot out them. Conferences are an extremely valuable tool for new writers and an excellent educational opportunity for honing your craft.

I didn't attend as many of the workshops as I'd have liked only because: a) I'd end up chatting with friends I rarely get to see; b) the altitude got to me and I had to take a nap; c) I'm under deadline and had to work on my book. However, a recording of the entire conference is available to attendees for just $45, so I ordered one so that I can listen to the sessions I missed. It used to be that you could only order individual sessions for $5 to $7 each, but this is a much better value.

I really liked the Read and Critique sessions facilitated by the agents and editors. I didn't participate, but I did audit and was extremely impressed by the skill and helpful suggestions offered by the pros giving critiques. I sat in on the one with Weronika (pronounced Veronica) Janczuk, an agent with Lynn Franklin Associates. Weronika and I became friends last September at Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Colorado Gold Conference, so not only was it great to see her again, she wowed me with her articulate critique of the sample pages she read. It's amazing how much can be learned from the critique of just one page. Weronika is a brilliant and enthusiastic agent, and if I didn't already have a fabulous agent, I'd be knocking on her door. :)

My other favorite part of the conference was the generosity of attendees when it came to raising money for the PPWC Scholarship Fund. By selling costumes for the costume party on Friday, auctioning off shirts that had been worn by Bob Crais and Susan Wiggs, and cash donations from anyone with a few dollars to spare, they raised close to $4000 worth of scholarships for the 2013 conference. Wow! The registration fee for conference is $450, which means 9 writers will be attending the conference for free! Is that not the most awesome thing ever? Conferences are expensive, but necessary in my opinion, to get your writing skills and your career on track. Not everyone can afford to go (I'm watching the moths fly out of my wallet as I type this), and it will take me several months to pay off my credit card for this one, but I think it was worth it.

I also had the pleasure of teaching two workshops, one on how to get deeper emotions into your stories, and the other on the anatomy of turning points. Every chair was filled in both my sessions, even had to bring in some extra chairs, so that was an extremely satisfying outcome. Participation was great and I had a fabulous time.

If you've never been to a conference, the PPWC could be the one for you. And if you missed it this year, you might consider attending the Colorado Gold Conference in September.

9 comments:

Margaret Yang said...

Really, really liked your workshop on turning points. Even this old dog learned some new tricks.

Karen Duvall said...

That's so good to know, Margaret! I learn new stuff all the time, or at least what's new to me. :)

Sisters of the Quill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sisters of the Quill said...

It was awesome, especially seeing and rooming you and Margaret from so far away. BTW you escaped without me being able to pay you for your gorgeous book. Please send me your address so I can pop a check in the mail. Please...reallyl. Hugs, karen

Karen Duvall said...

I enjoyed rooming with you 2! It was tons of fun. :)

fpdorchak said...

Cool seeing you again, Karen, and great post!

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

I had fun driving with you. It was great to catch up in person.

I like the new blogger format now. Give it a little time. I just built my whole website on it and I'm quite pleased.

Karen Duvall said...

Thanks, Frank! I really enjoyed seeing you again, too. You're such a great guy! Did anyone ever tell you that you look a little like Nathan Fillion? You do! :)

Karen Duvall said...

Betsy, I so very much appreciated the ride, and it was super fun chatting along the way. I am going to tape your words of wisdom that you shared at our lunch table that day: "M&Ms make the words come." I'm so going to go out and buy a bag. A big one.