Last Saturday I attended the first Sierra Writers Conference which was held in Grass Valley, CA. I had never been on the Sierra College campus before and a got lost trying to find the building where the event was held. Light rain was falling so reading signs wasn’t as easy as hoped for. All that said I still arrived before the program started. Actually it started at time the schedule stated. And it ended on time as well. I like that they respected our time and/or that they were impeccable with their word. I found several fellow members of Gold Country Writers were in attendance. I was fortunate enough to sit with them at start of program. They were in the first row and there were only two seats left when I showed up.  Color me lucky.

Program started with a keynote speaker who has written four novels as well as screenplays.  He pointed out that self understanding leads to writing ideas. I especially loved this quote “In dance there are no mistakes only Solos” and then we broke into workshops. I had four to pick from: Poetry, Script Writing, Fiction and Young Adult Novels. There didn’t seem to be one that held my interest so I stayed in the main building for speaker in that room. It was cold outside too and a little wet. This gave me another reason to just stay where I was. Speaker in main room was Kim Culbertson who writes fiction books for Young Adults. She was a very enthusiastic speaker. One comment she made that I had figured out is to read lots of books on the subject your writing about. I am writing my second book. This one on Letting Go and I have several books on this topic in my house to look at. I find they helped me to organize the chapters and points I want to be sure to cover. Her books are published by Scholastic. She noted that when you self-publish you can control your title and cover. Not an option for her and she is okay with that.

After this breakout round we had time for a snack before attending another workshop. I had to decide among another four: Mysteries, Inspirational, Non-fiction and Memoir. This time I had two that thought I would like to attend: Non-fiction or inspirational. I decided on inspiration. I learned the name of a couple of publishing companies in my area that handle spiritual writing. And I heard again that having an editor is very important. So glad I have one I love working with.

Final part of conference was back in main auditorium. There was a three member panel to talk about publishing and answer our questions.  They brought up the Writer’s Market Guide: The most trusted guide to getting published. I had never heard of this book before. Inspirational writing workshop also mentioned it. Sounds like a book I should seek out at the library.

All and all I think this was good event. A chanced to learn more tools for being a published, receive encouragement to keep writing and an opportunity to connect with other authors.

I hope they have another one next year.

Here’s to more writing and finishing my book this Spring.