Willamette Writers Conference 2008 Recap

My enjoyment of the Willamette Writers Conference began on Thursday night, July 31st at the Writer’s Faire sponsored by Oregon Writer’s Colony. This is a free event open to the public and I always attend it, not because I think, “Oh boy, I’m going to sell gobs of books,” but simply to say hello to folks and meet and greet anyone who might be considering attending the conference. Much to my delight I sold some books and met lots of nice folks! I especially appreciated the slideshow of attending authors that Linda Khulman created this year.

On Friday, August 1st, I gave a workshop from 10:30-12:00 called Your Roadmap to the Non-fiction Book Writing Process. Here’s what it was about: Do you know about book graveyards where editors at publishing houses bury the books that don’t ever see the light of publication? As an aspiring non-fiction author, you need to be forewarned about these types of pitfalls. This workshop will serve as the roadmap-in-hand that you’ll need to tread the traditional book-publishing road wisely. You’ll walk out knowing what to expect from the glimmer of an idea all the way through to your book’s publication date. This workshop will grant you the courage to control the things you can and the wisdom to let go of the things you can’t, so you can focus on writing the best book possible. Learn about the role of agents and editors, the non-fiction book publishing process, how to make the best choices for your book, and how to form win-win-win relationships with the publishing industry players on your book’s team.

Shortly afterwards, I was the Luncheon Speaker. Naturally, I woke up Friday morning with a deep pillow crease down the side of my face and only to discover that I’d forgotten to pack my deodorant.

No worries. I bounced back and gave my talk. The topic was “Never a Better Time to Be a Writer.” I feel like it’s true, but perhaps that only the most resilient, committed and hard-working writers can survive in the current ever-changing climate. And there is a lot of us who will, so hooray for us!

My appetite reappeared shortly thereafter.

I signed copies of Writer Mama in the afternoon, which is always fun. I’m definitely looking forward to November when I’ll have two books to sign!

On Saturday morning I had an interesting critique because the writer of the non-fiction proposal draft I reviewed was actually the ghostwriter of an autobiographical nonfiction book. We had an interesting discussion (in which I did most of the talking) about the possible routes he could take with the book and whether or not it made sense to pursue traditional publication or for his client to self-publish. I would have loved to review more proposals, but I accidentally didn’t get listed as a reviewer initially, and I have a feeling that’s why I didn’t get many sign-ups. Oh well, I hope to be invited back to review more next year!

I bumped into a writer who I’d had a critique with the year before and she said she had made many suggested changes that had come from myself and other critiquers and she was excited to pitch her improved manuscript to agents and editors. It was so gratifying to hear this. I also loved to hear how she had taken on a more active leadership role in one of the Willamette Writers branches. I’m telling you, this is the path to success! Go, Valerie!

I was also a Silent Auction Participant. I auctioned off a free scholarship to my class Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff (Especially for moms) and a copy of Writer Mama! Congratulations to the winner, Peggy Anderson-Deardorff!

Of course, I saw and socialized with so many folks that I could not possibly mention them all. And, something weird happened this conference. I actually felt that there wasn’t enough time to connect with everyone I would have liked to. This is the first time anything like this has ever happened and perhaps, I can chock it up to the fact that I was so much more visible as a lunch speaker, so I was approached by many more folks than usual (and I loved meeting and chatting with everyone). But, there were more folks there I DIDN’T get to spend enough time with and I wish I could have.

So, let that be a lesson to me. Next time, I will stay for the last day, in other words the entire conference, and I hope you will too! If you didn’t get a chance to chat, please feel free to comment here or e-mail me at christina katz at earthlink dot net.

And p.s. I still haven’t fully recovered my voice from the toasting session in the bar on Saturday night! That place was just hopping with happy, celebrating writers. 🙂

P.p.s. My “born to write” tattoo hasn’t worn off or shown any signs of wearing off anytime soon. I love it!

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1 Response to “Willamette Writers Conference 2008 Recap”


  1. 1 Cornelia Seigneur September 1, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Hi Christina –

    It was nice to (finally) meet you at the conference!
    It is great to connect on writing and motherhood and how they intersect.

    I am enjoying your book writermama 😉 -nice work-
    keep in touch –

    Best regards, from fellow writermom – Cornelia Seigneur


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