A Working, Learning Writers Weekend

I came to the Central Coast Writers Conference to serve on a panel of editors to help teach would-be authors a few things about writing and publishing. I hope that I did that in some small ways.

But as usually happens to me in these situations, I feel like I’m the one walking away with reams of new knowledge.

It was a privilege to serve with Bonnie Britt, Cindy Chatham, Jeanette Hanscome, Jordan E. Rosenfeld and Susanne “C. S.” Lakin, all talented editors with years of experience and wisdom they were willing to share so freely.

I was grateful that so many writers were willing to share their work with me and chat for a few minutes about how they can bring their stories to life. I talked with a 12-year-old writer and an 87-year-old writer, and I spoke to writers who wanted to chronicle true stories of real-life tragedies and triumphs and to writers who were creating tales of talking animals and secretive species on another planet.

This 29th annual conference was expertly orchestrated by Judy Salamacha, and I was fortunate enough to get a few minutes to chat with Judy and get a glimpse of her passion for the craft of writing and for this long-running conference. A phalanx of volunteers worked tirelessly to attend to the hundreds of minute details that go into making a program like this a success, and seeing how hard they worked made me grateful to play a small part.

Rebecca Rasmussen’s opening speech about “Why We Write” was delightful–especially since she had to admit that she didn’t really know why but that she knew she would continue to do it. And Joel Friedlander’s closing session reminded us all that we do judge a book by its cover, which is a very important detail to keep in mind when you are creating a cover for the words you have so carefully crafted.

I love writing and editing and the work I’m doing at eDitmore Editorial. But most days I’m working solo in my office, with only email contact with the outside world. So it’s a treat to get out and meet people face to face who are passionately interested in active voice and point of view and parallel verbs.

And after a weekend of close-up encounters with so many people with fascinating stories of real life and real imagination, I return to my work with a new determination to help bring those stories to life, word by word.

September 22, 2013

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Tammy Ditmore edited my book, The Quest for Distinction: Pepperdine University in the 20th Century. It was a huge assignment, requiring skills that set her apart from most professional editors. She re… Read more
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