Invest in Yourself: Attend a Writers’ Conference
Today we welcome guestblogger Shamina N. Williams to Write from the Inside Out! I met Shamina at the NC Writers’ Network Fall Conference on November 3, after my “Writing for the Internet” panel during the Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion. I was immediately drawn to her energy and I set her up to guestblog before you today. Enjoy!
Just a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the North Carolina Writers’ Network Fall Conference . This was my very first writing conference and I learned a tremendous amount of information in just a few short days. As a self taught poet and someone who just finished her first body of work, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t even know I could receive a scholarship to attend which was truly a blessing. Some writers may shy away from conferences because of the costs associated with them, but know first and foremost that help is out there and that you must invest in yourself.
I would like to begin submitting my first body of work publishing soon, but I realized I knew nothing about moving forward with my passion for writing. All I knew was that I could write. I didn’t know what type of poetry I wrote, I didn’t know how to tell someone about the book I’ve written and I most certainly didn’t know how to network. In one weekend, I was granted this knowledge in addition to learning I should first start submitting pieces to different literary magazines.
In choosing the workshops to take, I read the descriptions carefully. As a poet, I was interested in the Master Class in Poetry: Rhythm is the Name of the Game with Kathryn Stripling Byer, but I didn’t realize the master classes accounted for two workshops, so unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to attend. However, the workshops that I did take were amazing, informative and inspiring to say the least. Because not only am I a poet at heart, but I am venturing out into children’s books and some creative non fiction and memoir.
My first workshop was with Linda Rohrbough, The Second Log Line. This workshop, along with the panel discussion that morning; Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion: “Writing for the Internet” with Alice Osborn, is what made the entire conference phenomenal. I didn’t know what a log line was, and because the description stated “The secret to transitioning from a pre-published writer to a published writer”, I simply had to be there, and because I am a blogger, the information shared during the panel discussion was invaluable to me. I also took Memoir: Recreating a Past that is Vibrant and True with Paul Austin, Through the Eyes of a Child: Writing for Young People with Eleanora Tate, Contrasting Images with Phillip Shabazz, and Bringing Up the Past: How To Write Historical Fiction with Anne Clinard Barnhill. The writing prompts and challenges, the information shared, the wisdom that was given was much needed and necessary for me moving forward as a novice writer and many novice will benefit from attending workshops and classes such as this conference offered by the North Carolina Writer’s Network. I also met quite a few solid and helpful contacts to help move my work forward. So, onward and upward I go, and if you’re serious about your writing, get out there and start attending writing events. It’ll be one of the best things that you can do for yourself while on this path.
About Shamina N. Williams
Originally from Chester, Pennsylvania, Shamina Williams is a mother, self-taught poet, anti-domestic violence and sexual assault volunteer and a blogger. She began writing at the age of 11 because she was afraid to use her vocal voice to express the issues she found herself facing at an early age. Poetry became her out; her way of coping, and it also became a love. Over the years she shared her poetry with strangers, friends and family very little, but her friends encouraged her to put her work in a book. Shamina thought her work was for her eyes only, not anyone else’s, but she now knows she’s to share it with the world in hopes to help others cope with difficult situations and has since completed her first body of work. So be on the lookout for her strong , poignant and heartfelt voice. Visit her website at http://inthemidstofme.blogspot.com.