Whole Lot of Reasons!
Down for the List of Conferences!)
Conferences are where you learn
shop your book, better your craft, and generally kick-start
believe in writers' conferences. Conferences are a kind of
writers' religion for me. I credit the combination of
conferences and classes with the fact that my novel, This
Is the Place, won awards and topped sales records for
its publisher the first year it was released. To that end, I
included a section in my Web site for writers to use as a
resource for finding the right conference. It includes mini
recommendations of the conferences I have attended or spoken
at, tips on conferences, and an article on one of the
unexpected benefits of a recent conference I presented at.
Other Writers' Resource Pages
Benefits of Writers' Conferences
Some writers go to writers' conferences, come back and complain.
Here's the thing. Writers conferences have personalities and you should choose one
that meets your goal. There is an entire chapter in
Book Promoter on how to decide on what you want
from a conference and how to choose one that fits your
needs. It also tells you how to organize yourself for one
and utilize what is offered. That is not what this article
is about. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. You can
get that information from the book.
This article is
about the unexpected benefits one might find at a conference.
Because unexpected benefits are, well . . . unexpected, this tell
you about one in particular that came about when I was speaking at
the Erma Bombeck Writers'
Workshop this spring (2008).
It is an example of how presenters -- often people of influence
in the publishing industry -- are accessible to
attendees and vice versa, and how we can learn from one another. I
met Anne Louise Reinhard there. The excerpt (below) is from my
weekly newsletter, "Sharing with Writers." In it she
explains how we met at that conference and how that meeting
benefited us both. Below that,
you will find her first column for my newsletter. Our
connecting is truly a win-win situation that would never have
happened if I had not spoken there and if she had not put her little bod -- warmed by California's sun -- on an airplane and traveled to
Dayton, Ohio, (chilly in April) where the nation's premier
conference for humorists was being held. AND if both of us had not
kept our idea bonnets on and been open to opportunities.
Here's the editorial section form "Sharing with Writers."
New in Sharing with Writers
Writing Humor is a new mini feature appears occasionally in your
"Sharing with Writers" newsletter. I met Anne Louise Reinard
) at one Dayton University's Erma Bombeck
Writers' Workshop (http://www.humorwriters.org/
) I taught at. Our meeting and eventual collaboration happened in two steps. She
introduced herself to me not only as a one of the attendees at my
seminar on self-editing but as a neighbor in a community near mine
in the Los Angeles area.
The second contact
came in an unexpected way. I forgot to retrieve the sign-up sheet I
had sent around at that seminar for both this newsletter and--because
the room was so packed--I didn't have enough of my
handout for everyone. So I send a blanket apology to every single
Erma Bombeck attendee that I could glean from the business cards I
had collected and those from another attendee, Mindy Hoffbauer
had collected. I guess that makes two great networking contacts.
Anyway, the response was huge and Anne Louise was among them. We
started e-mailing and now I have a creative new columnist to fill a
niche in my newsletter heretofore unfilled. Even subscribers who
aren't humorists can learn something from Anne Louise. Humor can
spark an otherwise very dull book proposal, as an example. So listen
up! Here is Anne Louise with her first "Tidbits on Writing Humor"
straight from her first appearance in "Sharing with Writers."
Tidbits on Writing Humor
Anne Louise Reinhard,
fan of Dayton University's Erma Bombeck
and humor writer.
order to be humorous, writing needs to have a twist that’s
unexpected – an element of surprise. Here is a perfect example of
an unexpected conclusion from Erma Bombeck: "When my kids become
wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they're
finished, I climb out."
must say that my ideas aren’t always this good, so I have devised
this “unexpectation” test for my writing: I read the story aloud to
someone, but I pause before the punch line and ask them what they
think is coming.
they start their answer with “Duh”, then I know I need to rework, or
at least reword, the story. Sometimes, one of them will come up
with something way better than what I had, which is why I always
call this a collaborative process. ;-)
your keyboard never falter!
who would like to subscribe to "Sharing with Writers" may do so by
sending me an e-mail with "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject line. Send it to
find there regular columns like Mindy Philips
Laurence's Itty Bitty Column, and other writing and promoting tips galore.
Sharing with Writes includes two All
Tips editions a year and one All Marketing edition each year.
The Big and the Cozy
(This list contains many of the conferences Carolyn has spoken at
or is connected with. There are many hundreds within the US
these she personally recommends.)
Book 'Em, founded by p.m.
terrell, is one of the best marketed conference and book
fair I've seen. It's in North Carolina every February and
proceeds support literacy. Presenters include authors like
Chris Roerden, Lance Johnson, and,
Pen to Paper, a
conference for those interested in the art of writing and the business
of writing. For more information,
e-mail Valerie Coleman at the Pen To Paper Literary Symposium, in
The Muse On Writing (Lea Schizas) and The Frugal Book Promoter (Carolyn
Howard-Johnson) cosponsor the
Online Writers Conference every October. It's free, Please register
early. Registration URL is
Mikhail Iossel founded
Literary Semesters where
writers can learn more about the craft of writing in places like St.
Petersburg, Russia, Montreal, Canada, and Kenya. I recommend their
Erma Bombeck Writers' Conference
is directed by humorist Tim Bete and is one of the best.
UCLA Extension Writers' Studio
I taught at UCLA's Writers Program for nearly a decade, but I also
attended this weekend conference before I ventured into the publishing
of book and loved, loved, loved it.
Big Story, a Greater Los Angeles Writers' Society
associated conference (GLAWS) , is one of my favorites for fiction
writers. Usually held at Los Angeles Valley College,
director Tony Todaro plans his conferences with agenting
possibilities, networking opportunities, and great panels
and presentations. Director Tony Todaro puts on several
conferences a year, often under different names. One on
publishing digitally, one on writing memoirs, etc. So while
you're on the site, explore!
for the Soul includes writers. It is in
Steamboat Springs in the majestic Rocky Mountains. Call 800-299-6811
for more information.
Author U presents a
conference once a year. Judith Briles is director. Watch my newsletter
for appearances at this conference.
Watch for an announcement for the next
I'll sponsor with Eve Caram,
award-winning UCLA writing instructor. The last one was in Rome.
Tip: Presenting at
would like to present at a writers' conference, contact the program
director well in advance. Six to eight months in advance is
a good guideline. Use a great query letter (learn how
to do that in
Frugal Editor ). Then follow up by sending him or
her a media kit. Step-by-step information on how to do that
Frugal Book Promoter!)
Find at least one tip on writing,
promotion or tech on every page of this Web site.
articles on writing go to this site's
4 Readers and Editors.
This page includes Reviews for Riters
how-to articles for writers, essays on tolerance, rants, and more.
Don't forget to check out my
list of books for writers on
and extensive recommended reading
from my UCLA classes in the appendixes
of The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor.
Selecting a Conference
Select writers conferences based on their specialty. Many
don't make this apparent; you'll have to do some research on
their Web sites. Some attract agents and publishers who offer
critiques. Some, like UCLA Extension Writers' Program Studio
have special access to screenwriters and/or concentrate on
craft. Some offer speakers on book promotion and building a
platform (a process you should be starting right now!). Others don't. You decide depending on your book's
title, your personality, your pocketbook, and the place are
are in the writing process. The conference closest to home
may not be your best bet.
Find at least one tip on writing,
promotion, or tech on every page of this Web site.
For resources and links
galore, grab yourself a copy
Frugal Book Promoter.
Tradeshows can be great for an author's books, too. Yes they
can. Book Expo America is the big one in the US, but there
are many worldwide including Milan, London, and Frankfurt.
Here is a picture taken by Lisa Krebs of Independent Book
Publishers of America (IBPA) at Book Expo where we
introduced my husband's book
What Foreigners Need to Know About America A To Z
second edition of my multi award-winning
The Frugal Book Promoter.
Writer's Digest Books author Nina Amir.
Buy Links for
Purchase THIS IS THE PLACE
at Amazon in their new and used feature.
Both of these books are out of print. They are available
only on Amazon's New and Used feature for about $1.
(Finishing Line Press) at Amazon.
Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters,
lie and oppression with Small
gift of poetry with a chapbook from Magdalena Ball's
My Celebration Series
IMAGINING THE FUTURE:
Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions
EMERALD THEN: Reflections on Motherhood
BLOOMING RED: Christmas Poetry for the Rational
DEEPER INTO THE POND:
Celebration of Femininity
Celebrating Earth and the Universe
THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER,
THE FRUGAL EDITOR
GREAT LITTLE LAST
MINUTE EDITING TIPS FOR WRITERS
HOW TO GET GREAT BOOK
REVIEWS FRUGALLY AND ETHICALLY
Thrive Series of HowToDoItFrugally Books for Retailers
GUIDE TO FRUGAL IN-STORE PROMOTION
FOCUSED TWEETING FOR RETAILERS
Most of Carolyn's books are
also available for the Kindle reader.
Did you know that with
the Free app, Kindle can be adapted to any reader--even your
"Careers that are not fed die as readily as
any living organism
given no sustenance."
Studio photography by
3 Dimensional Book Cover Images by iFOGO
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Just for Kindle Anymore
Did you know that Amazon’s Kindle
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You can read Kindle's e-books on smartphones,
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Diana Schneidman, author and
Writers' conferences are only as good as make them. Each
varies in character. Choose the best matches for you, then
go, learn, and promote. For other ideas on how to work
conferences, how to make them successful, check
"writers conferences" in the index of
Frugal Book Promoter.
Find tips on writing, promotion or
tech on every page of this Web site.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Sharing with Writers Newsletter
and get a FREE copy of
Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers
"I have been a professional writer 40 years, and am also a
tenured full professor of journalism. Carolyn's Sharing with
Writers newsletter is most useful for me--and for my
students. I emphasize to them that while research is 90% of
writing, and the actual writing is about 10%, there's another
100% out there called promotion. Carolyn shows numerous ways to
get the message to the mass media."
~Walter Brasch, author
"A decade of bettering writers' careers
with how-tos, tips, and publishing news."
Sharing with Writers
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an emphasis on book
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a great review.
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This is the Frugal, Smart
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Covers editing, grammar, formatting and more.
Get the answers you need.
Selection of Carolyn's Past
2008, 09, 10, 11
Panel moderator, 2007
National Span College
Fellows presenter, 2007,
Co-sponsor and presenter,
2007, 08, 09, 10, 11
University of Dayton Erma
Bombeck Writers' Conference, 2006, 2008
Sisters in Crime,
Los Angeles Valley College Campus 2012, Rancho
Valley College Spring 2014
Wisconsin Regional Writers Association
Presenter, Keynote 2010
Three Panels 2013
Seminar Speaker, 2014
Keynote, 2013; 2014
Secrets of Great
Digging Up Memories and Bringing the Dead Back to
Judith Briles' Extravaganza,
Denver, CO, 2016
I’m a writer who would
love to have someone else take over the editing and proofreading stages
of my manuscripts because I hate editing, proofreading, and rewriting.
Ms. Howard-Johnson’s techniques and her encouragement from page to page
of THE FRUGAL BOOK EDITOR lifts my spirits to the level where I can
approach these hated tasks in a better attitude and get the job done. I
advise all writers to obtain a copy of THE FRUGAL BOOK EDITOR and keep
it handy as your write."
~Lucille P. Robinson, reviewer for
Wow. What more can I
say? [The Frugal Book Promoter is] interesting,
informative, readable and more. Easy to follow, quotes and technique
mixed in together wonderfully. This is an A-one job. Watch out world!
I’m going to have to put it under my pillow
Leora G. Krygier, author of First the
Raven and When She Sleeps
Just visiting your Web site
gives me ideas and prompts me. It's very inspiring to meet and now
know such an energetic fellow writer. You are wonderfully dedicated
to our craft.
I was i... was quite
impressed with their USA Book News' booth at Book
Expo America and
Jeff's efforts on all our behalf.
Woodson, author of The Passion of Maryam (Plain
View Press, 2007)
Awards for Carolyn's Books, Blogs and More
The New Book Review
Master's in English.org Online Universities'
101 Essential Sites for Voracious
Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites
for Sharing with Writers blog.
Best Book Award for The Frugal Book Promoter (2004) and The Frugal Editor (2008)
and the Second Edition of The Frugal Book Promoter
Reader Views Literary Award for The Frugal Editor
New Generation Award for Marketing and Finalist for The Frugal Editor
Book Publicists of Southern California's Irwin Award
Military Writers Award of Excellence for
Tracings, A Chapbook of Poetry.
A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotion wins author Military
Writers Society of America's Author of the Month award for March, 2010
Award from Military Writers Society of America, 2010.
MWSA also gave a nod to
She Wore Emerald Then,
a chapbook of poetry honoring mothers.
Named #! on Top Ten
Editing Books list.
New Generation Book Awards 2012,
The Frugal Book
Promoter; Finalist 2010
The Frugal Editor;
Winner 2010 Marketing Campaign for the Frugal Editor
The Oxford Award
alumna who exemplifies the Delta Gamma precept of
service to her community and who, through the years,
devotes her talents to improve the quality of life
Book Promoter is runner-up in the how-to category for
Los Angeles Book Festival 2012
Winner Diamond Award
for Achievement in the Arts
California's Arts and Culture Commission and the City of
And more than a dozen other awards for Carolyn's novel, short story collection and poetry.
See the awards page on this site.