Tip #3. 10 Steps to Secure Your Home

June 3, 2015

Staying Connected in Good Times and Bad

June 3, 2015

Bound for My First Writers’ Conference

June 3, 2015

With some fear and trepidation, I am tweaking my manuscript, gathering my papers, picking up my new business cards and heading to Bethlehem, PA, for the Moravian Writers’ Conference. After Christmas, when Reclaiming Joy started looking like a book, I decided I needed to know what a writer really does and how she gets published. Everything I read spoke of the value of attending conferences and workshops, becoming part of the writing and publishing community. This is a different world than the world of newspapers and journalists, and I know nothing about it. Every few weeks I would do another google search, but nothing quite matched my calendar and my beginning non-fiction writing status.

Beth Kephart, National Book Award finalist

One day at Barnes & Noble I spotted a paperback, Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir, by Beth Kephart, a memoir writing teacher at the University of Pennsylvania. I liked the way she wrote, and I liked her. I found her website and discovered she is the keynote speaker at the Moravian Writers’ Conference. The schedule, fees and location all worked, so I signed up.

Beverly Donofrio, memoirist and teacher

This conference includes two memoir-writing workshops, “Writing Your Life,” led by Beverly Donofrio, also a published writer and teacher. I liked what I read about her, too. Though she writes for a general audience, she clearly incorporates her faith into her memoirs. I want to know how she does it, because I don’t think it’s easy. Not how she incorporates faith–I am doing that, too–but how she gets them published. That’s what isn’t easy.

I have no idea what to expect. I may find myself an outsider among a really tight-knit fraternity of writers. Some of them will probably be my grandchildren’s age. I don’t think I can summon the courage to do a reading of my work. I’m curious to see how good–or bad–the other attendees are. I have two simple goals–to improve my writing and to get some tips on getting published. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Photos: left, Beverly Donofrio; right, Beth Kephart