Sunday, April 27, 2008

Coshocton's Write-On Writers Conference

Yesterday was the Write-On Writers Conference. Let me tell you that it was simply amazing. The air was rife with creativity. There were writers from all walks of life. Most of us were Ohioans. The speakers were great. This writer had fun.

The conference opened with Dandi Daley Mackall speaking about The Writer's Voice. She said, "Writers are people who hear voices in there heads."

I find this to be true for this writer. Sometimes a voice gets so strong that it must be allowed out to write, before I can get peace from it. Having worked in Mental Health for years, I shudder to think what my old co-workers would think to hear this. I can't really worry about that, I just need to write. That gets them to shut up and allows another to take its place. That is the main reason I haven't finished a novel, too many voices vying for attention.

My first workshop was Self-Publishing: A Blueprint by Joseph McLaughlin of Pale Horse Press. He said that anyone with a printer can become published. You can create small booklets of poetry or prose to sell or give away. He said that he doesn't have a printing press, he outsources with different printers.

Different types of printing options: Copy Centers, Local Printers, Short Run Special Printer, Print on Demand (POD), Online Printers, Electronic Publishing, and E-Books.

He talked about getting ISBN's. You can buy one at, though it is expensive at $125 a pop.

Joe talked about the necessity of Library of Congress Numbers. Self-published books don't need it and the LC doesn't really want cookbooks and poetry collections, although you have the legal right to do so. Doing this may also cost you some extra buck as you will need three copies of your work to send to the Library of Congress.

The second half of the day, I spent in Children's Writers Have More Fun with Dandi Daley Mackall. Dandi certainly made writing for children seem fun and easy. But you have to remember to pare down your words when writing for children. Especially, for board books, picture books, manipulative's, and concept books, which sometimes only have one word a page or a couple of lines at most.

Dandi was very interesting, just as in her opening talk. I will write more about children's publishing later.

The day ended with a panel discussion of first books. The panel consisted of Joseph McLaughlin, Teresa Slack and Patricia Toles. They discussed how long it took to write their books through to seeing them in print. Teresa said that it took two years after her contract was signed and the book was printed to see the fruits of her labor. Patricia said she came up with her idea for Swamp Panther in college, but she needed to do a lot of research about the Seminole Indians from Florida, including their language, and their customs. It took her years of research for historical accuracy.

The day wrapped up with a raffle. Alas, I was not a winner.

Just an aside note the breakfast offerings were wonderful and the lunch was filling. -Rita

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