Geneva Writers’ Group International Conference

Hello, my friends.The conference is now over. I have many wonderful memories and much new knowledge, which is the primary goal of going to a conference, but more than that, I have reconnected with old friends that I should have been keeping up with. The conference started out on Friday night with a welcoming and open mic readings. I was fortunate in being chosen to read out of the many submissions and am pleased to be able to say my reading was well received. It was a extract from ‘The Fur, Fish, Flea and Beagle Club’ called ‘First Kiss’. When a reading of mine is well-received I am always surprised and very grateful and this was no exception. Saturday and Sunday were taken up with hooking up with old friends, workshops and Q&A sessions with the panelists. The workshops I attended were on Plot, Alternative Publishing, Traditional Publishing and Zen Writing. All of the sessions were great, I learned a great deal. I know it seems like a long way to go, but rest assured it was worth every frequent flyer mile and more to connect with such as extraordinary group of people.  The GWG  is, to use a gardening comparison, is a hot bed where the tender new writers are fertilized with information, writing contacts, opportunities for writing workshops and watered with the good will and support of the other writers. Writer’s groups can be intensely competitive places, where new writers find themselves overwhelmed by other writers bashing (as opposed to critiquing) their work. This group is not and that is due to the efforts of the founders and to its present leader, the extraordinary Susan Tiberghien. Her books ‘One Year to a Writing Life’ and ‘Looking for Gold’ have inspired so many. In her workshop on Zen writing I found myself opening up, the flow of words natural and clean. Susan has that effect on people. I’m generally not big on advice (if a body can tell the difference between good advice and bad advice they tend to not need advice), but if you’re an writer or an aspiring writer, do yourself a favor and buy her books, read them and heed them. And if you have a few frequent flyer miles to burn, take the hop across the pond to the next conference, which should be in two years. I plan on it.