The Value of Writer’s Conferences

By A.J. McCarthy

I attended my first writer’s conference recently, and I came home with one big regret. Why didn’t I do this sooner?

It wasn’t my intention to attend, having used up my travel budget to go to two book festivals in California in April, but an extraordinary event prompted an extraordinary trip.

I regularly enter writing contests, and sometime last spring, I came across the Killer Nashville Claymore Award competition for an unpublished manuscript. I dusted off an old one and submitted it, never imagining anything would come of it but, what the heck, I’m allowed to be optimistic.

Read More

Why You Should Join a Writers Group

I began writing my first crime thriller, Things Left Behind, in 2011. Being new to writing what did I do? I bought a lot of How to books at the local bookstore. These provided a wealth of information. The problem with taking this as my only course of study is the lack of growth. I’m not saying don’t buy books to help you become a better writer, but I’d advise against making them your only source.

So many authors fail to get their work critiqued by other writers. We see our manuscripts as works of art, when in fact, the writing could be better. It’s difficult to gauge your own writing because we don’t see our mistakes. We’re blind to them.

The Panhandle Writers Group (PWG) started in 2003 in Pace, Florida. They meet every week. I joined in 2011 and I’m still a member.

Read More