Sunday, February 14, 2016
week #6 - Leaving the Bubble
Yes, we may write in our pajamas in our offices engaging in human contact only to purchase more coffee, but eventually, all writers have to leave their bubble. And this is a good thing!
Whether you’re just starting a new project or polishing up a finished manuscript, there are many ways to become active in a writing community, especially in Los Angeles.
Join a writing group:
Get a group of friends together who are interested in reading and critiquing one another’s work. If you don’t have a solid group of writer friends, try a meetup group or ask around. You may be surrounded by closeted writers who would jump at the chance to get regular meetings running.
Take a class:
Not only is this a great way to strengthen your writing, but chances are you’ll be able to form a writer’s group from your class participants.
The Writing Pad offers a wide range of workshops in Los Angeles.
UCLA Extension Writers Program boasts the largest open-enrollment creative writing and screenwriting program in the nation. You can take classes online or in person. And, this just in: I will be teaching a young adult novel writing course there starting in the fall!
Attend a Conference:
AWP: This year, the AWP (Association of Writers and Publishers) annual conference will be taking place in Los Angeles from March 30 – April 2, 2016! The conference is a big one – with over 12,000 attendees made up of writers, teachers, students, editors and publishers. There will be presenters, readings, panels and craft lectures. The book fair hosts over 800 presses, journals and literary organizations from around the world. While you don’t have to be a member to attend, if you’re serious about writing, they’re an excellent organization to join.
I will be there signing books on Saturday, April 2 from 12:55 – 2:45 at the Literary Classics Booth.
For those of you interested in children’s writing, SCBWI (society for children’s book writers and illustrators) holds a conference every summer in Los Angeles at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. In addition to readings and lectures by beloved children’s writers, participants will also have a chance to have a manuscript critiqued by an editor or agent. Dozens of classroom-sized intensives allow you to tailor your schedule to your interests.
And last but not least, I can’t stress enough the importance of having a trusted reader in your life who will give you honest feedback and treat your work with the care it deserves. Find that person and hold on to them tightly. Then, buy them a cup of coffee.