My writing friends and I have a problem and it might surprise you.
A lot of people think, that because we Midwesterners live in flyover country, far from the publishing headquarters and hot spots located on each coast… that there isn’t a lot for our home state for us to offer in the way of writing opportunities. But this spring, that simply isn’t true. In fact, my friends and I have so many great events we can be a part of in the upcoming months, that we are torn to choose between them.
Today I’m going to give you a peek at my calendar. All of the events I’ll be attending, and the ones I can’t, but wish I could. I hope that you’ll join me. Even if you are brand new to writing, take a serious look. Nothing rivals spending time with people who are interested in a shared hobby/passion/goal. One of these might be the event that catapults your writing journey in the right direction.
**Please note, that preceeding the date of this post several incredible events already took place, including: Wisconsin Romance Writers of America Conference in Milwaukee, UW-Madison’s Writer’s Institute and Gene Luen Yang’s visit to the La Crosse Public library.**
Nickolas Butler comes to La Crosse
La Crosse, WI - April 13, 2019, (1:00-3:00 pm)
My writing club is helping to sponsor an event through Great River Writes which will bring internationally bestselling, award winning and WISCONSIN author Nickolas Butler to town. You will want to show up early to ensure you get a seat! You can learn more details here, or in the flyer below.
Green Bay, WI - April 25-28, 2019
I am thrilled to be attending UntitledTown for its third annual event. Four days filled with over 100 free writing and reading events makes this truly a MUST ATTEND event. Seriously, if you are a writer, reader, librarian, freelancer, teacher, academic, fangirl, journalist or just plain curious, there is something for you in Green Bay the last weekend in April. And this year… it’s on my birthday! What could be better? I will be leading a middle grade writer’s workshop on Friday and speaking as a part of a Kid Lit panel on Saturday. Michael Perry, Susan Orlean, Walter Mosely, Miranda Paul, Valerie Biel, Nickolas Butler, Silvia Acevedo, William Kent Krueger, Christy Wopat, Melissa Gorzelanczyk, Marci Martin, Vicky Meawasige Reed, Angie Stanton and dozens more will be in town to teach, share, read, and connect. It’s going to be amazing and you are going to want to be there.
North of 45 Writing Retreat
Curtis, MI - May 2-5, 2019
If you are the kind of person who needs solitude and time away to embark on a new project (and you don’t mind a long scenic drive!) then the North of 45 Writing Retreat is for you. Located in a charming Inn on the coast of Manistique Lake writers will spend four days in the company of friendly writers and knowledgeable instructors of which I am thrilled to be counted among. Give yourself a writing getaway and get a strong start your summer writing goals.
P.S. I’ve got room in my car if you want to road trip to this writing destination with yours truly!
SCBWI Marvelous Midwest Conference
Naperville, IL - May 3-5, 2019
One event that I will not be attending, but wish I could (Has anyone seen Hermione and her time turner?!?!) is the SCBWI Marvelous Midwest Conference. Joining the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is one of the best writing moves I have ever made. Attending this multi-state event is sure to be incredible. Big name authors, big city agents and editors, a bookstore filled with more titles than you could read in a life time and of course, many, many, MANY writing friends await you in Chicago.
If you are a member of an underrepresented community, you can apply for a scholarship from the SCBWI Wisconsin Diversity Committee that will pay for your fees to attend. Click here to learn more. Ride share options are also available!
Lakefly Writers Conference
Oshkosh, WI - May 10-11, 2019
The Lakefly Writers Conference website boasts, “EVERYONE HAS A STORY! Join our supportive community of writers at the Premier Waterfront Hotel and Convention Center for our 6th annual two-day conference. We offer over a dozen workshops on the craft and business of writing designed to inspire and guide your creative journey.” I have had friends attend this conference in the past and have heard nothing but good things! I am hoping to add it to my calendar of events in 2020!
Wordplay at The Loft
Minneapolis, MN - May 11-12, 2019
Even if you aren’t a word nerd, you will recognize the household names that plan to show up in Minneapolis in May. Stephen King, Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, Jamaica Kincaid, Dave Barry… with a few dozen others including a few hometown representations in the form of Nickolas Butler, Benjamin Percy and Eliza Wheeler. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! (For you middle grade loving readers, Anne Ursu and Ridley Pearson will also be in attendance!) I will have spent that past two weekends away, but man oh man and I going to see if I can finagle a trip to the cities for this. You can get the full line up, schedules, tickets, and all the important details you need right HERE.
So, you see what I mean? Even with an unlimited budget and a wide-open calendar, you wouldn’t be able to take in all the goodness that the Midwest has to offer writers this spring. If you’re like me and have a spring birthday, or maybe you are a fellow momma-writer and your hubby is looking for Mother’s Day gift ideas… or maybe you just want to treat yourself… give yourself the gift of time, experience, networking, joy, learning, opportunity… give yourself the gift of WORDS and try one of these amazing opportunities.
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