Posts Tagged ‘write on the river’

A Circle of Friends

My best piece of advice in writing is “don’t go it alone.” The stereotype is that writers struggle in a lonely garret, poor and misunderstood. OK, writing is a solitary endeavor. But it doesn’t have to be a lonely one. Once you meet other writers you’ll find a group of amazing, intelligent, compassionate and intense people who will form an irreplaceable circle of friends.

Writers Conferences

One place to start building your circle is at a writers conference.  In Western Washington, that might be Pacific Northwest Writers Association summer conference. It’s how I got my start–not only with the nuts and bolts of writing, but with becoming part of a writing community. In Eastern Washington your best bet is Write on the River (the Columbia, you know) on May 15-16 in Wenatchee. Read More…

Don Maass comes to WA

Donald Maass, of Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York is coming to a conference in Wenatchee, WA on Saturday May 16, 2009. This is a great opportunity to pitch your novel-length project to a top agent. Besides individual pitching sessions, he will also be giving two workshops: Writing the Breakout Novel and The Fire in Fiction. Read More…

Thoughts on Story Theme

Theme is a loaded word. It conjures up middle school English classes where you have to cough up what the writer was trying to say in Silas Marner. (Wake up before you fall over asleep and break your nose on your desk?) But a couple days ago, I actually used theme to get out of a twist on a novel I’m writing. Situation: Great big plot. Lots of subplots. With so much material, so much to tell, how do I pare it down to a cohesive story?

At the recent Write on the River conference, I heard a hot presentation on the subject of theme in fiction and screenwriting by Brian McDonald. Many of his examples came from film, which is a tighter medium than a long novel–but still, I came away challenged by the idea to state “what I’m talking about” in one sentence. Read More…

Write on the River a Hit


Elizabeth George and the conference chair (me).
Photo by Mike Irwin

Very jazzed to report that I helped put on a writers’ conference in Eastern WA yesterday, and it was a big hit.

Elizabeth George did us a huge favor by coming over from the Seattle area to join us as the Write on the River keynote speaker. (She’s on a major book tour for Careless in Red, her latest Thomas Lynley novel.) People Loved her talk; she was truly gracious and also quite frank about her mis-starts and worries early in her career, and we were delighted with her candid remarks, including those about how she puts a novel together. Read More…