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Kat Gonso, our fiction director at Compose | A Journal of Simply Good Writing, recently wrote an article called Why You Should Go to a Writers’ Conference … Now. This is a topic I know you’ll appreciate, so here’s a little clip:

For years, I talked myself out of attending a writers’ conference. I’m not good enough. What if I don’t make any friends? It’s too much money.

Each spring I’d wistfully review the websites and begin writing my Bread Loaf application before snapping my computer shut, crawling into bed, and beginning my night-long Netflix binge. But last year, after some heavy pressing from my writing group, I decided to give it a shot. I applied to The Sewanee Writers’ Conference and was accepted.

For weeks, I told myself I couldn’t go. I’m not good enough. I won’t make friends. It’s too much money. My writing group continued to encourage me and I found myself polishing a 20-page manuscript that would be reviewed by my instructors, Christine Schutt and Allen Wier, as well as 11 total strangers.

Yikes.

As you can assume from the title, this story has a happy ending. Here’s what happened:

I talked about writing.

I mean really talked about writing, perhaps for the first time since graduating from my MFA program six years ago. The conference was a magical utopia of craft discussions and lectures. We gushed about our favorite books as we hiked and read our work aloud to each other during dinner. I was immersed in writing and nothing else (no bills to pay, papers to grade).

Read the rest of this post at Compose | A Journal of Simply Good Writing.

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Stash, Trash or Refresh: The Ultimate Guide to Dealing with Boring In-Between Story Parts

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Today’s post is written by Alex Limberg. In a thrilling murder mystery, your detective has just found out that the villain and his partner in crime will be meeting in the abandoned slaughterhouse. The scene before and the scene after are packed with suspense. But how does your protagonist pass the two days until the […]

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Here’s the Type of Hate Mail Bloggers Get …

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Over several years of blogging, I’ve received some interesting letters from people. And by interesting I mean rude. These are not written to offer friendly constructive criticism or to politely disagree with me. They’re written to get a reaction, but I usually have neither the time nor inclination to give these people what they want. The following letter, for example, arrived […]

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The Duolingo Guide to Writing Productivity

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One thing I love about Canada is the opportunity for my children to receive a free bilingual education through the French Immersion program available at many public schools. Some say, “You’ll never use French unless you want to work for the government or be a French teacher,” but actually, I’m not worried about whether my kids use their French […]

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Literary Journal Seeks “Features Editor” & “Fiction Director”

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UPDATE: Please note that both of these positions have now been filled.  Many of you know I’m the managing editor of an online literary magazine that has taken off quite nicely over the past couple of years. Well, our team at Compose Journal has a couple of exciting opportunities available at the moment: we’re looking for a features […]

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I Dumped My S.M.A.R.T. Writing Goals, and This Is What Happened

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It’s a new year: a good time for change, for adopting new writing habits, for setting goals. Haven’t we heard, probably for decades now, that the best way to get things done is to set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals, and write them down? My husband is one of those business-y types who loves to rib me about […]

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