Dena Harris http://www.denaharris.com/ and I rocked the house this past Saturday at the North Carolina Writer's Network Fall Conference. Jam-packed with great information on PUBLICITY and PUBLIC SPEAKING our class, we believe, was one of the best.
Afterward, one lady reported she had signed up to take another class (one that was noted as "full" prior to the conference.) This woman went on to say she was bored in this "full" class so after ten minutes--she left and wandered the halls wondering which class she could sneak into. Then she heard the commotion from our room. "Wow! This was the best class the entire weekend," she said to me. "I think I got more information from you two than I have in a month's worth of classes!"
Well, bless her heart. She may have been exaggerating a bit, but it was an hour and a half of fun, sharing, and well, hey ... when you put two publicity and public speaking queens in a room ... what do you expect?
I think we gave them their money's worth. Enough that we received a special shout-out from the NCWN's Executive Director, Cynthia Barnett at the dinner on Saturday evening.
Thing is ... when it comes to delivering information, Dena and I want to make a difference. Just like the North Carolina Writer's Network makes in the lives of writers across the region. This network is there for beginning writer, the emerging writer, and the experienced writer.
Jill McCorkle, Keynote, spoke Friday night. Her speech hit on censorship. That writers must have freedom in their writing. To censor one's writing is to stifle the creative process. I loved her delivery and I agree with her. But to me, censorship is also about those in the industry attempting to not only "censor" what we write but HOW we write. Censorship seeps into the minds and hearts of the writer and all but stops creativity. Because somebody says, "you can't do it that way, and get published," it causes writers to become mentally challenged with severe limitations. They never progress any further than the next "HOW-TO WRITE and PUBLISH" book on the market or the next authority figure that thinks they know what it takes to "make it."
It stinks in the nostrils of God. (In my humble opinion.)
I'll bet if anyone told my dear friend, Gail Cauble Gurley that she couldn't produce and write the screenplay for her book, Red Dirt Tracks just because she'd only written three books and all of them self-published, and because she's a senior citizen ... she'd laugh in their face. Because indeed, it is now a motion picture to be released in the spring of 2008. The movie, Red Dirt Rising, http://www.reddirtrising.com/ is a testament to the human spirit and the determination of one woman who ignored the "experts" and did things, HER WAY.
So, yes. I loved Jill's speech Friday night. Indeed I did.
Chatting with my good friends at Press 53, and other writers, agents, editors, publicists ... the conference is always a boost to my writer's soul. I'm thankful and grateful to the network for continuing in the face of adversity. I know there are challenges ahead, and the road will not be an easy one for the incoming Executive Director of the NCWN, (Ed Southern.) But the network will flourish, as long as they have instructors and presentations at their conferences that rock like ours certainly did!
Blessings to you and yours.