Monthly Online eZine  
News And Views For Working Writers

 INside Scoop
 IN Her Own Write
 Pen IN Hand
 Write On!
 Screen & Stage
 Top 10 Resources
 Book Reviews
 Items Of INterest
 Global Offerings
 INside Services
 Bill The Bard
 The Writer At Work
 Games & Puzzles
 Classic eTexts
 Free Software
 IN Banners
 Who's IN
 What's IN
 Editorial Calendar
 Join IN's Team
 Contacting IN

IN Front Cover


Learn To Be A Better Journalist

Buy Classic Literature Collections

Acclaimed Screenplay Writing Software

Books On How To Write Fiction

Become A Well Paid Travel Writer

Vote daily and raise our ranking!

Pen IN Hand
January, 2008

Peggy Bechko

The Writers' Conference
To go or not to go
By  Peggy Bechko

Youíve been writing for a while now and it occurs to you it might be worthwhile to attend one or more writersí conferences. So, the question is, bluntly, is it?
The answer is, confusingly, yes and no.
Okay, before you  give up in disgust and donít bother reading any further, I promise Iím going to clarify; give you something to consider and hopefully help you see a bit clearer the drawbacks and pluses of attending writersí conferences.
For starters, plainly it can be a very good idea. Conferences will frequently provide the opportunity for you to rub shoulders with editors, agents, and other writers. Those meetings can result in a connection with the "right" person. An editor who asks to see your work; another, more experienced writer whoís happy to offer advice; an agent who is willing to accept your submission; all these and more are the "right" people. Many also provide workshops on various topics that can be extremely informative. And many fast friendships have been formed at conferences. All of this is very good.
The down side?  Itís going to cost you money. If you have to travel some distance and stay in a motel, it will cost you even more money. There is usually a fee just to attend. Then more money may be required for many of the workshops and classes. If youíre on a tight budget you better figure the expenses accurately or youíll find yourself financially behind the eight ball. You can shave expenses if youíre lucky enough to have a conference in your city. So investigate that first.
The other down side is not quite as obvious as cash from pocket. If you happen to be very shy, and many writers are, will you really be able to get your dollars worth out of such a conference?  When I began writing I was extremely shy. If thatís the case with you, itís something you need to work on. You might consider starting with local writers' groups or attending some classes at a college nearby.
Remember, part of your professional life as a writer is going to be putting yourself out there. Youíll probably end up giving public talks, perhaps attending book signings, maybe giving interviews on the radio or for print publications. You cannot be a writer these days, hide in a corner, and expect that your words will be enough. They wonít.
Find ways to shake yourself loose from that shyness. I took myself to dude ranches when I was young, alone, and got to know people there. At first I simply attended the family-style meals. I felt awkward and self-conscious, but it didnít take long to get to know a few people and begin to feel more comfortable. I made it a point to strike up conversations and, no matter how uncomfortable, to put myself out there.
I recommend you do the same Ė and do it before you decide to attend a conference thatís costing you a lot of money . . . unless youíre feeling very brave and want to toss yourself into the deep end of the pool.

IN Icon

Author of Doubleday western novels, Harlequin romances, Fictionworks' fantasies (eBook format), Peggy Bechko has also optioned screenplays domestically and abroad, written for an animated series and for variety of other venues. She's working on a new novel and collaborating on a animated series.

Sign Up and Use Our New Forums! Voice Your Opinion! Discuss Our Content! Ask for Writing Assistance. Post Your Successes, Queries or Information Requests. Collaborate with Other Writers.

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

Pen IN Hand
IN This Issue
Cha, Cha, Cha, Changes!
Writer As Juggler
Sell That Book
Writers Write
Refined Author's Guide
Writers As Complainers
Get A Clue
How Not To Query
Blown To Hell (Excerpt)
Six Editing Hints For Writers

Support IN
Receive Free Gifts
$20.00 Voluntary Contribution
$35.00 Voluntary Contribution
$50.00 Voluntary Contribution

New Novelist Software

Effectively Manage Your List

Writers Digest 101 Site Award

Your Ad Here

Traffic Swarm For Writers

Hottest Books This Month!

Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writerís Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails weíve known;
Each writerís block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
Itís how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Donít plant your poem on the page
As though youíre hanging drapes;
Itís shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their ďthemes.Ē

Double Vision
A writerís life is paradox,
Itís more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know youíll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poemís through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

Our Own Banner Rotator System
Any banner seen below is either our own or one of our members.
Support the cause - click a banner.

Want Your 468x60 Banner Above? It's FREE For Newly Published Books

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049
All Rights Reserved. Copying in any way strictly forbidden.
Our Disclaimer Is Based Upon McIntyre's First Law: "Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you may be wrong."