Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Something for Everyone at the 2016 Steel Pen Creative Writers' Conference

As Tiffany mentioned in last week’s post, the Steel Pen Creative Writers’ Conference has something for everyone. The sessions cover all aspects of creative writing (fiction and non-fiction), from craft to publication to marketing. And the rooms are small and intimate, so you don’t get lost among the crowd in a large lecture hall. Beginner or advanced writer, all will benefit.

Do you enjoy the hands-on experience of a workshop? Try some of these:

·         “Lyrical Language: How to Make Your Prose Pop,” presented by Nichole Reber;

·         “Three Ways to Write First-Person Non-Fiction and Get Published,” also presented by Nichole Reber;

·         “Using Flash Fiction Techniques to Develop Character and Setting,” presented by Robyn Ryle;

·         “We Need to Talk: The Dos and Don’ts of Writing Effective Dialogue,” presented by Georgia Knapp;

·         “Creating Characters That Connect With Readers,” presented by Patricia Skalka; and

·         “Strategies for Cultivating a Poetics of Silence,” presented by Rebecca Macijeski, Sarah Fawn Montgomery, and Erin Bertram.

Even the lectures are interactive in the sense that the presenters welcome questions and comments. But if you just want to sit back and listen, you can. Better yet, take notes as you learn from the presenters in these sessions:

·         “A Big Thing is Made of Smaller Things: Writing a Novel-in-Stories,” presented by keynote speaker Cathy Day;

·         “Marketing Your Book; Life After Publication,” presented by Carla Lee Suson;

·         “Activating Memory Into Memoir,” presented by Marc Nieson; and

·         “The Editor-Author Relationship,” presented by Tiffany Cole.

Or maybe you want to benefit from the expertise of multiple individuals in a single session. If that’s the case, you can attend these panels:

·         “I Want to Get Published! Should I Go Traditional or Do It Myself?” moderated by Kathryn Page Camp with panelists James Dworkin, Joyce Hicks, Karen Kulinski, and Michael Poore; and

·         “Writing the Next Chapter,” with Patricia Skalka, Lynn Sloan, and Joyce Burns Zeiss.

Your biggest problem will be deciding which ones NOT to attend. Unfortunately, the schedule only allows for three sessions, and some of your favorites may conflict. But imagine how much you can get out of the ones you DO attend.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced writer, the 2016 Steel Pen Creative Writers’ Conference has something for everyone, and that includes you. So please join us on Saturday, November 12, at the Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville, Indiana.

To learn more and to register for the conference, visit the conference page on the Indiana Writers’ Consortium website at Also check out our Facebook page at


The photograph shows a session on “Historic (Re)Tell” at least year’s conference. Note the intimate setting.

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