Snacking on Crossroads Writers Conference

I didn’t get to make the Crossroads Literary Festival, which was a festival offered in conjunction with the Crossroads Writers Conference that showcased writers and offered readings and was a completely free event for the community in and outside of the College Hill Corridor, but I did make the Writers Conference and it was a well needed treat!

I was very excited when I was one of 20 writers to win a scholarship to the conference. I also volunteered and the committee was kind enough to set up my volunteer times around the conference so I wouldn’t miss anything. I was also excited to introduce Josephine Bennett of GPB and Candice Dyer for one of the panels on freelancing. Ad Hudler’s advice on writing dialogue that’s real was really good (he’s a funny guy). Steve Almond was a definite treat of the conference. I took his comedy writing panel and was able to read something I’d written. While I didn’t get a true critique, he commented on my writing and the writing of others in the class. Those who read were really funny and it was extremely helpful for me as a budding comedy writer. Almond also did the final reading at the closing ceremonies (should we have set something on fire and then put it out?) for the Writers Conference and it was hilarious. Someone told me that my laughing helped set them off, but I more than enjoyed myself. If I could apprentice with Steve Almond, I would be happy. One thing he said was that many people take comedy writing as being something other than serious, but it is just the flip side of serious and that comedy is just the forgiving side of the hard things of life. Almond and T.S. Eliot has the same thought: Comedy is just another way of saying something serious. He also said something about being honest and that comedy helps us be honest in a way that isn’t as harsh. Here’s hoping I learn to inject more honesty and comedy into my fiction writing.

Also, at the end of the conference, Mercer University Press announced coming awards for a book of poetry, a book of creative non-fiction, and a book of fiction – the awards for the winners would be $500 and publishing of the books. For those of you who  have full manuscripts, you  might want to polish those up and enter. I’m sure details will soon be on their page, so keep checking back.

The Writers Conference made for a long day. A long and exhilarating day. As a consequence, I missed Citizen Insane at the Golden Bough – though I hear they were excellent and that Lacey sang most of the songs (way to go Lacey!). If Citizen Insane is opening up and expanding their music, as was described to me, then way to go guys and you know I can’t wait to see you on a day that I’m not so tired.


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