Writers’ Conference

I attended the 2nd Annual Rutgers-New Brunswick Writers’ Conference this past weekend.

Alice Hoffman and Chris Bohjalian gave memorable keynote addresses. I’ve never read either of these authors, but I have a feeling that I will be reading their works for years to come.

This year’s conference was even better than last year’s with more workshops from which to choose. Established authors and experts provided information and advice on creating an author’s web page, using social media as a marketing tool, and cogent tips for writing in various genres.

A few of the presenters were carried over from last year, which is both good and not so good. Most of the presenters whose workshops I attended were excellent and on-target, one or two not so much. One presenter in particular, while giving a few tips about overcoming writer’s block, seemed to ramble on about his life and career for most of the 90-minute workshop. Overall, the conference planners did a great job of mixing things up by re-inviting some of the crowd-pleasing presenters from last year back this year and offering new perspectives with new presenters. But, you also need new blood to keep things fresh for returning attendees.

One thing that could be added is a short (15 minutes?) meet-and-greet type thing where the attendees have to leave their comfort zone of sitting with the friends they came with and talk with other writers whom they don’t know — and get their contact information!

Will I go next year? Probably, depending on the keynote speakers and presenters.

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