I imagine my life is like many writers'. My family and friends think it's great that I write - but ask if I've 'hired an agent yet.' As much as I try to protect my writing space, my writing time gets chopped by phone calls, appointments, and other interruptions since I 'don't have a job and I'm home all day anyway.'
I crave the company of those who understand that it's ok to spend more than eight hours crafting a poem. That deleting a whole chapter is not a waste of time or words but a way to tighten the story. That pulling at my hair when just the right word eludes me is not crazy behavior - and neither is conversing with my characters to make sure I'm getting the dialogue right.
So I'm a member of several critique groups, I attend author and poet readings, and I slip away to workshops and conferences every chance I get.
The upcoming SCBookFest is another chance. The SCBookFest is not a workshop or conference on craft, but a two-day celebration of books and authors held at the Columbia Convention Center. It's this weekend, the 14th and 15th, and if you enjoy books and/or writing this is a great place to spend some time. And it's free!
Throughout each day you can hear author panels discuss their books and genre and you'll have the opportunity to ask questions about their work. Here's a spattering if this year's topics:
Judging a Book by it's Cover
Southern Women Writers:Heartfelt and Humorous
Modern Technology and the Future of the Book
Exploring Historical Fiction: Conflicts and Perspectives
Writing with Faith: Christian Writers
An Unfinished Conversation: Connecting with Readers through Social Media
Keynote presenters expected are Steve and Cokie Roberts, Roy Blount, Jr., Mary Alice Monroe,
Nikky Finney, C.J. Box, Susan Vreeland, and Marshall Chapman.
There will be readings by authors and poets.
In addition to the speakers, the exhibit hall will be filled with small press representatives, authors, book collectors and appraisers, the book store and much more.
And of course the SCWW will be there. Volunteers will be on hand to answer your questions about the organization and tell you the latest goings-on, especially about the annual conference that is shaping up. Past issues of our literary journal, The Petigru Review, will be available for purchase so you can read a sampling of our members' writing.
So come to the SCBookFest, www.scbookfestival.org, and stop by and see us. You'll be in good company.