What makes a writers conference work? First, it was well run by a group that was having a good time doing it, and this sense of hospitality and welcome permeated the day.
Maybe my favorite part of Karen McElmurray's workshop on "The Floating World" of memoir was the discussion. Intelligent discussion. Non-self promoting discussion. Genuine discussion. You know, the kind of thing that can sometimes happen in a group of women. And the writing exercise left me with a piece that might turn into something - me, at thirteen, in a claw-foot bathtub, drinking a stolen beer and shaving my legs for the first time. Now, that's a good workshop.
The "Successful Quests for a Literary Agent" presentation that Anne Martin Fletcher and I gave, I'm pretty sure, went well. We had a great time doing it.
Georgia Banks-Martin had a rapt audience for her poetry workshop and all the while there were individual critique sessions offered at no added cost. And, an important quality for a workshop, the lunch was delicious.
By the time of the reading that night we'd become a community of writers - thanks to Jane's Stories Press Foundation.