The Value of Workshops

It’s hard to find workshops and conferences that offer help for more advanced writers. It’s the nature of conferences to predominantly provide help for people just starting out in the business. You want to write, but you don’t know what to do so what better place than a conference to get all of your questions answered? Conferences and workshops helped me a lot when I first got started. It was at a SCBWI conference where I found out that the SASE thing (pronounced sassy in my mind) all the editors seemed to want was actually a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope. I also found out that I was supposed to send in the first three chapters with a query and not three middle chapters where all the action was. Nowadays I go to conferences to socialize and network. The Pikes Peak Writers Conference, however, often offers some talks for advanced writers. I recently had the opportunity to attend Donald Maass’ workshop at the PPWC conference. I had had the pleasure of hearing him speak at previous conferences and had attended a half day workshop with him last year so I was expecting great things. I went into the workshop pretty satisfied with the novel I was currently editing. I had written the first draft last summer. I let it sit for six months then incorporated a lot of my critique group suggestions. I let it sit again for a few months, mainly because of work deadlines, though I still wanted to do a big overhaul, deepening the emotions and tightening the writing before sending it to my agent. I decided to wait until...