This weekend two of my writing critique friends and I attended the New England Crime Bake, a writers' conference for mystery and suspense fiction authors. Although I don't write in those genres it was an amazing weekend!

We drove to Orient Point at the tip of Long Island and took the ferry to Connecticut, then drove to Nedham, Massachusetts for the conference. We attended informational sessions, author interviews and several panels on writing and publishing. The collective energy in the hotel was like lifeblood to writers. While there I felt I was among my people--my writer friends. I knew with every part of me that I belong with writers and I am meant to be a writer. Though it was a different genre there was much to be learned. I even received a great critique on the first 15 pages of a novel from author Lea Wait. It is always encouraging to have people commend your writing skills and helpful to get some critical feedback to make the writing stronger.

I now have writers' conference fever and am planning my next trip!!

Since I am focusing on writing my memoir I am eager to attend the Story Circle Conference in April called "Stories from the Heart." I am hoping to find a way to finance the trip to Austin, Texas so I can once again be among my writing friends. I've been to Stories from the Heart before and it is an amazing conference. The workshops are excellent and the stories told by the women who attend are fascinating, heartwarming and heartbreaking too. It is quite a gathering of fascinating women.

The conference is offered every two years which is why I'm so eager to attend in 2014. I don't want to wait 2 more years to be able to go to the conference. Guess I need to curb my book buying addiction to save some money.

By April I hope to have the poetry collection finished and printed so I can bring copies of the book with me to the conference. I will have started the 6 month memoir course and hope to meet up with my mentors as well.

I'm searching for other memoir and poetry conferences so any suggestions are welcomed. Conference fever is one illness I want more and more of.


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