April brought two writing workshops to the Sacramento area. The first was hosted by SPC, and the cost was FREE. On Friday evening, Indigo Moor and Peter Grandbois read. On Saturday, the workshops began at 10:00. A day of workshops hosted by Indigo Moor, Peter Grandbois, Toni Mirosevich, Joseph Lease, Donna de la Perriere, Tim Kahl, and FlatmanCrooked covered topics as diverse as self-publishing and how to write the big poem without thinking about writing the big poem.
I took workshops with both Indigo Moor and Toni Mirosevich. In both, I was exposed to new poetry (Indigo handed out a selection of poems that we examined) and new ways of approaching poems, especially the difficult subjects. Toni showed a film, and we used that for one of the exercises. It was difficult to know which workshops to choose. After the workshops, Toni, Donna, and Joseph answered questions and discussed their workshops, then they each read. After the reading, there was another opportunity to speak with the writers and have them sign books. The end of the event was a time to relax to the words and sounds of NSAA and Ross Hammond. And for those of you need to know, they did not honor Tim's request to play "Freebird."
The second conference was held the following weekend at Cosumnes River College and cost only $30 for the day. The keynote speaker was Albert Garcia of SCC. I took workshops from Dennis Schmitz and Julia Connor. This conference was the 3rd annual "Our Life Stories." Diverse workshops were presented that covered memoir, fiction, self-publishing, and poetry.
Julia Connor stated that she takes at least 3 workshops each year, and I think that this is something we can all try to do. SPC is sponsoring several free workshops with Julia Connor, Bob Stanley, and others at area libraries. MatrixArts sponsors free and low-cost workshops (I am currently taking a screenwriting class). There's the Tuesday Night Workshop at the Hart Senior Center (one of the sponsors of the "Our Life Stories" conference).
Conferences, good conferences, need not cost a lot of money as more than one participant pointed out. Look local for conferences and workshops. Don't forget the community colleges, too.
I hope to see more friends at these two conferences next April.
Until next time,