Jenny Garden



May 25, 2016

Tags: conferencereport, HOCM, WIWC

Did you miss me? During the past month I attended the Windsor International Writers Conference (WIWC) in Canada; visited family far from my Seattle home; made a side trip to Ann Arbor's Hands On Children's Museum (HOCM)—an incredible place for grown-ups, too; began unraveling after all that traveling; was forced by warm weather to switch from winter to summer clothes—no small project in cramped quarters; and believe it or not, I'm still working on the novel that I thought was finished 20,000 words ago. Whew! Of course, what you're looking for is the conference report, so here we go.

This was an exceptional conference, possibly the best I have ever attended. Highly productive, particularly for writers who have been working at their craft for a while, and greatly encouraging. Pre-conference (a day prior to the main program) included roundtables with other attendees for a chance to show work in progress and have it informally critiqued, each table headed by an agent or publisher. During the two and a half days of the main conference, each day from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (and later) was packed right through lunch and dinner with panels and individual talks covering fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, column writing, broadcast writing, query letters—the list goes on and on. No fluff, all usable information presented by professionals of all stripes from all areas of writing. Opportunities made available throughout to present finished work to agents. Several not-too-serious but nevertheless challenging contests offered. All the above imparted with a lovely light touch and a big dollop of fun and music and good food.

My recommendation: If you can make it in 2017, go!

Selected Works

Practical suggestions to help the reader avoid the pitfalls of a divorce lawsuit.
A lighthearted but thorough explanation of the holiday in a picture book for young children.