Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Good Conference Equals Great Energy

Chesapeake Writing Workshop from bradrcook on instagram
A Good Conference Equals Great Energy
By Brad R Cook

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Chesapeake Writing Workshop and had such a good time that I want to share my experience with the rest of you.

The Chesapeake Writing Workshop was a two day, two city event part of a whole network of conferences going on this year. I attended the second day of the workshop which was held in Arlington Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington DC. (Friday March 27 or Saturday March 28) Read more here -

The workshop is a one day event with lectures by Chuck Sambuchino of Writers Digest, including pitch sessions and a first page read handled by several literary agents. It’s everything a writer needs in a writing conference without taking up the whole weekend or your entire budget.

In fact, what I loved about the conference was the compact intensity. Don’t get me wrong I love running off to a long conference and hanging with my fellow writers over a series of days, but those can be prohibitively expensive. I know several of my fellow attendees this weekend were from the area surrounding our nation’s capital. For them this conference was nothing more than a tank of gas and the price of the conference. (I’m not providing the prices, because it depends on if you add pitch sessions or query critiques and I don’t know if they change for each individual workshop or not.) All of this information is available on their websites which are provided in the links below. Or just click here -

I chose the Chesapeake Writing Workshop for several reasons, but it started when I found Chuck Sambuchino’s blog post about the series of workshops he was appearing at. I went through the ones that were closest to me, my family, and friends, but really I was looking at which agents were taking pitches at certain conferences.

I made a list, picked my conference, and zipped off to our nation’s capital. If you haven’t had the opportunity to hear Chuck Sambuchino speak I highly recommend it. I first heard him at the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York, and then when I was working on the Missouri Writers Guild Conference in 2014. He has a way of laying out the job and expectations for writers that is both encouraging and engaging.

Beyond the great time I had talking to writers and pitching to a literary agent, the energy that I am infused with after the event is worth the price of admission alone. It’s like a shot of writing adrenalin. I write for hours on end with a jazzed up enthusiasm I wish I could bottle. The feeling will last for weeks and I can't recommend enough, if you're a writer and are feeling down - seek out a conference. 

Now I have to get back to editing... 

Jessica Bell is the organizer of the writing workshops, and she did a great job managing not just this conference, but several this year. I also have to thank Alexis Grant of The Write Life @thewritelife

Interested in a writers conference? I wrote a post listing several happening in 2015, read it here.

To find more of the writing workshops in this series jump over to Chuck Sambuchino’s blog here.
Learn more about Chuck Sambuchino here or on Twitter @chucksambuchino

Thank you to Jessica, Chuck, Alexis, and the other attendees – I had a blast and would return again. 

Brad R. Cook is the author of the YA Steampunk Series The Iron Chronicles. He is a contributor to The Writers Lens and Write Pack Radio. He currently serves as Historian of St. Louis Writers Guild after three and half years as its President. Learn more about his books and endeavors at or on Twitter @bradrcook Follow my blog Thoughts from Midnight on tumblr

No comments:

Post a Comment