There is no better way to up your game in writing than to visit other writing genre associations and their conferences and learn how they are organizing and producing their work. I attended the 2019 Wisconsin Romance Writers Conference last spring at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee and had a blast! Fellow author, Amy Schisler, who writes a lot in the Romance and Faith Based arenas, asked if I would like to attend the conference with her. I studied the conference speakers and noticed there were several classes/lectures I thought would be interesting and would enhance my own suspense writing efforts. So, it was on to Milwaukee.
Though it is impossible to attend or sit in for a few minutes on all the sessions, I ran throughout the lobby and conference floors trying to catch those I had highlighted. There was one multiple-session event with writing coach extraordinaire—Lisa Cron, author of Wired for Story and Story Genius. Both are excellent books on the brain science of writing and helping you to get your story organized and write a compelling book … [no matter which genre you are writing]. It was an exceptional lecture and that alone was worth the effort of going. Another great value was listening and chatting with other writers in their different genres about their challenges in the industry as well. Something I learned—there are as many different genres within the romance arena as there are within the writing field itself. Romance writing is coming into the mainstream of genre writing with authors producing exceptionally high-quality products. With companies like Hallmark now producing many romance writers’ works on television, it seems there is no going back for them and only better opportunities to come.
However, the one thing that stood out with these writers [mostly women] is how hard they work. Many are full-time moms, also with jobs. Some are professionals yet they have a need to write and express their art. All had a passion to write and it was amazing listening to how they uniquely eased out time to write. Some are producing 2 books per year and a few, more than that. They are eager to assist fellow writers and share info on the industry and time-saving techniques on writing and living an already over-scheduled life. Friendly, funny and not threatened by other successful writers, they joined for a few days to celebrate their successes and their passions of the moment and a genre they respect and constantly strive for excellence, opportunities and the next step. It was a pleasure to be with them for a few days. I never had so much fun at a writer’s conference. Go, ladies!!!