Midwest Writers Workshop 2017: Top 10 Things I Learned This Year

Midwest Writers Workshop 2017 has come to an end all too soon but it was a very successful [and sold out] workshop. Faculty and writers come from all over the country to attend annually.

Three days of learning, networking, and eating. During downtime, the air is abuzz with laughter, pitch practices, advice, book signings, photo-taking, and excited writers talking about the new contacts they’ve made and the reviews they’ve received.

MWW has such amazing faculty each year that it’s difficult to pick which classes to attend. This year I left with a new mentor, a publisher who’s interested in my manuscript, and made a few new writer friends to boot! I always learn so much but here is a list of my top 10!

  • Enter the scene as late as you can and get out as soon as you can. –Matthew Clemens
  • Titles: It’s part of your sales pitch. Keep it short, three words or less. Keep it honest to content. Make it memorable. -Holly Miller
  • Evernote: A digital media tool. It organizes your projects, lists, notes, and syncs across all your devices. It has a chat/meeting feature as well. –Jane Friedman
  • Find your weakness in your writing and focus on it until it’s your strength. –Jessica Strawser
  • Turn off your spell check and grammar check in your first draft so you’re not distracted by those colored lines that make you want to edit. –Mike Mullin
  • Research: time yourself. Set a timer for 15 minutes so you get in and get out without being sucked down the rabbit hole of the internet! –Matthew Clemens
  • Every chapter should have a title. -Holly Miller
  • Before bed, you should work on or think about your next scene. Your subconscious will keep working on it while you sleep. –Mike Mullin
  • Publishers are looking for books with shelf life, movie potential, and series potential. They are looking for writers with platforms. -Holly Miller
  • Career vs Hobby. If you’re not writing every day, it’s a hobby. You have to decide what writing means to you. You must be able to produce a book a year. –Matthew Clemens
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