No news to most of our members that the 10th Geneva Writers' Group Conference is coming up very soon, from the 18th to the 20th of March, at Webster University in Bellevue. If you still haven't quite gotten around to registering yet, tarry no more, as workshops are filling up fast. Here is the link:
I make no secret that I am childishly excited about the whole event! Here are some of my personal highlights and 'secrets' I've discovered about our panellists and instructors.
1) Did you know Shaun McCarthy, who will be running workshop on Writing for Performance is not only an award-winning playwright, he has also written scripts for radio plays and a play entitled Collider, which is all about our very own neighbour CERN and the Large Hadron Collider experiments?
2) Jane Friedman is one of the best-known and most highly-respected authorities in digital media and publishing, and she will be talking about the choices we now have as authors to make our work more readable and more widely read. I follow her blog religiously and tweet her advice and recommendations regularly.
3) Breaking news: did you hear that Tessa Hadley, who will be running a fiction workshop on those pesky Beginnings and another on Close Observation, has just won the prestigious Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction?
4) I'm sure you still remember Carmen Bugan, talented poet and memoirist, who has recently relocated to the US. But do you know her latest poetry collection Releasing the Porcelain Birds will be published very shortly? Her workshops are intriguingly entitled Writing for the Joy of It and The Evolving, Speaking Self.
5) Peter Blackstock, senior editor at Grove Antlantic, and Richard Harvell of Bergli Books will join author Jason Donald and Maria Barry of John Hunt Publishing to discuss the particular challenges of writing and getting published as an expat. Did you know they are also on the 'hunt' for international voices and settings?
6) Are you aware that Liz Jensen, who will be running workshops on suspense and fantasy fiction, is about to see her novel The Ninth Life of Louis Drax transformed into a movie starring Jamie Dornan (of 50 Shades of Grey fame)?
7) Do you know Jill Marsh, who is based in Zurich and runs an author collective and workshops there? She is the Swiss ambassador for The Alliance of Independent Authors and has interviewed pretty much everybody who is anybody on her outstanding blog.
8) Did you know Andrea Stuart was born in Jamaica, of Barbadian parents, has studied at the University of East Anglia and the Sorbonne and has been named by Ebony magazine 'one of six Caribbean writers you should take some time to discover' for her poetry-infused non-fiction and family history?
So that's just a small proportion of people I am looking forward to hearing and learning from... And, for those of you who are as Twitter-obsessed as myself, we will be live-tweeting from the conference using the hashtag #gwgconf
What about you? What have you signed up for and what do you want to get out of this conference?