Writing can be a solitary, isolating, and frequently frustrating activity for the vast majority of us. Writers don’t “hang out” together anymore, except perhaps in cyberspace, which ain’t exactly like sharing a whisky with Hemingway during San Fermin.
This sense of isolation is what makes writer’s conferences so important to upcoming scribblers these days, and why the Southern California Writers’ conference in Palm Springs is a must for anyone interested in selling something they’ve written, or anyone who yearns to be a better writer.
This year’s gathering highlights workshops featuring crime and mystery novelists Michael Thompkins and Tom Basinski, video game writers Aaron Connors (Amped), and a host of read-and-critique sessions designed to get honest feedback on where your work is going. There’s also Kathryn Jordan, author of the new Hot Water, whose conducting a session called “Erotic Encounters: Sex Scenes that Satisfy,” which doesn’t sound terribly literary, but might be fun after a few gin and tonics.
But let’s face it; most writers come to conferences in order to become published writers themselves. In fact, most literary agents and publishers rely on writing conferences when it comes to finding fresh, talented writers—and at the PS shindig, agents and editors will be on hand to accept material for advance submission and critique. So get on out of your writer’s dungeon and brave the desert oasis. (Bill Gerdes)
Third Annual Southern California Writers’ Conference Palm Springs at The Hyatt Regency Hotel, 285 N. Palm, Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, (619) 233-4651 www.writersconference.com. Fri.-Sun. $175-$340.