How exciting! It’s that time of year again, and the buzz is starting about the Willamette Writers Conference. This year’s theme is “Fresh Brewed,” and it’s all about the brews that Portland has to offer and those certain beverages that get the creative juices flowing…or help us drown our sorrows when they don’t. Which is even more reason why Portland is the perfect writing town!
Included this year (and one that I’m really looking forward to) is a workshop that builds over the course of three days. John Ellis, of Portland Internet Design, will be teaching a Web Warrior series of classes. Whether you’re going the traditional route or self-publishing, these classes are all about learning how to get your writing on the web…successfully. John will focus on SEO writing mechanics, increasing site performance, using keywords, and mastering Google+. And yes, he fully expects you to bring your iPad, laptop or smart phone for some hands-on learning.
Other classes include those from popular workshop leaders like Jessica Morrell, Cynthia Whitcomb, Danny Manus, and Larry Brooks, as well as new faces like Seth Jaret, Jennifer Lauck, and Debra Gwartney.
And the consultants will be there in full force! On the film side, there’s Luke Ryan, Jacqueline Gault, and Marc Manus. For those of you interested in literary agents and editors, there’s Annie Bomke, Linda Epstein, Angela Rinaldi, and John Cusick.
The keynote speaker at the Saturday Night Gala this year is Kelly Willams Brown, the author of Adulting and a conference success story. Lunch speakers include Dennis Stovall of Ooligan Press, screenwriter and director Gordy Hoffman, and author Jennifer Lauck.
FiLMLaB was a huge success this year. The competition had over 50 entries, and not only will the winning script be made into a movie, but it will also be shown during the FiLMLaB event after the Friday Night Reception. Judges for this year include Erik Bork (writer/editor of Band of Brothers), Stacy Chattaway (Executive Director of Development at LAIKA Entertainment), Zach Cox (Manager at Circle of Confusion – Walking Dead), Mary Cybriwsky (Manager/Producer at Scooty Woop Entertainment), and Luke Ryan (Executive Vice President at Disruption Entertainment). Even better, a new opportunity has just opened up. A Northwest production company that features short films in many of its projects wants to see vetted scripts from FiLMLaB, so those from the semi-finalists and finalists (both this year’s and last’s) will be passed on to them.
So come and get inspired! The conference is three days of learning about the craft of writing, getting excited about writing, practicing writing, seeing great accomplishments in writing, talking about writing, and then… Yep. Writing some more.
Do it! You know you want to.