Posts

Stretch to the next level with MWW22!

MWW board member and writer Leah McNaughton Lederman encourages you to stretch your writing! 

Because I write primarily creative nonfiction, I aim for the creative nonfiction sessions at any conference I attend. Makes sense, right?

But then it happened: There wasn’t a creative nonfiction option available. Huh. Well, I supposed, a poetry session might work in a pinch.

Let me tell you, it most certainly worked.

Writing within the constraints of a different medium pulled ideas and phrases out of me that I didn’t know I had in me; it forced me to approach my ideas from a different angle and spilled my word-hoard in refreshing and delightful ways.

Now I make it a point to attend workshops outside of my chosen genre. After all, what piece of nonfiction couldn’t benefit from the scene setting, character building, and dialogue studied in fiction sessions? And the autobiographical elements of fiction can be finessed onto the page using the memory-mining techniques of nonfiction. Poetry’s precision of language and inside-out phrasing create a lyrical quality in your prose. All of these things will compel your readers to move forward and turn the page.

Of course, this isn’t an original revelation—some of you may even be thinking, “Well, duh.” But hey, it’s worth talking about. Especially as the Midwest Writers Workshop first-ever hybrid summer conference approaches…

We’re offering you the opportunity to attend ALL of our sessions in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, plus research and the writing process! Heck, watch them more than once with the recordings you’ll receive. If you’re a fiction writer, you can try on some nonfiction; a nonfiction writer can wrestle their ideas into a poem, a poet can stretch their legs into an essay. Each session features a different type of word wrangling, planning, exposition, plotting, and pacing.

Challenge yourself! Your writing will gain depths and layers that will mesmerize your readers.

Join MWW this summer for our first-ever hybrid conference. You can attend in person at the beautiful Ball State Alumni Center, or sit in from wherever you’re located (pajamas recommended).

There are takeaways for everyone, no matter your genre. MWW22 is an important opportunity for you to network with others and build a writing community for yourself. 

Stay tuned! Future E-pistle newsletters and blogs will feature faculty members with videos and interviews. They will help you write your story!

~ Leah McNaughton Lederman

Registration available for MWW22 Hybrid Conference!

Join us for the 49th Midwest Writers Workshop

MWW22 Conference: Craft + Community

Thursday, July 14 – Saturday, July 16, 2022

MWW22 is our first ever hybrid conference! This July 14 – 16, whether you attend in person or online (using Zoom), we have top-notch instructors leading interactive sessions, enlightening panels on vital topics, and networking opportunities to help you expand your writing community. Our keynote speaker is Jane Friedman! 

This version of MWW allows us to offer plenty of instruction, networking, and the sense of community that makes MWW so special. Come to Muncie, Indiana, and join us at the beautiful Ball State Alumni Center for our 49th writers’ conference, or join us virtually wherever you’re located.

Our hybrid MWW22 includes:

**In-person sessions and/or Zoom video conferencing that feature a variety of topics determined by each faculty member, writing prompts, and vital, informative, enjoyable discussions to build your skills as a writer.

**A remarkable faculty who know their stuff, providing information for aspiring writers at all stages of their journey.

**Instruction led by renowned faculty for the genres of:

  • Fiction – Katrina Kittle
  • Fiction – Martin Seay
  • Fiction/Mystery – Mia P. Manansala
  • Fiction/Thriller – Matthew Clemens
  • Young Adult – Michelle Falkoff
  • Poetry/Memoir – Kathleen Rooney
  • Nonfiction/Essays – Jack Heffron
  • Thursday evening keynote: Jane Friedman
  • Friday evening: Angela Jackson-Brown, “Autopsy of a Novel”

Why attend?

Do you dream of getting your story out of your heart and into a book? It’s time to turn that dream into reality. We’ll help you get those words onto paper and craft your story into a powerful offering.

That’s the vision behind our mission statement and our passion to help writers. We’re dedicated to maintaining and building our MWW writing community to nurture writers at every stage of their journey, giving them the tools they need to improve their craft and achieve their publishing goals.

MWW22 is designed to guide you to the next step in your writing journey. Whether you’re a beginner with zero experience or you’ve been writing for years, you’ll want the collective wisdom of our conference faculty. These authors will empower you to dream, write, and publish the story inside you. 

 **Private Facebook Group plus evening “Talkabouts” for camaraderie and to build connections with other participants and faculty.

**Can’t attend all the sessions live? No problem. MWW is offering archival video access to ALL attendees for ALL sessions for three months following the conference.

The cost for our in-person MWW22 experience is $269 [reduced from $399!] 

No more having to choose among breakout sessions! Attend ALL sessions live or watch the recordings for up to three months later. This format encourages all writers to stretch beyond their genre and learn from every instructor.

We know that a writing conference can make your head with new information and inspiration when it’s all over! Our hybrid setup gives you the chance to go back and revisit the sessions. That way you can catch any content that you missed, rewatch sessions you found particularly helpful, or get inspired all over again!

The In-Person Experience:

  • Manuscript evaluations: Evaluation of your first five pages plus a one-page synopsis of a manuscript, completed or in progress. The $50 fee covers a 15-minute one-on-one in-person appointment during the conference.
  • Office Hour with each faculty: Have you ever wanted to sit with a published author and pick their brains on topics like: publishing, revising, or anything else that relates to becoming an author? This is your opportunity. You don’t need an appointment, just drop in for these informal sessions with our faculty members.
  • Meal fellowship with participants: Sign up for lunches (pre-order when you register) and hang out with other writers at the Ball State Alumni Center. (See FAQ for details.)
  • Ball State Bookstore on-site vendor: Purchase books by our MWW22 faculty and Board. Get them autographed!
  • MWW Consignment Bookstore: If you’re a published author attending in-person, you can sell your books at our consignment bookstore. (See FAQ for details.)
  • MWW merchandise: Take something home to commemorate your MWW22 experience!

Note* In-Person attendees will have virtual access to live sessions as well. Virtual attendees will have virtual access only.

The cost for our Virtual MWW22 experience is $199.

From the comfort of your home (think: pajamas!), enjoy sessions in real time, participating in a live chat with other writers who are joining virtually. Or tap back in later! Recordings of sessions will be available for three months after the conference.

Join us to be inspired and equipped for the next step in your writing journey!

Find the entire schedule: here.

Find the faculty bios: here.

Register HERE!

22 Writing Affirmations for 2022

The new year is a great time to start fresh, reflect on our accomplishments from the past twelve months and consider what we’d like to do differently. It’s a time to set new goals!

And then somewhere around the second week, we lose track. Life gets in the way; we get in our own way.

It happens to all of us, so don’t beat yourself up! Here are 22 affirmations to keep you moving along. Read them out loud and remind yourself of them throughout the year. And add your own!

  1. I am a writer.
  2. I have a voice.
  3. My words matter.
  4. Someone out there is waiting for my words and needs to hear them.
  5. My words are worth making time for.
  6. I can let go of my writing obstacles; I can work around them.
  7. I don’t have to wait for inspiration, I just have to show up.
  8. My writing has something to show me.
  9. My words don’t have to be perfect.
  10. I have the power to create something beautiful. I can write scenes and images that resonate with my readers.
  11. Everything I need is within me.
  12. I am talented and hone my skills when I write.
  13. I can set goals and reach towards them one small step at a time.
  14. I define my writing successes.
  15. I deserve my writing successes and take satisfaction in them.
  16. Other people’s successes do not detract from mine.
  17. Constructive criticism strengthens my writing.
  18. Rejection is an opportunity for growth.
  19. I am not alone in my writing journey.
  20. I have opportunities to find and create writing communities.
  21. The Midwest Writers Workshop has my back.
  22. I got this.
And don’t forget: MWW is here to cheer you on!

Craft + Community: That’s what MWW21 is all about

Make MWW21 your summer destination

Join us for inspiring four days at Midwest Writers Workshop, July 28-31, 2021. It’s the best kind of writing conference for both aspiring authors and those getting ready to pitch or market finished works.

More than 20 sessions cover aspects of novel-writing, creative nonfiction research, children’s writing, memoir, essays, and new this year – writing comics. Plus breakout sessions, writing prompts, cocktail hours, and chances to read a “first page” for feedback.

Everything is online, but we offer a remarkable level of intimacy nonetheless! You’ll find it a joy to get acquainted with fellow speakers and hear from writers whose struggles are similar to yours. In every session, the mutual support and encouragement you receive (in the chat boxes and in small breakout “rooms” where you can unmute and unload) will keep you motivated and inspired. And there’s a private Facebook group for shared links and book recommendations, questions, and selfies.

Best piece of advice for persons registering for MWW21 in July: Keep an open mind. If you write romance novels, attend a poetry session; if nonfiction is your passion, attend how to create powerful scenes. In other words, plan to stretch yourselves in all sorts of new ways. The best part of being a writer is that you never master it. You’re always learning and experimenting.

Virtual MWW21 is around the corner! July 28-31!

MWW21 is more than instructional and inspiring sessions!

Award-winning author and MWW21 fiction faculty, Angela Jackson-Brown offered this wisdom:

On Thursday, July 29th, the second day of the Midwest Writers Workshop conference, you will have the opportunity to “Read Your Stuff” during our Morning Talkabouts.

Of course, some of you are probably shy or nervous about reading your work out loud. In fact, some of you might even avoid reading your work out loud to yourself. Completely understandable. It definitely feels a little awkward. But it’s some of the best advice you can receive when it comes to reviewing your own work. Reading it out loud lets you physically hear it, a different experience altogether from hearing it in your head. We would urge you to consider pushing through that desire to remain silent and share your work.

Below are some reasons why it is great to share your work. The information below comes from an article written by David Berner of The Writer Shed.

  1. You will catch awkward or unnecessary phrases. When we write, we write in silence, meaning we figure out the words in our head and then simply type them. And when you do this, you tend to create unnecessary phrases and sentences, description that is filler, fluff. If we read the work out loud that “fluff” jumps out at us. It will reveal what needs to be cut.
  2. You find the music in your words. When people say, “that writer writes so beautifully,” they usually mean he/she writes like a poet, a lyricist, and the words flow like the most magnificent of songs. And how do we know we like a particular song? We hear it. It’s not enough to see the notes on a staff; we must experience the melody aurally. Words on a page are no different. Reading out loud will let you know immediately if you are one of the “beautiful writers” or if your story is clunking along like a bad ballad from the 80s. It helps you find the rhythm and pace of your writing, and to ultimately create a memorable melody of story.
  3. You will find your voice. There is so much talk about writers finding their voice, that unique pattern and style that is all yours. Many times, writing workshops tend to overplay voice. But what they do get right is that writers should write enough to discover it, not force it. Let it emerge naturally. Reading out loud can help in this process. The more you hear your words, the more you can identify how your writing voice is developing.
  4. You will find your mistakes. We read silently, in part, through a filter. If we do a lot of reading, our brains skim through anticipated phrases and words. We do not read every single word. But, if we read out loud, we are forced to read every word, and that permits us to discover those grammatical errors, typos, even help us see where that comma is misplaced.
  5. You become a better reader of your own work. If you find yourself writing material that is published or can be shared at many of the live lit experiences popping up all over most cities, reading your work out loud will give you practice. You will hear where you need to work on intonation and pace, where there are words and phrases that look good on paper but are hard to say, and you’ll prepare yourself for troublesome pronunciations. I recently wrote a piece that mentioned a town in Wales. I had seen the town’s name hundreds of times in print, but until I read it out loud, I truly hadn’t known the correct way to say it. Reading out loud fixed that.

Perhaps most important when you’re reading your work out loud and correcting the flow and possible minor mistakes: be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. You’re taking a courageous step forward to hear yourself and discover your writing voice. That’s not a small thing.

Make MWW21 July 28-31 your virtual destination! Register today!

Join us: MWW + Finish Strong for 2020

What a year 2020 has been, right?!

We’re heading into the last three months of the year. How does that make you feel? Are you where you want to be with your writing goals?

It’s a good time to dust off your writing goals for 2020 and see how you’re doing. Even in the midst of this pandemic year, what have you achieved that was on your list? In what ways have you exceeded your goals?

Have you fallen behind in some areas?

No matter where you are with your goals right now, the #1 way to finish the year strong is to Decide to Do It. Make a decision.

As the holidays approach, it will be easy to get caught up in everything except writing. Sometimes, we just assume that we won’t get much done at this time of year. But what if you decided this year will be different? You’re still going to enjoy your holidays, and you’re going to carve out some time for writing.

We can help you  carry out your goals during this time of hustle and bustle by giving you accountability partners.

That’s why MWW wants you to join our private Facebook group, Finish Strong. It works like this. You decide what you want to accomplish by the end of the year. Are you going to go for it with NaNoWriMo (write a novel in the month of November)? Is a book list calling to you that will make your writing stronger?

Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, let’s help one another get there.

We’ll post some inspirational information at least once a week, to help you keep on track. If you want to share your goals, that’s fine. If you want to share what is working for you, others may benefit. Those who have questions on how to achieve their goals will be able to ask the group and see if someone can help. To be honest, this event will take shape based on who signs up and how they are able to participate (or not participate, if they only want to read the official posts).

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; one of MWW’s greatest assets is its talented participants. Here’s another virtual opportunity to stay connected during this wild and crazy year. Feel free to share with your friends. Anyone can register.

All you need to do is sign up. Imagine how great you will feel when 2021 rolls in if you Made the Decision to Finish Strong for 2020.

You are not alone in this writing journey.

Register HERE for Finish Strong for 2020.