Attend TMCC Writers' Conference April 14
Bestselling author Jennifer Lauck shares three lessons she’s learned since being published
Jennifer Lauck, New York Times bestselling author, wished she’d known about several things before she became published: two dealing with the business of writing and the third relating to her personal journey as an author. Lauck will be speaking on “Writing from Memory and Wrestling with the Unreliable Narrator” at the TMCC Writers’ Conference, Sat., April 14 at the college’s Dandini Campus in Reno.
“My solid advice for any writer is to enjoy the process,” Lauck said. “I wished I’d had more faith in my ability to get published.”
Instead of relishing her writing experience, Lauck was too hard on herself, believing she would never get anywhere with her craft. Now with four published books, she regrets that she didn’t allow herself to enjoy the journey. She adds that writers should “just relax and do their best, then it will happen.”
She also wished she had understood the importance of establishing a platform before she ever started writing. Platforms consist of promoting the author through a website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You-Tube presence.
“Platforms establish your name in the world via your community connections, affiliations, teachings and fans,” she said. For writers to start this early on in their careers “helps them think of themselves as true professionals. It was a lot of work to build my platform this late in the game, but I’ve done it.”
Thirdly, Lauck would’ve liked someone to tell her to never take a book advance that she couldn’t pay back. She said writers need to think of themselves as more than artists: they need to think of themselves as businesspeople too. “The business goes well if you sell books. Publishing is a fickle business, but it’s a business and that’s the bottom line. Don’t take an advance you cannot pay back because if the publishers don’t like it, you will have a black mark against you when you go to sell your next book.”
Lauck is the author of Blackbird, Still Waters, Show Me the Way and her latest memoir, Found. She earned an MFA in creative writing and teaches creative nonfiction in Portland, Ore. She is also the founder of Jennifer Lauck Memoir Writing, an online community for writers from around the world.
In its 22nd year, the TMCC Writers’ Conference, held 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 14, brings together an editor, agents and published writers to share their expertise with aspiring authors. Besides Lauck, scheduled speakers include: literary agents Andrea Brown, April Eberhardt and Elizabeth Kracht; Seal Press Executive Editor Brooke Warner; short story writer Patrick Michael Finn; novelist Shawn Grady; poet Lindsay Wilson; nonfiction writer Nina Amir; and KUNR broadcaster and writer David Stipech. Topics range from a “Literary Agents/Editor Question and Answer Panel” and “Evaluate Your Book for Success” to “Techniques to Telling a Story” and “Driving Stories to their Destinations.”
In addition to presentations, attendees will have the opportunity to take part in casual roundtable discussions over lunch. Five tables will be set aside to discuss memoir, fiction, short story, poetry and marketing with the event’s guest speakers. Lunch may be purchased in advance for $11 or attendees may bring their own sack lunch.
Conference participants may also register for an optional $32 one-on-one appointment with the editor or the literary agent of their choice (while space is available). During these private ten-minute meetings, writers can ask questions, have the first page of their manuscript or query reviewed or make a book pitch.
The registration deadline is Monday, April 9. For details or to register, go online or call 775-829-9010 to have a brochure sent to you. The full-day conference costs $109.
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