Antioch Writers’ Workshop Fall Retreat

Last weekend I attended the Antioch Writers’ Workshop Annual Fall Retreat. I’ve been having a lot of trouble switching gears from Somewhere Only We Know and getting started on my new project, so I wanted to attend this retreat to get the push and confidence I needed to go forward. I also wanted to go to this retreat because I’ve felt very alone in my writing journey since I graduated from Wright State. I wanted to find that sense of community that I was missing.

My room at the retreat

After three days at a beautiful retreat center, I have definitely found all that I was looking for. The retreat was led by Cyndi Pauwels from Antioch Writers’ Workshop and local authors Katrina Kittle and Erin Flanagan. Erin had been my teacher at Wright State so I was so happy to get this chance to work with her again. And it was so nice to get to know Katrina and Cyndi and work with Katrina on my manuscript.

There were fifteen writers accepted to participate on this retreat, and it was so interesting to talk with people at all stages of the writing journey, from those just starting out to those who have already published or self-published. All of us wanted to come together to talk about our writing and get some work done away from all of the responsibilities at home. And all of us were so supportive of one another and willing to listen and give advice and help any way we could.

I especially enjoyed getting to talk to Katrina about my manuscript. I only have fifteen pages of this new book completed, and she read them and said she really enjoyed them. She also gave me some helpful tips going forward with my writing. Talking with her gave me the confidence boost I needed and assured me that I was on the right track with this new book. I spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the beautiful grounds of the retreat center and finishing my outline for this book. Now that my outline is completed I can get back to work at home and actually start writing this thing.

I think all of us walked away from this retreat feeling completely refreshed. This retreat was an opportunity for us all to write a lot and create our own community of writers. Already we’ve all been emailing each other and saying what a great experience this was. I would love to participate in something like this in the future, and I would definitely recommend this particular retreat for anyone looking for a little help in their writing and a chance to get away.

I met some wonderful people at the retreat!

The Four “P”s of Publishing from Antioch Writers’ Workshop Mini-Workshop: Finding a Venue for your Work

This weekend I attended Antioch Writers’ Workshop free mini-workshop at Books & Co in Dayton. This event was led by Sharon Short and Kate Geiselman, and they discussed how to go about finding a venue for publishing your work. This mini-workshop was really helpful, and they talked about everything from literary magazines to agents and book publishers.

Sharon Short speaking at the Antioch Writers’ Workshop free mini-workshop

The most helpful information was the four “P”s of publishing that Sharon Short discussed: Prepared, Protocol, Persistent, and Polite.

The first of these, Prepared, means that you need to take it seriously and be as prepared as you can when trying to publish a longer work. You need to figure out what category your book best fits into so that you can appropriately market your book, have the work completely finished before you start looking for an agent, and find the right agent for your work.

Protocol refers to following exactly what agents and publishers ask for when submitting to them. If you don’t follow their guidelines and make it easy for them to review your submission, you’re just giving them an easy “no.”

Being Persistent is probably the most important in my opinion. You can’t give up when you’re trying to get published. There is so much competition, but if you have what it takes, someone will accept you eventually. It is a numbers game. And Short pointed out that she hasn’t met a single author who hasn’t been rejected.

The last “P,” Polite, is important because politeness will get you far. Publishing is a small world, and people will remember you if you are rude to them. If you are rejected, simply say thank you or nothing at all and move on.

One last important thing that Short and Geiselman discussed was that a rejection is not a rejection of you, it is of that particular piece of work. And you could have been rejected simply because your work wasn’t the right fit for that publisher. Don’t give up hope.

I really enjoyed attending this mini-workshop, and look forward to the others throughout the year. Also I am so excited because I was accepted into Antioch’s Fall Retreat next month and I can’t wait to go!