Saturday, December 8, 2012

All I want for Christmas

Looking for that perfect Christmas gift? How about a WIFYR conference?

I’m not talking about something for others in your life. This is a special gift just for you, for the writer you. He or she deserves it. And a wonderful gift it is.

There are several ways to go about it. You can leave subtle little hints around the house. In notes, strategically place here or there, you could mention the great authors your gift entails. They run the morning workshops and share their expertise in the afternoon sessions. Matt Kirby, Martine Leavitt, Cheri Pray Earl, and AE Cannon will be there. As will Mette Ivie Harrison, Sharlee Glenn, J Scott Savage, and Kris Chandler. Steve Bjorkman will be heading up the illustration class. Perhaps a conspicuously misplaced letter to Santa would get the message across. Remind the jolly elf that the gift fits all, from beginner to advance writers.

If subtle doesn’t work, a more blatant approach is needed. Tell your significant other you want to take your writing to the next level. Sitting for five days with a room full of like-minded writers, critiquing and being critiqued, discovering the nuances of the craft, learning areas your story works and where it needs help; no other gift can offer so much.

Yes, it’s pricey. Compared to other conferences, however, it is cheap. The Southern California Writer’s Conference costs almost as much but it only runs through a weekend. You don’t get the critique workshop experience. Same for the SCBWI conference in February. You could pay more for the one in San Francisco. It stretches over the longer President’s Day weekend, but still no critique session with your very own published author.

And none of the others is run by our own Carol Lynch Williams. Carol has done so much to help developing Utah writers through this conference.

If your gift givers are still not getting the message, to heck with them. Give this one to yourself. In addition to hints on the multiple aspects of the craft, WYFIR offers editors and agents who provide tips to getting publication. They view the attendees as serious writers and often offer specific submission guidelines to help move your query above the slush pile, base just on your attendance alone. A morning workshop gift for you is ideal, yet the afternoon sessions alone is a less expensive option that will still get you close to editor Alyson Heller and agents Ammi-Joan Paquette and Stephen Fraser.

Merry Christmas to you. Registration will be opening soon at

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