Saturday, February 23, 2013

WIFYR 2013

Mark your calendars. June 17-21 is the date for this year’s Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers, a.k.a. WIFYR. (For details: ).

WIFYR is an incredibly inspiring conference. It is a chance to learn and be pushed. It is a place to relax and mingle with other like-minded people. There is an aura to it. It is filled with people who want to make your story and their stories the best they can be and people who can help them do that.

I take my WYFIR full on. The morning workshops are phenomenal. Nationally acclaimed and other talented and published writers and illustrators head up the faculty. (This link displays the faculty biographies: ). You and a dozen or so others spend five mornings, four hours a day together going over manuscripts. Not only does your work get thoroughly critiqued, but also you learn as you participate. Not that every instructor runs it the same way, but I have found most faculty members have participants share and critique the work of each other. You may be asked to prepare critiques ahead of time. Then, taking turns, the whole group discusses each story. Having your work critiqued can be intimidating, but real growth comes from it and it is usually done in a kind and caring manner. It is possible to have two critiques done of your work. The morning sessions are spent in critique yet there still is time for agent and editor visits and lessons on the craft from your faculty member. It can be an intensive week. The mental satisfaction, however, is well worth the price of registration.

If time constraints are an issue, WIFYR offers just afternoons. There are a wide variety of topics and presenters during the breakouts. These sessions come on the heels of the keynote and plenary speakers from the likes of the agents and editors invited each year and are part of the package the morning workshop people receive.

New, this year, are mini one-day morning workshops in addition to the weeklong ones. (Link to the mini workshops: ).

Carol Lynch Williams is the mastermind behind this annual event. She pulls in talented people as faculty, speakers, or presenters. Carol has an MFA in Writing for Children and Adolescents from Vermont College and she teachers creative writing at BYU.

The Waterford School campus is an ideal setting. But what makes the conference is the collegiality. People from novice to published attend and share and mingle and grow together.

Hopefully this is your year to blossom as a writer. A week at WIFYR can help realize that dream. It is a magical experience.

1 comment:

Erin Shakespear said...

Oh! If only my baby wasn't due on June 26th. Hmmmm....maybe I could still make it. The last couple kids were a week or two late after all...