Thursday, May 8, 2008

New for KCWC in 2008: Interest Groups

Last year, KCWC conferees suggested that we offer more opportunities for people to network in a setting less formal than workshops and lectures. Barbara Wells, our faculty chairperson, came up with Interest Groups, a round-table gathering with a KCWC committee member as moderator. Barbara envisioned that the content would be flexible to allow for input from the group members. The moderator/facilitator would be responsible for presenting some subject matter and for guiding discussion on specified topics.

On our website and in our brochure, we included descriptions of the content for workshops, but we did not give details on the interest groups. That was partly because we were still developing the concept. Take a look at the details for the children's writing and the Internet interest groups below.

Children's Writing
Kate Thomas and Mona Larkins

"Mona and I will work together in this," Thomas said. "Mona is an outstanding illustrator, and her expertise will add to the discussion. I will basically share information on writing children's picture books---essentials for writing the various types of children's books, age groups to target, page format, a little on self-publishing, etc."

See KCWC site for details on Kate and her work:

For bio info on Mona, please check out her site:

Wired Writer: Connecting with Publishers on the Internet
Emily Akin

Since I am the KCWC blogger, I feel a little self-conscious tooting my own horn here. For 2008, I'm publications chairperson and webmaster, too. For my bio, check out my Website at

I will be leading two Wired Writer interest groups, one for beginners and one marked "intermediate." Since the content of the sessions will depend on the interests of the participants, I'll just say that we'll try to cover three primary topics: Internet communication, websites for writers, and online research.

Ten years ago, when I first began to submit my writing to Christian publications, I did most of it on paper. I sent requests queries, submissions, and requests for guidelines and sample copies by mail. I always included a self-addressed stamped envelope. But now, I rarely ever send anything by mail because publishers have adopted electronic communication almost exclusively. Writers' guidelines are posted on websites, and queries and submissions are received by e-mail. While some publishers still accept material by postal mail, electronic communication is by far the preferred method. In the Wired Writer interest group, we'll discuss how to find guidelines, compose and format query letters, submit finished work, and follow up with publishers on your submissions. A list of online how-to resources will be provided if you are willing to provide me with your e-mail address. There will be NO paper handouts.

We'll include a limited discussion of Websites and blogs for writers and the value thereof. I'll provide some info on vendors for websites and blogs and links to some professional writers' sites as examples.

Besides being the preferred method of communication, the Internet is also a valuable research tool. As time allows, we'll discuss Internet research and do a sample research project during the group time. Since interest group content is intended to include input from the participants as well as the facilitator, some sharing time will be allowed during the session.

If you have specific questions, it would be a good idea to jot them down and bring to the session to be sure you get what you need from the group.

Check out the workshop/interest group schedule at,

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