Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Missouri Writers' Guild Conference Offers Affordable Options

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: High 49 degrees, chance for showers this evening.

If you haven't signed up for the MWG Conference in Cape Girardeau, MO, from Apr 3-5 because you cannot afford the entire event or can't commit to a full weekend, here are a couple less-time consuming and more affordable options:

Member/Attendee Book Signing - Saturday, April 4, from 5:15 to 7:00. The book signing is free and open to the public (but, of course you pay for any books you buy). Come support the speakers, attendees, and members by attending the book signing, chatting with the writers, and buying copies of their books. I'll be there signing copies of anthologies with my stories in them, including "Welcome Home" in A Cup of Comfort for Military Families, and "November Rose" in the 2009 Voices Anthology. Attending the book signing is free--you can't get a better bargain than that.

If you're driving to Cape to attend the book signing on Saturday, why not stay for the:

Annual Awards Banquet--Saturday night, April 4 beginning at 7:30 p.m. The banquet only costs $25. For $25 you get a delicious meal, as well as a presentation by the keynote speaker, TV writer and producer, Lee Goldberg, and presentation of the Missouri Writers' Guild writing awards. The banquet is a great opportunity to listen to a fantastic speaker while networking and meeting with other writers.
If you want to spend one night, you can book a room and spend the night at the Drury Lodge for only $85 and on Sunday, you can attend one of four:

Masters Classes, Sunday, April 5 from 9 to noon. For $65 you can attend your choice of one Master Class. These are smaller sized classes where you have intense instruction from a writing professional. Many of these are taught in workshop format where you will be doing some writing and learning both!

Here is a listing of the classes you can chose from:

Lee Goldberg's "Breaking Into TV Writing -- The Crash Course" - TV writer and producer Lee Goldberg ("SeaQuest," "Monk," "Diagnosis Murder" ) will teach you how to watch TV the way professional television writers do -- how to recognize the "franchise" of a show, the four-act structure, and the unique conflicts that drive the weekly storytelling. These are essential skills that are not only important in understanding TV, but also in writing the all important spec script that will be your calling card (but many of the lessons he teaches can also be applied to novel-writing). This three-hour seminar combines a free-wheeling lecture and discussion with clips from television shows that highlight the key points. You'll never watch TV the same way again after this seminar.

Harvey Stanbrough's "Writing Realistic Dialogue Workshop" Harvey's classes are often STANDING ROOM ONLY. He's that good! This is a discussion of the necessity and excessive use of tag lines and brief descriptive narrative passages; the physical and abstract nuances of Implication; the use of sentences vs. sentence fragments; the use of dialect, including truncated and/or phonetic spellings; mechanics; and conveying emotion through dialogue.

Barri Bumgarner's "Let's Write! Workshop" - Barri is enthusiastic, fun, and encouraging. Anytime you have a chance to take a class with Barri--seize the opportunity. This class is a session designed to inspire and get ideas formulated, design characters, plots, and even do a bit of writing!

Annette Fix's "Memoir Workshop" - Annette is one of the co-founders of WOW! Women on Writing. She also has written a memoir, The Break-Up Diet. She brings her story to life through humor and also includes universal themes. If you are writing a memoir or ever thought about writing one, you don't want to miss this workshop.

To register for any of these events, visit the MWG conference website: http://www.mwgconference.org/

If you have any trouble using the website for registration, or you don't feel comfortable paying with PayPal, call Margo Dill at 217-714-8582 or e-mail Emily at esh@mwgconference.org.

Remember, you can sign up for the entire conference too--which begins Friday night at 6:30 p.m. and goes until Saturday at 7:00 p.m. I'll be there--I hope you will, too.


  1. Thanks, Donna for posting this. It sounds so great. I can't wait for the weekend! :) Margo

  2. Hi Margo,
    It's my pleasure to post the information. With the fantastic speakers you all have lined up, I'm sure it will be a great one!

  3. I really need to get to one of these some day. I've published three books on Missouri history and I'm working on a novel set in the state, and I've never attended a MWG function! My only excuse is that I don't live in Missouri anymore. Is anyone planning on attending the London Book Fair that month? I'm always happy to meet other Missouri writers.

  4. Hi Sean,
    The MWG conferences are always informative and entertaining, but attending the London Book Fair in April sounds like an experience of a lifetime!
    Just the thought of it brings to mind the poem by Robert Browning that begins: "Oh to be in England, now that April's there . . ."
    Sorry, I digress:
    Hey, fellow Missourians, if you're going to be in London in April, check out the book fair--and be sure to look up Sean. And Sean, after you attend the book fair I bet there are others like me who would love to hear about your experiences there. Maybe you could let us know about it on your blog, or even guest post on mine?


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