“This is the 7th Writers Conference sponsored jointly by the Integrated Learning Resource Center and the English Department. It has been offered every two years beginning in 1997,” Co-Chair of the Writer’s Conference and Head of ILRC Public Services Rachel Schwedt said.
The theme of the conference was “Write Your Heart,” according to Schwedt.
Speaker’s at the conference included Bruce Wilkinson, who challenged adults and students to evaluate the purpose of their own writing, David Van Diest, a literary agent, who taught writers what publishers are looking for in a manuscript, and Andy Scheer, who taught practical ways to edit a manuscript and write query letters that editors will notice.
Other speakers included John Riddle, Michelle Medlock Adams, Donna Dunn, Dawn Stephens, Jamaica Conner and Ruth Erquiaga. The combined purpose of the conference was to speak to the writers’ hearts and provide practical tips to jumpstart careers.
“What the conference team hopes to do through our conferences is to help students and faculty who want to write to get out of their textbooks as it were and into the heads of some folks who have been successful as writers, editors, agents, etc. At the conference, you get information you might not get in the classroom,” Master of Ceremonies and Co-chair of the conference Dr. Jim Zabloski said.
Zabloski is an online adjunct professor for the School of Education and the Seminary, as well as an academic evaluator for the Registrar.
“It was a great opportunity to meet with other writers and hear from published authors. I learned a lot of helpful tips about how to search for publishers and make sure that the work matches the type of material they’re looking for,” junior Geoff Matthews said. “I also learned how to make query letters that present a story to a publisher. My favorite parts included Dr. Bruce Wilkinson’s encouragement to write to change lives and meet people’s needs and meeting one-on-one with an author to discuss my own piece.”
According to Schwedt, the conference incorporated 15-minute sessions throughout the event. Each session cost $15. Attendees bought one-on-one time with an author, where they could present an idea or manuscript and ask questions.
ROLLINS is a feature reporter.