Conference Christmas (and the Next Best Thing)

A great holiday gift idea for writers!

Happy Cyber Monday, everybody! If you’re anything like me, it’s hard enough to think of things to get all of the people on your list. There is definitely no time to make a list of things you want, and people get a little annoyed if you say, “I’ll be happy with anything!” or, “A gift card would be great!” year after blasted year.

I’ve given it some thought, and here’s what I’m asking for this year: a trip to a writing conference. I’m not sure what it’ll be yet, but three contenders are WIFYR, Pike’s Peak, and LDStorymakers. It can be difficult to come up with both the money and the calendar space for a conference, but if you start planning months in advance, it can happen. And if it’s your Christmas present, it has to happen, right?

But if a conference Christmas isn’t in the cards for you, don’t worry. I’ve found the next best thing. Editor Extraordinaire Cheryl Klein has compiled all of her conference and workshop talks into one book, and trust me, everything is in here. Querying, revision, plotting, voice, finding a publisher, and even a section called “A Few Things Writers Can Learn from Harry Potter.” (Cheryl was one of the US editors for the last two Harry Potter books. How cool is that?) And there are things like character worksheets and plot checklists throughout, so you can have your very own Cheryl-directed workshop at home.

Cheryl covers the whole range of children’s genres, from picture books to young adult, but almost everything here could be applied to writing for adults as well. I’d highly recommend adding this book to your Christmas list, or at least dropping significant hints. Maybe leave this blog post up on your computer when someone special is about to use it…

What about you? What’s on your writing-related wish list this year? And I couldn’t figure out a good way to work this into the post, but are you as excited about Giving Tuesday as I am?

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