Success Story: Tom Underberg on CWC 2012

Tom_UnderbergThe 2013 Chicago Writers Conference is a little over two weeks away, but we’re still hearing about the positive effect that last year’s conference had. This week, we caught up with CWC 2012 attendee, Tom Underberg. The Evanston resident used to work in software and consulting, but now considers himself a writer, parent, and amateur infrastructure historian. He is working on a collection of speculative short stories and blogs passionately about manhole covers. We talked to Tom about how CWC 2012 helped his writing career. His main takeaway: Put yourself out there!


CWC: What have you accomplished since CWC 2012?

CWC showed me how many different avenues there are for Chicago writers to present their work. Our city has many opportunities for writers to do readings and the like, and I think any writer benefits from performing in public. Just preparing for a reading is a terrific way to find strong points and weak points in a given piece. 

CWC: How did attending the conference change your outlook or approach as a writer?

I know I signed up to do a reading at a convention this summer, in part, because CWC helped me realize the importance of presenting my work in that way.

CWC: What tip or suggestion from our panelists/speakers really stuck with you?

My novel’s not ready for submission, but I remember that Chuck’s panel on the submission process was especially helpful. That’s a process that’s somewhat impenetrable to newcomers. The general tone of the convention is supportive and encouraging in the way that all writer’s need – there are long lag times, rejections and all the rest,  and being reminded that you’re not alone in going through that process is, for me, enormously encouraging and helpful.

Regular Registration for the 2013 Chicago Writers Conference ends this Friday, September 13. Sign up now and save $30! You can register here.