What I Learned at the Chicago Writers Conference 2014

Last weekend, writers from as far away as Zurich(!) came to the Chicago Writers Conference 2014. Connections were made, tips were traded, and inspiration pervaded every panel. What did our attendees learn? We decided to let them speak for themselves: 

Writers check-in to CWC2014 and pick up their goody-bags.

“CWC was our first writer’s conference and what an eye-opening experience it was! Having the opportunity to meet and discuss our craft with such a diverse group of creative individuals was truly inspiring. All of the  speakers were approachable and entertaining – sharing a wealth of information highlighted by their own sometimes horrifying, sometimes hilarious, personal and professional experiences. We left feeling more confident and prepared to pursue the next steps in our own journey as authors and already look forward to next year’s conference!”

Andrea Hunter and Denise Smith, @celestialthread

Ask the Agents Panel

“The best part of the conference was being able to interact with other writers. It was great to share experiences and get other perspectives. This was my second year attending and it was even better this year!”

Kristen M. Cambensy

Noah Cruickshank interviews Sara Paretsky

“Edit, edit, edit, tweet, tweet, tweet, and never let rejection stop you from doing what you love!  That’s what I learned from the amazing authors, agents, and publishers who spoke at this year’s Chicago Writers Conference.  You know I’ll be back for more next year.”

Laura Guilfoyle, @LauraPGuilfoyle

Attendees Discuss the Next Panel

“Golly, I learned so much! What a fantastic conference. Panelists were top-notch and their advice on publicity, the Internet, and self-promotion was invaluable. Thank you, Mare Swallow and friends!”

Elisabeth Lenckos

What a Wonderful Group of Writers

“Of course a conference like CWC is a great place to keep up with industry trends, make professional connections, put faces to names you see online, and (confession time) buy a lot of books. But for me, CWC is really about the sense of support I get just from being with other writers. Last weekend, when I settled in and prepared to take notes during Christine Sneed’s presentation on narrative voice in fiction, or as I tried to think of the one burning question I needed to ask the publisher or agent panelists, I looked around the room and knew I was in the company of people who understood the highs and lows of the writing life: the criticism from others (tough) and yourself (even tougher), the thrill of seeing your name in print, the struggle to make time to create. As a writer, I scribble in solitude, in my home office, on the train, in the kitchen while I wait for the water to boil, but after spending even just a brief weekend with other writers at CWC, I know that I’m anything but alone.”

Cassandra Greenwald, @editcassandraMare is Kissed by the Q Brothers