Writing is not only a creative endeavor, it's a never ending learning process. I just attended my third writers conference, put on by my Henderson Writers Group. Every serious writer should make an effort to attend at least one conference at some point in their career. This was three days, of intense instruction on all aspects of book publishing. Our faculty included professional authors, editors, agents, and publishers. Conferences are a chance to listen to and ask questions of the very people you will be dealing with as you progress through the process of writing and publishing your book. Not only do you learn the "how to," but just being in that environment is inspirational.

As an extra bonus, on the day following the conference, the HWG put together an all-day Donald Maass workshop. Wow! I was blown away by this man's insight and approach to writing. I also had the chance for a little one on one the following morning (5:45 AM) as his volunteer driver to the airport. I found him to be a warm and friendly, down to earth guy. Not what one might expect of a world-renowned New York literary agent and author of many instructional books on writing. In his eight hour session, he opened my eyes to new ways to inject action, tension, and empathy into my story, by wholly dissecting my characters until I know them as well as I know myself. Thank you, Donald Maass.

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