by Danielle "Danny" Bernstein
You already know about the importance of finding a community of writers. That's why you've joined NCWN and are coming to the Fall Conference.
But what are you writing about? Cooking, the environment, a Revolutionary War battle, dealing with your mother's dementia? Any subject you're writing about has a natural community of people interested in the topic. These folks are your potential readers, boosters, and helpers. How do you find this community and make it work for you?
After Tommy Hays wrote The Pleasure Was Mine, a novel about Alzheimer's, he was asked to speak to several groups who dealt with the disease. Ron Rash, who writes novels (including Serena), speaks at history and teachers' conferences.
Like many writers, I have two books in my trunk--in my case on my disc drive which I transfer from computer to computer. Finally, I got a contract to write a hiking guide. I had to convince a publisher that I was steeped in the outdoors community and that these people would be interested in buying my book. By the time we talked about a second book, I had done over fifty book events--talks, book fairs, and signings.
We'll talk about finding and creating an online community--that's important. We also need to make contacts with real, live people who are involved in our topic. Since this is a workshop and not just a presentation, we'll share ideas of what works, what doesn't work, and what may work but isn't worth our time.
My goal is have us leave the workshop with several new ways to identify and find our community that we can use on Monday morning.
DANIELLE "DANNY" BERNSTEIN will lead a workshop on community at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2011 Fall Conference. She is a hiker, hike leader, and outdoor writer. Her two guidebooks Hiking the Carolina Mountains (2007) and Hiking North Carolina's Blue Ridge Heritage (2009) were published by Milestone Press. She writes for regional magazines including Mountain Xpress and Smoky Mountain Living and blogs about the outdoors at www.hikertohiker.com.
Registration for the 2011 Fall Conference is open.