The countdown is on for the annual writers conference hosted by the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. This year they are exploring several facets of the writing life, which will aid writers in all stages in their writing career.
The conference title is Expanding Your Writing
They have secured three incredible presenters.
Leif Gregerson – Magazine Writing
Katherine Koller – Dialogue in Play Writing
Brenda Hennig – Alberta Foundation for the Arts – Grant writing
Dr. Jenna Butler – unable to attend – new presenter to be advised
Each session will give expert information on how you can expand your writing, your career and your knowledge of the art of writing.
Whether you are a novice, or a well seasoned writer, this conference is open to all. It will aid you in exploring new aspects of writing, opportunities available and new avenues to prospect.
Venue: Community Room 2, Community Center, 401 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park, Alberta
Time: Registration 8:30 am Sessions 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Authors: there is also an opportunity to promote your books.
Want to get your book promotion included on their Facebook Page on the day of the conference? Send them your short book write-up–think ‘book blurb’– front cover jpeg image, and a link to where it can be purchased.
Your book promotion will be posted for $15 during the conference.
Have a book trailer or video? Promote your book for $25 for the day.
Once you have set up your blog and identified your target audience and know what theme/topics you will cover, now you need to maintain it.
One of the most important tasks is to ensure you have a regular schedule, so your readers know when to expect a post from you. Set days and times that are manageable for your lifestyle and time constraints. Be realistic about how much time you can give to your blog, do not overwhelm yourself with unrealistic goals. Posts can be weekly, monthly or quarterly – as long as the schedule is recurring.
Remember having a schedule allows you to write posts in advance and schedule them. Make use of this option by dropping a quick sentence into a draft post of an ideas you have for a post. We all know we won’t remember the idea later!
So why do you need to blog consistently?
In short it establishes author credibility. Readers become familiar with your work and it attracts new readers to your site. Consistent blogging means you are continually attracting a stream of potential new readers to your site with fresh, updated content. Readers love to get an intimate view into the life of their favorite authors along with any upcoming events and book launches. The more you share the more they will want to come back.
Remember to keep your author information, pages, books and events current. It doesn’t take a lot of time to ensure any changes are corrected or updated. This includes the copyright statement for your blog content to ensure it is not pirated. This is essential for the safety of your content should you need to take action on unauthorized copying. Unfortunately, this does happen.
Make Connections to Grow
You want your blog’s reach and popularity to grow so connect with authors in similar genres and also readers of your specific genre(s). This should be a constant work in progress in the maintaining of your blog. Don’t let it become static. The more you connect the larger your reach. To attain growth here are a few tips.
Research similar authors, who have blogs and offer to guest post on each other’s websites.
Run regular interviews with people who fascinate you.
If you have a specific genre connect with other writers in the same genre as well as their following. See what they are posting.
Visit forums and post your blogs there.
Link your blogs to your social media platforms to gain exposure.
Encourage your established readers to post your blog links on their social media to spread the news to as many new sets of eyes as possible.
Utilize hashtags when you post to your social media sites. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks always offer—as part of your static profile—an opportunity to link to your homepage.
Create a special introduction for people who visit your website from your Twitter profile, Facebook fan page, Goodreads page, etc.
Remember your SEO (search engine optimization) and include your ‘top’ search words in every post.
When creating the link from your website offer an intriguing question, lead in, excerpt, or explanation of why the post might be interesting to people on your social networks.
Write book reviews and use the author name and book titles as keywords. This will draw their readers to your site.
Additional Maintenance and Updating Tips
Create a dedicated page on your website for each and every book title.
For each book page, make the page title identical to the book title.
Use a full or extended description for each book.
Link previous blog posts related to each book to tell the story of its inception and launch.
Include links to your social media and other book related sites onto your front page.
Create a newsletter sign up form.
Include videos and/or podcasts you are featured on or host.
Last Saturday, was the first time my writing group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County attended an in-person event since the pandemic started. In conjunction with Recreation, Parks & Culture the event gave residents the opportunity to try sports and discover the multiple cultural organizations within the county.
As a writing group, we always encourage all ages to delve into the delights of the written word and explore their imaginations. We promoted our annual children’s writing contest, which has a deadline of 30th April, 2022. It is a great opportunity for young people to enter their stories and have it published in a ‘real’ book.
We had many visitors to our table and several took the contest details home with them to begin their story entries. I’m looking forward to reading all the entries and the expressions of imagination from the clues.
I also attended the AGM for the Arts and Culture Council last night. Meeting with other people passionate about the creative arts and exchanging ideas and views is always a treat.
The next big event on my calendar is a Spring writers conference (virtual) on 23rd April. Registration is required via the website: http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com Details so far are:
I attended the WinterFest event with Ethan Hawke on Sunday and was so impressed with his honesty, passion and openness to the interviewer’s questions. I count myself lucky that he answered one of my questions out of a multitude! He said that the media create illusions of celebrities and their lives. I totally agree. When you can see two magazines side by side on the rack at the check out and they have polar opposite stories of the same personality – you know it can’t be true. It is the same a click bait – they need you to pick up and buy the magazine regardless of the truthfulness of the story. It is a sad and damaging side to journalism (if you can call it that). People’s lives can be destroyed and they have no come back. Anyway, that is my rant for today. On to other things.
If you get a chance I would recommend you read this book, it is extremely good.
I took a couple of days off work last week, to do spring cleaning, relax, write, take a couple of drives out and get my paperwork together for the dreaded tax return. My current manuscript gained a sizable additional word count and revision and a surprising twist occurred.
I am continuing with the weekly virtual writing group on Sunday’s and it does help keep me on task. This past Sunday I created and scheduled two author interviews for my writing blog and one for my freelancer blog. Also a list of questions for another author interview and monthly Author Tool Box blog post.
I also have two fellow author’s manuscripts I am editing, apart from my own steampunk manuscript – The Commodore’s Gift.
I have created a new physical description for the Commodore and am in the process of making the heroine, Owena, a stronger personality. After a few suggestions I will be altering a segment near the end of the book.
I am happy to answer any questions you have about my stories, books or writing life. Just comment below.
In other news, my friend and I did ‘leave the building’ on Saturday for a very pleasant afternoon drive. It was a glorious day and driving the back roads refreshed the body and soul. Here are a few photos I took. Unfortunately, the two moose we saw were too far away to get a good photo.
An alternative world not too far from now. The story grips you from the beginning. There are many twists and turns to keep you turning the pages.
Loved the characters with their hopes, dreams and flaws.