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Backyard Playgroup!


The first (I hope annual) "convergence" of the New England Speculative Writers (NESW) consortium of authors and industry professionals was held in (South) Portland, ME this past Saturday.


As the event was a mere 18-minute drive from my home, the first such writer's workshop and networking opportunity in my own backyard, how could I not attend?


"It's shiny. I like to meet new people. They've all got stories."

--Kaylee Frye [Serenity (Part 1), Joss Whedon's Firefly, FOX Television]



Except...having registered last December, I then forgot about it and sort of promised my wife we'd spend that day together. But, per usual, she was forgiving. "Gay ga zinte hate," as we say, "Go in good health; go do your thing" -- and then went shopping. :)

This one-day event run by NESW creators Jeremy Flagg (who I knew from our panel together at Boskone 2017) and CL Alden included:



The presentations were by additionally successful best-selling and award-winning indie authors like M.D. Cooper, EJ Stevens, and Chris Philbrook, and entrepreneur Paul Kirkpatrick of BetaBooks. Additional lectures were available on-line. The event sponsors also included Kobo, Smashwords, and Autocrit.


Being as this low-cost "business of writing" workshop occurred in my humble rural state backyard, I had unfounded modest expectations that proved fallacious. Mea culpa. The event was excellent.


The workshop was as good as any business of writing seminar I've yet attended, full of tips, guidance, and proven methods of success:

  • from gaining followers,

  • branding and presenting and selling at conventions,

  • understanding the mire and achieving your best returns for your marketing and advertising investments, and

  • to the lucrative opportunities still untapped in audio books.

The speakers were well-versed in their topics. They provided not only their personal insights and their lessons learned, but also detailed contemporary "how-to's" that attendees could use to benefit their own business writing goals today.


This 1st New England Speculative Writers workshop/convergence fulfilled the organization's mission "to assist authors in crafting, editing, publishing and marketing their works."


In summary, this humble one-day event surpassed my expectations. Thus, I took a moment to craft this blog post to express my appreciation to the event organizers and faculty, to encourage a "convergence" of the NESW again next year, and to recommend it to all who may find the above beneficial to their own endeavors in writing, marketing, and publishing.


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