I recently attended the Antioch Writers Conference in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The week long conference was packed full of lectures and workshops. Yale professor and writer Andre Dumas III, who recently published a memoir titled “Townie,” was the featured speaker. He also gave a special workshop for all attendees. Tara Ison and Matthew Goodman lectured on fiction and non-fiction techniques each morning.
Afternoons consisted of workshops specializing in various genres: fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. I chose non-fiction where I presented the first 20 pages of a spiritual memoir that I recently completed. I received helpful feedback from non-fiction workshop leader Eileen Cronin, who recently published her memoir “Mermaid,” as well as other conference participants.
The conference also included an appointment and technique lecture from Crown Publishing Group editor Nathan Roberson. Mr. Roberson volunteered to review and critique a potential query letter for individuals that signed up for appointments with him. Additionally, Agent Hannah Brown Gordon of Foundry Media was on hand. She explained the process for obtaining an agent and also took appointments.
I pitched my completed memoir to Ms. Brown and received very promising feedback and a referral to a fellow agent that specializes in spiritual memoir.
The conference allowed me to hone my writing skills and make a ton of new friends. I highly recommend it for anyone planning to attend a workshop in 2015.