Last week I had the marvelous privilege of attending the Highlights Foundation Workshop on Writing Middle-Grade Novels taught by Mr. Rich Wallace, former editor of Highlights Magazine. Prior to the workshop, we toured the headquarters of Highlights Magazine and met with several editors. We also visited the offices of Boyds Mills Press, a subsidiary of the Highlights Foundation. I even got to see the real Calkins Creek after which the Boyds Mills Press imprint was named!
Needless to say, it was an amazing experience and proved to me once again the importance of continual professional training in our chosen field of writing. Why is continuing education important?
- It sharpens our craft by deepening our understanding of writing techniqiues.
- It keeps us on the cutting edge of industry trends.
- It connects us with people knowledgeable in the field who can teach us things we might not learn simply by reading or studying on our own.
- It provides us with a network of writers and editors who can be instrumental in helping us further our writing career.
- It offers us an opportunity to develop life-long friendships with other writers.
I’ve made it a point to attend at least one writers’ conference per year at a minimum. If you cannot attend an extended conference, consider a one-day conference in your area. It could literally change your writing life.