This year marks my seventh year with DFW Writers’ Workshop; that sort of commitment is usually reserved for spouses and favorite T-shirts. But here we are, you and me. It certainly doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but at the same time I don’t really remember life without you.
Looking back on my very first Wednesday, I wouldn’t have guessed I’d one day serve on the Board of Directors. I remember walking into an ongoing read in the foyer. At that time, I had my first novel in hand and merely needed someone to point me in the direction of a publisher. If only.
So here we are, seven years later, and I’m in much the same position except there are a few more manuscripts to cart around and I’ve had the greatest education $100 a year has to offer. MFA be damned. I have the Workshop.
This past year was a busy one for the board. We updated and strengthened the bylaws to give the Workshop a solid baseline. We modified our bank relationship to improve our financial management. We rolled out a new website that allows us to promote our members with ease and offers our members the opportunity to schedule their own events. We streamlined online registration, membership renewal, and our membership management – all of which has resulted in some serious growth. (When I read over that paragraph, I realize how amazing it can be when you let loose a gang of passionate volunteers on a project…apparently you really can move mountains.)
As for this year? Well, for starters, there’s the world-class DFW Writers Conference in Fort Worth on April 22-24. Again, that’s thanks to some tireless people working for something they love: Jennifer Duggins is leading the charge. In addition to that, we hope to bring a regular newsletter to the fray, some extra offerings to the calendar, and a few more member perks, including (but not limited to) the official launch of the Speaker’s Bureau and The Writers Bloc.
And after all that’s done, we’ll find ourselves in 2017. It’s a milestone year for us: since 1977 we’ve been “writers helping writers.” Four decades of reading and critiquing. Two score. Forty years!
There’s celebration in order, and it may require you to put aside your Wednesday night uniform and don a tie or heels. (Note: I’m fully prepared for Alex Martinez to be wearing a graphic T-shirt that only looks like he’s wearing a tie.) But either way I promise it’ll be worth it. DFW Writers’ Workshop only turns forty once, and I can’t wait to see you there.
While you may equate my reappearance on this blog to a certain Beach Boys song involving the stolen vehicle of a patriarch, I do have a something to share.
If you have attended any meeting of DFWWW in the last year or so, you may have noticed our visitors mentioning they heard about us on the Internet. You may have also noticed that we only post about once a week on this blog.
I put it to the members: What would you like to see up here?
A few weeks ago, I implored a certain member to write a guest post on how to be a monitor. I'm sure he's still considering the offer, but I believe that would be something you would want to see. I can't come up with all this stuff by myself. I would love ideas (aside: you can comment directly on this post).
What do you want to see? Do you want to know what my overweight cat is up to? Do you want to know what our members are up to? Do you want me to steal the RSS feeds from other sites and post them up here? Do you pray for someone who isn't me to write something that is at least coherent and organized?
Let me know.
I'm from the DIY generation, which comes with fast typing speech-to-text, built in Intel processor, technobabble translator, and built-in Internet navigational computer. Even when I'm wireless, I'm still plugged in.
If you want to contribute a blog post, that would be great, too! You see, once I post this, it goes out all over the Internet. Twitter, Facebook, and, of course, the DFW Writers' Workshop homepage. We tag your name, and (bam) Google takes notice. While I understand the gritty underworld of the Internet (Search Engine Optimization, reputation management, synergy) is not everyone's cup of tea, you can use it as a tool to brand yourself and get your name circulating.
And, I wouldn't let you post anything that would make you look bad... *wink*
I do believe our group can offer a great deal to each other and the writing community.
Send me your thoughts. On Facebook, Twitter, or right here.
Candace Havens will autograph copies of her newest title, Dragons Prefer Blondes, at Legacy Books, 7300 Dallas Parkway in Plano at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 22. Candace will be joined by two other writers. The event is billed as "a lively afternoon's conversation with a trio of authors behind hot, very popular paranormal romantic adventures".
A. Lee Martinez will autograph (and probably illustrate the inside pages with fire-breathing ducks or whatever else tickles his fancy) copies of his recently released novel, Monster,also on Saturday, August 22. He says the Borders located at 5500 Greenville Ave in Dallas has an impressive display of his books. In typical A. Lee Martinez fashion, the event starts "some time in the afternoon".