It’s almost time again for the annual Muse Online Writers Conference to begin. This is a totally free writer’s conference on October 8th – 14th, with workshops, discussions, pitch opportunities, and the chance to meet publishers and authors. You don’t even have to pay airfare or hotel. There isn’t even a complicated registration process for the workshops. With a few possible exceptions, just like an in-person conference, you’re welcome to wander into any room to check out what’s happening, and participate if you want to. Even the chats are open as long as there is room. And all the chats and forums are moderated to keep the conversation on topic, and the classes, especially in chat, easy to follow. Only the pitch appointments require a sign up to make sure each person gets a fair chance to make their pitch. So run over there and submit your request using the information on the 2012 Workshops page before all the slots are filled.
I have been involved with the conference since its second year, 2006, first as a member then providing writing technique workshops. The format is mixed between forum workshops and scheduled chats. For the forum opportunities, you come when you have time, read the posts, and participate in the exercises or discussions. The chats are the only part of this conference that require you to be in a specific place or time, and all chat schedules are in the Eastern United States time zone, but if you update your forum profile with your time zone, the top of the forum home page provides a live time translation so you know when to drop into chat. What this means is you can participate as much, or as little, as you are able. Some people schedule time off for the week while others choose a single presentation or workshop and tuck it in between work, children, and life. I recommend signing up and finding one thing to interest you. It costs nothing but as much time as you’re willing/able to commit, and is a huge learning opportunity.
A quick example of the things you can learn can be found in any of my publication pages under Bookshelf on my site. I took a class on building an author website one year, and have gotten many compliments on those pages, including one request to use it for a publication class.
In my previous workshops, I’ve had the lovely opportunity to watch not so experienced, and experienced, authors open their eyes to the possibilities when discussing things like description and body language.
This year, I’m planning to return to my roots (as in similar to the first workshop I taught at Muse Online) in the form of a week-long forum discussion on using Microsoft Office. (With one optional chat session scheduled for 4pm Eastern on Thursday, October 11th.) So, if you have any questions about how to use Word, Excel, or other Office components to enhance your writing or publishing efforts, bring them to my forum and I’ll be happy to give what advice I can. I’ll also be posting tips based on questions brought to me on my listservs or from friends who couldn’t get a feature to work as they’d hoped. I have been working in Office since before the 2000 version, and currently use 2010, so I’ll do my best to work through the steps in the version you’re using. If nothing else, it should be amusing to watch me untangle the ribbons to get your system working for you.
And now for the extra bit of good news…
Because this year has been a little crazy for Lea Schizas, who runs the conference, thanks to her growing and thriving small press, she’s running a bit behind in getting the conference material up on the site. This works to your benefit because she’s extended the registration deadline from September 25th (tomorrow) to the 30th. So click the image or this link: Muse Online Conference and come join in the fun.
Hope to see you there.