Friday, May 01, 2009

Behind the Scenes of a FREE Online Writers' Conference

Lea Schizas is the guru behind a very active MuseItUpClub Yahoo group (that is more than a group but a real community), the Muse Online Writers' Conference and so much more than that. She is also an author in her own right. We work together sometimes, too, but you'll see. She wants to surprise you with that in today's guest blog:

I want to take this opportunity to brag…not about me or my books (although I should GRIN) but to brag about something that began four years ago and an event I know we are both proud of: The Muse Online Writers Conference.

First off, let me say I’ve had many who have e-mailed me to ask how it’s organized. The best answer I can give is close to nine months of constant -and communicating with all the presenters, organizing the conference schedule and time slots for the real time chats, and the workshops for the weeklong private forum. One has to be nuts, granted, but very passionate in their work, and dedicated with an objective. That objective, at least for me, is to offer as many options of learning for a writer we can cram in one week.

The Muse Online Writers Conference came about when a question was posed to writers as to how many have attended writers conferences. There were three distinct answers I would say made up the majority:

~Too expensive to attend
~Too far to travel
~Have a disability preventing me from attending

I remember thinking how sad that so many writers couldn’t attend because of these reasons and voila, The Muse Online Writers Conference became a reality. Now what’s so special about this conference compared to others?

We offer over 100 workshops taught by professionals who have expertise in the offered lessons. You don’t have to travel, you can attend butt-naked if you want (no cams), no hotel or food expenses incurred, and it’s all FREE! The only thing we ask is if anyone can and has the means to donate any amount they want to help pay for some of the costs of the Web site and private forum. That’s it. And this year we are proud to offer a portion of the donations back to the Shaking the System-Autism Awareness Foundation, something dear to my heart.

Now I keep saying ‘we’ so have to mention that the ‘we’ is me and Carolyn Howard-Johnson. You know her? GRIN.

Each year we get close to 2000 writers from around the world, and I mean around the world: Australia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Cuba, New Zealand, England, Italy, Greece, Canada, US, Turkey, India, and so many other places I can’t think of right now.

I’m still uploading presenters and more workshops on the site. It won’t be finalized until June so please bookmark and come back often:

Registrations are now on but don’t wait until the last minute. Deadline is August 1st this year and no exceptions past this date. You’ll have to wait until next year if you try to register after this date.

Now, there’s something exciting happening this year but I’ll wait until tomorrow to announce it on this blog.

I’ll be happy to take any questions from your readers, Carolyn, while I’m here.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

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