A haven for books is a natural haven for writers. The Pasco/NPR branch of the Florida Writers Association will be holding its 2nd Annual Writers Conference on April 6 from 8:30 to 6 pm at the New Port Richey Library. For some persons, writing is a chore, for others a pleasure and for some it is a life need, as much as food, sleep or air.

The compulsion to write. The feeling that unless you have access to a pen and paper or keyboard, your brain is in danger of exploding. And the results? Sometimes good, sometimes drivel, but it doesn’t matter as long as the words have been traveled along the synaptic path, so the hornets in your brain can rest. This is the blessing or curse of hypergraphia.

Fiction writers, historians, poets, computer coders, attorneys, reporters, editors, screenwriters and others may have hypergraphia, but have all found ways to use it to their advantage. Meeting other writers can help you channel your compulsion and be a comfort. Even if you write only for the occasional pleasure of doing so, meeting other writers will help you improve your craft. The Florida Writers Association (FWA) is a great resource for wordsmiths and lives up to its motto: Writers Helping Writers.

The 2nd Annual Do It! Write Conference will be held at the New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St., on April 6th from 8:30 to 6 p.m. Early Bird registration by Feb 28 is $39 for FWA members and $59 for non-members. Registration from March 1 to April 1 is $49 for FWA members and $69 for non-members. Refreshments and lunch are included, so you don’t have to worry about leaving and missing anything.

During the day long event, you can attend up four of the ten different seminars. You can also schedule a private interview with an agent or one of the seminar leaders. There is time to ‘schmooze’ with members of the FWA, browse in the bookstore and have your purchases signed by the authors, and enjoy time with others obsessed with the joy and angst of writing.

The keynote speaker for the Conference is John Strelecky, best selling author of The Why Café, The Big Five and the recently released Life Safari. He is a motivational speaker, author and world traveler, gathering inspiration which he shares with his audience.

Writing seminar topics include How to Write Thrillers, Editing Boot Camp, and From Manuscript to Masterpiece. Once you’ve gone through a few dozen edits on your work, you may want to obtain an agent or directly submit it for publication. Making Strengths and Weaknesses Work For You, An Agent and An Author: Marriage Made in Heaven or Hell? and How to Get Your Foot in the Door will be filled with pointers on the publication process. Of course once you are published, whether you are self-published or picked up by a traditional publishing house, you’ll want to drive sales. Marketing and publicity seminars include Blogging and Podcasting for Book Promotion, Driving Book Sales, Selling to the Lucrative Library Market, and The Four Principles of Networking. These are designed to help you in this latter stage of the process, the sell-through.

There will be a separate workshop on March 22 on Perfecting Your Pitch, led by Molli Nickell, a publishing coach and author. This will be hosted by the New Port Richey Library. For more information on this separate event, call 727-847-2023.

Having attended writers’ conferences in the past, the main drawback is always selecting which seminars to attend, as there is overlap in the scheduling. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a writer, if you want to improve your craft or if you just want to spend time with others who share your particular ‘craziness,’ this will be a very informative and fun day.

For more information or to register, visit the Pasco/NPR website at
http://mysite.verizon.net/resockeb/id79.html. The Florida Writers Association can be reached at http://www.floridawriters.net/dnn/. From this website, you can access local branches of the FWA, read about the statewide conference held on Nov. 9th through 11, 2007, find out about publishing contests, obtain information about upcoming events or read articles about writing, editing and publishing.

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