Feb 28, 2015

ANWA Writers Conference 2105
Time Out For Writers
by Cindy R. Williams

Left to right, two ANWA Conference attendees, 
Brandon Mull, Tiffany Williams and me, plus half of another attendee.

Cu do's to Janette Rallison and Rebecca Lamoreaux for a job well done in chairing the 2015 ANWA Writers Conference. Thanks also to the Conference Committee and the ANWA BOD and many volunteers for their hard work. It takes a village for sure.

It looks like the conference paid for itself which is critical. Most of the presenters/faculty received high 8 - 10 scores in their evaluations.  Which means we learned a ton about the writing field.

The two key note speakers were INCREDIBLE.

Regina Sirois, an Amazon Breakthrough First Novel winner, (over 10,000 entries) gave incredible council about choosing and climbing your own mountain, and not diminishing your accomplishments by looking over at someone else climbing a higher mountain. We set our own goals and when we reach them, we ARE good, even good enough. I am butchering her beautiful, calm, inspiring message, so I ask you to look her up and see what she has to say about writing and life. She is an amazing person.

Brandon Mull, the NY Times Best Selling author of the Fable Haven Series, The Candy Shop Wars, and the Beyonders was delightful. He is personable and has this funny giggle and uses it often as he speaks. It is one of those laughs that makes you laugh. He would say something, giggle and we would laugh with him, which made him giggle harder, which made us laugh harder. His journey was so like every writers journey, yet with his own personal twists and turns. He had five years of rejections before someone finally showed an interest. He spends 12 - 13  hours a day on his craft, sacrificing family time and is searching for that magic balance like we all are. He is often on the road with book tours. His time at our conference was the tail end of a three week trip away from his family.  I picked his brain at the Gala Friday night and asked him more about this. He seemed sad about the toll it was taking on his family. He is out doing school visits, which he says he loves, but while he is entertaining all these wonderful children, he is missing his own children's big moments with sports, music etc. I could see the struggle in his face. One thing he said that I have now adopted is that we can each find at least ONE HOUR to write everyday. So far so good. This one hour a day thing has freed me up from guilt. I CAN rearrange my schedule for this one hour. It is not a huge sacrifice. I don't need Candy Crush for a little respite/break from life. I need to write. Love it!

ANWA Conference is one of the best values for the dollar. Other conferences are up to 10 times the cost. I challenge each of us to set aside $15-20 each month in our ANWA Conference WISH JAR. It is one of the best investments we can do for our writing.

I hope to see ALL of ANWA there February 17 or 18 through 20, 2016.


  1. Such manageable ideas: write for one hour, set aside $20 a month. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. It was a great conference. Thanks for all your hard work and thanks to the rest of the board and committee. I am looking forward to next year.


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