What Portland Writers Missed

 NIWA, the Northwest Independent Writers’ Association pulled off their Inaugural Writer’s Symposium in sparkly Technicolor. It was a beautiful thing, and along with thirteen other attendees, we took full advantage thereof. The heaping pounds of marketing information and education that we’d received will give us an edge over the coming year, and all it cost us was one Superbowl and $225.

2014 Symposium

I’m not sharing with you what I’d learned (insert smiley face,) you’ll just have to go next year.

McMenamin’s Grand Lodge served as a cool, quiet location to host this symposium. The food was fantastic and their beer very tasty. For Lunch on Saturday, I enjoyed a turkey sandwich on fresh wheat bread, served with a cranberry spread and a side of potato salad. Keynote speaker, Mark Leslie Lefebvre, presented the Kobo Platform as an alternative indie-book sales point.

There were three paths of education offered, but I stuck close to the marketing track since I believed that is my weakest arena. Next year I’ll investigate the writing curriculum. Some writers might already know it all, but I always like to learn new tricks. The third direction for the symposium was the technical angle, focusing on e-book formatting, cover design, and web presence.

After the conference closed, we did a charity book sale with 30 authors gathered. I was lucky enough to be placed between P.J. Cowan and Chad Coensen, two of my favorite Portland area authors. Considering we were competing against the Super Bowl, I feel we sold a fair number of books. We also split a growler of McMenamin’s IPA and a second growler of Porter. (A growler is a quart of beer, contained in a vessel provided by the purchaser.) Portland beer is the best, and so was NIWA’s 1st Symposium. (The charities we supported were The Right Brain Initiative and The Library Foundation. Jacobsen’s Books and More made our jobs so much easier—thank you, Tina.)


2014 Author Showcase


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