Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Japan Writers Conference

So I thought I published this on Friday. Blogger apparently thought differently...

As you know I did the Japan Writers Conference last weekend.

ILOVEDIT!!! So much that I think I will talk about why EVERYONE who wants to be in this industry should attend a conference.

Here's what I absolutely loved:

1. Amazing people from a million backgrounds.
There were people at various stages of the publication process; people who wrote fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or all three; Americans, Canadians, Chinese, Japanese, 5th generation Japanese (quite a different thing). Everyone was so friendly and helpful. And I found out about writers, critiquing and readers groups, right here in Japan.

2. I learned so much! The only thing I'd call myself an "expert" on is foreign langauges, and that's only when compared to the layperson. In a room of linguists, I think I'm bottom-tier. BUT I feel like I've heard most of what's to be said about writing. So I really didn't expect to learn that much.

3. Trying out new things. I made judgements on some things before I tried them. Character trait lists, pre-writing, writing prompts... All things I'd never done, and never felt like they'd help me. During the workshops, I got to try some of these out. And WOW!

4. An opportunity to be an English speaker. Living in Japan, I don't often actually need to speak English. In August, I got through 5 days without speaking English, and I didn't even realise til the 5th day! Being someone that's so into performance poetry and reading, it isn't easy being in a non-English speaking country. In fact, I think that might be the hardest thing.

5. The workshops rocked! There were 3 rooms going on at the same time. 1 room was basically Screen and Fiction, one was Poetry, and one was the business side. But there were some pretty tough choices in some of the slots.

Pre-pubbed author, Holly Thompson, talking about YA literature.

Here's the Nihon (Japanese for Japan) College of Art, where the conference was held. There was also a fall festival going on, because there's always a festival on somewhere here :)

1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like an incredible event. I lived in Japan when I was very young, but I've lost most of the language.
And thank you - I would be so honored if you decided to jump into science fiction with my book. It's low tech and character driven, I promise!