Monday, August 21, 2017

Non-Conference Events: Who Are We & What Can We Do For You?

By: Linda Tschappat

So, as a Pikes Peak Writers member, or future member, you probably already know about the fantastic writing conference we hold each April, right? Affectionately known as PPWC, it's an amazing experience, jam-packed with all things you need to learn for your writing career, with friends both known and new, and all kinds of fun. It's four or five days of networking, kibitzing with other authors, keynote speakers, editors, and agents, forging friendships, and soaking up as much knowledge as you can. Definitely not to be missed.

But what about the other 360 days of the year? One cannot learn all you need to know in five days. Did you know there are events, and learning, and fun, all year long? Dubbed Non-Conference Events (NCE), these mini events are held at various times to help you along every step of your career. Here's a snapshot of what we offer:

Write Your Heart Out - Held each February, this is a FREE half-day event designed as a Conference sneak peek. Six speakers from the upcoming PPWC faculty present a mini version of their material, covering a wide range of topics to help further your writing career.

Writers' Night - A fun, informal night of conversation, support, and sharing. Typically held on the fourth Monday, this is an open and free-form discussion on all facets of writing specifically or books in general.
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https://www.pikespeakwriters.com/event-type/writers-night/)

Open Critique - This is an excellent way to get positive, non-judgmental feedback on your writing. A small group of writers along with the host and a guest critique offer suggestions on how to tighten and polish your masterpiece. Held on the first Wednesday, email critique@pikespeakwriters.com to reserve your spot for the next meeting.
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https://www.pikespeakwriters.com/event-type/open-critique/)

Write Drunk, Edit Sober - Our newest event held the second Wednesday of each month, join our host and other writers for improv writing prompts aimed at jump starting your writing creativity and honing your skills. Alcoholic drinks, while available for purchase, are not required for attendance and participation.
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https://www.pikespeakwriters.com/event-type/write-drunk/)

Write Brains - A free conference format workshop held each month on a variety of topics from the craft of writing to the business and marketing side of your career. Typically held the third Tuesday of each month, speakers from all skills and publishing levels share their knowledge and expertise.
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https://www.pikespeakwriters.com/event-type/write-brains/)

          Do you have an idea for a Write Brain Workshop that you'd like to share? As NCE Director, I use the same Proposal Portal as the Conference to choose the speaker and topics each month. Please consider adding your idea and presentation information to share your knowledge with our members. Feel free to email me at rsvp@pikespeakwriters.com.
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https://www.pikespeakwriters.com/proposing-a-workshop/)
Half-Day Paid Event - This is a Deep Dive format, usually on a single topic, designed to give in-depth information to improve your writing skills, increase your knowledge, and further your career. Typically, an annual or bi-annual event, this is an excellent opportunity to attend an extra workshop modeled like the Conference Prequel.

PPW also participates in other events throughout the year, such as Mountain of Authors, Mini-Maker Faire, and Mile-Hi Con.

Ask not what PPW can do for you; ask what you can do for PPW

Okay, so that's kind of silly, but no less true. Did you know that one of the best ways to grow
in your writing career is to help others get where you are or where you want to be? One of my favorite quotes by Earl Nightingale, "A candle is not diminished by giving another candle light." PPW offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities for all skill levels. You don't need to be an expert to get involved; all you need is a positive attitude and a willingness to help.

PPW and NCE are currently in deep need of help in a variety of positions of which most do not require a huge time commitment. True, there are positions available that do take more time, such as the openings on the Board, but none require prior experience, rather simply the desire to get involved. Training for any volunteer is provided, so don't think you have to know it all or do it all on your own. We're here to help and support you as you help and support us. Here's a short, and probably incomplete list of current openings that are PPW in general, not specifically tied to the annual conference, which also has a list of openings available:
·       President - Board position
·       Vice President - Board position
·       Webmaster
·       Member at Large - Board position
·       NCE Director - Board position, (Assistant also a possibility)
·       Open Critique Host - (NCE)
·       Assistant hosts for each of the monthly events - (NCE)

About the Author: Linda Tschappat joined PPW last September, training to be NCE Director, officially taking over the title in April. As a mom and crazy workaholic, she is currently looking to train someone as NCE Director, or an assistant to help plan the monthly and special events. Though still non-published, she's a perfectionist who stubbornly refuses to give up writing. She enjoys a variety of genres and age groups, currently working on a YA Urban Fantasy / Greek Mythology series and others including a Time Travel Regency Romance and MG Fantasy. Connect with her online at https://www.facebook.com/linda.tschappat or email at rsvp@pikespeakwriters.com.