Saturday, October 8, 2011

Musing on the Muse

Every year I participate in the Muse 
Online Writers Conference as a presenter, and every year it seems to get just a little bit bigger.  The first year I presented, I ran a poetry workshop.  A group from that session were so inspired, from each other as much as me - I encouraged them to critique one another and they really jumped into that, that they formed a poetry writing group called Poetic Muselings that continued to work together.  Their anthology titled Lifelines has just been accepted for publication by Inkspotter Publishing.  Am I proud?  You betcha.  This is about the best outcome a writer teacher could hope for, and is due in large part to that wonderful rarified air of a conference that transcends space, linking a group of individuals towards a shared goal.  I've since run workshops on characterisation, workshops on writing a query (and several of the people on that course have gone on to have the books they've queried accepted by traditional publishing houses - yay!).  This year I did a joint week long workshop with the wonderful Karen Cioffi on "Creating and Building Your Author/Writer Online Presence".  It was a big, full-on course that went from website and content creation through to article marketing, SEO and keywords, podcasting, creating ebooks, online commerce, and information marketing.  Kind of like a one stop online platform bootcamp.  Any one of those topics could have run in a full week workshop, but our ambitious attendees got stuck in and worked hard, setting up or tweaking their websites, creating and submitting keyword rich, optimised articles, and even creating their own podcasts.  I was so inspired by both Karen and our attendees, that I completely revamped my own website during the week, moving it to a new platform and giving it a fresh new look. There were many different workshops held, dealing with topics as diverse as shoestring marketing, writing suspense, working social media, developing a unique voice, obtaining contacts, writing flash fiction, fantasy, horror, self-publishing, creating worlds, espionage, and even creating monsters.  If I had the time, I'd probably take every one of the courses.  As it was, I was busy teaching my own!  But one of the benefits of the Muse, is that all the workshops and documentation remain visible for several weeks afterwards, and you can bet I'll be trawling the boards to gather in as much of this collective store of knowledge as I can.  If you didn't make it this year, there's always 2012.  


  1. Maggie, I agree, the Muse online Conf is an amazing opportunity for all us writers. I'll be doing the same this upcoming two weeks - catching up on all the great workshops I missed.

    Thanks so much for presenting with me this year - it's really so true that two heads are better than one - twice the knowledge and half the work!

    And, you're so right, each of our workshop sections could have held its own in a week long workshop.

    You and the attendees were very inspiring and have me ready to do all the things on my 'to do' list that I've been putting off - one of them to revamp my main website.

    I checked out your new site - it's great - clean and easy to navigate. Well done!

  2. I'm trying to wrap my head around all the information I need to collect and collate from several w'shops, whilst, and at the same time, battling this bloody head-cold that just appeared ... I bet someone sneezed on me at the conference!