Friday, January 15, 2010

[Loft] a la carte: A Writing Buffet for Beginners

On February 20-21st, the Loft is offering beginning writers a chance to try their hand at several different styles of writing. If you ever wanted to try your hand in poetry and also screenplays, the a la carte Festival is a great chance to meet other writers and professionals and gain some great insights about the writing life from award-winning writers. 

It's no secret I'm a big fan of literary cross-training. Knowing the differences and similarities between the forms strengthens our work and pushes us.  This time, the main options are in Children's Literature, Novels, Memoirs, Short Stories, Graphic Novels, Poetry, Screenplays and Teleplays

The Keynote speaker is Selden Edwards, and I can see why he was chosen to talk to emerging writers. 

Selden began working on a novel in 1974 and it took him 33 years to work, revise and submit his manuscript. It went through six 'final drafts' and you could wallpaper a room with the rejection letters he got, but when he gave it one last try, the result was a critically acclaimed debut novel, The Little Book, which is on Entertainment Weekly's 'Must List.'  

So, what was it? Luck? Perseverance? A really, really, really good cover letter? An agent that believed in him? The man worked on a book almost since the year I was born and never really gave up on it.  But what kind of lessons do we extract from it, especially in today's literary marketplace where there's such encouragement to produce books rapidly? And frankly, given how long it took him to write one book, where does a writer like him go from here?

It's an interesting question.

At $175 for non-members of the Loft, it's an investment, but the way the festival is set up, I think this is a great opportunity for people who want to really get close to other writers and try their hands at different literary forms with some professional input. 

If I understand it from the latest update, almost half of the registrations are filled now. I imagine the rest of the available seats will fill up very quickly.

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