Conference: 2011 Pennwriters Conference - A Retrospective

The energy at this year's Pennwriters Conference is still surging through me! I'm channeling it to work on two novellas in the Ambasadora-verse and finish up the second full-length novel in the series, so I barely have time for this post, but I had to give a little retrospective, mostly in photo form, like the one below of Jason and me with Saturday Keynote Speaker Jonathan Maberry.

His speech should be required reading for the business--its theme was positivity and community, two sentiments I have always embraced when it comes to writing and the business of writing.

Thanks to the participants in our all-day intensive workshop Many Genres, One Craft, based on our new writing guide of the same name. (Buy it at Amazon right now!)
Seton Hill Writers (Timons Esaias, Heidi Ruby Miller, Jason Jack Miller, Natalie Duvall, Matt Duvall, and Michael A. Arnzen) taught one hour sessions on craft in the morning, then career in the afternoon.

Each participant received a free hardcover copy of Many Genres, One Craft as a thank you gift. Plus, lots of candy for answering questions!
The Author Tea and Signing was huge! So many great books and their creators all in one room. Signing for Many Genres were Timons Esaias, Cathy Teets of Headline Books, Inc., Heidi Ruby Miller, and Jason Jack Miller.

Jason and I had a wonderful group for our Sunday workshop The First Page is the Worst Page. It's a team-taught workshop we've been doing in one form or another since becoming adjunct faculty at Seton Hill, and it seems to be quite effective, considering we use the ideas to enhance our own prose.

My biggest epiphany during the conference (because I always have one)--I'm going to re-brand myself to repel people who would never read my work anyway. Seriously, thank you, C. J. Lyons for giving me permission to be myself! What a lesson to have learned. This of course means some changes around the site soon, but it was time to redecorate.


  1. Excellent recap, Heidi! Sounds like a fun and informative event; one of these years, I'll definitely have to attend. And congrats on your latest epiphany! : )

  2. Thanks, David!

    You would love a Pennwriters Conference.


  3. The conference gave me the opportunity to learn so much in a few days. I'm still recovering from the exhaustion, but I, too, am energized by the community of writers and authors to finish a few writing projects, including the Alice in Wonderland piece.

    I am also seriously considering the Seton Hill Popular Fiction MFA. I hope I can pick your brain on the program a bit more in the future.

  4. Hi Laura!

    It was great to meet you in person. You can pick my brain any time.

    We'd love to have you at Seton Hill. You'd love it there, too.

    :) H

  5. Don't we all look nice?

    You almost have me convinced we have to be out there for Friday next year...

  6. Thanks for sharing your epiphany. It's a good one. And. It makes me want to think about *my* brand.

    Hmm. Where are you located geographically, Heidi? West Coast, East Coast?


  7. Hi Valerie!

    We're just south of Pittsburgh. How about you?

    And, yes, the brand thing was a big deal for me because I've always been a little afraid that I wouldn't be taken seriously as a woman who wrote SF if I added in too much sentiment and intimacy, but I see that's part of my stories and part of my brand. If someone doesn't like that aspect of my writing, chances are they wouldn't have been my audience anyway.

    C. J. simply let me know that's okay. I guess I needed permission to turn some people off.

    :) Heidi

  8. Yes, J!

    We'll try for Friday next year.

    :) Heidi


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