Sunday, October 10, 2010

American Fork Arts Council Writers' Conference

Good Sabbath to you!

Yesterday I spent the day at the American Fork Arts Council Writers' Conference. They hold one of these conferences about every 6 months, but this was my first one. And, it was great!

I enjoyed the workshops and talks by published LDS authors. One of the workshops I went to was about writing non-fiction. It was taught by Caleb Warnock and Annette Lyon. I went expecting to hear about writing non-fiction books and they covered that somewhat, but it really was more about writing magazine articles. Several interesting points were brought out, of which I had been ignorant.
  1. The market for non-fiction is much more open to new writers than that of fiction.
  2. The slush pile for non-fiction articles is much smaller, so your chances of getting published is much greater.
  3. Magazines, including obscure trade magazines, are hungry for clear, cleanly written, well researched articles.
  4. Unlike fiction, the non-fiction writer doesn't have to create a following or "get their name out there" before making money from their craft.
  5. Although it is non-fiction writing, the elements of good fiction writing are still applicable, particularly creative, narrative voice and having a beginning, middle and end.
  6. The turn-around time to get published is much shorter for magazines than for novels, the typical amount of time between submission and publication being about six months.
  7. You can write non-fiction articles while you're working on more extensive projects. For example, you can write some articles and get some money to pay for Christmas.
If, like me, you haven't thought about writing non-fiction articles, it may be worth your time to look into it. A good place to start is

Good luck to you and, happy writing!


Renae W. Mackley said...

This topic has been lurking in the back of my mind. Thanks for bringing it upfront and for sharing your notes. I will check out the website.

Michael Knudsen said...

As fiction writers we tend to think that we're not being as "creative" when we venture outside of the narrative world. But most writers I know are so widely read and have done enough research that they could easily produce a few articles as a by-product of their writing (and supplement their incomes!)

Keith Fisher said...

Alas, I had to work. Wish I could've been there.