Thursday, February 14, 2013

Northern Colorado Writers Conference

I just received my itinerary from Southwest Airlines--my itinerary to Denver, Colorado (my second trip to Denver in less than 8 months). From Denver, I'll be heading to Fort Collins to speak at the 8th annual Northern Colorado Writers Conference. I'm super excited...for a few reasons:
Andrew McCarthy, guy I thought was cool
(okay, still think he's pretty cool)
  1. Andrew McCarthy is the keynote speaker. Yes, that Andrew McCarthy--the guy from Mannequin, Weekend at Bernies, and Pretty in Pink. Actor, director, and award-winning travel writer. I'm psyched to see one of my childhood idols--yes, I idolized a guy who chased around an inanimate girlfriend and worked for a deceased boss; what can I say? It was the 80s!
  2. Fort Collins is an F+W Media hub. Why is that important? Because I've been employed by F+W Media since the days when they were known as F&W Publishing (remember when media companies were called publishing companies?), but I've never been to our Fort Collins hub. Who knows if I'll have time to meet up with any of my F+W homies, but it'll be cool to be near them nonetheless.
  3. Colorado rocks! And it's not just because of the Rockies. Okay, mostly it's because of the mountains--the last time I visited Colorado I ventured with Tammy up to Breckenridge, which was great (after I adjusted to the altitude anyway). Despite it's needlessly confusing airport, I had a blast the last time I visited Colorado.
  4. Writers conferences are fun. They just are. It's always inspiring to meet other writers and publishing professionals. Ideas always grow in these settings--as do personal connections and future opportunities. That' right, I'm advocating that all writers get out to events to help their careers--in both creative and professional ways.
  5. I'm speaking. Okay, I have a love-hate relationship with speaking in front of groups. I love it, but I always expect the audience to pelt me with rotten fruits and veggies (because, you know, they always carry them to live events--just in case). My involvement includes presentations on blogging and finding freelance work. Plus, I get to lead a poetry roundtable with an exclusive group of like 10 or so writers (see if you can get in).
The whole event should be busy and a lot of fun. I have a feeling the time will pass faster than I expect, because that's what happens when you're having fun, right?

Anyway, here's a little more information about the conference that was slipped to me by Kerrie Flanagan (my point person for the event):

The 8th annual Northern Colorado Writers Conference, April 26-27th at the Fort Collins Hilton, is the premiere writer’s conference in region. This year features keynote speaker, actor and director, Andrew McCarthy. From Pretty in Pink to National Geographic Traveler, McCarthy will share how he added award-winning travel writer and author to his list of accomplishments. His recently released memoir, The Longest Way Home, has been well received by critiques.

Also being featured at the event will be the high school Poetry Out Loud state champion who will recite poetry to the attendees Friday evening. During the course of the event, over 25 sessions will be offered by a carefully selected faculty that includes literary agents, editors, freelance writers, publishers and novelists.

The conference was started back in 2006 as a way for writers of all levels and genres to get together  to learn more about the craft, connect with industry professionals and be in the company of other writers for two days. Eight years later the event is still going strong and draws in people from all over the country.

For more information about the conference, visit


Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Plus, sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.


Check out these other Not Bob posts for writers:

Friday, February 1, 2013

Best Blogs for Writers to Read in 2013

Once again, it's that time of year. Every February, I reveal my personal list of the best blogs for writers to read. These are personal faves, so I won't be offended if you know a great blog I didn't list. Please share it in the comments below, and I will review it for next year's list.

By the way, this year's list offers more than 50 blogs. In 2011, I listed 31 wonderful blogs for writers; in 2012, I listed 39 great blogs for writers; this year, the final count is 55. Who knows what the final number will be next year? As always, I'm human about putting this list together, so don't take a snub as a personal attack.

Brian Klems, double blogger at

Writer's Digest Blogs
As a Senior Content Editor for the Writer's Digest Writing Community, I'm rather partial to the blogs on the site. My poetry blog (below) has a home there--as does the best blog covering literary agents anywhere.

Learn How to Start (or Improve) Your Blog!

E-media guru Dan Blank of We Grow Media leads this 4-week Blogging 101 course. In addition to covering how to set up a blog, bloggers will learn how to create an editorial calendar to keep content on track, how to interact with readers and build a sense of community, what search engine optimization is and how to use it to your advantage, and more.

Click to continue.


My All-Star Blogs for Writers
These are the best of the best as far as I'm concerned by single bloggers (tag-teams have their own list below). Their content is updated frequently, and it's of high value. Everyone, regardless of genre, should be able to learn something on these blogs.
Not Bob, Jane Friedman, Porter Anderson, Christina Katz

Tag-Team Blogs for Writers
These blogs could just as well be on the All-Star list, but they're mostly assembled through a group effort. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, some of these are the best at covering their specific areas.
Sandra Beasley, who digs poetry

Blogs That Rock for Writers
These blogs are just as cool as the others listed above, but they do it in their own unique ways. In fact, I'd say many of these blogs kind of have their own rocking attitude that the others above don't. If you can check them out regularly, you won't be disappointed.

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Plus, sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.


Check out these other Not Bob posts for writers: