Posts filed under ‘Events’

Register Today!


I’m teaching Super Saturday classes again, this fall.  Yep, the good people at Friends of the Gifted and Talented have invited me back to teach my two classes: Young Writers Workshop and Publish Me!


Wanna join us?  Check out FroG’s site for full details and to register. But hurry – space is limited and my classes fill up quickly.

September 14, 2009 at 12:02 am

Conference for Young Writers

I believe writers can easily hibernate in their space and produce masses of material. Alone. In the quiet of their home. Or car. Or coffee shop. But, in order to write about life experiences, one must EXPERIENCE life!  One example would be to get out and mingle with other writers. An event like a writing conference with classes to help your skills is just the thing!

Check out this event exclusively for Young Writers! Great line-up of experts and the price is less than you spent downloading itunes last month. Be honest. Go, have fun, learn lots and come back here to share your knowledge!



The Write Time Teens ‘N Twenties Writers Conference ( takes place Saturday, September 19 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at New Technology High School in Bloomington, IN. Writers from 12 to 29, and then some, will mingle with peers, featured authors and book industry brass on a day featuring more than a dozen workshops, a publishing panel discussion, book signings and a “Meet the Faculty” event.

The conference will also feature the national launch of The Write Time: 366 Exercises to Fulfill Your Writing Life, written by conference keynote speaker Bob Yehling of Word Journeys, Inc.

Early bird registration for The Write Time Teens ‘N Twenties Conference will continue through September 10, at the low price of $20; “thanks to the generosity of our sponsors,” Burt said. “This is a price we decided to set so that every student and young author could easily attend.” After September 10, the price will move to $40. Discount lodging is also available at the Homewood Suites by Hilton, the official hotel headquarters of/for the conference.

Topics for workshops include novel building, getting published, branding and marketing yourself and your book online, social networking for authors, building a daily writing life, magazine journalism, playwriting, songwriting, universalizing personal experience, memoir, and writing fiction and non-fiction that reflects social issues.

Workshop presenters will come from all parts of the country. The presenters include: bestselling authors Dana Carpender and Bob Hammel; literary agent and Capitol City Young Writers president Verna Dreisbach; media/marketing specialist Selena Osterman, a former art director at 20th Century Fox who worked on popular TV shows Futurama, Stargate and Family Guy; Bloom Magazine publisher Malcolm Abrams; Women Writing for (a) Change founder Beth Lodge-Rigal; Bosse High School (Evansville, IN) creative writing teacher and novelist Missy Feller; and Nashville-based songwriter Randy Handley, among others.

The keynote speaker, Yehling, is an author, editorial services provider and workshop teacher. The Write Time: 366 Exercises to Fulfill Your Writing Life is his eighth book, and second to address writing. His other writing book, Writes of Life, won an Independent Publishers Book Award in 2007.

Following the introductory keynote, attendees will participate in workshop sessions that last 75 minutes apiece. During lunch, Paul Burt will lead a panel discussion of publishers on present and future publishing opportunities. Verna Dreisbach will be meeting with authors seeking to market their work. After the formal conference ends, the two-hour “Meet the Faculty” will feature book signings by Hammel and Yehling, an open mic reading by conference participants, and live music.

Presenting sponsors for The Write Time Teens ‘N Twenties Conference include Indiana University School of Education, Bloomington Visitors & Conventions Bureau, the City of Bloomington, Bloom Magazine, Hirons & Company Advertising + Public Relations, Pen & Publish, Writer’s Digest magazine, The Writer magazine, Technology Service Corporation, Homewood Suites, United Commerce Bank, Women Writing For (a) Change, Bloomington Playwrights Project, and B97 Radio.

For more information, call 866-326-7768, 812-837-9226, or go to

September 3, 2009 at 9:04 am

Young Writers Scholarship

The 2nd Annual Lisa Rector Young Writers Scholarship


 Postmark Deadline: July 30, 2009.

1st place, SIWC Full Scholarship, 2009.
2nd place, critique by a Literary Agent
3rd place, critique by an Editor or Writer

The winner will be invited to attend the Surrey International Writers’ Conference October 23-25, 2009 in Surrey, Canada. 3-day conference pass includes entry to an awards banquet announcing the winner and a consult with a participating agent or editor attending this year’s conference. Scholarship does not include meals, travel or accommodation.

Students between the ages of 12-18, currently enrolled in a junior high, senior high or college program, are eligible to enter. Contest is open to Canadian, US and Worldwide residents 

Postmark Deadline: July 30, 2009.

July 23, 2009 at 11:42 am

“The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.”

Robert H. Schuller, Minister and Author

Have you ever talked yourself out of a dream?  Here’s the scenario: You get this amazing idea, you map it out carefully, your adrenaline is pumping, excited butterflies twitter in your belly, then you vocalize your idea. Maybe you share it with a friend, parent or teacher. The expression on their face is anything but excitement, in fact maybe it is a frown or (horror!) a smirk.

Other people’s opinions can be overcome. But only if you have full belief in your own dreams. If you have doubt or a negative attitude, well, my friend, your dreams will never become reality.

But, Mary Jo, I’m just trying to be realistic, you say.   It was a pretty cool dream , but it could never happen. I don’t have the time, the money or the resources.

OK, I get that.  And we all fall into a slump of doubt. But the key is to get out of that slump.

What works for me is surrounding myself with people who have joy in their lives. They are happy and positive influences on my own thought process.

You should also find a group of like-minded writers. Find a writers group, organization or class where you can reveal your dreams and listen to the dreams of others. Believe me, nothing gives you a boost like talking about your writing with other writers. Check out Capitol City Young Writers, where you can become part of a community of young writers mentored by professional writers in every industry (songwriting, novelists, memoirists, radio broadcasting, etc.) If you’re local to DuPage County, IL, come to my monthly writers groups (see the events page for details).

And, lastly, adopt the motto: Never Give Up! Sometimes, it helps to plow through the rough patches by just chanting nevergiveup, nevergiveup

For more tips on how writers get over those stubborn bumps on the road to success, check out this article, The 7 Habits Of Highly Successful Authors, by Suzanne Harrison   

Or share your ideas here! What do you dream of accomplishing?  Do you need a helpful dose of positive thinking?

April 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm 3 comments

Join the Frequent Writer’s Club


The second Tuesday of every month, beginning tomorrow April 14, we will be at the Bolingbrook Promenade Barnes & Noble Bookstore )in Illinois) for the monthly young writers group.

Not only will you have a chance to meet fellow writers, but we will have a blast with writing exercises, time to read, critique and write some more.

And, as a special incentive to keep your pens moving and keep you coming back for more, I’ve created the Frequent Writer’s Club. You must register for this free ongoing club and have your card punched each time you attend. Cool writing prizes will be given when you’ve attended 4 consecutive meetings!

Space is limited each month – register now by emailing me at mjcwriter “at” comcast “dot” net

April 13, 2009 at 12:17 am 1 comment

April: National Poetry Month


I don’t normally write about poetry, because it scares me. Not like boogieman-in-the-closet scares me, but the “I’m not sure of my ability in poetry writing” scary.

So, BOO! We’re going to write some poetry this month.  Feel free to check back in throughout the month of April where, I, your host, will be foolishly writing poetry for the world to see (and cringe at!)

If you are a poet (and don’t already know it! ba-bump-bump!) try out the official Poem-A-Day challenge:

More details can be found at

The Poem-A-Day Challenge. April 1st through 30th at Poetic Asides.

A Scary Start

Onto  my rhyme, cause I don’t have much time

To make you giggle

While I wiggle


Writing Poetry


April 2, 2009 at 9:55 am 1 comment

30 days of writing


A writelikeCRAZY reader (thanks, Sarah!) mentioned this fantastic online “regimen” for young writers! 30 days of writing prompts and more for only $10!  Starts on March 30.

Get your writing on!

And, if anyone else has cool links or classes or info helpful to young writers, I’m all ears! Let’s keep each other connected. There’s so much out there.

March 26, 2009 at 9:59 am

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Young Writers Program: NANOWRIMO

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