This blog post is your official invitation to Jot: The GR Writers Mini-Conference. I hope you’ll consider coming. The event is completely free and it should be of great value to writers. It takes place in Grand Rapids, MI on February 8th. Click this link for further details.
Here’s the story behind Jot and some more information on why you should come.
The Genesis of Jot
I’ve been in a writers group for about five years called “The Weaklings.” This group includes Josh Mosey, Bob Evenhouse, Matt Landrum, and a few other friends who’ve drifted in and out of our meetings. I’m not sure whose idea it originally was but some time during the fall of 2012 we looked at each other and said, “It’s high time the Weaklings put together an event for writers.”
(I don’t know if any of us actually used the phrase “high time” or not, but it sounds good for the telling of this story.)
We are partly inspired by another Michigan-based writers group, the Guild, which is a group of female writers who started the annual Breathe Conference. If you’ve read this blog for a while then you know that I’m part of the Breathe Conference planning committee. The other Weaklings have all also been involved with either Breathe or the Guild in various ways. The point is, getting to know this group of writers and seeing how they invest in Breathe showed me and the other Weaklings how much good a writers group can do when they come together for an event like this.
In addition to that, we want to get connected with more writers in our area. If there’s one thing we’ve learned after 5+ years of writing together it’s that writers help other writers. We’ve shared ideas, insights, editorial contacts, projects, and other helpful things over the last five years. How much more could we share if we put on a free event for writers in our area?
Why you should come to Jot
We want to give everyone who comes to Jot three tangible experiences:
Meet – We want to meet you and we want you to meet other writers. I hope that everyone who comes to Jot walks away with a handful of new contacts in the writing world. This means more comrades, more friends, and more blog readers for everyone involved. We’ve seen that writers in community have a much greater chance of achieving their writing and publishing goals than writers in solitude.
Learn – None of us claim to be experts, but we all have some good ideas to share. If you come to Jot you’ll hear a series of three or more short presentations on different aspects of writing. You’ll learn about Flash Fiction, book proposals, and novel writing. We want to share what we know with you, and then chat about it afterwards and learn from your ideas too. Each presentation will be about 15-20 minutes with time for questions.
Write – There is built-in writing time at Jot. If you come, bring your notebooks, journals, laptops, and anything else you use to write. We all have to balance work, family, friends, and the rest of life with our writing. At Jot we want to make sure everyone who comes will get some time to actually do some writing. Sometimes, that’s all you can ask for!
And we want to do all of this in one night, like having a whole writers conference in just a few hours (hence the “mini” part of Jot).
My final plea for your attendance
As I mentioned before, Jot is completely free. We’re not making any money off it, and we’re not looking to make money off of it. You won’t hear sales pitches for anything if you attend. What you’ll hear is a group of committed writers sharing what they know and cracking some jokes. We’re putting this event on because we want to help grow the writing community in and around Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event is being held in a beautiful new bookstore on February 8th beginning at 7pm. You can learn more details here.
Hope to see you there!