Why I Can’t Wait for the 2015 PNWA Conference

Given how much I love doling out unsolicited advice, just imagine how pleased I am to hold forth when someone actually asks me to do so! I’m looking forward to this month’s Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association conference in Seatac, and excitedly putting the finishing touches on my talk on what prose writers can learn from poetry.

1. This is a conference geared toward professional development, not just inspiration.

Don’t get me wrong; I value being inspired, but inspiration is both free for the taking and all around us. Just crack open a national newspaper or eavesdrop in the local coffee shop. Information on developing your professional life, however, is harder to come by. This conference is a great opportunity to hear solid advice from people with real know-how.

2. Poetry has a prime spot this year.

With a poetry open mic after Thursday’s keynote and four—count ‘em, four!—sessions on poetry on Saturday, PNWA’s making poetry a central part of its conference programming in 2015.

3. The lineup of speakers is squeal-worthy.

Andre Dubus III, keynote speaker. Need I say more? Wait, you want more? How about Bill Kenower? Bob Dugoni? An autograph party where you can meet and greet and fan out over 60 different authors?

4. The conference is the right size. 

Sure, I love a 10,000-strong event like AWP each year, but you really can’t beat a conference of a few hundred likeminded writers. That’s plenty of people to generate a great vibe, but not so many that you can’t make real and lasting connections with other individuals.

See you there, Northwest writers!


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