This past Saturday, October 6th, I traveled to Brainerd to attend the Brainerd Writers Alliance (BWA) Workshop and Contest Awards Program. Held at Central Lakes College, the morning session offered a panel discussion with Corinne Dwyer, from the North Star Press in St. Cloud, Seal Dwyer, from Sun Ray Printing, Dee George, a freelance writer & editor, and Donna Evans, with Echo Publishing in Pequot Lakes. Gary Midge, with BWA, hosted the question and answer session. The four panelists had a wealth of information regarding the local/regional publishing and writing industry, and provided many helpful tips for the attendees.
Following lunch, the program turned to the winners of the annual contest. First, second, and honorable mentions were invited to read their works in front of the group. It was quite a thrill for me to read, "One More Chance", the First Place winner in the Short Fiction category. The story is taken from a revised version of the first chapter of the new book I'm writing. As a "lonely writer, working at home," it's easy to question which projects are worth pursuing, and having the diligence to keep at it when the doubts and discouragement creep in. Let me tell you, having this story win first place in the BWA contest is truly an affirmation from God to "keep at it!" There were many wonderfully written pieces read in the afternoon, and it was a fun chance to put faces to the names I see so often on the email notices.
A big thanks to the BWA writers for hosting a great workshop & program!