This past weekend, November 2-4, 2017, marked the seventeenth annual Winter Wheat writing festival held at Bowling Green State University and hosted by Mid-American Review, one of the two literary journals housed at the university.
I volunteered at Winter Wheat last November as part of my internship with Mid-American Review, but I would consider this year’s Winter Wheat to be the first writing conference I’ve attended. While I did volunteer again this year, I also attended some of the workshops and connected with so many of the other attendees.
Conferences can be tiring, but at the end of the event they are beyond rewarding. I leave this weekend more inspired than ever to not only continue writing and editing my current projects, but also to start new projects. The variety of workshop topics along with excellent tips and writing time being included in the workshops was one of the highlights of the weekend. The depths of both knowledge and fun that result from this enrich attendees, workshop hosts, and writings alike.
Another aspect that contributed to an amazing experience is the writing community. That’s a very vague statement, but let me explain. When writers meet, it’s a magical experience. Part of this stems from the size of the writing community. The community is vast, but it’s also small enough that you begin to see the same names around. For example, I met writers this weekend that I’ve seen on book covers and on Twitter and immediately recognized them.
The writing community, a phrase that is probably tiring as I continue to gush over my experiences this weekend, was also fun to dive deeper into as a myriad of literary journals attended the conference. It’s fun to see journals online, but seeing the variety in person sparked something in me that led to me now wanting to seriously submit to journals, whereas I previously had reservations.
Winter Wheat’s attendees hail from around the world and include students, professional writers, casual writers, and everyone in-between. This year’s guest readers were Theresa Williams, Colette Arrand, and Mary E. Weems.