There’s still time to buy a ticket for this Saturday’s 2018 Northwest Georgia Writers Conference. Thinking about going? Here’s what one writer hopes to gain from attending the conference.


The decision to leave my career and become a freelance writer was a difficult one. I was leaving the known—the comfortable—and wading into unknown waters. Over a decade later, I have contributed hundreds of articles to magazines and newspapers, published Project Keepsake, published two eBooks, made dozens of appearances on television and at special events, moved into the editor’s role for several regional magazines, and provided instruction and inspiration for aspiring writers. I’ve learned so much along the way.

Last week a friend asked me why I still attend writing conferences and workshops. 

“You’ve written for years,” he said. “What could you possibly learn?”

I was puzzled by the question.

“I’m still learning,” I finally answered. “Sometimes, I help others. Sometimes, they help me. I show up, listen, learn, and share.”

I’m a believer in life-long learning and subscribe to the notion that the journey to masterful writing never ends. And in today’s changing landscape of publishing and marketing, it’s smart to check in from time to time and take note of what works and doesn’t work for other writers.

With that said, here are a few things I hope to learn (and gain) from attending the 2018 Northwest Georgia Writers Conference in Calhoun this Saturday.

  • NEW TRENDS IN BOOK MARKETING—If you think writing a book is hard, just wait until you start trying to market and sell your books. Wow! Marketing Project Keepsake brought me to my knees a few times. That’s why I’m looking forward to Deborah Malone’s presentation titled, The Nuts and Bolts of Marketing. I hope to finish my novel by the end of the year, and I’m already thinking about my marketing strategy.

  • MASTERFUL STORYTELLING TECHNIQUES—I am always looking for ways to improve my storytelling. Bestselling novelist, Karin Gillespie, will not only talk about the road to publishing her first book, but she will also share a few of her storytelling secrets, and I’ll be in the front row taking notes.

  • A BETTER WAY TO OUTLINE—I’m not one of those writers who can sit down and birth a book with no roadmap. For my current project, I’m using a very crude outline to help me appropriately sequence my story. Nicki Salcedo will cover five tips to help develop stronger outlines which may reduce the stress and time required to get your story on paper.

  • NEW WRITING FRIENDS—I love to meet other writers and hear about their projects. It’s called “networking,” and it works.

  • LEARNING FROM MANUSCRIPT CONSULTATIONS—Literary Agent, Jeanie Loiacono, will be meeting one-on-one with some of the writers to discuss their books. She knows the business. Reservations for these consultations are just $20. My book isn’t far enough along to share with her. However, I plan to ask my friends who have booked consultations with her about their experiences. I’ll ask, “How’d it go? What did she say? What do you plan to do next?” And I will learn from their experiences.

  • PODCASTING 101—Last year, I became infatuated with a storytelling podcast titled, S-Town. As a writer, I’ve considered using podcasting as an alternative medium to post my work in spoken form. Lee Green is a successful podcaster who will talk about how he got started. I plan to pick his brain.

If you think you know everything about writing and publishing, you are wrong. Continue to attend workshops and conferences (use the link on the right to buy a ticket for the 2018 Northwest Georgia Writers Conference in Calhoun on Saturday, May 19). Read books on writing. Listen to what others have to say. The writing journey never ends. 

Freelance writer Amber Lanier Nagle writes from Northwest Georgia. Her book, From the Porch, will be available in June 2018. She hopes to publish her novel in early 2019. Connect with Amber at

Amber Nagle

Freelance writer. Author of "Project Keepsake." Wife. Engineer. Reader. Speaker. Blogger. Writing Coach. Aunt. Sister. Daughter. Friend. Hiker. Biker. Runner. Gardener. Volunteer. And so much more.