Friday, July 11, 2008

Speaking Engagements

Last year, I spoke to a small group of very talented writers in Bellingham, WA about writing nonfiction. I loved the responsive audience. This year, I spoke about magazine writing at one of *my* regional SCBWI monthly meetings (picture). Again, I was delighted with a wonderfully attentive audience. And the best part was seeing them again a month later at the annual conference and hearing some of their success stories.
I am so pleased to be invited to speak again in the area. The first one is coming up in November, on magazine writing, at the University of Washington Extension class on Writing for Children and the second is coming up much later in April on work-for-hire writing as part of our local SCBWI monthly series. I'm pleased that nonfiction writing is getting some attention.
I know that people almost always think of writing The Great American Novel when they think of writing at all (myself included when I was a newbie writer), and many of the classes are geared towards novel writing. However, it's much easier for writers to break into the magazine market, particularly with nonfiction. What's fascinating is that children begin writing with nonfiction. I do lots of class visits and the majority of children write about their families, pets, friends, etc. Towards the end of Grade 1, I see fictionalization of real events. I wonder why writers shy away from nonfiction ... it is truly in our bones.
When I first started writing, almost everything was geared towards fiction. I love reading and writing nonfiction and told myself that I would try to bring it more attention in our area. I doubt I can ever make it as sexy as fiction, but again, I revel in these small successes.


laurasalas said...

Congrats, Vijaya! And good for you for spreading some nonfiction gospel:>)

Funny Poetry Girl said...

Sounds like good advice. I wish I lived in your area to join you.

Vijaya said...

NF Gospel indeed :) It's funny how reluctant grown ups can be about trying NF -- it reminds them of school papers, etc. but when they try their hand at it, almost all of them love it.