Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of the Writing Life

Tomorrow (Thursday, Aug. 25) I'll be at the FTLOL ("For the Love of Learning") conference called ACT, talking to young people who are possibly interested in becoming writers. This event has been marked on my calendar for the end of summer for a long time now, and I'm really looking forward to it. It's a free conference (my part runs from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.) and the artists and organizations involved don't get paid for doing it. They just give of their time because they think it's a worthwhile endeavour.

I remember all too well what it was like to be on the outside of a career in writing and wanting in so desperately, having only a vague idea of how to get there. To have a chance now to impart some hard-learned lessons after nearly a lifetime of studying the publishing industry both from the outside and the inside is an opportunity I couldn't pass up. I'm hoping it will be a fun hour full of interesting and entertaining discussion and packed with suggestions about how to go about getting involved in the writin' racket.

Anyone between the ages of 15 and 35 is invited to join us. It's a very open sort of deal. I'm even hoping a few of my former students will show up--perhaps even a student or two who happens to be in my upcoming English 1080 classes in September. Over the last few years, I've talked to and mentored numerous students who are interested in writing, as well as the arts in general, and this single hour devoted entirely to the subject of getting started in writing would be a useful addition to anything else I might have said in the past.

All in all, it's a pretty cool event--the kind I wish had been available to me when I was on the outside looking in. Also, remember, it's not just about writing--there are other events going on too from the various arts and arts organizations in the city. There's lots to learn...just for the love it, and that's the really cool part.

MORE DETAILS BELOW from the organizers:

Wednesday, August 24 at 11:00am - August 26 at 6:00pm

Location Gower Street United Church

Aspiring artists have a unique opportunity to receive guidance from professionals, free of charge. Non-profit FTLOL is presenting its second A.C.T., (Arts Career Training) conference, which will bring established members of the local creative community to one location, to speak about the road to a career in the arts and how to avoid the potholes.

Youth Coordinator June Rogers says, “ACT’s mandate is summed up by its slogan, ‘ ambition finds direction’. It’s about keeping artistic culture alive in St. John's by ensuring that new artists know how to enter the professional arena. ACT is all about the art community coming together to support emerging artists.”

The conference will run August 24-26 inclusive, from 11 am to 6 pm, in the gym and lecture hall of Gower Street United Church, 99 Queen’s Road. An exhibition of new work by FTLOL's artist-in-residence and youth participants will take place concurrently.

Admission is free, and no registration is necessary. For more information, please visit, or contact 722-8848 or

No comments:

Post a Comment