I just returned from a dynamite conference for female memoir writers hosted by the highly esteemed Story Circle Network in Austin, Texas. I have been a member of SCN for about a year and have been impressed by the excellent online resources the organization provides to life story writers of all kinds. It offers online writing classes, online writing groups, editing services, book reviews, and much more, besides providing a variety of publications that teach and motivate. I’ve occasionally asked myself, “Where do these women find the time to do all they do for this organization?” Most of it comes free with an amazingly reasonable annual membership fee. The women who run this organization are experienced writers who generously share their time to encourage the development of other writers. Susan Wittig Albert, SCN’s founder, is the author of more than 30 books! (Susan is pictured left in top photo, along with Peggy Moody, another SCN board member.)
While I had become an “Internet groupie” of SCN, I didn’t have a full sense of the organization’s strengths and wide reach until I attended its national conference last week. Frankly, I probably wouldn’t have gone had I not been invited to present a workshop. Conferences are expensive when you factor in air travel and hotel fees. I thought SCN did a fine job keeping the conference costs affordable, however. So I went…and had a great time, not only presenting a workshop, but also mingling and learning from others.
A few things stood out. The conference attracts and addresses the needs of women of all ages and backgrounds–and writing abilities. Close to 200 women attended, and what a friendly, welcoming bunch it was! What an atmosphere of sharing and learning together. I loved the whole experience. I attended as many classes as I could, taught by inspiring, well-prepared teachers who got us thinking, digging deep into our psyches, and writing. I returned home full of ideas I plan to use in my California classes and in my own writing. (Bottom photo: That’s me selling books in the conference vendors’ area.)
So, if you’re a gal who’s looking for more ideas and inspiration to keep you writing your story, check out the SCN website. An annual membership only costs $35–a real deal, considering what you get for it. You’ll be joining a group of more than 600 women from all over the world, all writing their life stories.