Annual Writers’ Conference at OU Charms 100 in Attendance

Seven Years and Still Going

The annual Rochester Writers’ Conference welcomed writers on October 4 to Oakland University in Rochester for a full day of inspiration and information. One hundred attendees, 13 presenters, half a dozen volunteers and one organizer united to make the seventh annual event another success story.

There was a significant amount of positive feedback regarding the conference, most notably for offering valuable content from Michigan authors and writers, presenting networking opportunities, being well organized, and providing inspiring ideas through beneficial professional development. Attendees enjoyed lectures, workshops and panel discussions during the one-day event. “I felt very satisfied attending, and will be happily returning next year!” said Erica Marrocco the next day in her blog.

Michael Dwyer, organizer and founder of the event, thanked Rochester Media for sponsoring the event once again. He also thanked the volunteers that help direct foot traffic, check people in and staff the reception area all day. “Our reception area continues after registration,” said Dwyer, “we help match attendees to presentations, sell books for the speakers, and make sure refreshments are always full. I know I need fresh coffee all day, I assume others do too.”

Keynote Speaker a Big Hit

Author, Lev Raphael, spoke about how fiction changed his life. Son of Holocaust survivors, Raphael described his unique experiences. He offered advice on reading and writing in a way that struck a chord with many in the audience. “Read like a writer,” he said, suggesting writers should read more and could always learn from what they read.

The conference also helped debut Lev’s new book, Assault with a Deadly Lie. Raphael signed copies after his talk and took time to speak with each person who lined up to get a copy. “Enthusiasm”, “laughter”, and “inspiration” were amongst the top remarks regarding the Keynote.

The Writing Contest

Added a couple years ago, the writing contest has become a part of the event. Winners of the Rochester Writers’ Summer Writing Contest, who attended the conference, had a chance to read their winning piece to 120 people in the audience.

Ron Herron, a local writer, has attended all seven conferences and has entered the contest before. This was his first time winning an award. In fact, he won two. Herron’s Flash Fiction entry, Are We Lost, took second place and his Micro Fiction entry, Apparition, took third place.

The Rochester Media Best of Show went to Roberta Brown for her piece, Hammer Time, which took first place in the Micro Fiction category. As Best of Show winner, Roberta may attend one of the two Rochester Writers’ events offered next year, free of charge. Out of 13 awards, eight were handed out at the event. Winners not in attendance will receive their awards by mail.

Looking Forward to 2015

A new contest starts in November. This will be the Winter Contest for Rochester Writers. Winners will be announced at the spring event. Four categories will offer cash prizes for first, second and third place.

In the spring, Rochester Writers will offer a focused conference on Social Media for the Writer. The event will take place at Oakland University on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Online tools, such as Twitter, Facebook and Blogs, will be deconstructed to offer authors ways to brand, promote and market themselves as writers.

The Eighth Annual Rochester Writers’ Conference will be Saturday, October 17, 2015 (also at Oakland University). This signature event will feature Michigan authors, speakers and educators for fiction and non-fiction presentations.