Sixteen months ago, SDWG decided to take on the development of the long-running WriteAngles Conference, which ceased operating with the pandemic. We wanted to preserve the wonderful local feel of the annual event and to broaden and diversify the offerings and the participants.
Understanding Regional Writers
In line with Straw Dog’s mission, we wanted to expand outreach to all four western MA counties and to offer honoraria to presenters.
But what did writers in our region want in a conference, particularly those writers who had not attended the conference in the past? To answer this question, we developed an online survey and partnered with writing organizations to hold pop-up conversations in Franklin, Hamden, Berkshire, and Hampshire Counties.
Learnings and Needs
We learned that writers in our region are deeply interested in creating, expanding, and strengthening our writing communities and in work that addresses issues of diversity, inclusion, and social justice.
We heard the desire for networking time with other writers and for a chance to hear each other’s work. We understood the need to expand the conference to include more writers who are young, low-income, rural, and writers of color, both as presenters and participants.
Our planning committee, made up of volunteers from the old WriteAngles, Straw Dog Writers Guild, and other writing organizations, has been working to take the best from the original conference and expand it to incorporate the suggestions.
What to Expect
We will still have literary agent meetings, but these will be scheduled virtually during the week before the conference so that no one will miss out on a workshop or panel to speak with an agent.
We are also actively pursuing grants and sponsorships to be able to offer significant scholarship assistance, both for conference registration and for agent meetings. We will have an expanded lunch time with interest tables for networking and an open mic at the end of the day.
On the WriteAngles website, you can take a sneak peek at the program and sign up to be notified when registration opens in early 2024.
The WriteAngles Conference web team is made up of volunteers who graciously give of their time to make this website and our other digital marketing efforts possible.