Getting the most out of MCWC 2017

By Cameron Lund, MCWC Social Media Manager

Play video for a glimpse of the MCWC experience.

We are proud—but also regretful—to announce that this year’s conference has already booked full.* For those of you who registered early, we cannot wait to welcome you to our little community of writers. To prepare you for what’s to come, here are some thoughts and tips from past attendees:

“I’ve always seen MCWC as a ‘safe haven,’ the first place where someone told me that if I wrote, I was a writer.  The conference provides a positive, nurturing environment for writers who are unsure of themselves and looking to improve their craft, and a meeting place for old friends to compare notes on their progress over the past year.” — Carole Stivers

“My favorite part is the feedback I get on my writing in the morning sessions. The faculty’s views are insightful, but it’s the participants considered thoughts coming from all angles that help make my writing better.” — Doug Fortier

“I appreciated the fact I could do and participate in as much as I wanted. I noticed writers who attended morning class and then picked over what was happening in the afternoon. They were gentle with themselves. For me, I packed in everything I could: full morning class with a consistent instructor on scene building, pitching my novel, two-plus classes each afternoon on everything from outlining to fast writing. I also scheduled a session with an agent, with trepidation.” — Earlene Gleisner

“My advice for newbies is to not hesitate, both for enrollment, but also for expressing what you want from the conference and for expressing your point of view in critiques of other participants’ writing. Don’t hang back—give something to get something.” — Doug Fortier

“Try to participate in as many sessions as you can.  Also, do your homework and try to get alone time with at least one agent or author, to talk about your work.  (I didn't do this last year, and I was sorry!)” — Carole Stivers

“Whether you ‘go for all of it’ or carefully pace your participation, your best bet is to read the schedule and biographies carefully. This is the best way to make a decision as to what you want to learn. And pack comfortable clothes which can be layered as the day can start cold and foggy and end up sunny. This is not a fashion show! Although a nice outfit for the final dinner can help you arrive in a celebratory mood.” — Earlene Gleisner

“Yes, bring warm clothes!  It can get cold at night!” — Carole Stivers

“For fun things in Mendocino, consider hanging out with other participants for evening meals. Patterson’s Pub on Lansing in Mendocino is a favorite of locals because it has the BEST food—but get there before six o’clock because it gets busy.” — Doug Fortier 

“For hikers, there’s Mendocino Headlands State Park, the Point Cabrillo Light Station, Russian Gulch State Park, the Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg… On the way in, visit Hendy Woods State Park—virgin redwoods as good as Muir Woods, but with no crowds!” — Carole Stivers

“MCWC has it all—great presenters, friendly helpful volunteers, free wine receptions, great location. I’ve attended many conferences, and there’s none like MCWC for the friendliness and helpfulness of the volunteers, from the servers in the kitchen to the staff in the bookstore.” — Anne Da Vigo 

“The Board of this event work hard to provide a welcoming atmosphere with an undercurrent of enthusiasm for our craft.” — Earlene Gleisner

“My tip, as a past attendee before I became Director? Come as a sponge. Absorb it all—the insights, the passion, the camaraderie. It’s pretty heady.” — Shirin Bridges


*To be added to the waitlist for MCWC 2017, in case seats become available due to cancellations, please contact our registrar, Barbara Lee, at or 707-485-4031