By Amy Lutz, MCWC Editorial Assistant
MCWC 2018 was our 29th conference, and many felt it was our best yet. We had more than 100 participants in nine morning workshops, including our first-ever screenwriting workshop, sponsored by Humanitas. Though the conference is now a month in the past, many participants are still celebrating their achievements at MCWC 2018.
As a recipient of a Diversity Scholarship, Jamie Moor’s positive experience began before the conference started. “Receiving the scholarship gave me an instant sense of community at MCWC; I felt welcomed, celebrated and valued from the moment I walked in,” she said.
Laurie Skiba experienced a similar confidence boost as the winner of the MG/YA writing contest. “When I picked up my registration materials, I was touched to see the blue ribbon attached to my name tag. My MCWC experience would have been outstanding even without the writing contest award, but with it, it was turbo-charged.”
Both Jamie and Laurie found further success during MCWC 2018. “The Pitch Panel was the highlight of my experience at MCWC,” said Jamie, whose pitch caught the attention of the panelists, editor Susan Chang, bookseller Summer Dawn Laurie, and agent Duvall Osteen.
“When Duvall asked if I had an agent, I realized I’d been holding my breath and was so excited I don’t think I exhaled until I sat back down,” Jamie said. “I felt so lucky to be able to connect with her, and all of the participants were so supportive and happy for me the rest of the conference.”
Laurie enjoyed the Blind Critique Panel, a new event this year. During this panel, moderator Jody Gehrman read participants’ anonymous submissions of 200 words to panelists Susan, Summer, and Duvall. “I was thrilled that my submission made it through the reading with no panelist raising her hand [to indicate she would have stopped reading there],” said Laurie. “And Duvall did ask to see more of that project.”
For first-time participant David Booth, the highlight of MCWC 2018 was the quality of his morning workshop, Master Class: The Art of Fiction, taught by Elizabeth McKenzie. “Going into MCWC 2018, I anticipated meeting and working with a lot of dedicated writers in a beautiful setting. That’s what happened. From the start, I felt a sense of collegiality with my peers.”
David’s instructor, Elizabeth, enjoyed the conference as much as her participants did. “I was astonished by the quality of everything at the conference,” she said. “I loved my accommodations, I loved the students in my class, I loved all the people I met who worked and volunteered for the conference. The whole thing’s a treasure.”
Laurie agreed that MCWC is a special conference. “I’ve attended other writing conferences but MCWC stands out as incredibly well-resourced given the highly-credentialed faculty, organized board and welcoming volunteers. I can see why people come back year after year. I’ve already pre-registered for MCWC 2019!”
MCWC would not be possible without our dedicated volunteers. Molly Bee has volunteered with the conference for the past three years. She finds the experience is well worth her time. “It’s an honor to sit in on afternoon workshops and listen to speakers at the public events, and the wealth of the outpouring is not lost on me,” said Molly. “For me, the brightest highlight of MCWC 2018 was the personal connections I made with attendees, faculty members, guests, organizers, and other volunteers.”
We would like to thank all our volunteers, as well as the generous donors that made the conference possible. We also owe a huge thank you to our esteemed faculty. To our talented participants, thank you for coming and we hope to see you again at MCWC 2019. To see Mimi Carroll’s photos of the conference, please click here. We encourage you to order a print as a memento of your time with us, and to thank Mimi for her involvement.