The Midwest Writers Workshop is a national writer’s conference that happens annually in Muncie, IN. It may be a surprising location, but this year’s conference sold out. In other words, we midwestern writers do exist. MWW offers various writing sessions with published authors and professionals, agent pitches, etc. For more detailed information about the conference visit their website here.
My role at the conference is small. It’s of little importance in the larger scheme of things, but it is of great importance to me and I would assume to my fellow interns.
Cathy Day, author, Ball State Professor, and MWW committee member acquired a grant that allowed 11 Ball State students to work as either Agent Assistants, or Social Media Tutors. I’m a tutor; my job is to meet with workshop attendees who want to learn to use social media, wordpress, facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram, google +, etc., and build websites to promote their work. As part of our internship, which is a paid one, we get to attend two sessions of our choosing.
Working with the attendees was a great learning experience. In teaching them, we interns gained confidence in our own abilities and learned to better use the same formats for ourselves. But that wasn’t the best part. As a Midwesterner, it is rare to find local folks who are into the same things as I am, but here, I found a couple hundred! The sense of community at this conference is incredible. I believe I can speak for all the interns when I say that we seemed to grow closer as a group, or at least more comfortable around each other, and we all walked away with new connections. If nothing else, that was worth attending the workshop.
I left the conference completely exhausted, but also completely satisfied. Having only just graduated from Ball State’s writing program, I was already missing the community of writers and like-minded people. Being at the conference showed me that the community I left still existed in the world and it showed me how to find it. I left MWW with a few new friends who still communicate with me via twitter and a strong desire to go back next year. Looking back on the days leading up to MWW, I can see that I was underestimating what ended up being an invaluable experience.