Tag Archives: Midwest Writer’s Workshop

At Midwest Writers Workshop – #mww13

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.
The story:

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.

(Yesterday, I attended sessions with Hank Nuwer and Matthew Clemens. While sitting in these “classes,” I realized that somehow, this is what I want to do with my life, or at least it’s very close.)

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.


The Sentimental Ramblings of a Graduate

Warning: I try to keep this blog as far away from the diary side as possible, but tonight I am going to take a brief moment for myself and reflect on the last six years.

Why? In less than 10 hours I will graduate from Ball State University and that means something around here.

I realize that graduating from college is becoming standard, not to suggest that it should be impressive, but it is still a big deal for me. My parents did not attend college, nor my brother or any of my grandparents, so the possibility of going never seemed real to me. I grew up saying that I would go to college, but I said it because everyone else did; I never truly believed it. Even if I tried, I wouldn’t be able to afford it. Finding out about all the financial aid I could get was mind-boggling, and at first, I thought it was a gimmick.

Six years later, five in school and a year off, I’m graduating with a BA in English. As a creative writing major, I knew my job prospects were slim, but after taking care of my grandfather and not working a “real job” for three and half years, it didn’t even seem important anymore. Imagine my suprise when I was hired by a national company to work as a tech support web chat agent just yesterday. Adding to my resume, I will be working as a social media tutor at the Midwest Writer’s Workshop at the end of the week. These things have made me realize that the last six years, though trying and tiring, are going to pay off.

Re-entering the workforce in a professional setting helped make this notion “click.” I may feel 90, but I’m just now nearing 25; it’s time to start living the life I expected to have. I can’t wait for it, I have to go out and create it, and that is what I’m going to do. This is where I say thank you to the people who’ve supported me and given me that extra push every time I needed it. To my friends, my family, and a few key professors, thank you for investing your time in me. You are all very much appreciated.