2019 LPLS Writers Conference

Released On: 9/17/2019

Roll up your sleeves and dip those pens in some ink – the 2019 LPLS Writers Conference is here!

On Oct. 12, writers from across Lorain County will gather at the Main Library to devote a full day to their craft a variety of sessions, some instructional and some more hands-on, covering a wide variety of topics.

Branch Manager Susan Spivey said the conference will feature Emily Barton, an author, critic and Creative Writing teacher at Oberlin College, as the keynote speaker, but the entire experience will inspire writers of any skill level.

“Besides all of the excellent information that will be passed along, attendees will also have the opportunity to network with other area writers and form connections that may help make their writing life more complete in a variety of ways,” she said. “Opportunities will also be available to speak with an agent and to learn more about writing resources available through LPLS.” 

Spivey said the event had previously taken place at the North Ridgeville Branch but because it’s a system wide event, it would be rotated amongest our six different locations.

“This year, we're featuring the beautiful, newly renovated Main Library and will likely host in one of the other communities next year,” she said.

Spivey said the agenda will be released closer to the event, but writers of all skill levels are invited to participate in one session or all of them – it’s entirely up to you! Lunch will be provided, and the event will include door prizes.

In the meantime, feel free to stop at one of the writers’ groups located at our Main, Avon, Domonkas and North Ridgeville branches. 

North Ridgeville’s Adult Librarian Scot Allyn said his group meets once every two weeks and they submit work on the weeks they don’t meet. The submitted work is printed out and read by the other people in the group. Some have even published full-length books. 

“Writing can be a lonely occupation, and the group discussion often guides members in ways they had not expected,” he said. “Just knowing that someone has taken your writing seriously and wants to offer help is huge.”

Allyn said by having other writers critique your work, you’re more like to get a more detailed reading of your work than you would from family and friends and it also comes with methodical strategies for improvement.

Beth Campbell, a Library Associate II at the Domonkas Branch and the head of their writers’ group the Lakeview Pen, said her monthly meeting runs very similar to Allyn’s but also includes a 15-minute writing exercise at the end.

“We usually volunteer to read what we wrote, and I'm always amazed at the variation in genre and stories that come out of a writing prompt,” she said. “It truly showcases everyone's talent, and they're a lot of fun.”  

Campbell said, like the other writers’ groups in the system, the Lakeview Pen is always accepting new writers into the fold. 

“We don't have a focus on a particular writing style,” she said. “We accept every type of writing from poetry, to nonfiction, to fan fiction, to stories about robots, or zombies or even a wrestling romance story. Our group is very happy to give feedback as well, and it's extremely helpful.”

Technical Services Manager Cheryl Paganelli said there are numerous eLibrary resources available through the LPLS’s website that are designed to help writers become published, including Biblioboard, PressBooks and SELF-e.

“PressBooks is an online publishing tool that lets self-published authors create professionally formatted book files for print and e-book editions,” she said. “It’s a tool that provides options for designing and formatting your manuscript so that it is ready to be published or printed. Once your book is ready, it can be submitted through SELF-e and possibly added to our Biblioboard webpage.”