My first freelance gigs as a high school junior and my first job as a senior involved academic, government, and business editing, writing, and proofreading. A decade later I’d shifted to fiction and nonfiction editing and critiquing services for unpublished writers. As beginners, most of my clients lacked knowledge about the book writing and publishing process. So, to help educate them, I formed a writers’ group and invited experienced authors and publishers to speak about the craft and business of writing for publication.
I designed a website for my local group, and it evolved into what became the first internet-based 501(c) (3) national literary arts association. With special-interest email discussion lists, forums, chapters in a dozen major cities, and an abundance of information, resources, and support for dues-paying members, the organization grew to over 7,000 members in just over two years. In mid-1999, long before the Internet became popular, this was quite a feat!
When members wanted to meet in person, I created a conference rather than endorse a get-together. It was held in Atlanta, offering 24 workshops, lectures, and panels, a 50-author book signing, an awards ceremony, catered functions, poetry slam, and a play production. I made a lot of mistakes while planning that first one, but the event was well-attended, turned a small profit, and I learned a lot about venue selection, contract negotiations, program scheduling, logistics, and speaker management. From there, I directed six more conferences and three retreats across the U.S. from Palm Springs to Fort Lauderdale for that group, and I consulted on numerous other conferences, seminars, and meetings for a growing list of clients.
Has it been a smooth road?
Find out what the struggles were and read the full article here: http://voyagedallas.com/interview/meet-two-companies-wordwiser-ink-boss-meetings-events-southwest/
Thanks to VoyageDallas for the honor of inclusion and to the amazing Rekesha Pittman, founder of Get Write Publishing, for nominating me for this series.