I take it back.
I spent last weekend at a writing workshop hosted by best-selling author Wade Rouse, who is just as genuine and approachable as he is talented. All eleven of the assembled writers (that’s what I’m calling myself now) stayed at the historic Twin Gables Inn overlooking Lake Kalamazoo in beautiful Saugatuck, Michigan, and it was one of the most productive and relaxing weekends I’ve ever spent.
Wade is one of those authors who did not forget the little people once he achieved success in his writing career. Let’s say for example you sidled up to him with hands trembling and voice shaking after reading your work out loud and said, “I just wanted to let you know that I totally misunderstood the assignment. You probably won’t believe this, but I write very differently in real life. And I am a good mother, too. Just so you know.”
Instead of looking down his nose at you, Wade would cut his lunch hour short by twenty minutes to talk with you about your craft, provide constructive criticism, and share specifics about how to sell an idea, land an agent, publish a book. And later he would conference you and your peers in to a phone call with his agent, who would spend thirty minutes answering your newbie questions from her busy office in New York. In other words, he’s one of those rare people who genuinely want to see others succeed.
Writing, Writing, Writing
Besides gleaning useful advice at this workshop, I had the pleasure of befriending a fabulous group of fellow writers who I hope to stay in contact with for many years to come. After sitting around that beautifully set table overlooking the misty lake for three solid days, we forged a bond that only people who’ve laid their innermost fears and emotions bare can achieve in such a short space of time.
I slept soundly in my glorious pillow-topped king sized bed, ate like a queen, and was even treated to a personal tour of Saugatuck by Wade’s delightful partner, Gary. And on the last night of the workshop, after drinking one glass of wine and a chocolate martini, I even performed a few freestyle folk dance moves in the lobby of the Inn accompanied by my new friend Laura’s husband on the baby grand.
If you have been thinking seriously about writing for publication and are ready to take the next step, I would highly recommend attending one of Wade’s workshops. You’ll leave with a bag full of Michigan apple butter and wine, solid real world advice, and the belief that your dream is possible to achieve.
No Writers' Workshop Is Complete Without a Trip to the Local Winery
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The View from the Inn
. (It's free!)