A workshop’s a workshop–but not if it’s a NINC workshop!

- by Charlotte Hubbard

imagesOur Novelists, Inc. president, Kasey Michaels, fielded an interesting question the other day and felt it would make great discussion here—and I see it as an opp to open a discussion for any questions YOU might have, after reading several posts about our awesome conference lately! I’m betting lots of you who’ve been published for a while can identify with this topic!

Kasey writes:

“So Ninc has this fabulous thing called Ninclink, a loop open to all Ninc members. This is the place where we ask other members how to kill someone with a paperclip, if anyone has heard anything about a certain editor or agent, how to best use podcasting, what the climate in Nebraska in March is really like, good places to order bookmarks, why are royalty statements always late … on and on.

“And usually have an answer within ten minutes.

“Then there are the really tough questions, like the one Ninc member Denise Agnew asked recently (and generously gave me permission to quote here)”:

images-3“I’ve been published since ’99, so I don’t think of myself as a newbie. I do realize, though, that every writer can learn something, no matter how long they’ve been writing. So the last thing I want to project is that I think I have nothing to learn about writing. One thing that’s started happening to me is that most of the courses or workshops out there are starting to lose their appeal. I feel like my biggest problems with writing are more to do with keeping inspired and trying to keep cynicism at bay. Do any of you “old timers” like me feel sometimes as if the writing world is swimming in workshops at your meetings and at conferences, workshops that just don’t seem to blow your skirt up any more?”

“That’s the beauty of Ninc. We average 16 published books per member. We already know how to write. We’ve done the workshops that tell us how to write a query letter or what a synopsis should include. We’ve fallen for the ‘face East when you write,’ or ‘dress as if you’re heading for the office’ and all the other you MUST do this workshops, and are way past that stage. So, yes, there are a lot of workshops out there that just don’t cut it for us anymore.

images-1“And that’s why we’re all here in Ninc. We have the incomparable Ninclink. We have a critique group. And at our upcoming NINC Goes Platinum conference in St. Louis, we have Night Owls sessions at the conference for the let-your-hair-down stuff that is so important—topics like Grumpy Ole Writers, The World May End Tomorrow, But I’m Writing Today.

“Check out our entire conference program (www.ninc.com). Ninc is information, not lectures. Ninc is for people who already know there’s more than one way to skin the publishing cat, that no one approach to writing is the only way that works.

“That’s why Ninc Goes Platinum went after workshops that inform, that entertain, that help us get organized, that charge up the old juices — and Night Owls that replenish the soul while sparking imagination. If you want to talk face-to-face with people who understand, who have been there, done that, are stuck in the middle or have come out happy on the other side, then Saint Louis is the place to be, for Ninc Goes Platinum.”

Questions? Comments? We’d love to know how you feel about conferences, as far as their program offerings, justifying the expense, etc. And of course, we’d love to convince you to come to Ninc Goes Platinum the first week of October! Check us out at www.ninc.com. Feel free to post here, and I’ll see that you get answers!


  1. Have to agree with Denise! Great post!

  2. Thanks, Robin! Good to hear from you here!
    Since Kasey asked me to write on this topic, we have signed on SO MANY participants, and even a couple more awesome speakers! Our “stimulus package” discounted rate is in effect for a short while longer, so check
    out the ninc.com site for more details!