Thursday, January 22, 2009
OK, Do It Like This
Our Roanoke Regional Writers Conference kicks off its two-day run tomorrow night at Hollins University and it's looking like the crowd will be both big and lively. The almost electric levels generated last year appear to have made their way into 2009. It's almost like a football big-game atmosphere. I'll be looking for tailgaters in the parking lot.
Nothing this big, however, can escape a bit of a bitch session. We're dealing with very smart people at this conference, people who have chosen writing as a profession or a serious avocation. They're people who know things of value that they want to tell the rest of us.
So why can't they find and follow directions? It's not that hard.
I can't tell you how many of them wrote me to ask where the the conference will be, who's speaking, how to get there and a myriad of other questions whose answers are readily available on the Internet (and on radio, TV and print). A map? Simply type in "Hollins map" (above). Pops right up. Where to go? How about the Web site, which is presented on all our materials? A schedule? See the previous answer.
I have diplomatically answered every question and soothed every fear, I hope (one woman even wanted to know where to stay; I went to hotels.com, typed in "Roanoke" and found her a nice room for $69 a night). But I think that next year we're going to have a class titled "Grabbing Your Ass With Both Hands" or something similar. I'll teach it.