Why attend a writer’s festival?

Kevin MurphyWhy attend a writer’s festival? by Kevin Murphy

One reason would be to gain a sense of community.  I used to agree with the statement that writing is a solitary art until I began attending workshops and conferences and festivals held by writers for writers.

I was heartened to find that many shared the same challenges—how to make time for writing, how to confront the blank white page, how to spark imagination, how to revise the wonderful mess my imagination made.  And there seemed to be as many solutions as there were writers in the room.

Perhaps none was altogether right for me, none completely wrong, but each piece of advice had worked for someone and might work for me.  Readings were often enthralling, inspiring me to get back to work.   And even chats between sessions reminded me how much fun it was to belong to this far-flung clan of hard-working dreamers.

When I sat before my computer to begin my work again, I was armed with good practical advice, but more importantly I did not feel that I was alone.  Even though the actual workshop was brief, the sense of camaraderie lingered and I felt myself part of a community intent on getting good writing out into the world.

Kevin Murphy graduated from FSU’s Creative Writing Program with a PH. D. and then taught college classes on US Navy fast frigates and for University of Maryland UC in Germany, Italy, Spain, Iceland and extensively in Japan.  Currently he resides in lovely St. Augustine where he is becoming reacquainted with his family and working on a fantasy novel.  Kevin is a FHBF volunteer.


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