Success at the Fourth Annual Rochester Writers’ Conference

The fourth annual event held at Oakland University last Saturday brought writers from around the state and Canada together for a full day of networking and professional development. The attendees were a mix of new, published and working writers. Some came to explore publishing options for their book and others attended presentations to expand their knowledge of the different freelance markets out there.

Writers working on a book found value from a panel of local self-published authors. “We had three Michigan authors talk about the route each of them took be self-published.” States Michael Dwyer, organizer of the event, “Each one shared his or her unique path to becoming self-published – there’s not just one way to do it – and those new to the industry need to hear many examples.”

“There was also a panel on traditional publishing.” Dwyer goes on to say, “It was the most popular of all our presentations. It shows just how many people want to put out a book and the conference covered several of the paths to do that. In the future, we’ll cover even more about publishing, including different genres and new ways to publish such as with eBooks and apps.”

Freelance writers had the opportunity to hear from local magazine editors. Andrea Zarczynski from Ambassador Magazine and Rita Brown from MI Sports Edge Magazine both gave tips and advice to freelance writers. Attendees asked questions about the different publications, such as how they accept freelance material and how much they pay.

Ten presentations were offered and each attendee selected four to suit his or her interests. The keynote speakers addressed the entire group of nearly 90 in a fun and informative way. As former comedians, Karen and Darrin Brege know how to grab an audience and keep it listening. They spoke about keeping on track and being published. “From promotion to copyrights and from websites to publication, they covered a lot.” States Dwyer, “Karen and Darrin told us the good news and the bad news. They motivated the group with honest facts.”

The fifth annual event is planned for early October of 2012. However, with such excitement and interest, Dwyer hopes to offer additional professional development events throughout the year. “Self-publishing, social networking, and blogging are parts of the industry writers need and want to know more about.” Dwyer suggests, “I would like to offer a couple smaller events in specific areas for the writer – new, published, and working – to stay on top of trends and advancements in the publishing world.”

Posted at is a full list of everything the conference had to offer. Michael welcomes suggestions and ideas for future events from area writers. Email him at

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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