Gayle M Irwin

Composing Creative Conversations:
Writing Stories, Engaging Readers, and Encouraging Authors 

Networking + Connecting = Relationships

Jun 09, 2022 by Gayle M Irwin

As an author and freelance writer, I connect with many. I interview for magazine stories. I attend conferences online and in-person, where I meet other authors and writers, and I visit libraries, bookstores, and book festivals by which I connect with readers. I enjoy each and every encounter. Not only do I get to share my work with potential readers and other writers, but I learn from them as well.

I learn what other writers write and why and how they create. I learn what readers enjoy. And sometimes I teach what I’ve learned: readers, when I share from my books and make presentations, and authors when I share my writing and publishing knowledge.

Networking with Other Writers

Recently, I attended the Wyoming Writers, Inc. state conference. About 75 other authors were there as well. During sessions, we learned from presenters, including playwright and screen writer William Downs and author Caroline George, and we shared our experiences as authors and small business owners (yes, authors and writers DO embrace the entrepreneurial spirit!). We talked about publishing, indie and traditional, and about marketing and reaching readers. We discussed the pros and cons of social media, and we shared the joys and challenges of our craft/business. We learned from one another as well as from those who presented classes about craft and business of writing.

Keynote speaker and session presenter, Craig Johnson offered many tips to the up-and-coming authors and writers in the room. Craig is the author of the Longmire book series that was made into a Netflix program a few years ago. Most of his encouragement centered on putting readers first – giving them what they enjoy and expect from the genre in which they read and we write. When we as writers give readers the entertainment they seek through books, we make connections and build relationships.

Wyoming author Craig Johnson, creator of the Longmire book series, speaks to other authors during the Wyoming Writers, Inc., 2022 conference in June.

Wild Deadwood Reads - Connecting with Readers

Meeting with readers and sharing my books brings me joy, and on June 18, 2022, I’ll making connections with both readers and authors in Deadwood, South Dakota. For the second year in a row, I’m participating in Wild Deadwood Reads, a book festival that occurs each June. This year, I’m joined by two author friends from Central Wyoming, Debra Moerke and Neva Bodin, and together, we’ll make up a company of more than 50 authors from around the country. It’s an exciting festival, featuring romance authors, thriller and mystery writers, children’s book authors, fantasy and science fiction writers, and others.

If you are in the area, stop by and see us! Swag, a memory books, and special book deals are part of the event, and the community celebrates Wild Bill Days that weekend, so there’s lots of wonderful activities going on in town! Bring the family.

In honor of Wild Deadwood Reads, some of the attending authors put together an anthology featuring time travel, romance, and feel-good stories. Sales of the book benefit the Shilo Rescue Rach, a sanctuary for horses, located near Deadwood, South Dakota. Learn more and purchase the book, which releases June 21, here:

Debra Moerke, author of Murder, Motherhood, and Miraculous Grace, joined me last year for a booksigning at
Whistlestop Mercantile in Douglas, WY last year. We will participate in Wild Deadwood Reads 2022 in Deadwood,
South Dakota June 18th with our friend Neva Bodin.

Humans are designed for relationships. Friends, whether personal or professional, enrich our well-being, and through networking and connecting, we build those relationships and friendships, growing us as humans and as business owners. Embrace the connections you make and cherish those relationships.