July 29, 2009
News & Opinion: Living the writing life...in Iowa
In pursuit of becoming better writers ourselves, Todd and I drove down to a rather surprising location--unless you're familiar with the hierarchy of writing programs in the US-- Iowa City, IA. The University of Iowa's writing program is world-renowned, and lucky for us, you don't have to apply to their MFA programs in order to partake of the writing wisdom they offer because they hold an annual event called The Iowa Summer Writing Festival. For two months, the university offers 140 week-long and weekend-long workshops taught by graduates of the program as well as other successful instructors and writers. While many of the workshops revolve around the fiction and poetry genres, there are others that will help any writer improve their revision process, write a book proposal, defeat writer's block, learn the art of the interview, or "simply" make the craft of writing a less mysterious process.
Todd and I both took separate weeklong non-fiction workshops and what an intensive experience we had! For one week, we were immersed in 'the writer's life.' We read, we wrote, we met, we critiqued, we listened, we engaged--nearly non-stop for 6 days. Unlike other conferences one might attend where an attendee's primary responsibility is to sit, listen and take notes, here we were put to work, with demands placed on us as participants to produce and improve at every turn. Are we better writers for the experience and the expense? We believe so. And perhaps surprisingly we also learned how to be better readers. Since writing and reading are key components to doing what we do--finding you the best business books available and bring them to your attention--it was an invaluable experience and we hope to return next year to learn even more about the craft.
About Sally Haldorson
Sally Haldorson's job as 800-CEO-READ’s General Manager is to make 800-CEO-READ a great place to work for our employees, and a consistently high-performing customer service organization for our clients, authors, and our partners in the publishing industry. In addition to her General Manager duties ensuring collaboration, integration, and quality, she reads, writes, reviews, curates, and edits for the company. Helping craft The 100 Best Business Books of All Time used parts of both skill sets. Outside of work, she is most likely to be found hitting a tennis ball around or hanging out with her boys (husband, child, dog) at home.