Conference Testimonials

To Sheila, Meg and Jack, thank you for being such good teachers and so inspirational.  I learned more in 3 days with you than I did at all the other conferences (3) that I have attended in the past 3 years.

— Mary Lou Todd

“I also wanted to thank you again for a great conference. Just days after meeting with you individually and Jack in the manuscript group I felt my writing turn a necessary corner. It is a great feeling except for the fact that now I`m writing late into the night!”

Pat La Pointe

What a wonderful weekend I had in Arizona! Once again the three of you gave a fabulous conference. You each bring a tremendous body of knowledge to those of us who aspire to the writing life, and your skill and kindness in teaching us makes the experience rich and pleasurable. Thank you so much. Each time I meet and work with all three of you, I gain skills, knowledge and an ever-increasing enjoyment in the process of writing.  See you at the next one! 

Carolyn TerryMore Testimonials >>

All of the conferences Sheila teaches and promotes are hands-on events during which participants create new writing, workshop older writing, enjoy writing consults and attend craft lectures complete with exercises that inspire writers with practice in particular craft elements. All conferences are for mixed levels of writers, from those just beginning to pursue their writing dreams to those who are well published in particular genres and those who wish to switch genres. The 2014 conference is in early May in West Bend, WI. Check our specific conference page for the conference schedule, faculty bios, retreat center information and registration information. We announce upcoming conferences and in-person writing seminars in our weekly and quarterly newsletters. Be sure you have signed up on our home page to receive our mailings. Or email us to be on our list of those interested in conference detail updates.

Writing It Real’s Annual Conference

In 1998, faculty member Meg Files asked Sheila Bender and Jack Heffron to join her in reviving a conference she had directed in Colorado for many summers. For two years, the three of us met in Glenwood Springs, CO with attendees from around the continental US. We enjoyed the June Rocky Mountain air and the hot springs and vapor caves Glenwood is home to. In our third year, we moved the conference to Steamboat Springs and continued to enroll people from all over, including Hawaii and Australia. In 2004, Meg suggested Sheila bring the conference to Port Townsend, WA. The timing near the summer solstice and the latitudes of the gorgeous Northwest made for lovely long days amidst Port Townsend’s charming Victorian seaport ambiance and arts culture. In 2009, Meg, Jack and Sheila were excited to announce a special conference time and place prompted by the six-week closure of the Hood Canal Bridge, which links the Olympic Peninsula to the Seattle area mainland. While the bridge was being repaired, Writing It Real’s annual conference took place on board the Rhapsody of the Seas, leaving Vancouver, BC and cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage. We offered our lectures, small group in-class writing instruction, small group manuscript workshops, and writing and publishing consultations aboard Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. We have now offered this conference in Madison, WI at a gracious Benedictine retreat center and in Oracle, AZ at the historic C.O.D. ranch, as well as near Music Row in Nashville, TN, in addition to our Port Townsend location. In 2014, we met  at a gracious retreat center and spa in West Bend, WI. Wherever and whenever we come together, the writing continues and deepens, connecting us to one another and to our own dreams and experiences. Remember to sign up for the Writing It Real newsletter on our home page so you receive our announcements of each year’s event with lots of time to make arrangements to join us.  Or, again, email us to be on our list of those interested in conference detail updates.