Friday, July 29, 2011

Chautauqua - the program

The program at the writer's workshop at Chautauqua was more intense than I expected. I was quite busy the whole week and that left little time to participate in the scheduled Chautauqua Institution lectures and programs. There were inspirational keynote speeches in the morning and in the evening. In the afternoon, I scurried from one pre-selected workshop to another. During lunch, there were optional Lunch and Learn sessions where I ate and listened to a speaker. I participated in two of these. One was a session on how teachers select nonfiction books and the other was about school visits. At times I found it difficult to focus because of the heat and because I didn't sleep well while I was at Chautauqua. It seemed many people were not sleeping well. We were all caught up in the excitement.

Prior to arriving at Chautauqua, I submitted a manuscript for critique. Critiques were either Mon and Wed or Tue and Thurs. I was real happy with my first critique despite having a critique group that I consider to be quite thorough, I received some great suggestions. The second critique meeting either involved new material or revisions to the submitted material. In order to get those revisions done participants stayed up till the wee hours of the morning or they cut workshops and keynote speeches (that would be me).

There was a lot of stuff crammed into one week. I signed up for an early morning nature walk that I really enjoyed. We found a dead bat (I wish I used the macro setting of the camera!) . One day we went to Roger Tory Peterson Institute and got a tour of the archives and their Ivory Billed Woodpecker. Other conferees participated in a history field trip. Sharon Creech was one of the keynote speakers. The top photograph summarizes the keynoters words of wisdom. What a great conference!

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