Wherever you live, a community of wonderful women writers can be cultivated and nurtured. Look no further for an idea on how to connect new and established writers. Last Friday, female authors, writers and other communicators gathered for what many hope will become an annual networking luncheon with empowering speakers and panel discussions.
Held at the splendid Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, “Write The Power!” united authors and other veteran writers with women aspiring to follow in their high-heeled footsteps. Speakers shared tips, testimonials and the trials and tribulations of starting their own writing-related businesses with a rapt and appreciative audience. Female empowerment and sisterhood filled the air like a divine perfume as participants mingled and exchanged business cards during breaks between the 30-minute sessions.
The three-hour program included author, speaker and entrepreneur Stacy Hawkins Adams, who is working on her eighth novel; Dr. Linnie Carter, who has her own public relations company; Maya Smart, freelance writer and business coach extraordinare; and, author Lillian Lambert.
The brainchild of Carter and Virginia Commonwealth University Professor Bonnie Newman Davis, the program’s topics included managing social media, securing speaking opportunities as authors, using one’s networks to achieve professional goals and running a virtual limited liability company.
My role was to have a conversation with Adams about her speaking engagements that are held in various venues, from conferences to speaker phone chats. Her books have expanded her platform to include such opportunities. Adams is a dear friend who encourages me to pursue my diverse writing interests, which range from journalism and blogging to screenplays and writing a book or two. Broad writing interests was something shared by all the speakers, including Alicia Aroche, associate director, University Career Center, Virginia Commonwealth University.
Everyone walked away wiser. I’ve been a professional writer since my public relations job for Mayor W. Wilson Goode of Philadelphia, but I learned fabulous strategies to help me as a freelance writer.
As if the shared expertise and fellowship weren’t enough, everyone received an unexpected gift, courtesy of another speaker, Carmen Foster, VMFA director of community affairs.
For women writers everywhere, I hope this Richmond program can serve as your template to connect aspiring and seasoned wordsmith-entrepreneuers.