Monday, April 16, 2007


Welcome to the 2007 blog for the Taos Summer Writers Conference. We've already gotten a few questions about last year's travel coordination blog. We will be adding faculty and participants to the author roll over the next few days, and you will receive more information in your welcome packet. Also, we're expanding the blog and adding a few sections this year.

We'd like to invite our participants to live-journal their conference experience. If you'd like to write down some of your thoughts and inspirations at the end of a hard day's workshopping, please put the name of the workshop and, if you like, your name in the title, and add the label "workshop journal" in the "labels for this post" box.

We're also adding a section for participants and faculty to post their work. Title your post and include your name please, and add the label "virtual open mic" in the "labels for this post" box.

Anyone who wants to coordinate travel to Taos should include the label "travel" in the "labels for this post" box.

If you're attending the conference and want to participate in the blog but haven't been added to the author roll please send an email to us at


  1. Anonymous6:34 AM


    The line-up of instructors looks great this year. I've been wanting to attend the TSWC for years. I'm very interested in the Publishing Workshop on the weekend and the Organic Unity week long workshop.

    However, I noticed that the Taos workshops also make use of professionals charging for one-on-one consultations. Don't know if this has been the case in previous years, but the description for these sessions sounds dangerously close to being a reading fee.

    Most people I've heard from in publishing have warned me never to pay for a reading fee when looking for an agent, as it is considered to be unethical (in the every day world of publishing, it's basically a way for an agent to make money off of people who don't have a prayer of ever selling a book). I realize that these time slots are labeled as consultations, without the promise that the agent or editor will consider the work submitted for publication. I also realize that some other conferences include similar sessions, but it's always made me question the integrity of the workshop. My guess is that many, if not most, who sign up for a consultation will not really be looking for advice on fine-tuning their manuscripts, but instead be hoping that the agent or editor involved will be so impressed they'll buy it, thus the cost of the session becomes a reading fee.

    Why doesn't Taos offer slots for free pitch sessions instead, on a first-come, first-served basis? Even though a writer would have to pay to participate in the workshop itself, there wouldn't be the question of ethics to consider.

    Thank you. Other than this concern, the workshop looks like a winner this year.

  2. Your concern is understandable, but I can assure you that these
    consultations are on the up and up.

    We added one-on-one consultations a few years back in response to
    demand from participants for interaction with agents and editors.

    These days, it is exceedingly difficult to make a face-to-face
    connection with editors and agents, to get their advice and feedback.
    Reputable agents and editors are simply deluged by manuscripts and
    often don't have the time to answer all the queries they receive. The
    editors and agents we invite are well qualified professionals who come to meet new writers and to stay current with the writing community.

    The fee we charge for the consultation covers the cost of traveling, lodging, and food for these professionals. Since the Taos Conference is self-supporting and offers a number of scholarships that are often covered by proceeds from the event, it's necessary to charge participants in order to offset costs of bringing editors and agents to Taos. Sewanee, Bread Loaf, Squaw Valley, and many other writers conferences offer a similar service to their participants.

    Sharon Oard Warner
    Founding Director