Last weekend I attended the 20th Beachside Writers Workshop in Yachats, Oregon. Founded by Bob Welch as Pebble in the Water Inspiration in 2005, the weekend getaway seeks to encourage new writers to find their voice.
An evening, a day, and a morning are filled to the minute with classes taught by Welch, a multi-published novelist and long-time newspaper columnist known for his candid humor and heart-wrenching truths, and who inspires people to be ripples on life’s waters.
Historical author Jane Kirkpatrick, an award winning writer known for her tough female characters who helped change the West, joins Welch both for classes and at the microphone for the general sessions.
Electronic book specialist Roger Hite, who has written both fiction and non-fiction e-books available on Amazon.com., completes the class make-up.
Though I came as a first-timer, the moment I entered I felt surrounded by friends. The weekend resembled a family reunion more than a conference. People were excited to talk about their projects, and the teachers were welcoming and warm. Welch’s classes focused on discovering yourself as a writer. Kirkpatrick’s classes outlined steps to writing a novel and ways to do research. Dr. Hite’s classes discussed the new world of electronic publishing. I wanted to attend everything, but had to divide my time between the speakers.
Sally Welch, Bob’s wife, added beautiful table decorations to the décor as well as thoughtful favors for each guest. She kept everything running behind the scenes while the teachers concentrated on their students.
A friend from my past—Ann Schar—served as the conference chef. She provided gourmet type meals, from fancy corn bread served with White Chicken Chili to Cinnamon Poppy Seed Rolls and Chilled Poached Salmon.
The conference hosts a book table where conferees can buy selections written by the staff, even cookbooks from the chef, completing what one attendee called the perfect kick-start to spring. I came away with renewed energy and motivation for my writing journey, happy that I’d chosen to attend.
Author’s Note: If you’d like more information on future workshops, please visit www.bobwelch.net/pebble-in-the-water-inspiration/.