The Muse 2008 Online Writers Conference.

The Muse Conference was a gold mine. It was hectic, it was crazy, I wasn't able to keep up but it was still the best thing to happen to me as a freelancer. With so much to learn and so many workshops on offer I was high on information overload even before the conference had officially started! I was lucky to see a blog post about it in one of the countless writing blogs I was browsing in the beginning.

The different workshops in the conference touched on almost every aspect of writing. From how to inject humour in your writing to how to set up your website - it was all talked and taught about. All week long there were discussions and assignments in the forums and one scheduled chat per workshop which was a Q&A session.

The conference has been held yearly for three years now. And the best part about it is that it's free. Not a dime was asked in fee. One would think that free stuff on the web are usually either scams or lacking in quality. The Muse however was neither of those. It was thoroughly planned and extremely well managed. There were rules for the presenters and the participants. All the chats had moderators and specific guidelines for people to ask questions.

The people who were hosting the workshops were published authors and successful writers with years of experience under their hat. The master mind behind this conference is Lea Schizas. I'll be honest, I have no clue who she is in the publishing world except that she's an editor for Red Rose Publishing. In fact, I don't know who most people were there. Which was great because I wasn't intimidated and freely asked questions.

As a newbie, I learned what I was already doing right, what more I could do and what else I can do in the future. The hand outs prepared by the presenters about their respective workshops were given about a month before the conference. The purpose of which was for us to go through them, learn and note any questions we have for the forum and chat. The best thing about it is that it doesn't stop once the conference is over. A lot of workshop presenters have made it possible for us to contact them even after the conference with any question we might have. There's also a weekly chat set up by Lea for the same purpose and includes mingling time as well.

Like I said, the Muse Conference is a writer's gold mine.

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