Monday, July 20, 2015

In Celebration Of The 2015 Santa Barbara Writers Conference

In Celebration Of The 2015 Santa Barbara Writers Conference
Owner: Monte Schulz
Co-Directors: Nicole Starczack and Erin Dougherty Munsch
Director Of Volunteers: Grace Rachow

I've lost track of how many years I've been involved with the amazing Santa Barbara Writers Conference as both a writer and as a photographer....has it been 12? 13 or 14 years now that I dedicate a full week to immersing myself in the microverse that magically appears in the heart of Santa Barbara every June. It's a week that is packed with inspiration from fellow writers, publishing experts, literary agents, editors, publishers, and award-winning novelists, poets, and non-fiction writers. 

In short, it's a week to remind each of us that--as writers in what can be a very solitary pursuit--we are not alone and that we are stronger and become better when we surround ourselves with excellence and a community of our peers who are also striving for excellence. 

I have made lifelong friends from around the country through the conference, have found writing mentors who continue to inspire me, and built up a community of fellow writers with whom I can exchange inspiration and critiques throughout the year. 

Over the years my relationship with the conference has grown into becoming one of their main event photographers as well as running the Annual Talent Show with my co-host Margaux Hession and long-time friend and Mentor Matt Pallamary. The Talent Show continues to be a great way of just relaxing and celebrating a very long and exhausting week.

It's a month's worth of celebration, inspiration, interaction with mentors, fellow writers, editors, agents, and internationally renowned novelists and non-fiction authors.

Simply put: It's an incredible, magical, and mind-expanding week. Writers come for encouragement and feedback but end up coming again and again largely b/c of the "family" feel of the conference and for the friendships that we all make.

Big thanks to Grace Rachow, our heroic Director of Volunteers, and all of my hard-working fellow volunteers who have spent many years putting their love, sweat, and tears into helping Nicole, Erin and Monte run the conference so smoothly! Between us all, we have a wonderful team and SBWC "family!"

And now I'll put on my "photographer's hat" and let the photos speak for themselves. Looks fun, doesn't it?! ;-)

Enjoy the slideshow! Slideshow below may take a minute to load…but it's worth it! ;-) Once it's loaded, click on grey arrow in middle of window. If music doesn't come on within a second or two, just refresh your browser window and click on the "play" arrow button again. 

To watch with a full size screen, just click on the rectangular icon in lower right hand corner of screen. 

Feel free to leave "like" this post above, leave your comments below, and share this link with your friends. 

PLEASE NOTE: As I wasn't on official photography duty this year, all of the following photos below were taken with my point and shoot Lumix and a few were taken with my iPhone.