Monday, July 11, 2016

2016 Santa Barbara Writers Conference

In Celebration Of The 2016 Santa Barbara Writers Conference
Owner: Monte Schulz
Conference Coordinator: Grace Rachow
Logistics Coordinator: Erin Munsch
"Write On!" Editor In Chief: Marianne Dougherty
Chief Of Operations: Jim Alexander
Marketing and Financial Coordinator: Margaux Hession
Ombudsman: Fred Klein
*And a whole team of devoted, long-time volunteers who help make this conference flow!

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....from my estimate it's been about 14-15 years now that I've dedicated 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.

Sending out a BIG shout-out to Monte Schulz (the "Admiral"~ owner and our literary figure head for the conference), Grace Rachow (our heroic Conference Coordinator) and all of our hard-working fellow volunteers who have spent many years putting their love, sweat, and tears into helping to ensure that the conference runs 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?! ;-)

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Santa Barbara Women Of Achievement Awards Luncheon

This is hands down one of my very favorite awards events of the year! I've been photographing for the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Association For Women In Communication for more years than I can count and the "Women Of Achievement" Awards Luncheon never ceases to inspire and draw some of the biggest movers and shakers in Santa Barbara. 

Held this year at the beautiful historic El Paseo Restaurant (which features balconies overflowing with flowers and giant murals), SB-based Congresswoman Lois Capps and Communications Consultant and author Lois Phillips were honored with this year's awards. Also presenting and in attendance were Mayor Helene Schneider, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Supervisor Janet Wolf, and AWC's Poet-With-The-Mostess Perie J. Longo who delighted the audience with her poem tributes to each of the Loises. 

I always come out of this event feeling buoyed by the inspirational, driven, and visionary women who inhabit and ROCK Santa Barbara on a daily basis!

Please enjoy this slideshow and feel free to share the link with your friends and leave comments below.

*If the music doesn't come on at first, just refresh your browser and try again. 
**To view in full screen mode, just click on the rectangle icon in lower left hand corner of slideshow window. Voila! ;-)