Register to attend the 2017 S.B. Writers Conference

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For a writer, nothing is wasted. Sooner or later you can use everything you're experienced or heard about.

- Geoff Aggeler

SwirlStaff: Click on the workshop leaders' photos to see more about each one.

Favorite Books:

Much as I love literary classics, I like to read contemporary authors, fiction and nonfiction. Anna Quindlen and Donna Tartt are high on the list. Most of all, I enjoy reading my friends‘ books and especially the published works of my students.

Writing tip I live by:

I mailed my first submission to a magazine when I was nine and heard my mother say, “Now you know, Marilee, they don’t allow you to be a writer until you’ve collected many rejection slips.” When the inevitable happened, I was so proud that I had my very first one. I don’t celebrate rejection now, but I don’t let it draw blood either.

Marilee Zdenek

About Me

The year was 1977 when I came to the Santa Barbara Writers Conference to learn how to write fiction. I had already co-authored two books with Marge Champion, Catch the New Wind and God is a Verb. The latter sold 92,000 copies and Barbara Walters interviewed us on The Today Show, which was a fine beginning to my career.

Sid Stebel introduced me to Don Congdon, who became my agent. Don sold my next three books: Splinters in My Pride, The Right-Brain Experience, and Inventing the Future. During that time, I moved up to being a workshop leader and then a speaker. From 1979 until 2004, no matter what else was going on in my career, this conference felt like my literary home. It’s good to be back. My favorite blurb came from Charles Schulz, creator of Monte and Peanuts: “At least once a month, I take one of Marilee Zdenek’s books off the shelf and read some of the things she’s written because I think they are so wonderful.” Published in several languages, The Right-Brain Experience quite literally, changed my life. I became an international speaker and even last year, I was invited back to Berlin to present a three-day seminar with the title, Reinventing Your Future. My seventh book is a memoir, Between Fires, which is available on Amazon.

What I require of my students

My workshop is for those who are mentally adventurous and those who want to be. Be prepared for the unexpected. Be willing to let your characters off the leash and discover what they know that you never imagined.

My advice for writers who have never attended SBWC

Remember to breathe. You can’t do it all. There’s no one way to experience this conference any more than there’s only one way to write your book. Have fun. Talk with writers. Listen. Share. Everyone’s here to help you.