If you think back about your life, is there a specific day or event that changed everything?
For me it was a week in June in 1977 when I came to the Santa Barbara Writers Conference for the first time. Four of my nonfiction books had already been published, but I wanted to write fiction, and I heard this was the place to go, for I had a lot to learn. A few conferences later, Barnaby Conrad asked me to lead a workshop, which led me to research ways writers could draw on the wealth of wisdom in the right hemisphere of the brain
I’ve taught at SBWC almost every year since then, and each time I’m grateful for the career that developed as a result. It wasn’t in fiction, although Ross Macdonald liked the beginning of my novel, and a fine agent, Don Congdon, took me on as a client when Sid Stebel said he should read my novel-in-process.
SBWC opened doors to an international speaking career and three more books. This conference was the turning point, and the rewards were literally life changing. The Right-Brain Experience was on the bestseller list of the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. Speaking invitations came from Germany and Switzerland, China and India and more. So this conference changed the direction of my career, and therefore my life.
Every year I look forward to teaching and learning from the creative talent that is drawn here. I stay in the hotel where the conference is held because I want to be in the midst of the highly charged energy of creative writers and speakers. I don’t want to miss a thing.
I hope you’ll be there, too.
Marilee Zdenek is the author of 7 books, including Right Brain Experience.
Considered a pioneer in the use of right brain techniques and the constructive use of imagination, Zdenek lectures internationally and has taught her technique to Broadway casts, university students, and for 26 years at SBWC. Zdenek now considers the conference her literary home. Her most recent book is Between Fires, a memoir about recovering from devastating losses and creating a life that is meaningful and deeply satisfying.
Her SBWC workshop: The Right-Brain Experience
This is an experiential workshop to free the powers of your imagination. Each session includes right brain techniques that help you deal with your inner critic, discover ways to make your characters more fascinating, and your story to have greater depth.