Beta Version – Venue Rubric

Hello all

I’m posting a beta version of a venue matrix I’ve developed. It comes from a series of interviews with three individuals who run very different kinds of writing events. I owe them all a debt of gratitude.

Scott Thompson, the Executive Director of the Shasta College Foundation, re-launched the guest speakers program at SC.

Sharon Owens, the Program Director of the Shasta County Writers’ Forum, has a wealth of experiences in running writing events, large, small, for-profit, not-for-profit, and was generous enough to give me extensive answers to my questions.

Kathy Berry, former manager and current marketing director for the Truckee Meadows Community College Writers’ Conference, ran the event from 2006-2014, and saw it through some ups and downs.

Each of these three people have helped me better understand the opportunities and pitfalls that await anyone who wants to do a successful writing event.

I’m posting this not as a definitive statement, but rather as a work-in-progress. I welcome your thoughts. You can catch me at or at Twitter at @_thinking_funny.

Venue Rubric

Adding Social Media Access

Launching something from scratch is a process….

My ever-evolving culminating experience is taking shape on this website. What it looks like now is that this will be the central clearing house for all sorts of goodies. Right now, I’m gathering survey information on, essentially, what people like the best about the San Francisco Writer’s Conference, an event very close to my heart. I’ve made many friends there, been inspired to write more and taught how to get better, and learned the specifics on publication. The people are great, and my research is my humble effort to learn things and share them back to an organization I deeply appreciate.

I think this constitutes full disclosure!

Outside of this blog, I now have a Facebook page for Events4Writers, a Twitter account @events4writers, and a (currently empty) YouTube channel. More will be coming on line as time permits.

The other things I’m working on are are several literature reviews. One is looks at conferences, and I’m working up a matrix of events, locations, their “unique value propositions,” and contact information. I’m also indexing all the how-to books on humor, comedy, stand-up, and impov. This is a fun task, but a bit daunting. There’s a lot out there. In the same vein, I’m looking at biographies, and working up and abstract there. Finally, I’m doing an ongoing series of interviews to learn from the pros in this area. I just joined the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, too. This organization helps provide best-practices information, networking opportunities, ethical guidelines, and lists of recognized successful events. I’m looking forward to sharing what I learn.

As you can see, my culminating experience is not a once-and-done thing. I’m setting up the framework to offer an ongoing resource, and I’ll reaching out to potential content contributors and partners.  Please stop back in and give me feedback as you are able.

Robb Lightfoot

Grad School Research

Hello all

I’m going to be sharing my research findings, as I go along, on the topic of writing conferences, retreats, and workshops. My goal is to find and celebrate best practices, and to have the voices of those behind the scenes, often working long hours without pay, celebrated. Of course, I hope to help writers find the right event at a price and time that works for them. But I also want to have some fun and make friends along the way.

I hope you’ll join us. I welcome your feedback. My Twitter account that focuses on this aspect of my life is @Events4Writers.

Robb Lightfoot
PO Box 5286
Chico, CA 95928