Marjorie Thelen on Volunteering and the Willamette Writers Conference

Marjorie Thelen

Marjorie Thelen

An Independent Volunteer

Third-year volunteer Marjorie Thelen struck out on the independent publishing path three years ago after attending the 2011 Willamette Writers Conference.

The author of the Deovolante Space Opera series then returned to volunteer at the conference the next two years. Working both in the volunteer room and monitoring workshops, Marjorie found herself being called upon by the presenter of the workshop she was monitoring to share her experiences in self-publishing.

“Volunteers carry some weight,” Thelen said. “I think anyone who wants to have a richer experience of the conference should volunteer to help with the many tasks involved. Shy and retiring writers may be stepping out of their comfort zones, but you meet many more people that way and strike up new, rewarding friendships. The big payoff is that you are helping make a success one of the best writer conferences anywhere.”

Some people may have reservations about volunteering in certain areas. Some aren’t interested in volunteering as room monitors, but Thelen prefers to be in the workshops.

“I enjoy working with the presenters to make sure their experience is the best possible,” Thelen said. “All so far have been very easy to work with. (Plus) by volunteering as a room monitor, I attend workshops that I might not normally select. And I always learn something.”

Connect with Marjorie at this year’s conference. Her latest novel, A Far Out Galaxy, is available in print and on Amazon. Check out more about volunteering at the conference.