Today I had the wonderful opportunity to present some of my research at my second conference, Salem State University's Writing Vertically: Writing Pedagogy Conference. It was a fantastic learning experience; the panels and roundtables were incredibly exciting and the keynote speaker, Keith Hjortshoj, gave a very engaging and fascinating talk on his theories and research into the concept of writer's block. As an added bonus, several publishers, including W.W. Norton & Company Inc., Bedford St. Martin's, and Oxford University Press, were on site handing out evaluation copies of some of their books to teachers and professors who might be interested in using the texts in classes of their own!
I took these beauties home for free, for which I am exceedingly grateful. I feel fairly confident that all three of these will see heavy use in the future. Additionally, Bedford St. Martin's has published several books authored by the keynote speaker, Hjortshoj, and they brought free copies of his books for us.
After hearing Hjortshoj speak, I'm beyond excited to read all of his work, but I am particularly interested in his book, Understanding Writing Blocks, which explores the different reasons students hit the wall which we nebulously and nonspecifically refer to as "writer's block." You can probably anticipate seeing at least one blog post on this topic once I get a chance to digest this little volume.
Overall it was an educational and rewarding experience to network with professionals in my field as well as share some of my own work with them. I firmly believe that conferences and collaborative learning experiences like these hold so much benefit for educators of all levels and disciplines. I'm very grateful to have had the chance to participate and I hope very much to be able to be involved with similar events in the future!