The Southern Collective Experience Presents
Living the Creative Life: How to Make Your Writing Pay Off
Saturday, March 9, 2019, 10:00-4:00
$125 (includes critique, all workshops and lunch)
General Public: Buy Now Button 


Educators (Pay: $100):* Buy Now Button 

Students (Pay: $75):* Buy Now Button

15% of all proceeds go to the Holy Family Episcopal Church

At: The Oak House, 151 E Marietta St, Canton

Writing is a labor of love, but isn’t it about time to make your writing pay off? Only YOU know if you’re ready to “live the creative life.” We don’t recommend that you rush out and quit your day job, but think about this: Are you ready to get down to business about your writing? We’re NOT here to teach you to write; you already know how to do that, whether or not you’ve ever been published. What we bring you—that’s different from all the other lets-hold-hands-around-the-campfire-and-talk-about-how-great-we-are workshops—are practical, working examples of—and suggestions about—how to move your writing along.

  • Need help finding an agent? (And do you really need one?)
  • Are you in the middle of writing a novel that’s been dragging on for YEARS?
  • Do you have a book idea, but you’re unsure how/if to proceed?
  • Want to make money off of small writing projects?
  • When (if ever) do you need an editor?
  • Are you on the right track with your writing endeavors?

You will hear from published writers who are living the creative lifestyle because they understand that it’s a business, but it will be in a low-key setting that’s convenient for you. AND, a portion of your work (1500 words or less) will critiqued by one of our professionals.

Are you ready to take your writing to the next level? If so, what’s the next step? Could you benefit from a community of creative mentors who are ready to share their success stories? Living the Creative Life is not for everyone, but it may be for YOU. Join us, if you’re ready to fly.


Branding for SuccessClifford Brooks, writer, poet, teacher, and founder of the Southern Collective Experience, brings credibility to the profession and cause to the art form. “Writing is a release; it helps me make sense of the world; it’s a kind of music, a way to make the world more sane,” says Brooks who has three published books of poetry, including one that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and was also in the running for Georgia Author of the Year. Wait, did you say Pulitzer Prize?!?! Brooks will address how to brand yourself (not painful, we promise) as you make a legitimate (if meager) living off of prose and poetry.



From Rejections to (HUGE) WinsEcho Garrett could probably write a book on how to get published, and the first chapter would be about willpower and determination. When told it was tough to get a literary agent, she secured one on her third cold call. Then, as an unknown author, she got a six-figure advance for her first book, which sold to HarperCollins in a pre-emptive bid. Twenty-five years into a career as an author and journalist, Echo got 60+ rejections on My Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical Change, but that didn’t stop her. “We self-published, sold 12,000 copies in the first six months and won six national awards and two international awards. Shortly thereafter, we sold our book to Random House, making it the first self-published book ever acquired by that publisher.” Mission-driven and focused on non-fiction collaborations, Echo Garrett has written or contributed to fifteen non-fiction books ranging in subject matter from self-help to business biography to travel guides to the Caribbean. Garrett has devoted her life to the written word, and she speaks from experience. Get ready for insights that can help you jumpstart your career.



Words are his BusinessJackie C. Cooper is an author (six books and counting) and book/film critic whose reviews appear on,,, as well as in several newspapers throughout Georgia. In addition to being a featured guest on radio and TV shows across the South, he has his own television program, The Jackie K. Cooper Show, which runs on several cable channels in Middle Georgia. Jackie used to make his living as a lawyer, but he’s best known as the “entertainment man” since fully embracing the creative life. His books are a collection of short stories and essays about his own life’s journey and have been used as commentary on Georgia Public Radio.



Publishing in Today’s Market—Atlanta-based storyteller Connor Judson Garrett honed his craft as an advertising copywriter in Los Angeles. He is the author of Life in Lyrics, a collection of over sixty poems written on My Typewriter, the typewriter app he co-created. He also recently launched his own hybrid-publishing firm, Lucid House Publishing, and continues to serve as the editor-in-chief for his satire website, The Millennial Snowflake. His writing has appeared in Private Clubs Magazine and more. His debut novel Falling Up in The City of Angels is coming out in 2019. Connor joins us March 9th to tell us a little more about Lucid House Publishing and alternatives to traditional publishing.



The Right to Re-write—You may recognize Ellen H. Ward as one of the original founders of an independent bookstore right here in Cherokee County. In fact, she was instrumental in uniting readers with authors—big and small, local and national—OTP (outside the perimeter,) long before it was cool. Her success in bookselling and hosting killer events was built upon the expertise gained running an ad agency for almost two decades, giving her a marketing perspective that connected with authors and readers. Now days, Ward is an Indigo Fox, pursuing her own creative lifestyle while utilizing her unique skillset to edit, publicize and promote the work of authors in a diverse range of genres.



THE CRITIQUE—Do you have a writing project or a book proposal that needs a keen eye? Want to know if you’re going in the right direction with your novel or work of non-fiction? Maybe you’ve finished your book, and you’re wondering about the best way to market it. Here’s your chance to get the help you need to nudge your project in the right direction. As soon as you’re registered, submit the first 1500 words (double-spaced) to [email protected] (by March 1, 2019,) and Ellen will critique your work. Check around: This critique is worth the price of admission!

*Please note: If you are a student or an educator, please provide proof of employment (educators, both faculty and staff) or proof of enrollment (students). You may do this the day of the event.