My First Reading at Fresh Ink NVCC Writers’ Conference



There I am at the podium in the Playbox Theater. I was the third author reading an excerpt. I sat in the first row so there was nothing to trip over on my way to the podium. Though I did fear that computer set up behind me might get knocked over by my ample behind. Luckily, none of my fears came to pass.

I’d practiced for a month every other night reading to myself, my dad, my mom, and my dog. I knew the words inside and out. I timed myself every time to make sure I kept it to 8 minutes and allowed time for Q&A. ย And I believe all that preparation made all the difference in the world.

The audience responded incredibly well to my novel. They asked questions (I did offer a pen to anyone who asked a question). And they seemed really interested in the story.

Afterwards, they came up to get signed bookmarks and enter my raffle for a free ebook and swag bag. This was my first time ever interacting with readers and it was an absolute pleasure to hear how much they enjoyed my reading and wanted to purchase my novel.


A huge thank you to NVCC and John Greg Harding who organized this entire event! It was a magical day for me as an author.

I got to meet a few other indie authors and commiserate over the ups and downs of the process–Elizabeth Barone and Jason Rapczynski were part of the reading sessions with me.

And the Fresh Ink Literary Journal award winners!—the cover artist was phenomenal (see poster below), the poetry astounding, and the prose intriguing. It was a delight to be in a room with so many talented people.



I was in the readings so I missed the workshops, but I did catch the Keynote by Everett Hoagland. He gave an inspiring talk on voice in poetry and read several of his pieces. Perfect way to end a literary day.



I’ll definitely be back next year. Thanks NVCC for putting on a stellar one day event for writers and authors!


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28 Responses to My First Reading at Fresh Ink NVCC Writers’ Conference

  1. Gwen says:

    Wow – congratulations! At the conference I recently attended, meeting the authors and listening to their readings/workshops/presentations was the most memorable and rewarding part. So exciting for you to be on the other side of the podium!

    • Thanks. I’m so glad I went to as many conferences as I did over the past three years. It helped prepare me for the shift in roles from participant to speaker. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was still pretty surreal to not just be an aspiring writer but a soon to be published author.

  2. Arlene says:

    Congratulations! Must have been such an amazing experience for you. (Interacting with real readers? Wow! Maybe one day …) Congrats again!

    • Thanks Arlene! After years of being an attendee, it was so cool to finally have my name as a reader/presenter in the conference schedule!!! It was so cool to see people’s reactions and get to talk to them about my book. If you keep at it, it will happen. Took me years to get here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. winsomebella says:

    How exciting! Received my goodies on Saturday ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Kourtney, this is so cool! I’m so pleased for you, so glad that conference and the reading went well. You are out there!

    • Thanks Naomi! It was scary. I was shaky but when I got up there, I got to stare down at my page and give a good reading. It was much easier than a speech where you have to look at the audience. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s crazy to have readers. Real genuine readers who want to read my book.

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    How great that you were able to be a part of that, and I’m happy it went so well for you. Then again, I had no doubt it would. You put great effort and preparation into all you do, and it shows.

    • It was pure luck. I touched base with the school to see if they might have any events I could give a workshop or reading at and this was scheduled and they needed readers. ๐Ÿ™‚ Me too! I think preparation is the only way to counteract nerves for me. So I prepared and prepared. ๐Ÿ™‚ Aw thanks. I am giving this book all I got.

  6. jmmcdowell says:

    Remember to take some time to breath, eat, and sleep because I think you’re going to be very busy with promotion for quite a while. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This was simply the first reading and public appearance of many more to come!

  7. Gerard says:

    Sounds like a great job at a worthwhile event. Congratulations!

  8. YEA YEA! Sounds perfect. Obviously proof your words have life and are ready to be set free!
    Bet you’ll always remember this readers encounter.
    YEA again!

  9. EllaDee says:

    Wow ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re walking the walk… and so stylishly. The photos of you and the swag bag look fantastic, like you’ve been doing this forever… and in a way you have, well prepared got you there ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks EllaDee. I was so incredibly nervous at first. I was trembling. But then I looked down and started reading and I was in my story and trying to make it come to life for the audience. I forgot all about me and just focused on the words. Thanks–I agree preparation is so important. And all those conferences I attended and readings I listened to were a huge part of my success that day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. You didn’t seem nervous at all! I am totally stealing your pen idea for the future, by the way. That was a brilliant move!

    I thought I was going to have a heart attack after my reading. I wasn’t really nervous before, but for some reason was incredibly freaked out after. Delayed reaction, anyone? ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I learned that move way back in business school. Reward people for interacting and they will. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lol. Borrow away.

      We were opposites. I was hitting my inhaler before the reading and super super nervous. I’m certain I was trembling. But as I got lost in my words, I felt safe and comfortable. Maybe I’ve read them too many times but it felt like coming home. ๐Ÿ™‚

      You sounded so calm and comfy when you read. Your voice altered for each character. It was great!

      Sounds like you had delayed adrenaline. I had a coughing fit 25 minutes after mine. I had to go sit outside and cough and drink water. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Pete Denton says:

    I like the swag bag at your feet next to the podium. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Scary stuff, but well done. You’re doing a great job of starting your promotional tour and I’m sure your book will get a great kick start when it’s released.

    • LOL. Thanks! So scary to put your work out there and be in front of a group. But worth doing for the book. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks. I’m starting up the promo stuff–thank goodness I have so many talented people helping me. I don’t feel like I’m in this alone. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Sounds like you were a huge success. Congrats, Kourtney! It’s so much fun to share in your journey.

    • Aw thanks. It was a complete surprise how the audience reacted to my book and me. Finally got a taste of what it is to be an author. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks August! So glad I’ve been on this journey with you. Congrats on your reviews and your book events–clearly you’re a hit wherever you go!

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