by Rick Horowitz
“Society” is a ridiculous word to describe us. “Society” is posh. Precious. Pinkies are extended. Platitudes are uttered.
We’re talking about columnists, for pity’s sake! A national “society” of columnists? You might as well speak of a “mob” of philatelists. A “coven” of neurosurgeons. An “exaltation” of fullbacks.
The nouns simply don’t line up. You can hear the grinding of gears all the way from here to – well, from here to Cincinnati.
Cincinnati being the next place for you to see for yourself what a misnomer this whole “society” business is. Next June in Cincinnati, specifically, when this gaggle of the creatively opinionated gathers yet again for several days of craft and commerce. Of contacts and confessions and community.
From time to time, refreshments are served. They’re nothing like mandatory, but they’re available. (From time to time.) They’re far from the only reason – and certainly not the best reason – to join us. The quality of the sessions, and the expertise of the speakers,and the conversations in the hallways, and over meals – with or without beverages – are much stronger draws. But if you need a tiebreaker…
We’re fun to be around. Also useful. Occasionally even inspirational. A “society”?! Perish the thought! More like the National Family of Newspaper Columnists!
And – here’s the thing – you’re already part of the family, or you wouldn’t be reading this. You do what we do – no matter your topic, or your word limit, or your platform, or the current condition of your bank account.
Lining up readings at the local library? Inking your next movie deal? Looking for a publisher? Or simply trying to come up with a killer opening line for tomorrow’s piece? Somebody’s been there, done that. Somebody – plenty of somebodies – can advise. Sympathize. Commiserate.
Or maybe you’ll be that somebody for somebody else. It happens. All the time. Every time.
See for yourself. See you in Cincinnati!
Rick Horowitz attended his first NSNC conference in Tucson, in 2003; he’s missed only one since. Depending on the year, and his mood, Rick’s name badge might have described him variously as a nationally syndicated columnist, a commentator for public TV, a writing coach, and the founder and Wordsmith in Chief of Prime Prose, LLC. He gives at least partial credit for his latest enthusiasm – rickinthememetime – to the keynote speaker at our 2016 conference: editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez, who showed once again the power of a compelling image and a few well-chosen words.