A writing conference in review.
This was my third year attending LDStorymakers. The conference is fairly small (450 attendees per day or so max) and full of nuggets of knowledge, opportunities to meet people and humor.
I really like humor.
If nothing else, all writers seem to be a little mad. Batty. “Special.” All of the above, thank you very much. So to have so many of them in a room, eating food and listening to a presenter, humor is a necessity.
The committee (if they have an official name, I have no idea what it is) looked harried, but they kept things rolling smoothly and tossed in plenty of humor to keep all the writer folk happy and upbeat. One of them ended up in line behind me for the little girls room, and she was super nice and friendly. Funny too.
Yes, women chat when they're in line for the toilet. I understand that this is forbidden among men. Wait, there's never a line at the men's room...
But I'm digressing. The conference. It's full of classes on writing, marketing, social networking, query letters, voice, style and more subjects then I could come up with in a few minutes. They offered a few master classes, which focused on one subject for an intense two hours. I went to the editing class, and found out that getting down to the nitty-gritty in editing is serious business. It also leaves no sentence untouched. My manuscript is trembling in fear, already aware that some of it will soon be (deep, menacing voice) edited. Again.
If you troll the halls during class time, you're sure to run into a local author or two, a publisher or three, a random agent who is out to find a snack and a gaggle or six of congregated authors, all retelling their pitch session experiences—assuring the others that the agents and publishers don't bite. Much.
I went to classes, got to have a pitch session with a very cool agent, stalked Kevin J. Anderson for a few minutes, said hello to most of the publishers, reintroduced myself to some local authors and rewrote my query letter. This conference is well organized, has great classes and gives people the opportunity to gear the entire experience toward their own level of writing. If you get the chance, check it out next year. I'll probably be there.
Yes, the conference is LDS themed, sort of. You don't have to be a member of the LDS faith to attend, but you might hear some entertaining stories about Relief Society or Nursery as a byproduct of the crowd.
The stories in the bathroom line were the best.