I’m still digesting all the information I accrued over the weekend. So many great speakers, sessions and people. Every year I think it can’t possibly be as good as the previous year, but the conference always proves me wrong, every year. Thanks to Kim, Jaime, the entire Advisory Committee and all the volunteers. You did awesome!
As I reflect about the conference, I wanted to note some of the personal highlights for me. I’m also eager to share how close I came to hitting my pre-conference goals, so bear with me.
- - Meeting new writer friends. This is always one of the greatest benefits from the conference. I’m continually blown away by this community and all the quality people.
- - Meeting some Twitter and other friends I’ve only met online. These included the amazing Deb Lund, Lois Brandt and my new best Twitter buddy, Amber Keyser (yes, you ARE a hoot!)
- - Favorite conferences sessions? Tammi Sauer’s lively picture book session; Andrea Welch’s informative picture book session; and Jenny Bent’s query workshop. Phenomenal insight from all three ladies. Such insight into the picture book world that I’m inspired to delve further and revisit some of my finished/unfinished manuscripts again.
- - The diverse and incomparable faculty. The agent/editor panel is always lively and fun. Getting a glimpse of how different each house/representative is really sets a nice tone for the weekend. It keeps things in perspective on how subjective the industry can be.
Some new goals inspired by the conference:
1. Get back to writing daily, 500 words per day.
2. Refine picture book voice.
3. Focus on show vs. tell, particularly in my novels.
I'm happy to note that I met most of my conference goals:
1. Meet 10 new people. I mean more than saying 'Hi". The idea is to learn about them, share our writing and maybe check in throughout the weekend. This may be easier than normal because I've volunteered as a mentor to 1st time attendees. I'll report back next week. ACCOMPLISHED
2. Learn at least two things I can put into practice with my writing right away. ACCOMPLISHED
3. Chat with some published writers and about their experiences. I won't put a number on this but I'd like to speak with several across genres and age-groups. ACCOMPLISHED
4. Find a potential critique partner. STILL WORKING
I'd love to hear some of your insight if you attended the conference.