There was so much I wanted to say in my last post that I had to break it in two! Here were some of the other highlights of the conference for me:
-Our other keynote speaker was the amazing Sharon Creech. She spoke about the power of words, how to find them, cherish them, and set them out into the world.
-Volunteering: I volunteered at the conference for the first time this year. I was way too shy the first two years I went, so this was progress for me! I worked at the registration table, not that I knew the answers to many of the questions! It was nice to introduce myself to so many new people. And c’mon, I got to wear the yellow volunteer name tag. The YELLOW one.
-Book signing: I love this every year. I choose a book for me, a book for each of my children, a book for my classroom, and a book for both of my children’s teachers. Gets pricy! The autograph is great, but the greeting and personalization are even more important to everyone… a real live connection to the author. I may have had just a few books signed by Kate Messner…
-Restaurant dinners with friends old and new: Catching up with people I’ve met before was great. But some of the best conversations were with people around the table that I didn’t know. You start with, “What do you write?” and before long you’re explaining premises and plot twists and your inspiration, and the other person truly CARES. There’s no glazed-over look like you get in the real world. Writers eat this stuff up.
-Find-a-Fit: Researching Agents panel with Lynda Mullaly Hunt: This talk was the perfect level for me. I’ve been doing my own research for querying agents, but Lynda had great strategies that I hadn’t used before, and also pointed us to some websites I hadn’t seen. And she was funny enough to keep us alert and jazzed up even though it was the last session.
Can’t wait until next year!