This past weekend, I went to my first-ever writers conference--Write Stuff in Allentown, PA. It was basically amazing and I got to know some pretty awesome people. After a long, headache-inducing flight debacle (which I've detailed on my personal blog here), I had such a wonderful weekend that I'm not even entirely sure I can put it all into words.
But, for you, I'll try.
Friday night consisted of two sessions (neither of which I could attend, because of the flight debacle) and then a reception. I was thrilled I was able to make it to the reception, at least, and after a couple minutes of awkwardly standing around, I got to talking to another girl who was ALSO a first-time conference goer. We ended up sitting at a table with a mix of other writers and had a great time chatting to everyone. (It was during this that I learned that the most common general icebreaker question asked at a writers conference is, "So...what do you write?")
Saturday started early with a breakfast and welcome and then we dived right in. I went to the agent panel, which was very interesting. I then went to a session by James Scott Bell about revisions...in which I took a lot of notes and laughed quite a bit more than I ever thought I'd laugh in a session about revisions.
Then it was time for the session I was really intrigued about--Fictional Characters Anonymous. The 15 of us all gathered in a conference room and it started off interestingly enough, with everyone going around the table and introducing themselves as their character, telling a bit of their character's story. There was such a hilarious mix--from high fantasy characters to middle grade characters fascinated by zombies and everything in between. At first, the moderator had to pick out people to ask questions, but after a handful of minutes, people just started asking each other questions. And some hilarious answers happened. I know I definitely loved getting a little deeper into my character's head...and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
After lunch was the keynote presentation by James Scott Bell about how storytellers will save the world. But before this, the writers group that hosts the conference decided to recognize all the participants who had come from the furthest away. Color me surprised when I find out that I'm one of these participants...and I got a pretty cool little toy airplane out of it!
It was then time for my agent pitch session. It went better than I could have hoped for and I really enjoyed talking to Lauren Ruth. I was pleasantly surprised when she asked me to send her my first three chapters. And it was amazing how the anxious knot in my stomach went away after.
The last session I went to was another James Scott Bell one, this time about suspense. Again, I took away some great tips!
All in all, it was a GREAT experience. I met some absolutely amazing people and had a blast. If I'm able to go back again next year, I definitely will.