I attended Write On The Red Cedar, a local writing conference, last weekend. I’ve never been to a writing conference before, so I had no idea what to expect. I’m still processing the experience. After two days of constant social “on” time, my inner introvert is screaming that I need a break. I’ve retreated to my writing cave to process my experience in the best way I know how–writing about it.
I loved the people. I loved networking, I loved meeting other writers and authors, I loved talking to other people about the things that excited them. Much like any other convention, it’s energizing to be among people who share the same passion (some might say obsession), to the extent where I basically had a social crash on my way home.
It was also very validating to be around people who don’t just treat writing as a hobby. I love to write and I want to sell my writing. The Capital City Writers Association bills itself as an organization for “career-focused writers,” and it really is populated by people who take writing seriously.
The programming was also good. It seemed targeted both toward new and not-so-new writers who would like to be published. A lot of the content of the “nothing to novel” workshop was nothing spectacularly new to me, since I like to read writing blogs, listen religiously to Writing Excuses, and have five or six books on writing. But listening to Bob Maher’s little anecdotes, particularly about his experiences in traditional and indie publishing, made the whole thing worthwhile. And the Saturday panels were somewhat limited in selection, but very good. I’m glad they didn’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
That said, the preconference cocktail party was my favorite part. It was a mingling event, and in my early conference boldness, I decided that I was going to try to talk to everyone in the room that I didn’t already know. I talked to several agents, editors, and panelists, in an informal setting, about the things that excited them. It was great. It really reduced my anxiety about my appointments the next day.
I’ll continue this post next week, since it’s getting long.