Loving the LDS Storymaker's Conference is as easy as 1, 2 3 . . .
1. The People - One the of the hands-down highlights of attending the conference is getting to meet great people. Maybe it's just me, but I love hearing the stories of other writers. Yes, the stories they're writing, but I mean their personal stories of how they started writing or why they have kept at it. I met a few soon-to-be or recently published authors that were open-hearted enough to share their journey and it was inspiring. An unexpected highlight came as I met up with a lot of the people I met last year. I remembered them and they remembered me! Another was getting to meet new writers everywhere I went. Lunch, workshops, dinner, the ladies room! I'm not going to elaborate on the last one, except to say what else are you going to do when waiting in line but talk to other writers about their book? And finally, if you caught my last post about running into an old friend, then you already know what a highlight that was. And, of course, seeing friends from AI, or Author's Incognito is a real treat. Being a non-Utah resident, it's fun to get in on the AI fun at Storymakers. :)
2. The Events - I participated in Boot Camp last year when they held it at the crack of dawn (kidding). And I loved it - the small group, sharing our writing, invaluable feedback. So this year, I'm not sure what part of my brain I allowed to make the 'no-boot-camp' decision, but it has left a deep, dark void in my life. I'm already planning on signing up for it next year.
The First Chapter Contest - This is the THE event of the conference for everyone who enters. The ballroom was the quietest it had been all weekend in the moments before they began announcing winners. No, I didn't win, but I didn't enter. (I'm pretty sure that was an AZ lottery ad campaign 'you can't win if you don't play', eeek.) But - here is the highlight - I had two friends that took FIRST PLACE in their categories. I was cheering for them like I was at a sports event and probably embarrassing my table-mates. Anyway - meet Renae - she won first place in Historical Fiction and I met her last year at Boot Camp (see why I was missing boot camp?). She's a GREAT writer. After reading a chapter from her book last year, I wasn't surprised at all when they called her name for 1st place. My newer friend is Lisa. She and I are on the team over at MMW and I'm so glad to know her. We were also sitting at the same table for lunch & the announcing of winners and can I tell you, she was incredibly composed after they called her name! She won first place in Romance. Way to go, Lisa!
3. The Ideas - So many workshops, so little time! Here are some of my 'take-away' messages.
Description - "Is it what your character would notice? Can you use it to reveal something about him/her? Make it do double duty." - Thank you, Sarah Eden
Romance - "They have to fill a need for the other person that no one else can fill." - Thank you, again, Sarah Eden.
The Awesome, Motivating Video courtesy of the Storymaker's - no quotes, just me feeling totally inspired.
Eschler's Class - "A metaphor is to help us understand the unfamiliar. If it's familiar, don't give it a metaphor." - I needed this.
Sara Megibow - "Is it well written?" -So, maybe you had to be there for the context of this quote, but suffice it to say, it was her answer to many of the questions raised. I think I might have to put that in vinyl letters above my computer.
Rob Wells - "Keep Writing. Keep Writing" - part of his answer to the 30 second writing advice question.
Okay, let me hear it. Why do you love Storymaker's?