Last weekend I drove up to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to attend the Lakefly Writers’ conference.
I chose to go for a few reasons. First… it’s a writers conference. I’ve learned something new at every one I’ve attended. The sessions included authors speaking about world-building, which is kinda my thing, marketing, which isn’t my thing, and character development.
Second, they’re great places to talk words and books with people who love them as much as I do. These events offer chances to meet new people and more writing friends is always good.
Third, a few people from my publisher were going to be there: the founder of Reuts and cover designer Ashley, my editor Kisa, and fellow Reuts’ author Susan. Passing up the chance to meet these wonderful people (who I think of as friends) would be silly considering how close Oshkosh is.
So off I went for a six and a half hour drive, through Chicago, which was CRAZY! Just me, myself, and I with my music and snacks. SO MANY SNACKS.
I had a wonderful time. The conference is young, this was it’s fourth year, but the woman who ran it (Ruth Percey) was fabulous. She took care of everything and everyone, making sure all was fun and running smoothly…and even remembered my name by the end.
Compared to other conferences, this one was small, but that is not a bad thing. The sessions allowed for one on one conversations, for people to really connect. I talked to two authors (Valerie Biel and K.W. Penndorf, two of the presenters) for a while at the book fair, after buying myself a book and getting it signed. I also picked up a few Reuts’ titles that I didn’t own, because I needed them.
And I had the best time hanging out with Twitter friends face to face, instead of screen to screen. I will be working with Ashley and Kisa, so it helps to have talked to them, get to know them.
And let them get to know me and all my weirdness in person. I hope I didn’t scare anyone, well, not too much anyway.
What a great weekend! Meeting Twitter friends being my favorite part.
All writers, go forth into the world and find a conference near you. Big or small, doesn’t matter. Finding people who share in your love of words, who are willing to talk about everything writing is priceless.
For me? Onto Midwest Writers Workshop in Muncie, Indiana in July!