My blog’s resurrection starts with a recognition to the organizers of the League of Utah Writers (LUW) 2018 Quills Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. My original intent was to write about the ‘importance’ of attending writers’ conferences. My research* inspired me to explore the intent and energy behind a conference.
This year I volunteered for Quills. I wanted to experience a conference from a different point of view. I wanted to submerge myself in the conference’s energy. My volunteer assignments did not disappoint me.
The thunderous respect given to the volunteers and their contributions displayed LUW members made me feel inclusive, a vital part of a team. Daily orientation and updates by “Committee Members” assisted in expanding volunteers’ knowledge. The ‘Volunteer Green Room’ furnished us with a variety of energy producing snacks and rehydrating liquids.
What did I get from volunteering at this conference? I networked with writers, presenters, members outside of my chapter. As a reader I listened to editors and agents critique other writers’ works. As timekeepers for presenter, it was easy to get to know the presenters in order to introduce them. As a timekeeper for “pitches,” one got to meet the agents and editors on a personal basis instead of a business basis. These face to face, person to person, encounters offered insights into contributors in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. I enjoyed running errands to and from. I want to thank Kelly Olsen who set up and kept watch over my book and the books of presenters and participants. Conference Book Store.
I participated in a new conference activity -‘Kaffekalatsches” (a German word meaning a group of people sitting together sipping liquids and talking). Participants selected from four sessions a day to talked with an editor or agent about any aspect about writing, publishing, or the business of writing.
When an organization produces a conference on a university campus snuggled in the Rocky Mountains, brings in nationally known authors, editors, agents, and gives their members an opportunity to submerge themselves into three days of writing, the experience —invaluable.
As an observer, it appeared the committee weighed every decision’s against the participants’ best learning experience and the budget. A plethora of the best and the brightest presenters, editors, agents, and yes, even participants .
If you are truly serious about your writing, attend a conference. Make time to interact with writers you don’t know. You’ll be surprise what you’ll learn.
If you think you can’t afford it, save money from your income tax return, skip a few meals out, you’re a writer, you know how to get what you want.
*The links below affirm the reasons for writers to attend writing conferences. If you want more options: Google: “Is it worth going to writers conferences?”