Last week I gave a list of all the things I was excited to do while in Utah for the Storymakers Conference. It was a blast! I had a great time and learned so much. I'm home now, and have been reflecting on the conference for a couple days. It was my third time attending the conference, and my experience at each one has been so different.
In 2014, I was in the middle of querying my first ever novel, and had received nothing but rejections. I had a pitch session with an editor, and was looking forward to hearing Orson Scott Card speak at the keynote dinner. Having never been to a writing conference before, I literally thought those two things would be the only benefits I got out of the conference. (shakes head in shame at past Kara)
The pitch session was great, not because I was invited to send material to the editor (I wasn't), but because it was what I finally needed to let go of that first terrible manuscript and move forward with my writing. I got to meet OSC, which was cool, but even better was meeting the person in front of me in line to talk to him: Amy Wilson, who became my friend and someone who I swap work with!
Last year, I went to the conference as a freshly agented writer with a highly polished manuscript. Most of the classes I gravitated towards dealt with plotting a new book. And I have to say, not having a pitch session took away ALL the stress I felt at the first conference!
I used the plotting techniques I learned last year to plot a new book, and finished my first draft a month before this year's conference. The classes I chose this year were all tools that I could use while working on the second draft. In fact, during almost every class, I found myself scribbling notes in the margins of my notebook with specific ideas of what I could do to improve this draft. It was awesome.
Whether you're a newb or a seasoned writer, a good writing conference will have something for you. I highly recommend Storymakers. If you go in 2019, I'll see you there!