Why I'm Now Crazy Insane About Going to Writer's Conferences

Monday, August 10, 2015


(There will be pictures littered throughout this post in no particular order or reason, so enjoy or ignore -- whatever you please.)

SO.

Some of you know that I went to a writer's conference this last weekend. I went to Realm Makers, a writing conference specifically for Christian speculative authors. 

In short, this was probably one of the best couple days of my life.

You've all heard the "top ten tips" for new writers and experienced writers. Writing article on top of writing article states the same advice over and over and over again: 

Go to a writing conference. 


Me: Hmm.. A writing conference. Sounds awesome, actually. Meeting with other writers and learning about writing... it's something I should look into... *proceeds to "look into" this very, very casually*
Myself: Pfft. Writing conferences. Yeah. They cost hundreds of dollars for a couple of days. You think it's worth it?
I: OH MY GOODNESS YES WRITING CONFERENCES I NEED TO GO TO ONE RIGHT 
NOW.

Before Realm Makers I placed myself in the "me" category. Now... The "I.

You see, writing conferences are tough. Unless you're extremely lucky, the writing conference isn't going to be near you. Some people at Realm Makers drove fourteen hours or took multiple plane trips just to get to Missouri.


Um, insane. 

And another hard thing about conferences, is the money the conference alone costs. Realm Makers was actually reasonable compared to other conferences I've seen.  Don't get me wrong--any amount of money is a lot of money--but this conference was very reasonable.

I understand if traveling and money get in your way. It is a lot of money. But, if you start saving up now, little by little, you should be able to have enough money eventually and it's entirely worth it.

So back to what I was saying somewhere above this paragraph: "I'm the I me now." (Please just nod your heads and act like that made sense. Yes? Okay. Thanks.)

Why am I CRAZY INSANE about going to writer's conferences now? Here's why. 

Another awesome thing about Realm Makers: they have a costume dinner.

Why I'm now CRAZY INSANE about going to writer's conferences.

image from Pinterest -- not mine.
1. The Connections

Nowhere else than Realm Makers (and possibly other conferences. I wouldn't know since this was my first one.) can you sit at a table with Steve Laube, two Enclave authors, and a bunch of other fantasy/sci-fi writers. 

I'm fairly sure I stayed in composure and didn't start flailing and freaking out. There was squealing, but I tried to keep that quiet. 

I sat next to Anne Elisabeth Stengl's editor. (I'm a huge fan of her books if you didn't know, so that was another super exciting moment.) 

I met so many authors: Jill Williamson, Gillian Bronte Adams, Morgan Busse, Nadine Brandes, Robert Liparulo, and Just B. Jordan.

Jill and I! This actually wasn't at Realm Makers -- I saw her in the airport
and of course had to take a picture with her.
I talked with loads of other writers. They didn't care about my age. They didn't act like they were superior to me because of their added experience. Everyone was excited about meeting each other and making connections. I have so many new writer friends I can't wait to get to know.

2. Knowledge

So. Much. Information. 

*brain explodes*

I filled page after page after page of notes. Despite the hundreds of articles I've read on writing, there was new information that I could apply to my writing in the classes. All of them were really great and led by authors and professionals in the business I look up to. Personally, I don't think you can ever know enough about writing. There is so much out there to think about and absorb. 

I also learned knowledge just from the people I talked to. I learned about them, sure, but I also learned about insides of the publishing process and different techniques people use for editing and such. It was really cool to talk about all this stuff in person since I'm so used to "talking" to the person on a white computer screen. :p

Nadine and I on the last day with our matching epic T-Shirts.

3. Doors

When someone completely misses the point...
I don't usually post GIFS, but this seemed like an appropriate
time because 1: it's a minion, and minions are adorable and 2:
there's a good chance many of you are confused by the door point
right now.

I'm not sure if this is an official quote or anything, but both of my parents talk about taking a hold of opportunity when it comes. 

When a door opens to an opportunity, step through that door; don't hesitate.

Opportunities were popping up everywhere this weekend for everyone, I hope. This point does tie in with number one -- the connections. The connections and the people you meet are really who open the door for you, so BE BOLD. 

I exchanged business cards with people. One lady offered to look over chapters of my novel for me and I offered the same for her. BOOM. Connection made. 

I met with an agent for one of my appointments. It actually went really well -- she would like to see the finished manuscript when I'm done. Nothing may come out of it, and that's okay. Other doors might appear through the connection we made, but right now I'm excited and encouraged and that's opening doors for me to becoming inspired again.


- - -

There are, of course, other reasons I love writer's conferences. The food was good (despite the strange lack of pizza...), there were sooooo many books, and my inner night owl was finally satisfied by the late (early?) 2 a.m. nights. It was really amazing and I want to see ALL of you there next year!

- - -

This is my "I don't want to stand here awkwardly so I'll
just strike an even more awkward pose."
This isn't the last post about Realm Makers -- I plan to do at least one, maybe two more. We'll see what happens and if you think this is remotely interesting. :p

- Katie Grace



There. Now you know why I'm crazy insane about writer's conferences and am hooked FOR LIFE. (I'm unsure if this is a blessing or a curse.) Are you Me, Myself, or I? Have you been to a writers' conference? 
And are you going to Realm Makers next year? (*cough* The only answer to this is yes.)


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73 comments :

  1. I haven't ever been to a writer's conference, but now I really want to go to Realm Makers. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was so awesome. I would really, really love to see you there next year! :)

      Delete
  2. *Eliza, acting as if she has been hypnotized* Must go to writer's conference, I MUST go to a writer's conference. *snaps out of it* Ahhh! I don't have any money and I'm prettysure there is not one nearby! *screams in exasperation, then composes herself as if nothing happened* Thanks for this post, Katie :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Haha. xD
      Yeah. I really wish there were more writer's conferences near people -- usually they're halfway across the country which makes it super difficult to travel to. :/
      I really hope one comes near you! It would be awesome if we could meet up at a writer's conference eventually. :)

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    2. It would be awesome to meet you! Was Realm Makers just for fantasy writers or all genres?

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    3. Specifically for fantasy and sci-fi writers, yes. So steampunk and dystopian would qualify. :)
      I don't think it's a rule that you can ONLY go if you write in those genres, but I would recommend that you do -- you might feel a little left out or the classes won't transfer to your writing as well otherwise.

      Delete
  3. :/ As of right now I only write contemporay. I just found the West Coast Christian Writer's conference! :D I might try to go to that...someday... I have to stop procrastinating and go back to schoolwork now :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, oh well. Contemporary is awesome, though. I don't read a lot of it -- it's hard to find clean contemporary out there -- so I'd love to read yours someday. :)
      Ah, procrastinating. I know that feeling well. Good luck on your schoolwork! I won't distract you any longer. xD

      Delete
  4. YES. Someone should have warned you: conferences are addictive.

    Now, there are certainly more and less helpful conferences out there, and not all are worth the time and money, but I have to agree, Realm Makers was pretty cool. I'm really glad you got that one for your first experience. Definitely worth it.

    See you again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could've used that warning. :p

      Lovely meeting you! I'm glad we got to be roommates, even though we only talked briefly. Your costume was epic; I hope we get to see each other at a future Realm Makers. :)

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  5. I'm so glad you had a great time! :D It was great meeting you and hanging out with you! I agree about everything said about writers conferences haha. I'm hoping to go again next year. ^ ^

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It was so awesome meeting YOU and hanging out with you. You're a wonderful person. :)
      YES! We should both go next year. I am hooked on finding a way to go. xD

      Delete
    2. Aw you're so sweet! You're pretty awesome yourself. ;) Yes! I'm going to try as well!

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    3. Yay! And thank you. :) I really hope we can see each other again. ^.^

      Delete
  6. This was a great update Katie! It was great to see you at Realm Makers and I'm so glad you enjoyed your first conference. I'm hooked as well and hope to see you next year!

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    1. Thank you!
      You will definitely see me next year. Nice job being the photographer -- I hope to see you next year, too. :)

      Delete
  7. I saw you in the hallway three or four times, but didn't get a chance to say hi, so I'll do that now: Hi!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember seeing you, too. *waves* Hi! xD

      Delete
  8. Oh my word, it looks like you had a simply splendid time, and I wish I could've been there. D'= I've really wanted to go to a writer's conference to be able to connect with other writers, but I haven't really looked into the opportunity. Maybe next year I can convince my parents to pay me the way to Realm Makers. *crosses fingers* (And a costume dinner. Must. Go.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was amazing. I am soooo sad that you weren't there -- I would've really loved to meet you!
      Hopefully, hopefully it works next year for both of us! I still have yet to meet a blogging friend and it would be awesome if you were the first one. :D
      (Yes, yes, the costume dinner was amazing.)

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. I'M SORRYYYY.
      I feel bad posting this post, but yet I want to raise awareness so all my blogging buddies will try to come next year. xD

      Delete
  10. Wow! This sounds fantastic! I've been to a writer's conference a few times. It's always so informative and I love talking about writing with other writers (talking to non-writers about writing is. . . awkward).

    It's been a while since I've been to a conference. Maybe I should look around and see if I can save up for another one soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fantastic! Ooh, you have? Which ones have you been to? (Ugh, I completely agree. xD)
      Yes! Hopefully we'll be able to meet each other at a conference someday. :)

      Delete
  11. Wow Katie! I'm amazed by your talent and by you as a person. It was such a pleasure visiting with you at Realm Makers! I hope I have the time to read all of the MANY books you're going to publish. God has MUCH in store for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, thank you so much, Charles! Your message meant a lot to me. :)
      It was fun meeting you at Realm Makers, and I hope that we'll get to meet again at a future conference and talk more! You're so kind and sincere. <3

      Delete
  12. It looks like you had a ton of fun! :D I've never been to a conference before, as much as I would like to, but I totally need to next year. We should go together :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SO MUCH FUN.
      And I totally, totally, TOTALLY agree with us going to one together. You have no idea how much I want us to meet in person despite the awkwardness we'd have. :p

      Delete
  13. You met Nadine? 0.0 *is jealous* I /so/ want to go to a writer's conference someday. xD I suppose that would make me Myself? :-P

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yeaaah. I'm pretty blessed. :D
      Hehe, yes! I really hope you can someday go to a writer's conference where I'll be there so we can meet each other!

      Delete
  14. I'm going to echo Faith here. You got to meet Nadine (and she's dressed like Parvin!) ? *is so jealous* I'm glad you had tons of fun and learned a lot. It's also amazing to hear that an agent showed some interest in your writing. Way to go! I really wish I was there, but I don't think I'm ready for a writer's conference at this point because of the stage I'm in with my novel writing.

    However, I just might be able to go next year. I've heard that it's being held in a different location, which I am VERY excited about since that might make it more affordable and convenient for me. That and I know by next year I'll be at the stage where I'll be ready for a writing conference. Now to convince my parents and save up money...I also kind of want to go to a developer conference or event, too, so I'll have to think of that as well. Let's hope that next year is the year for tons of conference trips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knowwww! It was so awesome!
      And I'm still freaking out about the agent thing... It's just encouraging. :D

      OH OH OH YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO GO NEXT YEAR? *hyperventilates* Rumors have it that it might be in Phoenix, Denver, or Philadelphia. Hopefully one of those will work out? I would be CRAZY excited to meet you and take pictures. :D

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    2. I am crossing my fingers so hard that this works out. I know it's early to hope, but yes, I will probably be stalking the Realm Makers website until they announce the official location. It would be so great to meet you, too. And Nadine. And all those other awesome writers.

      Delete
    3. I'd probably scream from excitement. xD You're so fun to talk to...it would be amazing to talk in person.
      Once they announce the location, you'll have to let me if you think it'll work out or not!

      Delete
  15. It sounds fantastic. :D I kind of fall into all three categories... Me, Myself, and I. I've never gone to a Writer's Conference, but I would really love to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was fantastic. :D
      Yeah, I can see that. :p They're terrifying and exciting at the same time.
      I really would love to see you at one! I'd be flailing with excitement if you were to come. xD

      Delete
  16. Ugh, I wanted to go /so badly/ but ... there's no way it would have worked out this year. There have been a lot of big things going on and we had a sudden and unexpected two big things happen this last week but I REALLY need to get to a conference sooner or later. I'm so glad you had so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh, I wanted you to go so badly! It would've been so fun to meet a fellow writer that I know from Go Teen Writers. ^.^
      Oh well. Business happens -- I understand. Hopefully another year we'll be able to meet each other, because I really want to. :)
      Any other conferences you're keeping your eye on?

      Delete
    2. Unfortunately not right now. I'm preoccupied with entering my first year of college, so the only ones I'd be able to make would be in the summer. *sigh* I'm going to have to see how life goes then, too.
      But yes, it would be AMAZING to meet some people from GTW, you most definitely. ^_^

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    3. Oh. College. o.o Wow... Good luck with that! What are you majoring in?
      Same goes for you. :)

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    4. Haha, yeah . . . my major is a littler complicated, actually. xD For my first year I'm doing a special one-year program centered on Israel and Archaeology and, since this is a Christian college, I'll be doing a lot of studying in the Bible and about Judaism. And over Spring break I'll even be going to Israel itself with the other sixteen students in the program. :) Then in my second through fourth years I'll be majoring in Biblical Studies and maybe Psychology or a minor in writing.

      Delete
    5. Wooow.
      That sounds... intense. But going to Israel sounds SUPER cool -- hopefully you'll do a blog post about it?
      I'll be praying that everything goes well! College seems scary. :p

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    6. Haha I'm sure I'll find some excuse to write about travel on a writing blog. X) College is a lot less scary when you've learned everything high school has to offer and you know you're going to a college where faith is the center of the entire campus and you know your parents are only an hour away. :) Haha but yes, it does retain a little bit of the scariness. I'm sure that will go away once I've been there a few weeks.

      Delete
    7. *nods* Yeah, if I were to ever go to a college, I would like to go to a Christian one. That would just make me a feel a lot better and safer. :p

      Delete
  17. That's SO awesome! I'm so glad you had such a great time!

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    1. It WAS awesome. :D Really hoping and praying it works out for you to go next year!

      Delete
  18. Dang, Katie! You're an AMAZING blogger!! I'm gonna follow you. :D

    I had just as much fun at Realm Makers! You should move to Texas, though. I don't want to have to wait until 2016 to hang out again. ^.^

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You're too sweet. ;) THANK YOU! *searches to see if you have a blog*

      I want to move to Texas. No one lives up here in my lonely state. :p Ah, well. I wish Realm Makers was longer so we could have more chatting time. *shrug* Next year we won't have that one day without having met each other before. :)

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    2. I have a blog that's not nearly as cool as yours. Seriously. I'd love to blog more often, but I've gotta finish my manuscript some day... :) http://jamiesfoley.com/blog/

      Well hey, if you ever find yourself down here in the Austin area, hit me up and I'll treat you some real BBQ! :D

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    3. Ooh -- hurray! *follows it* Heh, I've spent a lot of time on this blog. xD It's going to be hard to keep it up as I have been this fall especially with school and massive rewriting starting, so we'll see what happens.
      *sees an Emberhawk sneak peek* Awesome! So excited about reading that. :D

      Haven't been down there before, but it's got to happen someday, right? I'll definitely let you know if I find myself down there. :)

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    4. Cool beans! Well clearly you've got the whole blogging thing down, but if you ever have any questions about websites or digital marketing, shoot me an email. I was a webmaster for Thomas Nelson a few years back. :)

      Delete
    5. Ooh. o.o That's awesome. I don't have any specific questions, but if you want to just throw your knowledge at me I'd love to learn more. xD

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    6. Nooooo! The knowledge... it's... it's too big. It's like that meteor from Robert Liparulo's "he said I could" card. Just remember me if you ever have any trouble or need help making an email list or something. :)

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    7. Ah, Robert Liparulo. xD
      Sounds good! I'll definitely make a note of that. :) Always great to have people willing to help me out on things I know NOTHING about. :p

      Delete
  19. Katie, just a thought, have you ever tried acting? I've been doing theatre for three years as of september, and i've have some fairly wild costumes, but i come out of a show with at least five more friends, some of which i could definately say, if they keep it up could become famous

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have, actually! I've been in ... five .... plays, I think? They're kind of similar to a conference in a very (small) way, where you get to meet new friends while doing something you love.
      Are you practicing for a production right now?

      Delete
    2. yeah, well right now i am about to start closing weekend for THE WIZARD OF OZ, it was amazing, its my first show at a new theatre, this is actually my, lets see, sixth show- if you include the one acts i did it would be seven, add in teching and you would be at nine. The best thing is it has taken me less than three years to acomplish all this. i was an ozian, so i got to work with a bunch of adults, my first show with adults. the cast had about 60 people

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    3. Ooh, that sounds like a lot of fun! You've done a lot of shows. o.o Do you have a favorite out of all the ones you've acted in? Was this a musical?

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    4. for teching i would probably say music man-hinted in the title musical, for acting in i would say either little house on the prairie-play(although there was a bit of Capella singing in it, or very rythmic chanting), or wizard of oz-musical. I have this huge obsession with almost any kind of music, i swear that is what runs through my veins, not blood.

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    5. *nods*
      I love music... Especially when I'm writing on my novel or a blog post. It just is very inspiring. :p

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    6. i know right, i love listening to it while i read or do my homework, then as i go to bed

      Delete
  20. I've never actually been to a writer's conference, but Realm Makers looks amazing!

    I'm so glad that you had such a fantastic time, and look forward to more great posts, regarding this and other topics.

    I must also say that I love your writing style, even if saying so is a bit off topic.

    Kate x
    www.theteenaspect.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was amazing! :)
      Aww, thank you! Another one will come later this week. *nods*

      Giving compliments are never off topic. ;) They are always welcome, haha.
      Thank you for commenting, Kate!

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  21. These pictures...they're adorable! You look so happy :)
    This makes me want to go to a writers conference sometime!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I felt so happy. ;)
      Ooh, you totally should! If you have the money and a way to get there, definitely go to one. *nods*

      Delete
  22. I must come next year and meet all you people! So many authors...

    You look like you are having so much fun in the pictures!

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    Replies
    1. I know... It would be awesome to see you there!
      I am. It was sooooo amazing.

      Delete
  23. I very much want to attend a Christian writer's conference! Maybe next year? I've been debating between Realm Makers and Florida Christian Writers Conference, but haven't actually...eheh...done the research. The biggest obstacle is distance and $$$. Why can't these conferences happen a little closer to the Canadian border? Why? D:
    One of these days, though, I WILL attend. ^_^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, The Florida Christian Writer's Conference is a LOT of money. I've heard it's awesome, though.
      Realm Makers is in Philadelphia next year. It's not extremely close, but hopefully closer than Saint Louis?

      And I hope to see you there! ^.^

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  24. One of my writing buddies and I are looking into this. :D

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    1. Unfortunately I am unable to attend due to funds. :(

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    2. Aww, too bad. I might not be able to this year... It's pretty expensive, especially with traveling.

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    3. Yes, I am hoping the next one is closer to me. :D I totally stalked everyone who went and was so hyped up!

      Delete

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