Realm Makers Wrap Up // 2016

Saturday, August 13, 2016
Due to the blogosphere exploding with pictures and wrap ups, you've probably already heard about this, but Realm Makers happened last week.

And it was epic.

I waffled back and forth a few times on whether or not to do a wrap up post (since there are so many already), but I figured that it would be a fun way to "journal" my time so I could look back on it later.



Getting to Realm Makers was a bit of an adventure. My plane kept getting delayed (nooo), which meant that I would be late for the conference (double noooo). It was a mad rush to the conference center, AFTER getting lost several times. And walking around in the humidity, sweating, trying to find the dining hall while simultaneously searching for a bathroom. :P

But I made it! Immediately there were many hugs and giggles and accidentally not recognizing bloggers and returning their glomp with an enthusiastic, "I have no idea who you are but hi!" (spoiler alert: i quickly realized that the hugging stranger was in fact hannah. whoops. #awkward) 

Most of the conference meals took place in the cafeteria/dining hall, which served pizza. Which only meant that I got to eat pizza four times in three days. Aw yes.

I'm trying to think of a way to properly condense the three epic days into one, small blog post... but the only proper way is to time travel to the future, steal a transporter, transport back to present times, and transport everyone to Realm Makers so everyone could be involved in the awesomeness. Simple. :P (If only... *sigh*)

I went to Realm Makers last year, but this year easily topped it. I knew so many more people, and was able to bring myself to say hi to random strangers, and meet blog readers, and it was just amazing. The people were definitely the best part of the conference.

This post will mash together photo + memory dumps. In no specific order or organization. So here goes. :P

MEMORY #1 // meeting other teen writers.




DUDE. This was probably one of the best memories of them all, just since teen writers are actually the best. (I mean, I'm a teen writer, so I might be a little biased, buuuut.)

I knew most of the teen writers over the wonderful internet, but it was awesome getting to meet them in person. Flailing in person. Hugging in person. Meeting new writer friends in person!

storytime: I got to meet two fabulous writers, Brianna and Lillian at Realm Makers. (pictured below) As soon as I saw Lillian (on the right), I knew I recognized her from somewhere. I sat near her at lunch, introduced myself, and tried not to stare at her too much while I did my best to figure out where I knew her from.

Somewhere in the middle of the meal, we all exchanged business cards. And then I realized. I had already been following Lillian's instagram. She's an amazing Fine Arts Photographer, and you should all follow her if you haven't already.

There was much astonishment when we realized that we already "knew" each other. So it was fun actually getting to know each other, as well as talking with her sister Brianna. (they're the nicest, you guys.)



MEMORY #2 // my fabulous roommates.

I'm not sure how I got so lucky to be able to room with Ashley, Tricia, and Nadine -- all amazing and published authors. It was one of the best experiences, and there were lots of late night talking, giggles, snacks, and general awesomeness.

(And finding a twenty dollar bill in the couch cushion??? Not sure how that happened???)


Saturday night we all sat around and shared our story ideas. (Well, they did more than me. It's hard to share story ideas when you don't get many ideas and you pants all of them while writing.) It was so amazing to hear the plot lines of genius stirring in their minds. Be watching for future releases -- they are going to be epic.


Ashley (above) is the sweetest and absolutely hilarious. She kept me giggling throughout the whole conference (especially at two in the morning), and made me insanely happy with her cheerful and upbeat presence. She's awesome.

We were also costume buddies with our Padawan and Rey costumes. We were supposed to be looking fierce in the picture below, but I failed and had a massive giggle attack instead. :P








Tricia (above), was another one of my fabulous roommates. She's so sweet and selfless and only got twenty minutes of sleep on the last night so she could drive people back and forth from the conference to the airport. (what. even.)

She was my walking buddy to most classes and back to the dorm, which I'm incredibly thankful for, since I would probably be lost in some alleyway to this day if I hadn't had a fearless leader with me. xD

our new annual goodbye hug after eating breakfast together. <3

Nadine is my only roommate that I had previously met before this Realm Makers, and it was so amazing getting to see her again. (much glomping. :P)

She's basically a human made of smiles and epic writer powers. (seriously. so much is stirring in her brain that it's insane. o.o) I love my ninja leader. xD



MEMORY #3 // silly adventures

...such as cramming thirteen (maybe more??) crazy insane writers into an elevator. (so much shouting. so much noise. so much happiness. xD)

...squishing everyone together for group pictures. therefore turning our cheeks into mush with all of the smiling.

...inside jokes. ("my mom's ring!" "banana nadine!" "the fellowship!")

...travels through creepy tunnels. (below)

...ashley, tricia, and I all walking to the conference under a very tiny and broken umbrella.



MEMORY #4 // ten page critique with patrick carr

THIS WAS ONE OF THE MOST TERRIFYING THINGS. Talking about my novel is something I'm not quite comfortable with yet, let alone with a very qualified author. :P

Patrick hurt his ankle right before the conference, so he walked around on crutches the whole time. The thought, "At least I can run away if this goes really badly" may or may not have ran through my head. Whoops.

But Patrick was amazing. He was super conversational and made me feel comfortable the whole time. I tried very hard not to geek out. :P 

MEMORY #5 // no sleep. ever.

first night: stayed up until two.
second night: stayed up until three. (doing my blog post. xD)
third night: stayed up until four thirty. 

#hardcorenightowl

The night owl me was very happy with all the late night fun, but as soon as I had to wake up... ew. nope. The mornings were the worst and I'm still recovering. :P

Next year I'm bringing seventy pounds of coffee. 


left to right: savannah, megan, me, and my sister Laura. (WHY AM I SO SHORT. xD)
MEMORY #6 // the classes

Not only was Realm Makers filled with awesome friends and fun, it also had education purposes? (waaaht?) I furiously scribbled pages and pages of notes. 

There was a class on proposals (which was really helpful considering that I'll have to go through that sooner or later), and Steve Laube taught a continuing session on spiritual formation for the writer. At one point the whole room sang the doxology together, and it was so, so beautiful. (Writers have amazing voices. There was harmony and everything.)

And Kirk's cover design class. His covers are the best and I can flail over them forever.


Note to self for next year: 
   - stop losing your water bottle.
   - bring caffeine.
   - make room in your suitcase for lots and lots of books.
   - do your blog post ahead of time so you don't stay up until three.
   - get there a day early to have maximum awesomeness.
   - snacks. lots and lots of snacks.
   - TAKE MORE PICTURES BECAUSE YOU WILL REGRET IT IF YOU DON'T.


Thanks to AshleyNadineTriciaJamieMegan, HannahZacZacharyVictoriaBriannaLillian, and Stephanie for making this conference awesome!

^ (ashley, nadine, tricia, jamie, megan, hannah, and zachary all wrote posts about realm makers, so if you want to read more about the awesomeness... go visit their blogs. :P)

Next year, July 27-29, Realm Makers is in Reno, Nevada. I'll see you there.

// katie grace


Will you do everything and anything in your power to get to Realm Makers next year? 
(answer: yes.)

56 comments :

  1. WHHYYY IS THERE NO WRITING CONFERENCES IN AUSTRALIA I AM A MUSHROOM OF DISAPPOINTMENT. I so wish I could go to Realm Makers one year, it's my biggest reason for wanting a trip to America. :D It all sounds so cool!

    It looks like you enjoyed it enough for the two of us, so that makes me feel slightly better. *is totally jealous* Such an amazing time. Also, I've managed to become an inside-joker with the Banana Nadine somehow, so that's rather fun. xD

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    1. Yes why why why! America is too farrrrraaaaawwwaayyy.

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    2. Me too. That makes three of us for a conference in Australia. Or three of us to travel together if we could actually afford it.

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    3. AWHH. *sniff* Well, there's already three of you. You can have your own little mini writing conference! xD

      Ooh, really? That's awesome. xD

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    4. *passes out pizza to all Aussies missing out on Realm Makers* Only, half the coolness would be meeting all those bloggers and authors (an other teen writers and all, 'cause that'd be EPIC). I would totally freak out. And it would be very great. :)

      Yup, it's very amusing. I can go around snickering about the joke that I didn't even hear. xD

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  2. So half of me is excited that you got to do this, and the other half is sobbing because /I/ didn't get to do this. But seriously, this sounds so fun, and I will do my best to be there next year!!

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    1. Ughh believe me I am also very sad that you didn't come. I WANT TO MEET YOU SO BAD BECAUSE THERE WOULD BE MANY HUGS. <3

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    2. I'M GONNA COME NEXT TIME AND WE SHOULD ROOM TOGETHER, BECAUSE YES

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  3. IT WAS AWESOME. Yes guys I'm the random stranger that Katie hugged then remembered :p the pizza was so good. It was practically an every day pizza party for us + the elevator πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ that was the best, I miss it.

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    1. Whoops I feel bad but it's a nice memory at least. xD

      I MISS YOUUU.

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  4. THIS SOUNDS LIKE AN ABSOLUTELY EPIC EXPERIENCE. O.O I really mustttt go to Realm Makers one day. *nods and hopes* I'm not terribly serious about writing, and I don't think my calling is to be an author, but... it's a big hobby, and I would seriously LOVE meeting internet friends in person, as well as new friends!

    All those pictures are epic. :D (And like how are you and your sister so pretty? And how do you look so alike? WOWZIES.)

    Wait, waaaht?? The next Realm Makers is in Reno, Nevada? That's 441 miles from where I used to live. o.o Oh my goodness, if I were to go to the next Realm Makers (haha, that's a far-fetched hope), then I would be able to visit there and then drive for a day to get to Reno. Now THAT would be epic. (and it's probably never going to happen, but hush, my little brain likes to imagine. xD)

    Dude, jealous that you got to hear Nadine and Tricia and Ashley's story ideas. I need to read Ashley's books - what has she written? I LOVE NADINE'S, and Tricia's are good too, so I must read Ashley's books. *nods*

    WELL, I'M SO GLAD YOU HAD A BLAST. (and night-owls unite! *highfive* *and groaning because MORNINGS* xD

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    1. IT WAS A SIMPLY EPIC EXPERIENCE. Duuude you simply must go to Realm Makers. You MUST. It's a super rewarding experience even if writing is a huge hobby. Lots of things to learn. :D

      OOH. Keep imagining. And make it happen. xD

      I know. o.o I am very blessed to be able to hear all their epic ideas. Ashley has written Rising Shadows. - https://www.amazon.com/Rising-Shadows-Ashley-Townsend/dp/1939156785/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1471237803&sr=8-3&keywords=rising+shadows // I haven't read it yet, but I mean to soon! And I've heard that it's awesome. :P

      YESS. *also groans at the mornings*

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  5. AHHH REALM MAKERS WAS SO MUCH FUN! I love ALL of your pictures! And things you have to say! Yes, I will do everything possible to get to Reno next year.

    EVERYONE MUST COME NEXT YEAR. PERIOD.

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  6. Sounds like the most epic experience ever!!! *nods*

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  7. THIS LOOKS SO AMAZING!!!!!! Aghhh I want to go to a writing conference so badly. It sounds like the coolest thing ever!

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    1. IT IS SUPER COOL AND YOU SHOULD TOTALLY COME TO ONE SO I CAN MEET YOUUU.

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  8. *squeeeee* KATIE. I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU. And also a wee bit jealous. ;D Every single time I hear about Realm Makers experiences, it just fuels my desire to go. I'm actually reeeeaaaaalllly hoping to make it next year. It's a lot more expensive to travel from Canada, but I'm saving up! It would be fabulous to meet you there. (And you got a critique from Patrick Carr. How cool is that?!?!)

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    1. Jealousy is understandable. I just have to share so that you're jealous enough to come next year so I can meet you. ;)

      That... that would be amazing. I want to meet you so badly. o.o

      (I KNOW. o.o)

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  9. Sounds like you had a wonderful time! I've never been to a writer's conference, and I've always been pretty private about my WIPs, so the idea never really appealed to me until now. This looks like so much fun, and it also seems like they had some great opportunities to learn more about writing. Plus the opportunity to meet with so many other writers...thanks for posting!

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    1. I tend to be pretty private about my ideas as well, buuut it's an awesome way to start getting comfortable speaking about them!

      Thanks for reading. <3

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  10. THIS SOUNDS AMAZING. Adjeskhtdtfhs I need to get myself to a conference xD Also your costume is fabulous Katie

    *also kind of geeking out over Lillian's instagram, those pictures, omg*

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    1. YES I NEED YOU TO COME TO ONE SO I CAN MEET YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE THE BEST. <3

      *omg they are so lovely, aren't they?* o.O

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  11. THIS IS SO COOOOOL AND AMAZING AHHHHHH <3 and you were ROOMED WITH AUTHORS??? WHAT???? HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??? THAT'S SOOOOO AMAZINGGGGGG

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    1. YESSS I TALK WITH THEM QUITE A LOT SO IT'S AWESOME xD

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  12. I THINK I MIGHT GO NEXT YEAR. T'WOULD BE SO COOL IF WE COULD MEET. AHHH I WANT TO GO SO BAD NOW.

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    1. YESS YOU SHOULD TOTALLY COME NEXT YEAR I WANT TO MEET YOU AS WELL. o.o

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  13. THIS LOOKS LIKE SO MUCH FUN!! I'd be terrified to come up to people, especially people older than me. BUT YOU ARE SO OUTGOING AND IT LOOKS LIKE LOADS OF FUN EEEEKKK

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    1. IT IS SLIGHTLY TERRIFYING BUT IT'S ALSO REALLY AMAZING TO MEET NEW FRIENDS. I've forced myself to go up and introduce myself and make that extrovert side of me do its thing. :P

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  14. THIS SOUNDS SO EPIC!!!! I NEED REALM MAKERS TO BE HELD IN SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE SO I CAN ACTUALLY GOOOOO!!!! A TON OF CHRISTIAN SPEKKIES AND WRITERS AND PIZZA AND BOOKS AND PUBLISHED AUTHORS AND PIZZA AND *OH MY STARS*!!!! (*flails*)

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    1. AWHH IT'S KIND OF CLOSE TO SAN DIEGO? Not really, but a whole lot closer than Philadelphia. xD

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  15. This is a really cool post!!!!!!! I love all the photos!!!!!!

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  16. Oh my goodness, again, Realm makers looks AMAZING. I wish Nevada wasn't a good 1,500 miles away from me *cries* SOMEDAY.

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    Replies
    1. Nooo, that's awful. *sniff* I hope it comes close to you sometime! :D

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  17. I so wish I could go!!! But the cost of travel and conferance together is a little high. *sigh* but i will try.
    It looks like you had so much fun, and you got to room with Tricia and Nadine?! That's so cool. Looks like such a great learning experiance.

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    1. Sighh, it is a lot of money. :/ But if you save up, it's so very worth it!

      Thanks for reading! <3

      Delete
  18. ACK ANOTHER REALM MAKERS POST *flails happily* (it's been so fun reading everyone's Realm Maker wrap-up posts - EVEN IF THEY MAKE ME INSANELY JEALOUS *flails more*).

    You should form a gang to go with you and steal a transporter from the future. I totally volunteer XD.

    EEP YOU GOT THE COOLEST ROOMMATES EVER! And a 20 dollar bill in the couch?! WHAT EVEN?! (like, you could buy ... at least three brand new books with that. Or ten used books. THAT'S A LOT OF BOOKS)

    TEN PAGE CRITIQUE WITH AN ACTUALLY AUTHOR. *whispers* how did you ... um ... not die? I would have died *nods very enthusiastically*.

    IF ONLY NEVADA WEREN'T SO FAR AWAY FROM NEBRASKA *cries*. SOMEDAY I WILL GO TO REALM MAKERS. I WILL!!! *makes a massive plan*

    ReplyDelete
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    1. YEAH I'M SORRY ABOUT THE JEALOUSY OF IT. :P

      Mwahaha, you're part of the gang. xD

      RIGHT? I can always use more book money. xD

      I KNOW. I may have died. Especially before the critique. It was easier afterwards. :P

      NOO THAT IS FAR AWAY. :/ *sniff* You must go someday!

      Delete
  19. Was that really only a week ago that I was seeing everyone's picture? I can hardly believe it. It's so great that you got a lot out of it. Would I be right in thinking that it's more helpful if you actually have a finished manuscript of some kind?

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    1. Right?! It seems so soon and yet so long ago. o.o Weird how that works.

      If you're looking to pitch and get published, yes. I didn't pitch this year, and it was still a great learning experience and opportunity to meet people. ^.^

      Delete
  20. Wow, your blog is really impressive! I love the design and you are a great writer. Keep up the good work!

    Sophia xx
    A Lantern In Her Hand
    The Inkpot Girl

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  21. It sounds like you had an awesome time there. I've never been to a writer's conference (yet) but I hope to sometime in the near future.

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    1. I hope you can come to one in the future as well! It would be lovely to meet you. :D

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  22. THIS IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO COOL. Like when I went to a writer's conference I stood around half-frightened of all the people. (AT LEAST THAT WAS FOR THE FIRST DAY ONLY. AND IN MY DEFENSE THEY LOOKED FRIGHTENING.) :P But it looks like you had a blast!! THAT'S SO AWESOME. And your roommates sound like the BESTTTT <3 AND WOAHH OMG I JUST GOOGLED REALM MAKERS AND woahh you were actually sort of close to me. LIKE WHATTTT.
    AND I GO AND GOOGLE IT AFTER IT'S OVER. ^_^
    *sigh*

    BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE SUCH AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE AND GAHHH THAT WOULD BE SO FUN TO GO TO.

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    1. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AAH. It was frightening at first. I would've been the same way, except that it helped that I knew a lot of people already. :P

      AWWHH, REALLY? BOTHER. Which probably means next year will be too far away... :/ BUT YOU HAVE TO TRY TO MAKE IT. Because there would be much squealing and I would probably die of happiness if I got to meet you. xD

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  23. That looks like so much FUN! I had never heard of this conference before. Super awesome! <3

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    1. It was amazing! You should totally check it out -- it's a great conference.

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  24. It was so great seeing you at Realm Makers! I'm sorry we didn't get to spend as much time together this go around. There are so many people and it's hard to get to everyone, but it was great seeing you. And I hope to see you next year!

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. It was lovely seeing you! I'm also sad we didn't get much time to talk. *sigh* There was so many people there and so many people to talk to.

      I'm definitely planning on going next year, so hopefully we can talk then. :D

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  25. I don't know if I could make it but I'd like to soooooooooooooo much :(

    Thing is, I'm a but far away XD as in Canada, ya know? But you seem to have had such a good time I'm sad I wasn't there!

    I think my favorite part is when you don't sleep and just talk and eat :D

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  26. Eeeee I loved reading about your experience at Realm Makers! And the pictures. <3 I'm truly hoping I can make it next year. *stares meaningfully at parents and crosses fingers*

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