This past Saturday I attended WPU's Spring Writers' Conference, with a focus on "Writing Childhood." What did I think?
Breaskfast: Not enough variety. A few small pastries and that was it (hey, I can be picky if I want to be...)
Keynote Speaker, David Means: Really enjoyed the two short stories he read, "The Knocking" and "The Botch." High literary writing, which means a focus on language and character rather than plot. He was engaging and funny, though not a terrific lecturer - had a hard time answering questions.
Morning Workshop, Panel of YA Authors: I loved this workshop. 3 featured authors all talked about their books and their approach to writing/YA. My favorite by far, though, was Neesha Meminger, whose debut YA novel Shine, Coconut Moon has received lots of accolades AND was on sale there, so I managed to snag a copy and have it signed. I loved her the minute she started talking about her background and confessed that she writes erotic romance under a pen name! We talked afterwards about the fact that I'm also a romance author looking to write YA, and why that's such a natural bridge - I think because in both genres, you're exploring how love (and life) can be all-consuming. So interesting!
Lunch: Yummy! A great variety, lots of fresh fruit, and to-die-for brownies. Made up for the skimpy breakfast!
Afternoon Workshop, Coming of Age Fiction: This one was run by one of the authors in the morning panel I saw, Marina Budhos. A lovely, lovely woman, speaker and teacher - I confess I wouldn't mind taking a class from her someday. She had us do some hands-on activites and writing prompts related to coming-of-age experiences. I liked it but it wasn't long enough to really dig deeply into the things she was presenting.
And that was it! It was small, probably only about 100 attendees, but that really allowed for a nice connection with the presenters. I'm inspired and ready to write~