Monday, February 24, 2014

LTUE 32 Recap: Friends Made, Lessons Learned, and the Awesomeness of My Most Pivotal Conference Yet!


I can't stress enough the value of attending writing conferences. Seriously, if you're a writer and haven't done more than show your work to family and friends, a gathering of writers for writers is an important step in learning more about and harnessing your craft.

This was my 5th year at Life, the Universe, and Everything (LTUE), and imagine my surprise when I received an email saying I was in their panel schedule. I didn't think I was ready for the task. Thankfully I shared panels with several fantastic authors, including Paul Genesse, who lead by example and showed me the ropes. It was a new step in offering insights and help to others on various topics of writing (like Description in Writing and Naming Your Characters), and I had a blast doing it. I won't be so nervous next time.

The panel I enjoyed most was Prologues and Epilogues, as it is a touchy subject, and having the one and only Brandon Sanderson join the team was an honor (with Ann Sowards, Michael Young and Marianne Carter, I was absolutely the smallest fry up there). For the record, I'd join a panel with these guys again in a heartbeat (and what's more epic than a Brandon signing with the likes of Jackson Porter, Jared Peterson, and Matt Hayes? Remember these names, you guys. They're going to make waves in the writing world someday).


Conferences can be an investment of time and money, but it's worth it. My favorite thing of all is meeting new writers and running into old friends (like Elana Johnson and Shallee McArthur). Also My co-writer Michael Jensen came to party (we may or may not have hidden in the gaming room to collaborate ideas on a new story ... Yes we did!).


Having the chance to mingle with mentors is also worth it, mentors such as Chad Morris, Shelly Brown Morris, and J. Scott Savage.


What cemented this LTUE as my most pivotal conference experience yet is the unexpected twist at the end. You see, there was a little mix up that resulted in me getting a last minute Saturday night banquet ticket. I joined someone I knew in a very uncrowded table that was later made crowded by Brandon Sanderson, his wife, assistant, and his wife. Imagine my surprise when I saw Orson Scott Card five feet behind me. Love him or not, I hold him responsible for inspiring me to start this writing journey. How few authors get the chance to meet the author who inspired them and then thank them personally for doing so? I'd imagine rare, so that moment was priceless for me.

If you're struggling with doubt, keep writing. If you feel life would be easier to quit, keep writing. It may take a year. It may take fifteen. It might take thirty. No matter how long it takes, never give up. Go to conferences. Pick up tips you may have missed. They exist to assist you, mold you, and polish you into a better writer. Until next time!

What's your favorite writer's conference moment to date? Which author do you credit as inspiring you to start your writing journey?

I'm David, and this is my next conference (Go Badgers!).

http://writehereinephraim.com/

25 comments:

  1. You got to meet and hang out with some cool authors! Awesome you got that banquet ticket.

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  2. Wasn't it a great conference. Loved what I was able to attend. Next year I hope to be able to go to all three days again.

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  3. Great pics! Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

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  4. That's so awesome, David! What an experience! That Go Badgers comment made me think you were heading to Wisconsin next. :)

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  5. Wha??? Orson Scott Card was buttering his roll just a few feet away? That's incredible.

    I have yet to attend a big conference, but that will change. I'm slated to go to one here in St. Louis is September.

    Looks like you had a great time. And congrats on being on such cool panels.

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  6. Incredible, that you met Orson, who was your writing inspiration. I went to Calabash (Jamaica) years ago for poetry and hearing experienced and amateur poets read and discuss their work was quite enlightening. I plan to get more involved in the few writing conferences we have locally and plan to one day go abroad to get more info and inspiration. I'm glad you had such a great time and learned so much David. Congrats.

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  7. Your post is making me (even more) sorry I couldn't make it this year. Maybe next year. Actually, I presented at LTUE as a lowly undergrad at BYU when I had no idea how big the conference was (probably a good thing, or I would have been too scared to say anything). Well, and the conference was smaller then, too!

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  8. Conferences can be such great fun. Glad you had a chance to hang out with cool authors and meet your writing hero :-)

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  9. I live in Conference No Man's Land, so I don't have any moments yet. It would be pretty incredible to do a panel with Mr. Sanderson as well as see Orson Scott Card.

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  10. Meeting Don Maass and Diana Gabaldon at a writers conference made an impression on me. If you choose wisely, conferences can be valuable. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  11. It was great to see you there, if only briefly. Glad you had a great time.

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  12. Sounds like an awesome conference. Makes me want to move to your part of the country. Awesome you were on a panel.

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  13. Hmm...favorite conference moment (and it's been 2 years) was when an agent making the rounds sat down to talk to me. My ms wasn't ready, nor was it in her genre, but I lost myfear of agents that day. Neat post. Thanks for visiting my blog and the follow! Really appreciate the support.

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  14. Sounds like you had an awesome time!

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  15. Definitely inspirational, DPK! I love the pictures. Gosh, I need to make it to this conference sometime. How cool with all of those big names. What a fun weekend!

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  16. Conferences are always amazing. There is no better way to connect them to meet in person.

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  17. look at you! rubbing some shoulders and looking good doing it! congrats.

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  18. Sounds like an amazing experience!

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  19. Oh wow! I was impressed with you being on the panel...but to nearly, almost rub elbows with Mr. Card? I'd have passed out.

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  20. I'm impressed. Congrats on playing in the big leagues.

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  21. Wow, I'm glad you had such an awesome experience!!! :)

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  22. Very cool how you got to take part in the panels this year, and that you got to meet one of your writing inspirations, too! Wow!

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  23. Yay! It was so fabulous to see you there, and you did awesome on the Prologues and Epilogues panel! Glad it ended up being even better than you expected. :)

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  24. Hi David .. what a great opportunity and I'm so pleased you enjoyed it and obviously met some wonderful people and learnt so much from your first experience .. enjoy your next one .. cheers Hilary

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