Writing conferences are like treasure chests filled with gems of inspiration, education, and fellowship. The Buildin’ the Dream conference held on May 29 and 30, 2014, in Scottsdale, Arizona, was indeed a treasure. The sold-out conference fulfilled its advertised agenda: “Authors Helping Authors” by “Equipping writers with the tools to build and live their dream.”
Inspiration: The Thursday night event started with keynote speaker, Diana Gabaldon. Attendees were impressed with her gracious manner and candid encouragement as she discussed her writing journey. Her wise advice to writers: READ, WRITE, DON’T STOP.
Education: Friday was filled with workshops in three areas to suit the needs of all attendees–Craft, Publishing, and Business. Scheduling allowed for participants to attend six session. The following are the valuable presentations I attended with a quick summary of what I learned.
Crafting the Dark Moment with Deena Remiel: What is your protagonist’s biggest fear? Show this confrontation and escalate this fear along the arc of your story.
Self-Publishing Pitfalls with Morgan Kearns: You need strength to survive the publishing process, and you need know when to seek professional help.
Adding Humor to a Manuscript with Kris Tualia: Use humor to make your characters believable and to relieve tension.
Covers to Get Attention with Anya Kelleye: Your cover needs a strong focal point which conveys the genre with emotion.
Carve Out Time to Build Your Dream with Camelia Skiba: Learn to use snippets of time effectively.
Sprinting-It’s All About Word Count with Virginia Nelson: Write as fast as you can for 15 minutes (no editing), take a 10 minute stretch/do chores break, then repeat as necessary. As a test exercise, I wrote 300 words in 15 mintes….longhand, without a computer!
Many other workshops were offered. I wish I could have attended ALL!
Fellowship: It was good to find new-to-me authors and to connect with other writers…people who “get it”….”speak the same language” …. “understand me.”
Other information: We all got goodie bags with notebooks, pens, and promotional items, including a lip balm stick, a thoughtful item considering the location in the sunny desert of Arizona! I love the purple and yellow colors used as the theme colors—bright and cheerful for our successful writing journey! Arizona Dreamin’ is held after the writing conference. It is a romance reader event where attendees have the opportunity to chat with various romance authors. I wasn’t able to stay for the second conference, so regret I didn’t get to meet inspirational author Hallee Bridgeman, one of the featured authors at the reader event. There was a bookstore, a photographer offering professional author headshots, and publishers taking pitches. A yummy box lunch was provided by InD’tale, an online magazine serving self-publishers. http://www.indtale.com
Today, I’m serving Highland Blend tea from Scotland in honor of Diana Gabaldon’s new release in the Outlander series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, published on June 10, 2014. Help yourself to the imaginary dessert treats of chocolate brownies and cheesecake bites. (REAL ones were served at the conference, but my picture of the filled dessert table were too fuzzy.) I’d recommend the Buildin’ the Dream Conference scheduled for May 28-29, 2015, in Scottsdale, Arizona, if you live in the area. It is affordable, right-sized, and provides great opportunities to learn from other authors. Information about both events can be found at http://www.arizonadreaminevent.com. Thanks for joining me for #TuesdayTea!