James River Writers Conference Oct. 9 & 10, 2009
Attending my first writing conference felt like an initiation. Though there were no ceremonial rites into this community akin to joining a sorority, fraternity or secret cult. I was not required to streak across campus naked or prick my finger to mix blood with another. But after the conference, I felt I could now consider myself a serious writer. As with any new club membership I have responsibilities: to treat all other writers with the utmost respect, to give honest feedback when asked and to lend a hand in tasks that advance our community.
The James River Writers put on a very professional, exciting and worthwhile conference, especially for a greenhorn. As I sat only a few feet from NYT bestselling authors, I was in awe. I felt like a kid at his first firework display. Plus the speakers were so accessible; you could walk up to any one of them and strike up a conversation. Not that I had the guts to do this, but I could have.
Pearls of wisdom flowed from the speakers: the setting is like a fragrance, the story arc needs to include dabs of emotions, and your first chapter is like the infant version of the last one.
I, as a new recruit, would recommend this conference to anyone. And the food wasn’t bad either.