Monday, March 15, 2010

My Adventures in Florida

Now that I've had a chance to finally unpack and get some sleep, here's my post about my experiences at the Florida Christian Writers Conference!

I took the Greyhound bus with my mom from Minneapolis to Ocala, Florida. 36 hours. Not fun. (If there's a next time, I'll probably take a plane, even though it's more expensive.) Anyway, when I finally got to the Lake Yale conference center, I just wanted to collapse on a bed and sleep. I'm glad we got there a day early, because then I could relax a little before the conference started. The location was beautiful, right by the lake.

The conference was amazing. Bryan Davis (who wrote Dragons in Our Midst) taught the Teen Track, and it was so much fun to interact with him and the other teens.

If I had to pick my favorite part about the conference, it would be the late-night critique sessions with the Teen Track. Each person had a chance to have their work-in-progress put up on the projector, and then the other teens would have a chance to give suggestions and ask questions. Then Bryan Davis would go through line-by-line and work with it, and helped the writer see how to improve it. These sessions were so much fun, and I learned a lot. 

Here's a picture of the entire teen track, including Sam the Hippo :)

I met so many cool people at the conference. Aside from the teen track, I met Jesse Florea (the editor of Clubhouse Magazine), talked with Torry Martin (the awesome creator of the character Wooton Bassett from Adventures in Odyssey!), and took several workshops taught by Jeff Gerke (who started the Christian Speculative Fiction publishing company Marcher Lord Press). By the end of the week, my head was swimming just trying to remember all the names of the people I'd met!

For me, the most unbelievable part of the conference was when I won the award for "Best work for a first-time conferee." At first I thought that someone had made a mistake. I was so overwhelmed. I felt like God was telling me that I'm on the right track.

After the long bus trip home, I had to sleep for a week. But the conference was such a great experience that I'd love to go again next year, even though I don't know if it would be possible. Anyway, I'm glad to be home, and I'm excited to be working on my writing projects again!


Jacob R Parker said...

Very cool. Congratulations on that award! That's great! And I'm glad you got the chance to take some of Jeff Gerke's tracks. He really knows stuff, and delivers it in a very entertaining manner. :)

I watched part of one of the late-night critique sessions online. It looked like a lot of fun.

Jon M. said...

Wow, that's awesome! Congratulations on the award! I'm glad you had a great time! (You make me want to go next year, even though I don't write novels! lol.)
Thanks for posting!

Galadriel said...

I watched some of all of the sessions. I am still really jealous, though...I love Wooton! Maybe next year we can met up and go down together..I might be in the area.

Evergreena said...

@Galadriel- That would be so cool!

Melody said...

Oh, that sounds like such a cool experience! I'd love to do something like that. :) Congrats on the award!
I've also tagged you at my blog.