It’s been a busy couple of days. I drove down to Richmond on Thursday morning in order to participate in the first “pre-conference” workshops that James River Writers has offered. I think it was successful–both the query workshop and the short story workshop, which I led, were filled (in fact mine was over-subscribed, somehow) and the feedback I’ve received has been quite positive. My topic was, ostensibly, how to “create a world” in a short story, but really it was a short course in short story writing. I enjoyed doing it, and I think the participants enjoyed it, too.
Then last night we had a wonderful party for presenters and other invited guests. Good food, great people, beautiful house. A nice “kick off” for the conference (although, of course, I’d gotten a head start in the afternoon).
The conference proper began this morning with some inspirational poetry (Invitation to Write!) followed by lots of panels. I heard one panel talk about the challenges of writing in multiple genres and another about freelance writing. Then, after lunch, it was my turn–I was on two panels. The first was Character 101 and it was so popular we needed to move to a different room. Then I was on Mastering the Short Story, a topic I don’t think we could ever do justice to. Both went well, I think. The final session of the day was a plenary session about the relationships among writers, agents, and editors. I thought the panelists did a really good job with that, and I haven’t seen the subject presented in quite that way before.
Right now I’m standing by for another party . . . and I’m looking forward to another full day tomorrow!