This weekend, Annette Lyon and I are going to witness first-hand the fruits of our labors. We're hoping they will be very sweet.
The LDStorymakers Writers Conference is March 21-22, 2008. It's been sold out for over a month, and we are looking forward to hearing from Timothy Travaglini (Putnam) and Jamie Weiss Chilton (Andrea Brown Literary). In addition, there are 21 workshops with authors such as Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn), Janette Rallison (How to Take the Ex out of Boyfriend), and Jessica Day George (Dragon Slippers).
I'm kind of nervous about it all--mostly about hosting the editor and agent. I still have quite a bit of left-over shyness from my childhood and it takes a concerted effort to meet and greet strangers. But . . . doing booksignings for the past four years has helped me break out of my shell. That, and sugar. Growing up, my dad always told me I got a sparkle in my eye after eating dessert. So I'll have to remember to carry a pack of M&M's or something.
It's amazing what goes into planning a Writers Conference. We have been literally working on it for an entire year--having scoped and booked the venue April 2007. In August we met and brainstormed the workshops and coordinating topics. By September we were extending invitations to our presenters.
We have a 9 person committee who handle everything from coordinating audiovisual, meals, hotel, presentations, registration, boot camp, advertising, pitch sessions, writing contest, awards, bookstore, syllabus, name tags, finances, etc. Then it comes down to the small details such as signs, book bags, centerpieces, timekeeper, honorariums, etc . . .
Beyond all of that is the incredible energy when writers and presenters who are passionate about their craft come together to learn from each other. Life-long friendships are made and for a couple of days, you feel like you are in a place "Where Everybody Knows Your Name"--just like that song from Cheers.
Well, next week at this time, I'll have a huge weight off of my shoulders. But you can bet that I'll be just a little bit sad. It will all be over, and the memories will certainly be sweet. And every ounce of work will have been worth it.