I had a great time at Darrell Laurant's conference The Brave New World of Freelance Writing.
It began with a very informal Friday evening wine and cheese reception. I spent much of my time chatting with Dan Smith, author of Burning the Furniture,
and Shannon May, who visited our Lake Writers a few times. Shannon is thinking about starting a writers' group in Forest, so I gave her some tips garnered from our recently-begun Rocky Mount Writers' Group at the Franklin County Library.
Laughed a bit with the fellow pouring wine about the fact that I'd gone to Mapquest for drive directions and time to get to the Sedalia Center. Printed out a whole page of fairly confusing directions, when all I really needed was: follow Rt 122 north, make a left turn on Sedalia School Road...bingo! Return: follow 122 south. (I live right off 122). I guess if Mapquest gave those simple directions, they wouldn't stay in business!
I returned the next morning to find a light breakfast of donuts, muffins, coffee and juice. Despite a particular chocolate donut with fudge frosting that was frantically calling my name, I met up with Sally Roseveare, our own Smith Mountain Lake mystery author (Secrets at Spawning Run)
and we rushed off to catch two discussions: First was the author of There is a Season...A novel based on a true story
, Carolyn Tyree Feagans. Feagans has previously written four books about this area. Season
takes place during the 50's and 60's, on and around the Blue Ridge Parkway. Her books are published by Lynchburg's Warwick House; Joyce Maddox of Warwick House Publishing was also in attendance at the conference.
The second discussion was by Dan Smith, about writing memoirs. His delightful humor was very much a crowd-pleaser, as was his excellent advice to all of us there.
Lunch gave me a chance to "count the house" and I believe there were 30-35 in attendance at that point, some having had to leave. Lunch was make-your-own sandwiches with a large tray of sliced roast beef, turkey, swiss and cheddar cheese, several choices of excellent breads, chips and veggies, pasta salad, sodas and bottled water. Dessert was a selection of bakery cookies. Perfect!
For a total cost of $25, which actually was a donation to the Sedalia Center, this conference was a winner. The last one was some 4 or 5 years ago; I'm hoping Darrell will make this an annual event. Networking went on at both panels I attended, as well as at the wine and cheese on Friday night. Books were bought and sold, but in a very low-key way indeed.
For Darrell Laurant and all who helped him put this together, Bravo! And a resounding Thank You.