The minute I stepped out of the car at Realm Makers 2013 in St. Louis, the very first person I saw was someone I knew (who it was exactly escapes me). At that moment, I knew what I had predicted all along–this conference was going to rock.
I was glad that Michelle (the lady I carpooled with) and I had arrived early. I think half the fun of the entire conference was the people I got to hang out with and talk to that afternoon and evening. We had a blast setting up the bookstore, trying to find a place to eat dinner, and just hanging out in the lobby of the dorm room.
The next 2 days were a blur of fun, information, and new people. Probably one of my favorite things of the whole experience was finally getting to meet people in person. I’ve been blogging with NAF for over 2 years, and this was the first time I’d met most of them in person!
I shared a room with 3 amazing ladies–2 that I had not met before. Still, the last night, when we stayed up, sitting in the hallway just chatting for a couple of hours. Those ladies were phenomenal women who I am thrilled to continue friendships with, even though we are from different parts of the country. (Waves to Morgan, Jill, and Lindsay)
I opted not to pitch anything at RM because I wasn’t quite ready, but that didn’t mean the option wasn’t there. There
were appointments with editors and mentors–some people signed up ahead of time, others signed up at the registration table.
Perhaps one of the most memorable experiences was the costume awards banquet. What fun! I went all medieval in my blue dress (which turned out to be a popular choice). But whoa! What imaginations! I loved Grace Bridges’ TARDIS dress, and my roomates’ steampunk outfits. Oh, but Dawn Ford took the cake with her amazing steampunk. MC Ben Wolf had his infamous mechanical arm. Now I’m obsessing over what to wear this year!
Overall, here’s what I got from the conference:
- Learned a lot in workshops from LB Graham, Kristen Stieffel, Ben Wolf/Andrew Winch, panels, and more.
- Loved it all so much, Becky let me be the Social Media Maven for RM, which has been amazing fun!
- Got a new critique partner (whom I adore)
- A job as an associate editor and social media maven for Castle Gate press
- Face time with publishing professionals like Jeff Gerke, Randy Streu, and Grace Bridges (to pick their brains and get to know them, not to pitch). I even got to meet Kathy Tyres and talk with her a bit.
- Friendships with people that amaze and inspire me has probably be the greatest takeaway
I strongly feel this conference is a must for speculative fiction writers who are Christian. Being among so many like-minded individuals is such a high. God really moved mountains to bring this group together to spread His glory.
Realm Makers is hosting a fabulous giveaway. Be sure to use the Rafflecopter widget below to earn entries for the fabulous prizes. Who would want a Writer’s TARDIS Basket–it’s bigger on the inside!