It was cool. This was my second PVWG conference. I was out of pocket for last year’s, but by all accounts this one surpassed both last year and most people’s expectations for this one. Speaking of which. We were handed a questionnaire to help organizers figure out what went well and what fell in the water.We rated our expectations of the panels, seminars and workshops and then rated our actual experience. With the exception of one event, my expectations were significantly lower than actual. Which is good.
The questionnaire also left room for thoughts for next year’s theme. Anybody, anybody?
Ideas? I’m asking because theme matters. I think one of the reasons for this year’s success was the theme “Writers Unleashed.” Although I estimate around 40% of participants were published, it seems nobody was beyond good tips on how to throw off that damn leash.
Case in point for me was Beth Groundwater, one of the presenters. She’ has 6 novels and various short stories published. Additionally, her first novel, A Real Basket Case, was nominated for the Agatha Awards and Virtual Death was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. So it was surprising and comforting (as in misery loves company) to hear her tell the group at our final session that even now her biggest challenge is self-doubt. That somewhere in the middle of every work she writes, the nasties win out. That she needs the support of readers, other authors, and her special mental salve to find her way back to the Really?-I-wrote-that?-So-maybe-I-can-write after-all reality plane. That she too sometimes needs to bite off the leash.
My own workshop on “Dusting off the Muse” was designed to give participants some pointy teeth for biting it off. The feedback was great, and I think it’s because the theme is universal — even for prolific, well-disciplined writers, which excludes at least one of us.
BTW, while I mentioned Beth, there are a lot of other fun writers to check out, not only presenters either. So you authors: Leave a comment with a link to your books so folks can find you!
I have to single one out though– and that’s Doug Danielson. He launched the international edition of his latest book at the conference, which isn’t why. Why is because he did a hell of a job organizing and chairing the conference and is beyond generous in spirit and with his time. And I say this despite his publicly calling me “touchy feely” (twice? Seriously Doug?) he’s an AGG — Awesome Good Guy and his books are great fun.
I learned a lot about marketing, including a math update i.e. promotion = results. So check out my link below — with a special post-conference discount.
And really, anyone who has thoughts for next year’s theme, please deposit them in the reply box. Thanks!