I spent the last few days in a magical realm where everything is empowering and the feedback flows like water from a fountain.
I'm talking about my second trip to the La Jolla Writers Conference, a wonderful event put on by Antoinette and Jared Kuritz. This was the seventh annual conference, but I first attended only last year. I feel extremely foolish for having missed five of them.
This year, I attended classes and Read & Critiques taught by:
Steven J. Cannell
Lisa Jackson & Nancy Bush
Linda Lael Miller
Patti Callahan Henry
And although I didn't take any classes with them, I at least renewed my acquaintance with Sara Lewis and Mike Sirota.
It's the most amazing thing for a writer to have the creator of Rambo nodding his head and smiling while you are speaking about a plot point or an editing decision. To shake hands and discuss the craft with the writer of The Rockford Files and the A-Team, among 42 other TV shows. To have Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush laughing with you as you discuss the HEA requirements of the Romance genre. To have Linda Lael Miller listen to your writing and praise you for how you set a scene, and to watch her perk up when you say what is going to happen next.
All of these wonderful writers, who between them have sold millions and millions of books, are not only successful, but they are the rare people that want to share their success. They are both encouraging and tactfully critical.
I can't speak for all the writing conferences in the world, nor would I want to do so. But I can tell you that this one has been incredibly valuable to me. If you have been thinking about attending an event or conference featuring any of these writers, I heartily recommend you follow though and go.