Put a fork in me, I'm done!
That was probably the most intense two and a half days of instruction I've ever gone through, but it was sooo worth it! Some workshops were a waste of time--in some cases it was because the "faculty member" didn't do a good job and in other it was because I ws in the wrong class. But all in all, it was worth it and you aspire to a career as a writer, whether it's fiction, non-fiction or poety, I highly HIGHLY recommend going to a writer's conference.
Be smart about it, talk to others who have attended a particular conference and see if it's right for you before you go. I didn't but got lucky because it worked out so well for me. From what I understand, there are other conferences that aren't quite so good, so be careful. I just kinda figured any conference that could get Michael Connely, James O. Born, Derek Nikitas and Irene Goodman, among others, must be pretty good.
I'm definitely going back again next year.
Oh, oh, and the best thing I think happened this morning. At breakfast, my critiquer sat down at my table with me and a couple others. I was mostly talking with Donna, another attendee I had met, and Beth was talking with the other two guys at the table. Before she left she made a point to tell me how much she enjoyed meeting me, a compliment I of course returned. I told her I had already taken out the "B" word as she suggested and she was glad. She then told me to keep in touch, that she'd like to hear from me, and left. Donna was pretty impressed, and truthfully, it embarrassed me a little bit. She asked her critiquer if she could resubmit with the changes her critiquer had suggested, and she had agreed. Beth's offer was completely spontaneous. I'll be cool about it...I'm not going to inundate her with questions. I'll probably just send her a Christmas note and let her know how I've been doing and maybe once or twice more. I don't want to make a pest of myself...I'm still grinning over that.
Well, I'm half-way home now, staying at a hotel, and I'll head for home tomorrow. I'll time it so I hit Charlottesville around lunch time and do a little research there (since that's the setting for my book) and be in Winchester by about 3 p.m. It'll be good to get home.