The 22nd Pikes Peak Writers Conference ended as a dizzying success. From inspiring keynotes to encouraging editors and agents, workshops on craft to workshops on the publishing climate, and everything in between, this conference provided an exhausting and exhilarating array of opportunities to grow, reach, and succeed as writers.
Gail Carriger reminded us that for writers, writing is breathing. How could you ever choose between breathing and anything else? Jim C. Hines magnified the importance of providing all readers with relatable stories, not just the perceived majority. With so much diversity in the world, it only makes sense to find the same in our books. Hank Phillippi Ryan validated the fact that we all have songs not yet written. What are we waiting for? Go for it. Do it. Don’t wait. And Chuck Wendig made us laugh. “Go home book, you’re drunk!” Then he made us dream. Success may seem impossible, but if we chip away at our goals one by one, if we embrace our vision for our writing career, we will in fact…make it happen. To ease Mrs. Wendig’s mind, no one threw up on anyone during his speech.
The excitement started with a low hum Thursday morning that steadily grew to a cacophony of success by Sunday afternoon.
Friday night lured out Steampunk interpretations during the steampunk themed dinner. Impressive arrays of gears and goggles tickled the eye and enlightened the imagination.
Saturday’s lunch allowed for a moment of silence to mourn the loss of those taken too soon. Bonnie Hagan honored those we miss with wise words reminding each of us not to wait on pursuing our passions, but to seize the now.
The Saturday evening awards banquet honored the PPWC volunteers who so highly deserved recognition for their tireless efforts throughout the year and years past. Bonnie Hagan for the Legacy Award, her constant efforts over many years and her historical knowledge proved priceless. J.T. Evans for the Volunteer of the Year Award. As PPW President, J.T. has revamped and renewed PPW in an extraordinary way with hours and hours of effort that will benefit this organization for years to come. M.B. Partlow for the Conference Volunteer of the Year Award. M.B. has worked with passion as programming director for years and now has taken on the task of tackling PPWC 2015 director. Her experience and vision will no doubt propel this next year into another madly successful conference and leave you with Goosebumps. The Zebulon contest winners took their places center stage for some rousing applause celebrating their success.
Attendees had over ninety-five opportunities to tighten their craft, debunk some common myths, practice pitches, and concisely discuss current manuscripts, plus make new friends, accomplish some networking, and stretch their comfort zones in the classrooms, over meals, and long into the night at the Marriott bar. Editors Terri Bischoff, Sarah Peed, Terese Ramin, and Sara Sargent helped demystify the intimidating machine that is the publishing industry while Amy Boggs, Michelle L. Johnson, Kristin Nelson, Beth Phelan, Gordon Warnock, and Carlisle Webber encouraged writers to learn the process and to send out their best work.
Multiple contests, a Killion Group and Hot Damn Designs attendee mixer, costume dinner, silent auction, professional photo shoot opportunities, and more propelled attendees through to the conference end with laughter, excitement, and a beautiful motivation to write. The library enjoyed another year of success offering genre books, craft books, t-shirts, audio cd’s and much more. A little writerly retail therapy to calm the nerves and settle the excitement. Sunday shone bright with an impressive hold over of attendees all grasping for one more kernel of knowledge, one last uttered brilliance, one last shared inspiration…and they got it. We all went home Sunday having reached the goal of this conference.
Write Here, Write Now. We Made it Happen.