If you followed the #nescbwi13 tweets, you might have noticed it was a fan-freaking-tastic conference. A few of the highlights . . .
(Click names to follow everyone on twitter or see their websites. No really, follow them all.)
Thursday: I had a long drive, so I got there a day early and finally got to meet the fabulous Jen in person! We talked all day, until after midnight- way past her bedtime.
Friday: Let’s see, there was lunch and running into the super sweet Quinlan Lee, volunteering at the registration desk, a couple great sessions, then dinner with a big table of twitter peeps and blue board friends. Then we met up with friends in the bar, including the endlessly entertaining agent Linda Epstein, bonding over some interesting conversation and of course, chocolate. We also got to briefly meet Lauren McLeod and Brooks Sherman. The stuff agent legends are made of, right? Stayed up until way past Jen’s bedtime. Again.
Saturday: Saturday started with breakfast, then more great sessions, lunch, more sessions, book signing, and then a dinner for the volunteers. All good. So good. (And btw, volunteering is a great way to help out and get more out of a conference.)
The keynote by Sharon Creech? Insightful. Heartfelt. Inspiring. She got not one, but TWO standing ovations. We would have stood up a third time if she came out for an encore. Grace Lin also shared her story and her beautiful illustrations. And can I just tell you about the line-up of amazing authors at this conference?! Erin Dionne. Linda Urban. Kate Messner. Hilary Weisman Graham. Jo Knowles. The list goes on.
Then we attended a panel with Brenda Reeves Sturgis, Emma Dryden, and Karen Grencik. From there we joined in the wine and cheese mingle and yup, there was plenty more chatting and laughing. Maybe a bit more laughing. It might have gone on for quite a while, actually. The famous Jennifer Laughran and fantabulous author Dawn Metcalf even joined us for a bit. But it didn’t end there, folks.
When you’re hanging out with such a great group of writers, you can’t just go to sleep. (Although a couple did sneak away. *clears throat* Ronni. *fake cough* Monica T.)
Kip and Minnesota Monica were kind enough to host a little after-party where there may or may not have been some toasting and jumping on the beds. I admit to nothing, except still being a kid at heart. And once again, poor Jen didn’t get to bed early, although she gave it a valiant effort.
Sunday: We sacrificed breakfast to sleep in a little, then there were more sessions, lunch, tearful goodbyes, and the last of the sessions. Finally, I hit the road, getting home in time to put the kids to bed. :)
Jen M. I absolutely adore her. She is just as sweet, smart, and fun in real life!
Marcy Kate. We bonded because we’re both allergic to alcohol. Go figure. She’s also a brilliant writer.
Jennifer CE. She added quite a bit of laughter to our group.
Minnesota Monica. This is a lady with a contagious laugh and a sunny spirit.
Me. I’m smiling because, how could I not?
Taryn. She was the youngest of the group, yet so mature and TALENTED. Holy cow. Love her.
Kip. She is so full of goodness you can’t help wanting to be around her. Plus, everyone seemed to know her. “Oh, you know Kip? Yeah, me too.”
Ghenet. She is my curly-hair-twin who shares a love of photography. And so sweet.
I met so many other great people, so please forgive me if I don’t list you here. I loved meeting you and I look forward to keeping in touch.
Start saving now, ladies and gents because #nescbwi14 will most certainly be a blast. Really. Get a piggy bank. Open a savings account. Put an envelope under the mattress. (It’s one of the best values you’ll find for a writing conference!) You’re going to want to be there. :)
In the words of Minnesota Monica, “It’s not goodbye, it’s ‘I’ll see you on twitter’.”