Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stuff you probably didn't know about the 2011 LDStorymakers Writers Conference

The web is littered with blog posts about the 2011 LDStorymakers Writers Conference and how fabulous it was. We had some amazing agents and editors (Becca Stumpf, Sara Crowe, Sara Megibow, Marcia Markland, Kirk Shaw and Lisa Mangum) and Larry Brooks as the Keynote Speaker. The classes were absolutely stellar. We reached nearly 500 attendees--a new record. The MC was, ahem, fantastic!

But, what are all those blogs not telling you?

  1. The bookstore was 100% drool worthy. I don't think we've ever had a bigger bookstore at the Storymakers conference. The room was packed with books from every genre and, more often than not, filled with eager readers. (This picture ----> was taken at the Emormous Book Signing of Awesomeness on Friday night. The photographer is Heather Gardner. Go check out her work, she's so talented!)
  2. The agents/editors were, without exception, friendly, personable and professional. I spoke with each of them at least once during the conference and was struck by how nice they all were. Beyond that, each shared an impressive amount of industry knowledge and practical advice I think every attendee benefited from. I had the opportunity to go to dinner with Marcia Markland Thursday night before the conference and the group talked about books and changes in the publishing world, as well as life in general. I pitched a manuscript to Sara Megibow and left, not only feeling great about the pitch and her response to it, but with a book in hand she gave me to read. (Plus Sara recommended a toy that my son is going to LOVE!)
  3. The conference committee never stopped moving. This was my first year on the conference committee and, until now, I had no idea how much constant work goes into running one of these things. We rocked. Just saying.
  4. I spent the conference in agony. That was really dramatic, wasn't it? I had ten stitches in my back through the entire weekend. For the most part they didn't bother me too much, but every once in a while I would move just right or pick up something a little too heavy and the pain just about knocked me over. Also (because, let's face it, #4 is all about me), I slammed my toe into a table leg on Saturday morning and sliced it open, then it swelled so much I could hardly get my shoes on. I'm sure there's a book in all that somewhere, I just need to find it.
  5. The do-it-yourself James Dashner Shrine Kit. First off, James knew nothing about this. Watching him watch the "sales video" was hilarious. The only thing funnier was when he drew the winner from the golden cup on Saturday afternoon. I had been joking with others on the committee that we should pretend to draw James' name from the cup. In the end we didn't have a lot of time, so I just called him up to draw. He drew his own name. I completely lost it. I am not sure I laughed that hard the entire weekend. So very, very funny.
  6. I had three more funny bits prepared to use at Storymakers just in case we had extra time to fill. Deciding to axe those bits felt rather like having to edit out a favorite scene from a manuscript. You know it has to be done, but it still hurts. Maybe another year, right?
  7. The Whitney Awards Gala ended the weekend with class! I felt like the awards were, once again, a celebration of the contribution of LDS authors to the publishing industry. The winners were gracious and humble and truly honored to be recognized. Those who didn't win were, across the board, happy for those who did. The whole evening felt like a gathering of friends and I love that. (This picture ---> is a tradition every year, by the way. The "losers" get together and ham it up for the cameras, making a big show of drowning our sorrows in dessert. Don Carey took this shot in which I have decided to skip the fork all together and just shove the slice of cheesecake into my mouth. We had so much fun!)

The conference was so fantastic. I have used at least 6,000 adverbs and adjectives in this post--Storymakers was that great! Am I going again next year? Yes. Yes I am!

PS, if you are looking for the videos I shared as part of my MC-ifying, they can be found under the "2011 Storymaker Conference" tab at the top of the page."


Valerie Ipson said...

You were a fabulous MC, Sarah! Fun, fun weekend!

Ruth said...

Sounds awesome. Wishing, wishing I could have made it. I have to say, all these storymaker posts make great advertising for next year. I WILL get there!

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

You so totally rocked it up there Sarah. It was my first conference and I will most certainly be back next year. Big thanks to you, the entire committee, the presenters, the agents and editors, and your family who was willing to be so funny for a bunch of strangers.

Angie said...

You were fantastic! The whole conference was great. Sorry about your back and toe! I loved the moment when James drew his own name. Priceless.

Annette Lyon said...

AWESOME conference in every way, for sure--and best MC ever.

I want to see the bits that ended up getting cut!

Kimberly said...

It was such a blast, wasn't it? And you are the hostess with the mostess - loved your mad MC skills!

All these Halls said...

Congrats Sarah on all of your accomplishments-love you!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I thought this year's conference rocked! You were awesome as the MC. Loved the video clips of your kids. I sure didn't know you were soldiering through with stitches in your back and a smarting toe. Thanks for making this a very memorable conference despite your wounds.

Dan said...

Sounds like a great time, Sarah! I'm glad you showed that cheese cake who's boss.

David J. West said...

Haha, I know who put in James own name.

Chas Hathaway said...

Hahahahahahahaha!!! Loved the never before seen footage of James.


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