Writing Conference Jitters

by Sally Matheny
Packing for Writing Conference

Soon I'll begin preparing to attend the Write2Ignite! Writers’ Conference at North Greenville University. I remember how nervous I was my first year. None of my friends could go with me so I attended alone. Boy, talk about writing conference jitters!

Like a kindergartener on her first day of school, I timidly open the door and take my first steps into the Write2Ignite! (W2I) Conference. Shy at first, I slide into a back seat of the auditorium. My goal is to fly under the radar until I survey the surroundings. 
That didn’t happen. The leadership team is all over the place making us feel welcome. Then there is music—upbeat, worship music that stirs the soul. Encouraging words, announcements, and then they whisk us out the door to begin the workshops.
Carol Crane autographs "T is for Tarheel"
The workshops present a dilemma. There are several ones offered each hour. How do I decide on just one? I choose the ones I think I need the most: “Make Your Manuscript Stand Out,” “The Language of Children’s Picture Books,” and “Filling a Need—First Chapter Books.” My pen flies across the page taking notes from the wise. So much helpful stuff it makes my head swoon. Perhaps supper will settle me down.

People file into the cafeteria. Small groups are forming at tables. Did they initiate sitting with the editors or were they invited? Taking no chances, I chose an empty table. I look around for a friend I had made earlier but she is already sitting with a group. Hmmm…a little awkward eating alone but—wait! A smiling member from the leadership team beckons me to sit at her table. Conversation ensues and a new friendship forms.

Then back for another workshop followed by a keynote address given by my new friend. Funny how fast friendship roots begin to grow. I am nervous for her as she begins. I pray for her as she speaks. Afterward, we celebrate a speech well done.

Exhausted from the first day jitters, the load of knowledge received, and the friendships made, I fall into bed. I can hardly sleep because I’m excited about returning for more workshops tomorrow!

If you enjoy writing, consider attending the Write2Ignite! Writers’ Conference (March 27-28). It doesn’t matter how much experience you have—there is something there for everyone. The teens have their own track of awesome workshops led by wonderful authors, editors, and illustrators. Adults have a wide variety of workshops as well. Whether you have work published or not, you’ll benefit from the conference.

If you’re a parent, consider the conference as a great resource of writing instruction for your teens. Homeschool students can earn high school credit hours.

And don’t be nervous if you must attend alone. I guarantee you’ll be warmly welcomed. New knowledge and friends are waiting for you.
One of the best things about Write2Ignite! is the Christian environment. Perhaps God will stir your heart, as He did mine, to write for His glory.
Come be blessed so you can be a blessing to others.