The registration for the LDStorymakers conference opened up in December. It's a great writer's conference and one I try not to miss. I remember the first time I attended, feeling a little like an imposter - a writer wanna be. Being one of those classic introverts who doesn't handle crowds well I worried about whether I would even get anything out of the conference since I knew my tendency to fade into the woodwork and observe rather than take part. But I wanted to reach my dreams bad enough so I swallowed the fears and went - although I did have to talk my sister-in-law into coming with me for moral support.
That first conference I attended was amazing. I've never felt more at home in a crowd of strangers than I did in that room full of people who understood the way I think. They understood the feeling of having a character wake you up in the night just so their story could be told. They understood the frustration of trying to decide which book to write next. They understood the absolute drive to put pen to paper and rewrite until the words flow in exactly the right way.
Since then I've looked forward to the conference every year. I've met incredible people, received encouragement and advice from authors I admire, and discovered many I call friends. Really I just went to learn a little more about how to be better at what I do, but the benefits that came on the side have changed my life. So if you're a writer and haven't attended the LDStorymakers conference, I encourage you to go. I'll be getting my registration in this week.
Last year the experience became even more incredible as they added the Whitney Awards Gala to the two day conference. It was amazing to attend the first ever awards and see wonderful LDS writers being honoured by their peers. As much as I enjoyed the Whitney Gala last year and would love to go this year, I've decided not to purchase a ticket, in the interest of saving money, since the drive from Canada to Utah eats up a large portion of my budget, and money's tight this time around. But I'll be watching online that night to finally hear who the winners are.
Meanwhile, I'm waiting impatiently for the finalists for the 2008 Whitney Awards to be announced. I know those responsible for putting the list together are hard at work and will announce the titles as soon as possible. Even though the finalists for the 2008 year aren't out yet, there are already a few books to add to the list for the 2009 awards. I love keeping a list here as it helps me keep up with what's new and I love trying to read as many as I can. So once again, I'm planning on keeping a list of books eligible for the 2009 awards.
I do have one question for you. Which type of list do you prefer - alphabetical by author, or alphabetical by title? I'm also asking for the names and authors of any books you know of, written by an LDS author and published in 2009 that need to be placed on the list.