Saturday, July 2, 2016

IYWM Recap

It's been a while since I've blogged! Part of that was burn-out with all the bad news swirling around, so I needed to step back from the internet, and part of that was me keeping busy with other projects. I'll try to update this fairly regularly from now on.

the most photogenic building on campus

First, a recap from last weekend, when I attended the In Your Write Mind convention at Seton Hill University, my first time at IYWM after graduating last year. The best thing about the SHU writing community is the people. I got to catch up with friends, check in with mentors, and basically envelop myself in a creative bubble for a few days. More than half of my graduating cohort was in attendance, and the ones who couldn't make it were there in spirit, especially A.J. Culey, who sent us all wristbands commemorating her latest release, The Trouble with Antlers.

swag from A.J. Culey
Guests this year included two agents, an editor, and an author, all of whom presented seminars. It was great to hear their perspectives, especially during their collective panel. I even got to practice pitching my contemporary fantasy novel. The workshops were interesting overall, but my favorite was Timons Esaias's on Poetry for Writers. I think poetry and prose are seen as separate spheres by many writers, or at least get treated differently, but I feel that learning about one can only enhance my skill at the other.

tools of the trade
Other highlights included Seton Hill's gorgeous campus, especially beautiful in the sultry summer weather, and the town of Greensburg itself. This year's IYWM costume party was held in a restaurant that used to be a train station, which made for a very cool atmosphere.

Of course, my favorite part of going to conferences is always the books! At IYWM, I picked up Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley (courtesy of Diana Pho), Why Elephants No Longer Communicate in Greek by Timons Esaias, and Murder on St. Mark's Place by Victoria Thompson. Can't wait to dig into these.

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