I attended my very first LDStorymakers conference in 2008. It was held in late March, which coincided with Spring Break here in Texas, allowing me to drive up with my girls, helping to justify the trip. I had finally decided to take my writing self seriously, and threw myself into learning about both the LDS market and the authors who had succeeded there.
I hadn't personally met anyone in the LDS writing community at this point, but by frequenting writer's blogs and reading their work, I had come to know and admire a number of people. Including the lovely and talented Tristi Pinkston, who's quarterly writing challenges played a big roll in my developing a positive writing ethic.
After that conference, I knew I would be back, despite living 1000 miles away. I set two goals for LDStorymakers 2009: To enter the first chapter contest, and have my book done so I could pitch it to one of the LDS publishers.
I had a great time at LDStorymakers 2009. I was much more comfortable with myself, many of my writing friends from 2008 were there, and I met a number of new friends as well. There was still so much to learn, too!
My first chapter for Space Corp General won first place in the Youth Speculative Fiction category, I (barely) kept from passing out as I waited to do my pitch, and I took another picture with Tristi Pinkston.
And there were even more new friends. So many new friends that I may have, somehow, forgotten to get a picture with Tristi.
But I remembered in 2011!
Shortly after the 2011 conference ended, I was asked to be on the committee for the 2012 conference. Talk about an amazing experience! Working with Jaime and Heather and the rest of the committee to help put together this most recent conference was a great honor, and a fun way to keep Storymakers in my heart all year long. I also had the chance to present a workshop this year, which was extremely fun.
And I got to hang out with Tristi again.
After past conferences, I may have, on occasion, gotten a bit choked up at the thought that I would have to wait a full year for this awesome conference to come around again. But I have been asked to co-chair the 2013 conference with Heather Justesen, and there has been no time for tears this year!
And I couldn't be happier.