Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Realm Makers 2016

This was year four of the Realm Makers Speculative Fiction Writers Conference. It's unique in that it's geared toward spec-fic (sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal) written from a Christian worldview. I have had the fortune of being part of this conference from the very beginning. The first year was pretty small, maybe 85 people including faculty. I was on a couple of panels that year. Year two saw a sliver of growth, and I taught a couple classes and participated in one panel. Last year, the third year, Realm Makers literally doubled in size. We got bigger names for faculty and had a larger offering of classes, so I was simply an attendee. (I did get to judge the costume contest, though. And my short story was a finalist in the RealmScapes anthology contest.)

This is available on Amazon!!!

That brings us to year four. Again, I wasn't faculty, but I served as Appointment Coordinator. That meant working with spreadsheets, plugging in lots and lots of names, making sure people weren't scheduled to meet with two agents or editors at once--which, trust me, is very much a challenge! At the conference, it meant lots of last-minute changes, making forms for mentor appointments, and checking on the faculty who were available for appointments. I'll tell you this: Our faculty was awesome to work with!!!!

I mentioned mentor appointments. That was something I got to do myself--as a mentor! I had a spot on a comfy couch and got to advise authors on ways to improve their writing, or their pitches, and encourage and just connect. It was so fun!

Lastly, there was the Paranormal/Supernatural Panel I moderated. We unofficially snuck Horror into the mix, and I am so glad we did. That pretty well took over the conversation and spawned some awesome questions from the audience. The panel was only an hour long, but if we hadn't had to break for dinner we could have continued for hours.

Oh, what else...

The costume dinner, of course! This year I didn't let anyone know ahead of time who I'd be going as. It's an odd choice, and got a variety of reactions. Yes....I was Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors, and I had Audrey 2 with me. I made my carnivorous companion myself.

There were tons of other great costumes as well:

Those are just a few examples of the cosplay going on at Realm Makers!

Fun was had everywhere else as well. In classes, during meals, walking from here to there and back again, and just hanging out in the gathering areas. Realm Makers is a place where we all felt connected, where we all knew we belonged, where we could have differences of all kinds and still feel part of a greater whole.

Oh, and there was this cutie:

Doesn't that alone make you wish you were there???

So, there you have it. My weekend adventure at the greatest Speculative Fiction Writers Conference EVER. The only thing missing is my grand exit. The tunnel that takes you under the train tracks to the station for the train to the airport was flooded, so I and two train-traveling buddies decided the easiest way to cross was...the ill-advised way.

Yeah...nowhere did I say this was a conference for rule-followers!

Hope you've enjoyed my post, and if you want to see some more pics, visit my public Realm Makers 2016 Facebook album. (No, you don't have to have a Facebook account to view it. But if you do have an account and you want to keep up with my writing adventures, feel free to send me a friend request! You can also follow my Author Page.)

Now. I leave you with the promo for REALM MAKERS 2017!


Unknown said...

It was an amazing weekend. So glad we got to spend some time together! And the paranormal panel was fabulous. I agree, we could have gone for a couple more hours. It exceeded my expectations!

Kat Heckenbach said...

Amy, I wish we could have spent more time together! And so glad you joined me on the panel! You did great!