My Adventures in Reno (2009) ...

Reno – I’m back. This past weekend, I was at the Truckee Meadows Community College Writers’ Conference (usually just called the Reno Writers’ Conference) and everything went well. Conference attendance was near an all-time high despite the recession.
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Reno—I’m back. This past weekend, I was at the Truckee Meadows Community College Writers’ Conference (usually just called the Reno Writers’ Conference) and everything went well. Conference attendance was near an all-time high despite the recession.

It was my first trip to Reno (and Nevada, for that matter). Reno is like Vegas’s little brother—only it doesn’t like to be called that. The second I stepped off the plane, I was greeted by slot machines.


Welcome to Nevada.

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The town sits between several mountain ranges (the Sierras, etc.) and that was breathtaking. I've only had two conferences in the so-called Mountain West and it's always spectacular. My room was at the JA Nugget in Reno, which was some sort of mega-complex with a casino and lots of restaurants, but I ended up seeing nothing because I was in and out of town so fast. (Too bad, because the Nugget seemed quite nice.) I was in town for about 32 hours, which is probably a record for me. In that time, besides speaking at the conference, I did get to eat authentic Basque Food at Louie's, and discovered there is a surprisingly high percentage of Basque people in the city.

Verna Dreisbach of Dreisbach Literary was there, as was Amberly Finnarelli of Andrea Hurst Literary Management. The three of us were doing one-on-ones with writers all day when we weren’t presenting. They were taking pitches. I was helping writers rework their pitches.

The conference was a short-and-sweet one-day deal. Everyone seemed pleased with the speeches and the meetings. The crowd was a mix of Reno locals, and people from California and beyond. It's an intimate conference, but attracts agents and editors, and is very affordable, and put on by people who care. Definitely worth your time next year.


The glow of Reno at night.
The WAC college basketball
championship conference
was going on at that pink casino on
the left when I took this picture.

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