My Conference Adventures in Wyoming ...

Just got back from the 2009 Wyoming Writers Annual Conference in Casper, WY. Good conference! Attendance was up this year and almost all of the writers I met were very passionate about what they were doing. It's almost energizing to be among writers who just love to write.
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Just got back from the 2009 Wyoming Writers Annual Conference in Casper, WY. Good conference! Attendance was up this year and almost all of the writers I met were very passionate about what they were doing. It's almost energizing to be among writers who just love to write.

It's the West out here, so there were some Western writers, a lot of poets, a lot of talk of open spaces—that sort of thing. Meredith Kaffel, the only literary agent in attendance, even got to see some wild buffalo cross the highway, of all things.

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I gave several presentations and did one on one meetings. All went well. One thing of note with this conference is that the number of faculty is remarkably small. As opposed to, say, Muse & the Marketplace, where the faculty is about 70 people or so, this conference only had a faculty of five. There were two accomplished novelists, one literary agent, one editor (me), and the keynote speaker: Ted Kooser, former Poet Laureate of the country from 2004–2006.

I've met some big authors, but it still gave me a little chill to sit on a panel next to Ted and hear him crack a joke. And does that man ever have a way with words. I mean—I don't read poetry nor do I really enjoy it that much. But from the first line of the first poem he read aloud, I was spellbound. No wonder he was considered the greatest poet in the country. Amazing.


The conference faculty

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After Saturday night, I got to let loose a little bit and gather up a group of cool people for singalong songs at the piano. We just had a great time. "Tiny Dancer," "Walkin in Memphis," "Sweet Caroline"—we jammed to it all (very loudly). Following that, we went next door to the hotel bar and sung karoake. Admittedly, I was horrible at "I Love Rock and Roll." But you can't win 'em all.

If you live in the Mountain West, definitely give this conference some consideration for next year.