The conference was in the media center, so I expected 30ish students. The room was packed with kids; I'd guess well over a hundred attended.
I spoke first, using a nifty Power Point that my son helped me design. I gave my dialogue workshop, which I've taught several times to adults. 7th - 9th graders are old enough to grasp something that big, I think.
I had to leave after I spoke, so I didn't get to hear the other two speakers, but I had a ball. The kids were great. They were respectful and fun, eagerly jotting down pages and pages of notes.
After I finished, we had a 10-minute break. That's when a crowd of students surrounded me. I felt like a rock star!
I mentioned on Facebook yesterday that I have a sneaking suspicion that my coolness factor was seriously influenced by the fact that I admitted to personally knowing (and in some cases being good friends with) other writers they love. (Audible gasps waved across the room when I said that yes, I know Jessica Day George, Shannon Hale, J. Scott Savage, and others.)
As a parent, I remember very well what that age was like . . . and how the last thing you want is for a parent to embarrass you in front of your peers.
So even though speaking was a ball, the best part for me was seeing the faces of my son and daughter. They came right up to me afterward as part of that crowd, making sure people knew they belonged to me.
And they beamed. They looked proud.
In other writing-related news:
- BOOK SIGNING TONIGHT, Saturday, April 3 at the Deseret Book in Layton Hills Mall
- Attention, Writers: Precision Editing Group is sponsoring a 4-hour write-a-thon on THURSDAY. Be sure to participate for a chance to win $50 OR a $50 content edit from PEG. (Find the details HERE.)
- I had to leave the conference early to attend a proposal meeting at Covenant about an upcoming project. It went really well. Cross your fingers that it flies, because this one totally cool project!