In case you missed it, last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I was in St. Louis for the Realm Makers writer’s conference!
And now I get to tell you all about! I going to do a post for each day of the conference to keep things simple. In part one, I’ll go over Thursday. Here we go!
There is nothing quite like hurtling through the air at over three hundred miles per hour before the sun has risen to start your day off.
Thursday began with an very early morning flight, which left at 5:00 am-ish. I had to be up before 3:00 am with traveling to the airport and going through security and all of the other great stuff that happens when you fly.
Since I am still a minor, I needed to have a chaperone on the conference premises, so my amazing mother came with me.
The airport was very small, so it wasn’t a problem going through security and finding our gate. Actually, we had to wait for the airport security to open at 4:00 am. That was pretty funny.
The first fight was super, super short. We flew a hop-and-a-skip to a larger airport, from where we would fly to St. Louis. I navigated the airport like a pro and got us across several terminals to the gate.
Our flight was supposed to land in St. Louis around 8:00 am. I had booked the pre-conference session, which started at 9:00 am. However, our flight had a sightly delayed takeoff, and we had to fly around some weather, adding about an extra forty minutes to the flight time.
Once we landed, Mom and I hurried to find the shuttle bus for the hotel. However, the St. Louis airport was under construction, so the shuttle bus pickup was in a different spot. We tried to follow the signs, but the signs weren’t posted very well. We ended up in the wrong spot and then had to go back and find the right pickup spot, which meant going back into the airport. Thankfully, the St. Louis airport is small, and once someone explained what we needed to do, we found the shuttle easily.
We arrived at the hotel at around 9:30 am. I went to the Realm Maker’s registration desk, checked in, and got my bag full of goodies.
This is my conference badge. The various stickers stand for what genres I write. The fairy means that I write fairy tale retellings; the sword and shield means that I write fantasy; the gas mask means that I write dystopian. Oh, and the 1 means that it was my first year at Realm Makers.
After checking in, I flew over to the pre-conference room, which was on writing and marketing a series, by Robert Liparulo.
The session was a good overview of what writing a series entails. The session was supposed to end at 3:00 pm, but went overtime. I left around 3:30-ish and then went to go wander the vendor hall, which opened at 3:00 pm.
The vendor hall was huge. There were so many books. And so many people. The introvert in me was overwhelmed. But I stayed for the books.
After walking around and deciding which books I wanted to buy later, I went into the ballroom, which was where the opening of the conference and announcements were going to take place.
After the conference opening by Brent Weeks, the keynote speaker, there was break for supper. Mom and I got Panera Bread for supper, which we had also done for lunch. But Panera was right across the street from the conference center, which made it very convenient. I’ll post pictures of the hotel and talk more about it in a different post.
After supper, I had new-attendee orientation, which gave a quick overview of Realm Makers and how everything worked. I got my second free book there! I got my first free book when I signed in at the registration table. Everyone who came to Realm Makers got a free book by Terry Brooks, the guest of honor for the conference. I got my second free book (also by Terry Brooks) because Realm Makers was my first writing conference ever.
After new-attendee orientation, there was a panel Q&A with the agents and editors at the conference. That was really good.
After the panel Q&A, there were a few functions done by the conference sponsors. I didn’t go to those, since I was extremely tired and ready to sleep. Instead, I went through the vendor hall and spent a lot of money on books.
Then I went to bed, having run solely on adrenaline and four hours of sleep the entire day. Besides, I knew I would need lots of energy for all of the stuff in store for Friday!
And that is all for Thursday of my Realm Maker’s adventure! Check back tomorrow for the next part of my Realm Makers recap!