There were some wonderful speakers at this event. Jared Hunt (second photo) was the Emcee for the event. He did a wonderful job introducing everyone and making smooth transitions when changes were made. I would have liked to see him leading one of the presentations as well. Maybe next year? Margriet Ruurs (not pictured) gave some wonderful tips on how to prepare oneself for publishing. She also gave a lot of information about researching for writing books. She was very warm and friendly. I would love to go to her bed and breakfast! Joan Marie Galat (top photo) talked a bit about researching for her Astronomy books. Joan did give publishing tips like Margriet, though both had different perspectives and both had great things to share. Joan went into different ways she gained writing credits over the years and how it helped her to get published. She was very high energy and a lot of fun to hear.
Richard Scrimger (bottom photo - right) gave an insightful look into why we write and the truths behind writing. His talk was humorous and thought provoking. The only problem I had was that it was limited to 20 minutes. I do wish that I could have caught his other presentation! Ken Killback (bottom photo - left) didn't give any presentations during this event. Instead he tirelessly, year after year, works hard in putting everything together for this event. He is the one who makes all of this possible so a great big THANK YOU to Ken!
Maxwell Newhouse (not pictured) who is now last, but far from being least, was my favorite speaker at this event. Illustrators are separate from the writers for two hours in the morning. I can't imagine talking for two hours about anything, and I'll have to say that Maxwell did a wonderful job. His talk at this conference was just so beautiful (as is his illustration and art). He told us about his past and what he had to do to become the person he is today. I can't speak for anyone in the room, but I thought he connected with everyone on a deeper level than is usually found in presentations or even in a classroom. He spoke about his books and what it took to make each of them a reality. The question and answer session he gave was great. I couldn't help but feel empowered after hearing him talk and conversing with him.
As always the problem at these events is that you always miss out on something. I missed out on Richard Scrimger's presentation on writing novels (chose picturebooks instead, but I loved that one as well!). I also missed out on Alison's presentation and the first pages panel because I was with the other Illustrators. I in no way think I made the wrong decisions in which directions I chose, though I do wish I could have duplicated myself so I could have gone to all of the events!
Below are some pictures from the events. At the bottom of this post I'm also going to include links for each of the people who spoke at the event. I do hope those of you in the area will join me next year for this awesome event!