Last weekend I attended a local writing conference (the Jubilee Jambalaya) hosted by a local university (Nicholls State). The Jubilee is a month-long celebration of the arts; the Jambalaya conference is the writing portion of the Jubilee.
Last year, I entered the novel excerpt contest and won first place. This year I got to speak before the new winner was announced — pretty amazing, really. The whole idea that I’ve sold a book is still sinking in. Somehow speaking in front of a group of aspiring and established authors made everything a little more real.
And newsflash: there was no jambalaya for lunch this year. We ate gumbo instead. If news of this gets out, I’m not sure what the Jubilee higher ups might call next year’s event.
For those of you interested, here’s a Jambalaya article (including an interview with me). FYI: the time frame for MAY B. is incorrect. Instead of the 1930s, it takes place in the 1870s.
If you are lucky enough to have an annual conference nearby, take advantage of the opportunity! Even if the conference doesn’t focus on your particular genre, you can only benefit from the local support.