Despite protest in downtown and Nob Hill, and a helicopter falling on UNMH causing the shut down the entire campus Saturday morning, the 2014 UNM Writer’s conference kicked off right on time. Due to power issues the conference, that was scheduled to be at the sub on campus, was moved to the continuing education buildings. The conference open with Anne Hillerman, daughter of Tony Hillerman, as the keynote speaker. She spoke fondly of her father and his passion for writing and of her own. She shared some of her strategies for writing and share excerpts from her new book Spider Woman’s Daughter.
A panel discussion followed with agents and editors from New York answer crowd questions about the business of writing and publishing. Information flew from start to finish about how to write. Jason’s Deli followed the panel discussion with a catered lunch. The dining hall was lively with chatting and people browsing the shopping, book so f course on writing books.
After lunch the classes began. The set up allowed you to choose from three option for the first hour-long workshop and then two choices for the second and third hours of the workshop. It was also time for the editors and the agents to field pitches from the participant. There is nothing as nerve-racking as trying to sell a total stranger on your idea in 10 minutes. It went surprisingly well without anyone passing out or hyperventilating.
The annual event is something that anyone interested in possibly publishing a piece of writing should attend the knowledge to be gained in the first half of the day alone is mind blowing. The classes are icing on the cake of how to start your new career.