It’s hard to believe that only a week ago, I stood at the registration desk to welcome all the Realm Makers attendees with a big smile (and a folder). Who knew what we were in store for over the next couple of days? Many of us had already enjoyed Jeff Gerke’s early bird session and the Splickety party, and if those were any indication as to the awesomeness of the rest of the weekend.
From Robert Liparulo’s inspiring keynote to the array of informative and motivational workshops taught by some amazing teachers to the costume banquet and Zombie Apocalypse Nerf War, the weekend was jam-packed full of a little something for just about everyone who has a love of speculative fiction.
We’ve seen a lot of Realm Makers recaps over the last few days–and many of them have been so encouraging to read. And the pictures! (Anyone else been addicted to Facebook this week?) Today, I thought I’d get Becky and the other staff to share their highlights from Realm Makers 2015.
Ben (MC and Planning Committee):
The Zombie Nerf War, of course!
Avily (MC and Volunteer Coordinator):
ALL THE THINGS. The content of the classes was great. The keynote was fantastic. The costume awards dinner was fabulous. Also, MCing with Ben is one of my favorite things ever. I seriously look forward to it every year.
Lisa (Escape Anthology and Appointment Coordinator):
My favorite was the banquet night. I don’t know about you guys, but when I try to throw a Halloween party at home, hardly anyone dresses up for it, so when THE WHOLE ROOM was in attire–and all decked out–it was awesome. I loved walking around and getting pictures of people in their costumes.
I also loved all the theology that was going on at the conference. From Mike Duran’s Theology of Horror, to Steve Laube’s Theology and Philosophy in his Fabric of the Cosmos (my favorite class), it was refreshing to hear how others in our group breathe Truth into work.
I was so happy to be able to help this year. I’ve already got ideas of how to make things even better for next year. Realm Makers is the best writing conference EVER!!!
Ralene (Social Media Director and Planning Committee):
The people are always my favorite part of Realm Makers. There are few places you can go where you can talk about 101 ways to kill someone and not have someone around you with their phone ready to dial 911. There are even fewer places where you can talk about magic systems and alien planets and have people understand and brainstorm with you. This year, I also got to meet some friends in person and to see my critique partner for the first time in 2 years. Yes, the people really complete the experience. I can’t wait until next year!
Scott (Director’s Right Hand and Planning Committee):
For me, this entire last week was a close second only to the week Becky and I got married in terms of excitement and taking so much joy from serving Becky’s needs as well as those of all the faculty, sponsors, and authors in attendance. How cool is it that we get to do this every year! My absolute favorite moment was dressing up on Friday night as Steve Rogers to Becky’s Agent Carter. I left this weekend completely amazed.
Becky (Realm Makers Director):
It may sound trite, but the highlight of the conference for me is seeing all the hard work of our planning committee and volunteers come together to truly equip and also bless those who are in attendance. people have likened planning the conference to planning a wedding every year, and it is kind of like that. It’s a lot of exciting work, a lot of beautiful things coming together, many amazing people truly celebrating together, as well as learning and networking.
I’m sure there are folks out there who would accuse our conference of not having a professional air, because we don’t get hung up on what people wear during the day, or whether they say the right scripted, spiritual things. But I think that is a big part of what makes Realm Makers unique. We have a sense of banding together as authors, then I just don’t think exists at other conferences. We offer a safe place where people who must think outside the box to write what they write can do so, with the support of many comrades.
We live in an age where publishing needs to be rethought. I absolutely believe the thinkers at this conference have the flexibility and the nimbleness to come up with solutions that will get books more effectively into the hands of readers in the days to come.
While we’re not sure of the details for the 2016 conference, we do know it’ll be in the Philadelphia area sometime during the summer. So start saving your pennies and racking up that vacation time at work. Every year, Realm Makers gets bigger and better–you don’t want to miss 2016!