By Jason Joyner
What factors are important to you when considering going to a writing conference? Cost, location, the conference focus, the classes offered?
What makes Realm Makers stand out as a choice for writers?11145557_1636268479963060_1851248644850977648_n

If you wanted to ask former attendees what they liked about RM, then you’re in luck. I’ve asked several “alumni” of prior RM conferences for their opinions.

Cathrine Bonham

Important factors for me: Low Cost, Classes taught by writers I read and admire, friends with fellow attendees, and geographically doable (I can drive there in less than a day).

Victoria Grace Tucker

Low cost. Full of nerds. Costume dinner. Very informative. Networking. Costume dinner.

CW Briar shared:

When I went to Realm Makers, I hoped for great teaching, writing inspiration, and opportunities to talk with professionals in the industry. I got that in spades. What I didn’t expect was how much Realm Makers would foster bonding between Christ-following genre fans.
Realm Makers isn’t just a conference. It’s family.

Pam Halter

I love having focus. The conference is all about Christian speculative fiction. Even though I don’t write Sci-Fi, there’s enough there to help me with my high fantasy: world building, map making, cover design, dialog/language, battle scenes and more … like … The Costume Banquet. wink emoticon.

And what other Christian conference teaches you to play Zombie Apocalypse Nerf Wars?

Amy Brock McNew

I went because I knew there would be others like me there. By others, I mean the ones who sometimes feel like they stick out like a sore thumb, who like weird things no one else has heard of, and who question everything. I had never met anyone there in person, yet within 5 minutes I was swamped with hugs and smiles. I thought, “They get me. They KNOW.”
Realm Makers is unlike any other conference I’ve been to. It’s full of content I could relate to and use. And full of people that have become family. Whether you’re new to this writing thing, or a seasoned vet, if you love speculative fiction, this is the place for you.

J.J. Johnson

Okay- I was all set to go to ACFW last year. Even registered. Had my hotel booked and everything. Then I saw some guy name Ben Wolf post about RealmMakers- I messaged him and he message back and said “Get a refund and go St Louis…” Maybe not in those exact words but close enough.

Now don’t get me wrong – I love ACFW. I’m even the OKC chapter president. But the conference itself just didn’t fit my profile as a writer. Obviously the majority of writers going there are writing to a particular audience I’m not. They have to serve the needs of the majority of conf attendees. And I understand that. And not that it’s not a great conf. It is. And I’ve gotten stuff out of past ACFW conf.

But I wanted the chance to really connect with like minded Spec writers who were also Believers and I felt that Realm Makers provided that… That’s why I went- It provided the void for me as a writer that I felt other conferences maybe didn’t. So it’s my conf of choice for the the time being.

Janeen Ippolito

Realm Makers is incomparable for the networking between Christian speculative fiction writers. The atmosphere is friendly, fun, and entirely open to new ideas. This is a conference that fosters the creativity, passions, and dreams of the writers. Realm Makers isn’t just a place to fill your spot in a classroom and wander through sessions. It’s a place to explore, make plans, and then meet the people who can help you launch them. If you’re ready to put your writing into action in a field where there are exciting opportunities for growth, then this is your conference.

Lauri Matuska

I wasn’t going to go because of finances and distance, but my then-new copy editor asked if I was going, and I wanted to meet her and my editor, so I laughed in the face of the responsibility that previously me planning to stay home and went anyway. To this day I am so glad I did! It was a fantastic way to learn about my craft but most importantly, I got to meet people who are Christians AND love speculative fiction. Being part of this community is irreplaceable, and I will go back every year I am able.

Aaron DeMott11224897_10206386502493652_4406879233161683522_o

Meet your tribe. Learn from the pros. Be encouraged. Meet (other) authors!
And, my story:
In 2014, I went to my first Ream Makers (I wanted to go the first year, but couldn’t get the time off from work. Someone had a wedding, and they thought that was somehow more important…) I’d talked to a bunch of the people going and involved on line, but hadn’t met them in person. Like most introverts, I was slightly terrified of meeting a lot of people that I’d never really met.

When I got there, not only was everyone really nice, but lots of people (published authors, even!) said things along the line of “Aaron, hi! I’ve been wanting to meet you!”

At that time, I didn’t have a book published, and my thinking was, “Wow, these people have made it, I’m the one who should be excited to be meeting them!”

And that really sums up the whole experience. Everyone there is awesome, friendly, and encouraging. These are my people.

Also, where else can you go where a Jedi, a vampire, and a zombie can have a serious literary discussion and no one bats an eye?

Ben Wolf

Three words: Zombie Nerf War.11779993_10206163770467581_7587355455768002501_o