On October 27, Indiana Writers’ Consortium held its fifth—and last—Steel Pen Creative Writers’ Conference. But it was a grand way to end it.
Unfortunately, IWC is closing down on December 31 because it can’t generate enough funds or volunteer hours to continue. The January 2, 2019 blog post will provide more information in a tribute to ten great years, but this post is a celebration of a conference that was almost perfect.
The day began with continental breakfast and a panel on writing science fiction and fantasy. Lunch was a filling sandwich buffet and an entertaining and inspirational speech by Michael Poore, or rather by Emily Dickinson. It ended with a cocktail hour with a wide selection of appetizers and a costume contest. If you get the impression that we like to eat, you got it right.
The rest of the day contained five breakout sessions with two choices at each. Agent Kaitlyn Johnson and two other writers also provided critiques.
It was a great day of learning and networking, but the most fun came at the end with the costume contest. The MC (Edgar Allan Poe) didn’t participate, nor did our keynote speaker Emily Dickinson. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo before she shed her wig, but the next photo shows everything else. Emily was accompanied by two of her poems in their own costumes as Death and Hope, but I didn’t get pictures of them, either.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (Juliana Clayton) won the female literary figure category, and the Mad Hatter (Grant Fitch) won the literary character category and the grand prize. There were no entrants in the male literary figure category, so that $20 Amazon gift card went to Louisa May Alcott (Mariah Julio), who was the third highest vote getter. The next photo shows these three winners.
Personally, I wonder if Juliana Clayton wasn’t the smartest of them all. The costume works for Laura Ingalls Wilder in her younger days, but when I first saw her I thought of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables, who would have been in the literary character category. I should have asked Juliana if she originally came as Anne but changed her mind when she saw the competition she was up against. If that’s what happened, it was a brilliant move. After all, would you want to compete against the Mad Hatter?
Here are a few more pictures from a really great conference.