I recently attended the Creatures, Crime and Creativity Convention (aka C3 Con) at the Sheridan in Columbia, MD just outside Baltimore, and I had a fabulous time. The venue suited the gathering perfectly —nice rooms, delicious food, and overall the place wasn’t too large. A lake with a walking path beside the hotel was a nice bonus that would have been wonderful if it hadn’t been raining the entire week-end. (Something to look forward to if they use the same location next year.)

This was the first writer’s conference I’ve attended since being published and while I looked forward to it, I was nervous. Would I fit in? They put me on two panels. Would I have anything to offer as a panelist?

As it happened I had nothing to worry about as far as fitting in. Everyone I spoke with was friendly and welcoming. My goal in attending the conference was to make connections with other authors, other people taking this same journey. This ended up being easy to do, despite being a rather shy person.

I thought I did pretty well on the panels: Dialect in Fiction-When to use it and when not to and Science Fiction vs. Fantasy – Discuss. I moderated a panel (another first) Humor – What Is and Isn’t. The topic was a lucky break for me because the panelists, Jeff Markowitz, Allen Ansorge, and Donna Andrews, were funny and kept the audience entertained.

Sci-fi/Fantasy author and special guest Cerese Rennie Murphy did an interview during lunch on Saturday. Later I spoke with her, one to one, and found her to be a warm person, generously sharing information and encouragement. I also spoke with keynote speaker Reed Farrel Coleman at the book signing.

Alexandra Sokoloff’s held a master class on Screenwriting Tricks for Authors. I came away from her presentation with a few nuggets on how to improve my writing and her nonfiction book Stealing Hollywood.

Other people I connected with were: short story writer Shauna Washington, aspiring author Christina Deering, and author/book reviewer Rochelle Campbell.

I’m looking forward to next year and if you’re considering attending, I recommend that you do. Drop me a line if you decide to go!

Here are pictures from this year’s event.

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