After an entire calendar year of work, Write to Publish finally happened! This past week has possibly been the longest and most stressful one I’ve spent in the program—and that includes any previous finals week.

As with all events like this, there were a certain number of hiccups and a few last-minute problems that popped up. And then of course the general fear that any event organizer has the days leading up to such a huge event, that no one is going to show up. I had several of those nightmares, several nights in a row. None of them came to fruition though.

Everything ran smoother than Sarah and I could have expected. All of our amazing panelists were excited and friendly and happy to get to know everyone in the green room, in the classroom, and at lunch. We could not have picked a more wonderful group of people to give advice to those looking to break into the business.

In addition to all their experience and advice, they offered glimpses into their own personal lives that allowed their audience to connect with them, like Stacey Wallace Benefiel revealing that she has “Write Free or Die” tattooed on her arm. She is now officially one of my personal heroes.

Kelly Williams Brown offered a crowded workshop on how to pitch one’s story to editors or agents; lessons that anyone who wants to get their book out into the world could benefit from. I hope all of our guests found someone to connect with during the course of the day and, if not, were at least inspired by Allison Moon’s excellent keynote speech that wrapped up the day. She spoke to heart of why we write—to communicate and to connect—and how the fear of “sucking” can block that. Instead, she urged, show people the scariest thing you’ve written and maybe go howl at the moon.

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