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  • Writer's pictureDylan Roche

C3 Conference Recap

Well, here I am on a Sunday night, sitting around and feeling a mix of tired and inspired after participating in the Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity Writers Conference this weekend. As a first-timer at this particular event, I loved the experience and I can’t wait to do it again. It was a great chance to network and learn!

If you’re a bookish person—whether a reader or a writer—there are so many reasons to do a conference like this. There are discussion panels, book signing events, presentations…and the best part is that you’re surrounded by people who are just as excited as you are about books.

Here are my top 5 moments from the weekend:

1. Meeting Terry Brooks

Okay, this was definitely the best part of the whole weekend. I’ve been a fan of Terry Brooks my entire life—going all the way back to middle school, when I first read The Sword of Shannara and all its sequels. And then the Magic Kingdom of Landover books pretty much helped me survive my adolescence. Terry was one of the conference’s keynote speakers as part of the launch of his latest book, Daughter of Darkness.

Meeting him, talking to him about writing, and getting his signature was a dream come true. He has been such a profound influence on me as a writer (I mean, come on, wouldn’t every fantasy author say the same thing about him?). We wouldn’t have the fantasy genre as we know it today without him! The guy is a legend. But more importantly, he was friendly and warm and genuine, every bit as wise and gracious as you would expect him to be. The only thing better than meeting one of your heroes is meeting one of your heroes and having him be supportive and encouraging. This felt like a total gamechanger in my confidence as a writer!

2. Learning about the craft

This conference had a full schedule of panels and presentations, and what made C3 pretty special was that everything was focused on genre fiction—fantasy, horror, sci-fi, thriller, mystery, paranormal, etc.

I had the chance to speak on two of the panels. The first was about journalism and how it influences fiction writing (something I’m always interested in talking about). The second was about how fairytale, folklore, and mythology have influenced the fantasy genre (again, something I’m always interested in talking about).

And when I wasn’t talking on a panel, I loved sitting in and learning from others. I learned so much not only about writing and publishing but also about different genres! Not gonna lie, I always think of myself as a fantasy author, but there might be a horror or thriller novel inside me somewhere.

3. Networking with other book nerds

Here’s the one thing I will say: Bookish people tend to be a little bit introverted. I know that I sure am. And I tend to be a little bit socially awkward when I’m making small talk with people. So when you get a few bookish people together in a group, you’d think that it would be really awkward. Fortunately, I’ve found that we all find a way to make it work, and we’re all able to find common ground in discussions about the writing process, great books we’ve read, and what we like to do when we aren’t sitting in front of our computers. Conversations were surprisingly easy and I made a lot of new friends I can count on for motivation and accountability.

4. Checking out the bookshop

As is the way of most conferences, this one had a bookshop. Imagine something like your elementary school’s book fair, but stocked completely with stuff by the people you’re spending the weekend on one big field trip with. Yeah, it’s that cool.

5. Wine


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