Over the past weekend, I participated in the annual Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. I didn’t know what to expect, so I was pleasantly surprised at how well attended it was. There were probably over 100 attendees, all of whom had a love of writing, the foibles of the language, and worked in a variety of different genres.
We had poets, newspaper publishers, journalists, novelists, essayists, humorists, and others who just wanted to write whatever moved them.
For me, networking was the best part of the conference. I got to spend time with Dan Smith, a prolific business writer in the area; Gene Marrano, news producer for WVTF; and Janis Jaquith, an essayist whose materials are often heard on NPR. I picked up Janis’s book of radio essays, Birdseed Cookies, and finished it in one night. I recommend it highly. I spoke with writers as diverse as Lorie Long and Sharyn McCrumb.
I did come away with an idea for an essay. I’ll have to think about it, but leave it to say that the metaphor of vast to shrinking horizons can be seen as life itself. Who knows if or where the essay will go. Stay tuned.