When Steven Zimmer introduced Imaginarium to the world I wanted to jump up, pump my fist and holler, “Yes. Yes. Yes.” At the time I was wanting to attend a writer’s conference because the Muse harping on me to start writing again would not shut up due to my English 101 teacher complimenting me on a story and telling me I needed to submit it for publication; however, the conferences being out-of-state meant I could not afford the travel costs. With the announcement of Imaginarium being in my home state, a ninety minute car ride away, and only $55 for the whole weekend I knew this was going to be my first con.
Being a con virgin I didn’t know what to expect. The conference was billed as having a central focus on creative writing in several disciplines including genre fiction, non-fiction, poetry, screenwriting, comics, gaming, and blogging. The schedule incorporated over 130 panels and workshops with more than 140 different writers from all spectrum of writing. There was something for every writer to attend and at times it was hard to choose what I wanted to do. A film festival with awards was part of the conference and a couple premieres even took place. I was unable to attend any of the screenings due to hitting the panel and workshops. Gaming was prominent with a large array of role-playing type games available in the gaming room.
The vendor hall was packed with different authors and publishers. My funds limited me to what I could add to my pile of unread books. While talking with one of the authors I found out she was the master in a 15 year S&M relationship. First person in that type of relationship I ever met. She also runs a chocolate review site called The Chocolate Cult.
Most of the authors I talked with did not hesitate to be conversational. Those on panels were glad to answer questions and most of the panels I went to got involved in excellent conversations between the panelist and audience. It is my understanding that first year cons don’t turn out well, but I can say from my experience this one was very well put together. I’m looking forward to what Imaginarium is in store for next year. I know I will be trying to focus more on networking next year as I didn’t get a chance this time because of my attention focused on the panels and workshops.
Each panel and workshop I gave me more information to go after becoming a full-time writer. The whole weekend strengthened my determination to become published. Many times, the audience was asked if anyone was published; I could not raise my hand, but my goal for next year is to be able to raise my hand and say, “I am a published author.”
Until then, I need to get busy writing and submitting.