I spent a lot of time at the Espresso Book Machine booth during Wordstock, so I didn’t see as many panels or readings as I usually do. Nevertheless, here are some highlights:
- Talking to two of my friends, who introduced me to two of their friends, and one of them pulled Brave on the Page out of her bag and asked if I was THAT Laura. So fun!
- Showing the Tin House folks the page where Scott Sparling thanks his editor at Tin House Books. They were so pleased they took a photo of the page.
- Seeing many contributors stop by and visit.
- Re-meeting Jeff from the Writers’ Dojo and telling him how the workshop I took there with Steve Almond jumpstarted Brave on the Page.
- Talking to Kim Barnes and Pauls Toutonghi after their readings. Even though I was a little giddy. You can see my post on that here.
- Wandering by all the booths, seeing what so many literary-minded people are passionate about, and introducing myself to a lot of those writers, educators and publishers. I especially enjoyed meeting the founder of Propeller Books, Dan DeWeese, whose book of stories, Disorder, was released this year. I remember when Propeller launched its first title in 2010 (Mary Rechner’s Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women), and I am inspired by their mission as a press. “The company is not a non-profit, but neither is it motivated by profit,” DeWeese writes on his website. “There are no employees–I find writers whose work I enjoy, and then do my best to do their work justice.”
- Visiting with Ann, the librarian I met when I first arrived in Portland, who I didn’t expect to see. She waited for a good ten minutes while I figured out what was wrong with my iPad-turned-cash-register. (Turns out the $12.95 convention center wifi was set to disconnect people quickly, so I had to log back in every time I wanted to make a sale.)
- Having someone walk up to the Espresso Book Machine booth and tell me he just read about Brave on the Page in his local newspaper and that he wanted to get a copy. (That’s how publicity is supposed to work, folks! Tell people about the product and then have it accessible.)
- Passing a random stranger in the convention center, and telling her I loved her handknit shawl, only to have her ask “Are you Laura?” She had just visited my blog from a knitting forum and recognized me.
- Meeting some really nice Powell’s employees while sitting at the Espresso Book Machine booth.
- Taking a structure class with the amazing Whitney Otto (which I’ll post about soon).
Along with a Wordstock Day 2 post, I’ll put together some photos soon.
Have you been a literary festival? Or a conference? Do you like meeting new people in big venues like that or do you wander around and keep to yourself?