I am back from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers' Conference. After teaching the teen track and leading critiquing sessions that lasted well past midnight, I am exhausted, yet pleased and satisfied. What a great group of teens (and not-so-teens)! We had about fifteen students in the track, of which three or four were (*ahem*) just a bit older than teenagers.
In the photo above, I am teaching the track students about how fantasy characters work in the traditional story structure. This is the room we used for our major morning sessions.In this photo, you can see the room we used for our nightly critique sessions. Three of our adult members seemed to want to sit together on the front row. Were they intimidated? Maybe. On two occasions we quit just after one in the morning, and on the final night, we finished up at 2:15 a.m. We laughed so hard, some cried, but not from any harsh criticism. I think most of our track members point to these sessions as the most fun we had.Above, you will see our dining facilities. With the buffet style meals, we certainly had plenty to eat. Several of our female conferees were singing praise songs, giving us lovely background music while we waited for our next class.
Please meet Ezekiel, a six-sport athlete who encouraged me to eat ice cream with him as often as possible (He didn't have to twist my arm too hard). He was a delightful gentleman and a passionate writer, a true blessing to have in the teen track.My daughter's hippo (his name is Negative) came along with me, and everyone loved him. Here he is, being the life of the party, wearing a St. Patrick's Day necklace.Here I am at the author autograph party where dozens of authors had the opportunity to sign their books for conferees. The dining room was truly abuzz with chatter and laughter. What a great time!Here's a photo of the teen group, or at least what was left of them on the final day. Some people had already gone home. I will treasure this picture. I feel quite a bond with these budding authors.And best of all, my lovely wife was with me! Although she spent some time hiking through the amazing redwood forests in the area, she attended some of our classes and critique sessions. As always, she was a huge blessing to me.
Mount Hermon is a great conference, and I'm looking forward to teaching there again next year. If you have a desire to attend one of the best writers' conferences in the country, check it out. I hope to have an even bigger group next year.