Isn’t it a good feeling when something you’ve being looking forward to turns out just about like you had hoped?

That happened to me a couple weekends back when the Golden Triangle Writers Guild held its first writer’s conference in five years. Rita blew away the last one, and since then, it’s been a struggle for the folks at GTWG to put things back together.

But, finally they got all the pieces together, and from Oct. 22-24, wannabe writers as well as experienced writers enjoyed two solid days of nothing but writing and all the collateral aspects of the craft at the Elegante on Interstate 10.

There were breakout sessions for poetry, screenwriting, fiction, and nonfiction. Those who presented the programs were editors, agents, publishers, and writers.

Folks attend these conferences for many reasons; some to learn the nuts and bolts of the craft; others for contacts to further their own careers; others who desire to further hone their skills; and still others just because they enjoy the camaraderie of fellow writers.

Just as the opening weekend of hunting season is treasured by the hunter, this conference weekend was the perfect one for a writer.

Casey Kelly, as always, sorted though all the mysteries of screenwriting for the attendees. A longtime WGA screenwriter with two aired NBC movies of the week and other scripts written for CBS, Disney, Columbia, Paramount and Warner, she has two features currently in pre-production.

From romance to paranormal, there is no genre of writing Pat LoBruto has not made his own either as an editor, writer or anthologist. After 30 years, he became an Editorial Consultant and Master Class Instructor for authors, and acquiring editor for Tor/Forge and Quill Driver Book/Word Dancer Press.

With Pat, aspiring writers could ask questions to their heart’s content.

There were many there like Pat – Jerry Grossman, Greg Tobin, Phil Martin of Creekhollow Books. And many more presenters to aid the unpublished as well as the published writers.

Catherine Sellers, one of the guild founders, helped the newcomer’s with the basics; Rebecca Hardin and Casey Kelly pointed out to new writers just how goal-setting would enhance their careers. New and old writers were shown how to develop book projects, write romance, and of course there were sessions on building stories, strong writing, novel secrets, believable characters and selling the books.

And no GTWG conference would be complete without Robert Vaughn, both presenter and speaker at our luncheon. Dick is unique among those gracious enough to put on the conference. My first experience hearing Dick Vaughn was at the same hotel 25 years ago. From that one day session, I wrote my first romance novel – which I regret to say has never sold. 

And none of this would have been available for the Golden Triangle had it not been for the writers’ guild and those who fought to bring it back from Hurricane Rita and nurtured it over the last few years.

D.J. Resnick, one of the founders of the guild back in the early ‘80s, was the primary force behind the rebirth of the conference.

D.J. lives this side of Woodville, but teaches continuing writing courses at Lamar each semester.

After Rita blew the conference apart, the consensus was that the guild was dead. Twenty-five years is a long time for a social organization of such limited interest to survive, especially when the initial members begin moving away.

No question in my mind now, there will be another conference next year. You can count on it. Mark your calendar. Around the third weekend in October. Sharpen your pencil and pull out your pad. It’ll be a weekend you won’t forget.

And you can thank D.J.