It’s been more than a month since Realm Makers 2019. In that time I, personally, have:
- become a foster dad, and
- structure-edited my first book—
- both starting in the same week.
So it’s been crazy. Those plus ongoing production of Lorehaven‘s fall 2019 issue means I’ve delayed in finishing this series that focuses on one hundred graces I found at Realm Makers last July.
Let’s conclude with:
Realm Makers 2019: One hundred graces, 76–100
- All the people whom I met, whom I haven’t been able (or haven’t remembered) to include in any of these articles. You’re still an amazing grace that God has gifted me and this whole community.
- I could walk in after a long day of traveling and immediately connect with folks.
- Last year, I kept crisscrossing the hotel to reach different classroom wings. This time, I was pointed toward a ridiculously simple outdoor shortcut that reduced a two-minute journey to a five-second walk.
- When it was time to pack up the bookstore, so many people (even without their own books in the store) pitched in to help.
- All the agents and editors who know that (1) fantasy is a difficult sell from Christian publishers, (2) fantasy authors can be a little different, (3) come anyway, and listen to aspiring writers try their best, and treat them with respect and graciousness.
- All the organizers seem to have hit a fantastic balance of “fun” and “professionalism.” Surely this is very difficult. Here it’s a Godsend.
- Yes, I just love being around all these books. It doesn’t get “old,” even after following the bookstore to at least two major events.
- Laurel Anne Hill! This delightful steampunk author, actually sponsored the Realm Makers Bookstore this time. I heard tell that she really wants to support creative stories from other authors. Behold her sweet owl puppet.
- H. L. Burke, who finally said to me, “You look just like this TV doppelganger.” She showed me this GIF (of actor Michael Weatherly). And I believed.
- Even as the 2019 conference was winding down, next year’s event was already being planned.
- In this case, Realm Makers 2020 will take attenders to the Jersey shore, at a casino hotel July 16–18 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
- The conference’s theme will likely not be based on that old “Jersey Shore” television “reality” series. (Alas that they’ve already used the mermaid motif for the 2017 event, hosted at the admittedly name-perfect Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada.)
- Plans call for attenders to actually fly into Philadelphia. Then we’ll ride by bus for about two hours to the Atlantic City resort.
- Thus, if you fly in by plane, you get to ride the bus with Christian fantasy writers. (Alas, I may need to drive directly to the location.)
- The conference will have great eateries on-site. There will be a seaside boardwalk and everything.
- Which means this grace will come with a risk: writing instructors may need to dismiss classes early so students can go play outside.
- Hotel costs should be even more affordable than before. For Christian creators wisely stewarding their resources, that’s a big plus.
- The keynote speaker is back from the 2016 conference: none other than Thomas Locke (aka T. Davis Bunn).
- Conference registration is still amazingly affordable, and the organizers plan to keep it that way.
- Every year the conference gets a little bigger. So does the “movement.” But it’s not so big that it’s lost any personality.
- If there are any closed-off “cliques,” I’m unaware of them. Or maybe I’m blind, or just (at least) a casual-member of every single one. Either way, my own experience confirms that you’ll not be finding any mean girls at Realm Makers any time soon.
- Even when you get home, the conference continues because you can still stay in touch with friends and fellow Christian fantasy-fans. Even as I write this, I’m messaging with a friend and fellow Realm Makers member.
- You can do the same, thanks to the providential gift of social media, SMS, and contact by plain phone or email.
- Please do the same with me, especially as things are about to get even more interesting for me in 2020, career-wise. . . .
- For the 2020 event, I’ll likely have more to showcase, not just on behalf of Lorehaven magazine, but with a brand-new nonfiction book. Even if you’re not a writer or a conference attender, you’ll be invited to a Saturday night showcase of books, authors, and book-signing. So, if you’re anywhere near Atlantic City on July 18, 2020, please, ignore those “New Jersey, HAW HAW”–type jokes. Come visit us at Realm Makers!