In April, I attended my favorite writing conference ever: Calvin College’s Festival of Faith & Writing. To be fair, I haven’t attended very many writing conferences in my lifetime, but I can’t imagine I would find another event of its kind to measure up. I so appreciate the variety and thoughtfulness of the participants, the affinity between writers and readers, the attention to excellence of craft and the role of holistic spirituality…and then there are the reunions that take place. The festival happens every other spring (during April of the “even” years), and after going for the first time in 1996 (when Madeleine L’Engle and Annie Dillard headlined the event), I’ve only missed it twice. I’ve attended with friends and acquaintances, and rarely with the same ones twice.
This year, my good friend Ann was supposed to go with me, but at the last minute, a family emergency foiled our plans. (2014 or bust!) We were to carpool with two other women from Pittsburgh, one a former colleague (Jen) and the other, an acquaintance of Jen’s (Leslie). Jen, Leslie and I ended up sharing a hotel room and got to know each other better through the experience of bonding over the power of words. And we have decided to start meeting together monthly, to encourage each other in our respective writing pursuits, particularly in our respective blogging attempts.
Which is why I’m back.
I encourage you to check out Leslie’s blog and Jen’s blog. And of course, this blog. Because besides the prompting to write from my literary friends, my life is full of other writing prompts. It’s time to start paying attention to them.