It's mid-February, and the rain has finally gotten serious here in LA, so where are my thoughts? In New Orleans, of course.
Mid-May is the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. I've been to many writer's conferences. Most of them are centered on the business ofgetting published and advice for the hopeful new writer. That's sort of useful information, so I guess everyone should go to one of those for the experience. What sets Saints and Sinners apart is that the focus is on writing. Amazing how that's unique, but it is. Yes, there are publishers there. Yes, many of your favorite writers are there. So you can do the networking thing. But the panels and master classes are the real reason to attend. The classes change every year, so it's not like a typical conference that trots out the same old information. If you're no longer a beginning writer, these classes will still be
helpful. I still refer to notes from a class I went to the first year.
There's something very cool about walking around the French Quarter in the
evening and seeing people I know at every turn. It's kind of old home
week for me. Honestly, the first time I was there, I wasn't that into
the city (probably too much time spent in the real touristy straight
end of Bourbon St.), but by January, I was already checking my calendar
to see how long I had to wait to go back. If this were any ordinary
writer's conference, I wouldn't return every year. While I'm there, I
can hardly sleep because of all the ideas zinging through my brain, and
when I get home, I'm refreshed and eager to write. So if yo write queer
lit, read it, are afan of a queer writer, or just want to go to a
conference that is about improving your craft, then come to Saints and
Sinners this year. And if you see me walking down the street, say
howdy. It's that kind of conference, after all.