3 Things I Learned at the Jambalaya Writer’s Conference

1) Rick Bragg is not just a journalist, not just a writer (a Pulitzer Prize winner at that), and not just an Alabama football fan (brave man talking about how much he loves Bama football in a room full of LSU fans) – no, Rick Bragg is an ENTERTAINER. Listening to him made me feel like I was sitting at a family reunion hearing stories from a favorite uncle. You just want to buy the man a drink (coffee, beer, whatever…) and listen. He is a MASTER storyteller.

2) The title of the panels is really more of a suggestion of what the presentations may cover. I took home a lot of great information, but some of it wasn’t what I intended to learn about.

3) Out of all of the presenters, authors, speakers I had the privilege of meeting (quite a few!), almost all of them were gracious, kind, and generous. And, most of them seemed passionate about their craft, passionate about their readers, and happy to be there.

I learned about researching ghost stories, the psychology of heroes and villains, breaking and entering the publishing business, researching and writing family biography and local history, what’s worth remembering and writing in color.

That’s not all the panels I attended, but those are the ones that were the most helpful, the most engaging.

So, readers, if you don’t already know them, here are some of the authors I met during the conference, their genres and links to their websites:

Barbara Sillery – ghost stories

Dr. H.D. Kirkpatrick – contemporary fiction murder mysteries

Mary Kay Andrews – mystery

Eileen Dryer – romance

And, Rick Bragg – essayist, memoirs

photo credit: Mira (on the wall) via photopin cc

About melindamcguirewrites

The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ------ William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm, 1950
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3 Responses to 3 Things I Learned at the Jambalaya Writer’s Conference

  1. yhosby says:

    It’d be cool to research ghost stories. I live near Charles Town and Harpers Ferry, WV and there’s nothing but tales of seeing ghosts, especially John Brown and civil war soldiers, past slaves. Plus, I’m only 15 minutes away from Burkittsville, MD where the Blair Witch Forest is. Talk about being scared walking around at night LOL.

    Keep smiling,

    • Yawatta,
      Thanks for reading and commenting. Barbara Sillery did a great job with her presentation – she had slides from the places she visited and included in her books. Interesting fact about her research – she will only research ghost stories about ghosts who are connected to actual people, the place that is haunted must be historic, and the ghost story has to be at least 100 years old. And, she’s still found enough information for books on the ghosts of Louisiana and the ghosts of Mississippi!

  2. DM Yates says:

    I’ve only heard of Rick Bragg, and barely. Sounds like such a fun conference. I’m glad you attended.

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