For four days last week, I participated in the Women in Publishing virtual summit. I’ve never seen Zoom used so well or efficiently nor been in contact with so many writers all over the globe. Everything was extremely well organized and easy to navigate. It was an amazing experience all from the comfort of home.

I wasn’t sure what to expect at first. The price of $97 for four days of workshops and meetings seemed too good to be good. I was wrong. They had a large list of sponsors who helped foot the conference which made it very affordable. The sponsors even offered discounts to attendees which I’ll take advantage of for at least the introductory period. That gives me time to find out which I want long term.

All levels of writers were there, both fiction and non-fiction. Some were still writing their first book. Some had just published their first book. Some, like me, had published multiple books, both traditionally and self-published. Some were award-winning or best-selling authors.

There was something for everyone. We started the summit with learning more about the craft of writing which blended into the art of publishing which blended into marketing and business advice. I learned a lot about all of it. Some of the presentations had nearly 500 people in them. Most that I attended had between 100 to 150. All the presenters were great and made my to-do list grow even longer.

The best parts were the coffee chats. We all gathered in a Zoom room, then we were sent to random, smaller Zoom rooms with four or five writers where we talked and got to know each other better. We shared our journeys, tips, lessons, and encouraged each other to keep on writing. We’d be shifted to other rooms and meet a new group to do the same thing. I met with writers from Great Britain, Germany, and all over the US, all interesting, sweet people, both young and old.

During one of the coffee chats, a woman in South Carolina was talking about her podcast. She gave devotional lectures followed by her singing old hymns to close. She said she sang Holy, Holy, Holy on one of her podcasts. One of the women on the call immediately started having all kinds of background noise and someone ran into the video behind her. They both were hollering and running around. My initial thought was “that was rude. She should have muted her microphone.” We watched until she came back laughing. Turned out, their Alexa in the next room started playing Holy, Holy, Holy and scared them because they didn’t know what was going on. You have to be careful around those contraptions!

After four days going from 7 am to 4:30 pm, I was tired. I’m very thankful for that opportunity to learn as I move ahead with my list of things to do and books to write. I’m so glad I took advantage of the summit that I stumbled on quite by accident. You never know where good things will spring up.

For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart. Ecclesiastes 5:20

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