Well, our 2005 NJCWG - A Reason to Write Conference is over. Those who attended know that the event was a wonderful success. Compliment after compliment came to me regarding the speakers, our Sample Writing Book, the food, the handouts, the keychains, the literature tables, the "stress book"give-aways, the door prizes and, yes, the chocolate truffles (I say this with a broad grin that spreads across my chocolate coated face).
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -WHAT COULD HAVE GONE BETTER
First: The Weather. It would have been nice to have a crisp fall day with clear blue skies, wouldn't it? But even the torrential rains did not keep Brandy Brow (seven months pregnant) and her mom from driving all the way from Vermont!
Second: The Luncheon. The food was fabulous but a serious oversight on my part nearly caused a lunchtime disaster. I can be so dense when it comes to this sort of thing. My dear husband took care of the bagels and pastries for breakfast, snacks & beverages for the breaks and a full meal for lunch. He planned a wonderful luncheon (lemon chicken, chicken marsala, penne w/vodka sauce, dinner rolls, a Caesar salad, a lovely chef salad and cheese cake & chocolate cake for dessert) and I just assumed he'd take care of everything -- after all he's a fabulous cook and often prepares similar dishes for large groups. What I did NOT think about was the fact that when he normally prepares those large meals he has substantial staff to assist him. I just left the poor man in the kitchen to do everything himself (Louise wipes a tear away from her eye at this point). Lunch time came around and John was running "a bit" behind (read -- nothing was ready and we only had 45 minutes to serve, eat and clear). I praise God for Nancy Baker, Karen Flores and a number of others who jumped right in to pull it all together! God is good. The meal did get on the table and we ended up running only five minutes into the next session.
WHAT WENT WELL
- A number of attendees were brought to understand the "industry" of writing as well as the skills required to write.
- Our speakers/teachers were generously inspired to say just the right thing to just the right individuals.
- Individuals left the conference excited about projects that they previously did not even consider.
- Our sample writing book (thanks to Clare Cartagena's efforts) inspired many people to consider joining our NJCWG. This will allow them to hone their budding skills for God's glory.
- Writers who lacked confidence, left understanding that God can do great things with willing hands.
- Even the speakers (who were able to sit in on other classes when they were not teaching) shared their excitement in having learned some new fact or a new approach to a problem.
- Many of our speakers shared with me their encounters with students who were excited and blessed by the lessons.
- We received numerous of gifts that were combined to create more than a dozen great door prize drawings.
- The literature Karen Flores & Ann Crediford requested prior to the conference needed to be crammed onto our oversized literature table. The generosity of the publishers was overwhelming and the efforts of Karen and Ann were greatly appreciated by those attending the conference.
- For many, this was a first-time conference experience. Each stated they never realized what they were missing and asked about future conferences.
Louise Bergmann DuMont
Director - NJCWG - A Reason to Write Conference 2005