Monday, July 01, 2013

2013 Rockin' Santa Barbara Writers Conference

*Please feel free to leave your comments below the slideshow. Enjoy!

Owner: Monte Schulz
Director: Nicole Starczak
Director Of Volunteers: Grace Rachow
Rockin' Multi-Media Team: Rachel S. Thurston (r.s.thurston photography), Lisa Angle (Ninety Degrees Media), Ginger Swanson (video), and Jane St. Clair
Rockin' Volunteers: You all know who you are!!! Great volunteer pic in the slideshow below.

The third week of June has come to punctuate my year with the same special occasion that Summer Solstice, Halloween and my spring birthday all do. It's not summer or a complete turn around the sun without the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. I think I've lost count of the number of years I've been involved with the conference--at first as a fledgling student both bewildered and inspired and then over the years as a part of the staff and lead photographer for the conference).

It's difficult to explain exactly how special this week is or even why it has become such a magical part of the year. As writers, we all struggle with challenges of isolation, self-doubt, and self-criticism and during this gloriously full week we gather from around the country (and a few from abroad) to support and inspire each other. The six days of the conference are so gloriously filled that one could easily spend 17 hours immersed in all things literary...from 9 a.m. til 2 a.m. 
There are morning, afternoon, and evening workshops, afternoon panels, evening speakers, a wine and cheese event (one of my favorites even though tequila sadly hasn't yet been incorporated into the event), opening and closing night dinners, an annual Talent Show (which I've somehow inherited the leadership of ;-) and an agents and editors day in which writers can rub elbows with the pros and have the opportunity to actually pitch their manuscripts (Fannie Flagg of Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe credits the start of her literary career to SBWC!).
Stephen Chbosky, author and director  of The Perks Of Being A Wallflower pictured with
SBWC Owner Monte Schulz and Director Nicole Starczack.

But my favorite moments of the conference are actually those moments in between. When you stick a couple hundred brilliantly talented, company-starved literati together for a week and fill them with literary inspiration, deprive them of sleep and provide a daily happy hour, you never know what kinds of magic will ensue. I have met several lifelong friends at the Conference over the past 10 plus years...some of whom I only get to see during this one precious week of the year.

For this week, we all put our lives on hold to reflect on our lifelong dedication to the craft of writing and the precious connection we have with one another. The Conference has grown into an invaluable community of men and women of all ages, shapes, colors, and sizes who have found their "tribe" of fellow misfits and miscreants at long last!

This past year was also one of reflection and sadness as the Co-Founder and Beloved Figurehead of the SB Writers Conference, Barnaby Conrad, passed away. In addition, his dear friend and internationally renowned author Ray Bradbury (a dear friend of SBWC and a huge inspiration to many of us in the literary world) also passed away this past year (and is also as deserving of his own slideshow if I had the photos for it).
Best-Selling Author Sue Grafton photographed along with Journalist and
Presenter Susan Gulbransen and SBWC Owner Monte Schulz

Many of us attended a beautiful tribute dedicated to Barnaby during the conference week to share stories about his life and celebrate all of the ways that Barnaby impacted each of us over the years. Because I was able to take so many amazing photos this year and at the Tribute, I thought that Barnaby's Tribute deserved to be a slideshow of its own. I'm hoping that his family and friends can share these photos and stories and help Barnaby's legacy live on through each of us. 

I want to give a huge shout out to Monte Schulz and Nicole Starczak for putting on the Best Conference yet this year (it is like a fine tequila anejo and seems to only get better with every year!) A big thank you to Grace Rachow and to all of our incredibly, hardworking team of volunteers who do everything in their power to make the Conference go smoothly and stress-free. Mahalo Nui to all of the Workshop Leaders for the inspiration and passion you bring into each of your workshops every year. Big Thanks to each of the panelist and speakers who delighted us with insight and humor this year and found room in their heart to share some tips with writers like us who are still in the trenches... A big thank you to Lorenzo and the Staff at The Hyatt for making all of us at SBWC feel like we have a second home there during the week of the Conference. And Big Thanks to all of the Attendees for continuing to support the SB Writers Conference!

I have deep gratitude for the "family" and community I have found in many of you through the Writers Conference. I've been working my butt off to edit these photos and put together a slideshow which hopefully is testament to what a magical week the third week in June is for all of us!

Our Fearless Workshop Leaders!

*I hope you have fun reliving these very special days...if the music doesn't come on at first, just refresh your browser and click "play" again. Also feel free to leave your comments after each of the slideshows. If you'd like me or anyone else to see the comments, please make sure to "tag" me and anyone else you want. Feel free to share this link with your friends as well!

"SBWC 2013 Rocks!" Slideshow

"Tribute To Barnaby Conrad" Slideshow


Unknown said...

Wow! What a beautiful visual representation of our experiences at the SBWC 2013. Thank you!!

Paul said...

You made a great work. Beautiful smiles.

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