Yes it was worth waking up at 6 AM on a Saturday. If you ever get a chance to see JA Jance in person, I highly recommend it. She is an excellent speaker, and her novels are now on my to read list.
Check in for the conference started at 8 AM and we received our folders, conference schedule and name tag. I wore my t-shirt from Mom writer's lit mag (now Mamazina), and before I even got my name tag on someone asked me about the magazine.
I know how to self promote as a shy writer, become a walking billboard. The person, Laura Browne, asked how she could get a copy of the magazine. Well I do have a copy on me you can look at. She wrote down the magazine's website and my name. Cool. The first conference I was signed up for, Do's and Don'ts for Writers, Ms. Browne was one of the co-presenters.
Then I went to a conference just for my pure love of Star Trek, How to create an alien world. He even brought up an episode of TOS as an example for alien biology.
My third session was How to create great dialogue - read read read your dialogue ALOUD! Hmm... by the way I give the same advice about writing poetry. Read it outloud so you can feel the meter and/or rhyme. ;)
Last the keynote speaker, JA Jance, presented. She doesn't write outlines and will be having her 45th book published next year. I was happy to hear that. I'm tired of writers who tell you, The only way you can write a novel is to follow an outline. I never enjoyed outlining either. It may be one reason why I have been happy staying with poetry and short stories.
This is how I spent my Saturday. There were some dry speakers presenting and giving out information I already knew. I enjoyed the overall experience and would definitely attend another conference. As I put on my survey maybe something on poetry and creative nonfiction next time. By the way, I found out Ms. Browne was interested in the magazine because she, too, writes nonfiction. When she asked the room how many people wrote nonfiction it was a minority though.