KWA Scene Conference 2012

You had to be there. It wasn’t our biggest conference, it wasn’t our most extravagant—but it was our best.

We kicked off “the Scene” on Friday night with some real fun and entertainment: the Pitchapalooza. Everyone who wanted to pitch got a chance, and the entire panel of industry professionals was amazed at our small group’s talent and enthusiasm.

On Saturday, with eight solid speakers (all of whom were fantastic) and fifteen speaker sessions, it meant for a full day with lots of choices. Members and guests were appreciative, saying things like “the best conference ever” and “something for everyone”. The speakers were professional, patient, gracious and impressed with both the conference and our attendees. The Hyatt Hotel staff was courteous and helpful, and the KWA board and helpers were on their toes and proactive in order to ensure this conference was a shining success—one that will go down in what is sure to be a long history of wonderful conferences.

William Bernhardt’s Keynote punctuated the 2012 Scene Conference. About halfway through, when he said, “I should stop here…,” he certainly could have. He’d given us an excellent Keynote, one of the best I’d heard—and I’ve heard many. But he went on. What started as a touching autobiography of Bill, became an autobiography for us all—all writers. Incredibly motivational and inspiring, it left me with a deep feeling of importance and responsibility, but also so choked up I couldn’t talk. As I looked out into the audience of teary eyes, “Wow!” was the most I could utter while getting a grip on myself in order to wrap up this extraordinary event.

Bill’s keynote speech could not have been a more perfect way to end the weekend, a truly indescribable, nearly overwhelming one. The punctuation at the end of this story—this fantastic conference—is not a period or a question mark. It’s one that writers are told to use super sparingly: “!” Wow!

4 responses to “KWA Scene Conference 2012

  1. Wow, indeed. The speakers were knowledgeable and current with the present market conditions. The sessions covering social media were lead by writers not only well versed in it, but at it’s forefront. I was also impressed with the presenters willingness to speak with the attendees after their session was over. Beyond the conference, I’ve been in touch with some of those speakers who graciously offered their contact information to Scene attendees. KWA’s Scene Conference was a winner.

  2. I can recall reading about Writing Conferences years ago (before I’d actually been to one) and as i recall the sole focus was on writing, the nuts and bolts, point of view, opening with a bang, character arc, etc.
    But in the world of e-publishing and Kindles and Nooks and blogs and websites, the concept of “writing” has expanded to a point where what is required of a conference is…well, what KWA produced in 2012.
    Much of that success, much of my personal growth and knowledge and networking skills, has come from the efforts and dedication of you, Gordon. I know that many other people added all the important bits and pieces to build this year’s conference like the Tower of Babel. But your vision guided it.
    I can not thank you enough for the profound influence you have rained down upon us.
    (Now, please keep these comments between you and I, okay?)

    • Thanks, Gary and H B!

      It’s hard keeping up on everything, isn’t it?

      Technology is moving the wolrd along at light speed, and the human race is grasping in all directions to understand it’s potential and to somehow manage it.

      Being a writer today makes me feel like a bug on a leaf in a tornado; I don’t know where I’m going, or understand what is propelling me, I just know I’m moving and I can’t stop. All I can do is hold on and enjoy the ride!

  3. Gordon,
    We are looking forward to hearing you at our annual WordFest Writers Conference at McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas. If anyone would like to hear Gordon, he’s our keynote speaker. He’ll be featured Saturday, April 20-21, 2012. We’re also celebrating Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday this year.
    Gordon and Charles Dickens — What a combination! To hear Gordon, call (620) 241-8464 or email Carla Barber at

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