Most Amazing Conference Ever

So… I finally went to Realm Makers.

It was amazing.

If anything, it was even greater than I thought it would be. There was so much there. The speakers. The books. The people. Mainly the people. It was my first year there, but there were five other Story Ember friends there as well. There were others that we adopted into our group, and others we knew from online. So I had a core group to fall back on for meals and such.

Anyhow, I flew for the first time. That was fun enough, though I like the train better. But going above the clouds is the most amazing thing. Though I couldn’t help but think it would be even more amazing if I could strap myself to the wing, with a shield to keep the brunt of the wind from my face.

Exploring Wednesday night

With author friends and Scott Minor, head of Realm Makers

Out of all the events, there are two highlights I’m never forgetting.

The first one happened Friday night. There was the costume dinner, which was amazing in and of itself. Afterwards, the Story Embers group (plus several adopted members) decided to go exploring in the night again. Well, first we went to the parking garages because they have great accustics. Brandon (who was dressed as Flynn Rider) sung I Have a Dream for us. It was great.

Later, as we walked the streets of the plaza itself (in costumes still, mind you), we started singing A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman. We just passed the corner of the hotel when we heard a voice behind us “Come back. We want to hear.”

There were three people up on this balcony and they wanted us to start the song over again because it was one of their favorites. They threw down $5. So… we sang. XD And wonder of wonders, it actually sounded pretty good. And we got another $5 at the end. So we went to McDonalds and bought hot fudge sundaes. It was great. We were laughing with each other the rest of the night and dubbed ourselves a one-song hit with the name ‘Taste of Victory’

The second hightlight was lunch with Wayne Thomast Batson. I was in one of his lectures and asked if he had dinner plans afterwards. Turns out there was a faculty dinner for each meal that I’d forgot about. He offered to take me along or we could go elsewhere. I told him I hadn’t bought tickets for the faculty dinner but he said it didn’t matter and that I could come in with him. No one would say anything. So… I did.


The best part was when we got there. We sat down at one of the edge tables where there weren’t seats set and Batson strode over to one of the other tables, asked if anyone was sitting at a few of their steats and then ‘stole’ the silverwear from those places. The dinner with him was very cool. Watching him steal silverwear for us was even better.

There was the nerf war too, of course. I was up until 1:15 a.m.

I suppose I should give you a little bit what I learned too. So, random snippets:

Creativity is a divine expression and holy act; we are made in the image of God
Creativity is meant to be audacious; we have an audacious Creator
To downplay creativity is simply wrong; it has been given us and is part of who we are.

Perfection is fear in disguise. It’s a safe place in your imagination where nothing happens and nothing ever real. Reality is messy but writing is a journey, not a sprint.

Admire people’s superpowers but don’t covet
Don’t ignore or put your own superpower to death, especially to make a less power super
You’re not going to be great in everything and that’s okay
Play to your strengths


Fairy tales give the enemy shape and show how to defeat him.

Writing isn’t just for the readers. It’s for us too.

Your book isn’t for everyone, but there is always someone for your book

To fear is to have more faith in your antagonist than in Christ

Those are from Tosca Lee and Nadine Brandes, mainly. Anyway, it was really good. Speaches, friends, everything.


Maraposa painted pictures of all of us Story Ember staff there. So cool.

They’re having Realm Makers in the same place next year. Same time.

I’m planning on going.

I hope to see you there.

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  1. It looks so much fun!!! I really wanted to go, but I accidently bought another horse instead (yup, accidently), and so I figured I’d spent enough money for the year…

    (Turned out to be a wonderful bit of God’s providence, because work was really crazy last week, and so if I had actually ended up going, they would have really had a tough time without me.)

    But 2019…I am making plans to go!!!! I really want to get to meet everyone in person, and learn how to better my craft and buy tons of books!

  2. Oh, such a fun post that makes me feel sad I missed going and seeing you ;/ BUT I WILL HAVE TO TRY AND GO NEXT YEAR! I love Missouri, so I’m excited that’s where they are having it 🙂

    Such a great overview, Hope 🙂

  3. One of these days I will make it to RM!!!! It looks like such a rewarding experience.

  4. Wayne Thomas Batson stole silverware for your table… XD XD

    Oh, and I kept forgetting to ask: how did your pitching go??

    Next year can’t come soon enough 😛

    • Oh, yeah. I knew I was forgetting something. XD

      It went well, I think. I got some good tips on things to watch for and work on which were really helpful since I’m not even half done writing the thing.

  5. Ah, I love it! Realm Makers was awesome! It was great meeting you, even if it was super brief and you may not remember me. 😉 (I’m Jenwriter17) 🙂

  6. Wow, that looks AMAZING! I’ll have to look into that next year!

  7. Ooh I love all of those notes that you shared! So many good nuggets of wisdom there. 😀

    One day I’m going to start up a Gofundme and see if I can raise enough money to get me to RM. XD

  8. Every time someone posts about Realm Makers, I wish harder that I could’ve gone. And WTB was one of my first modern Christian authors too . . . oh well. I’m hoping to go next year, since I won’t have to have an internship and I might have actual money to spare instead of having to advance-spend an entire semester’s worth of spending money. 😛
    Glad you had a good time!

  9. So. Much. Fun.

    I’m making very tentative plans for next year. Still very nebulous, but more thought out than I had last year. I’m praying for wisdom about whether I should go, working to have something story-wise to take with me, and also praying things will fall in place so I can come. And even considering getting apart time job so that I can afford it.

    I want to meet all the people.

    • Yeah… money. It’s so good though.

      • I might already be able to afford it, but I don’t want to use up all my savings. The idea of travelling overseas alone is a bigger barrier than the cost. Or the idea of convincing the people who care about me that I’ll be alright travelling alone.

  10. Hey, you posted a picture with me! XD

    RM is definitely the most amazing conference ever! Then again, it’s the only one I’ve been to… But that’s besides the point. XD

    It was super cool getting to meet you, Hope! And also fighting by your side in the Nerf wars. I loved it so much… Meeting you and hanging out with you and the other SE staff members there was one of my favorite parts of the whole conference experience!

    I’d love to go again next year, but I don’t think I’ll be able to… :'(

  11. Wow. I wish I wrote fantasy or sci-fi!

  12. Oooh, this was such a great post, Hope! I loved getting to see RM through your eyes. It was great running into you there – wish we’d had time to talk longer! Maybe next year ;). I’m glad you had such an epic time! <3

    • Yesss. There were so many people going everywhere. There’s lots of people I want to talk more with next year if they are there.

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