We stayed at the Breakstone Renaissance Hotel off of Michigan Ave., just a few blocks away from the Conference Center.
The Blackstone was a beautiful, old hotel with lots of class, style and history. I understand that famous people stayed there in the early to mid-1900s, like a president or two. Our room was renovated and beautifully decorated.
Across from the hotel stood a beautiful, grand park with a water fountain.
I always love going to Chicago. It is a vibrant city that is filled with culture everywhere you turn.
I stopped briefly to snap a pose, standing under blue, cloudless skies, while skyscrapers that reached toward heaven graced the background.
The nearby public library was quite massive, and filled with people. I particularly liked its architecture:
In the evening, the streets were filled with couples and families strolling about.
The weather was wonderfully mild and sunny, and the Conference Center, located on S. State St. was a five minute walk from the hotel.
On Saturday, the Conference Center was packed with hopeful writers, presenters, agents, and a publisher or two. The presentations were quite interesting and motivating. I particularly liked the presentations by professors Miles Harvey and Christine Sneed, among others. They were down-to-earth and approachable people.
I bought a copy of Christine Sneed's book: LITTLE KNOWN FACTS and
have it on my to-read list.
During the 2-day stay, I learned not about the craft of writing, but more about what to do after one has written their manuscript: editing, finding an agent, publishing, marketing, etc.
I even had the pleasure of giving a five minute "pitch" to agent Joanna McKenzie, which was a first time for me. My books are mostly geared toward the Greek market, as the themes tend to center around Greece and Greek themes.
For lunch, we stopped off at the Panda Express downstairs. Panera next door was a good stop for our morning breakfast and coffee, although the conference did provide free coffee.
On Saturday evening, there was a cocktail party up on the Grand Terrace and I got a chance to meet a few people there.
What was my take-away message? Keep on writing, and the publishing venue is changing quickly, as more and more people are self-publishing and doing well.
For more information about this vibrant group, visit: