Something special happened for the nonfiction writing world over the weekend. Down in Dallas, some of the great writers of our time gathered at the Mayborn Nonfiction Literary Conference. Chris Jones, Tom Junod, Tom Lake, editors from my home North Carolina's Our State magazine, and so many more. (Full roster and details here.) I'm sorry I missed it; it sounds like it was a great time. Andrew Pantazi, a Dallas Morning News intern and a guy who is passionate about stories, has been covering it on Twitter (@apantazi) and will be writing about it at length for Nieman Storyboard. Word is he has transcripts coming from several of the panels and blog posts detailing what exactly went down. Can't wait; it'll be good.
One thing I've come to value greatly as a writer is the time I get with people. Writing gets lonely. I think this might be why I love things like pickup basketball and meeting people for coffee. It's just good to spend time around other, you know, human beings. And when you can spend that time around like-minded human beings who share your passion for greatness within your craft ... oh, baby.
Even though I wasn't actually there, because of the awesomeness that is technology and Twitter, I could still hear some of the better things said and hear of some of the adventures that were had and I could soak up the knowledge and the passion and the whole, you know, vibe, dude, even from a thousand miles away.
Just a few of those quotes:
"We don't come from a place. We come from stories." — Luis Alberto Urrea (via @apantazi)
"I'm not trying to be timely. I'm trying to write something people will remember." — Tom Lake (via @apantazi)
"Go deep with fewer people rather than wide with a lot of people." — Isabel Wilkerson (via @tomthuang)
"If you have empathy, everyone in this room has a great story to tell." — Cathy Booth Thomas (via @MizAlisa)
God bless passionate people.
If you were at Mayborn, then tell us in the comments: What were your highlights from the conference?