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I attended four discussions:
Each of these was presented as an interactive workshop with exercises to explain the concepts and bring the points home.
The keynote was delivered by Lori Nelson Spielman on "The (Elusive) Joy of Writing".
She described her journey from one of these sessions fifteen years ago through rejection after rejection until she finally "found her voice", and figured out the style of story and writing that worked for her.
She joked that if she'd taken up knitting in the early years of her writing, she'd have had dozens of ugly sweaters, instead of rejected manuscripts to show for her effort.
She failed when she tried to write to the agents requests and what she felt was a salable book. She succeeded when she finally wrote what she was passionate about.
She finished by pointing out that fifteen years ago, she was sitting in the back of this very meeting, feeling like an imposter and knowing she wanted to write better than she did. Perseverence, practice and a lot of effort later, she's on the New York Times best seller list.
Everyone present could do the same thing. Just keep writing and improving.