This past weekend, on November 7th, I attended the Rappahannock Writers Conference put on by the Central Rappahannock Regional Library. It was the fourth year of the conference, and the first to be entirely virtual. The event was hosted by Zoom and there was something on the order of 150+ attendees.
I felt fortunate to be one of them. The conference was free, but pre-registration was required.
The basic format was:
- Morning Keynote
- Workshop Session 1
- Workshop Session 2
- Workshop Session 3
- Panel Discussion
For each workshop “slot”, there were four or five workshops to choose from. The talks were pre-recorded, but the speakers were in attendance and responding to chat comments during each session. Organizers stated that they used this video strategy in an effort to forestall various potential technical hiccups, such as speakers having bandwidth or access issues.
One benefit of this approach is that, by definition, all of the workshops have been recorded. Accordingly, the organizers announced plans to make all of the videos available after the event, meaning that attendees can still see sessions that they didn’t have a chance to attend.
Overall, I think the hosts did an excellent job of running the event, especially given the virtual nature of the conference. The workshops I attended were well-organized and useful. I particularly enjoyed Building Fantastic Worlds by William L.J. Galaini (and thought his books sounded interesting, too).
I’m looking forward to next year’s conference.