What a special opportunity we were presented with. The chance to help support writers here in our backyard. The Central Coast Writer's Conference had their 31st annual event on September 18th - 20th, 2015, with boot camps and workshops and keynotes held on the Cuesta College campus in San Luis Obispo. We here at SoCreate were honored to be able to become the first ever Platinum Level Sponsor of the event! What had us so excited? Well, it had to be the fact that:
As a sponsor we had the opportunity to do a little brand promotion at the event...and, since we like to "go big" on everything we do, we "brought it" for sure. But we used our branding powers for good, and leveraged our banners and flags to help build a path and provide identification to where sessions were held on the campus. Many a writer let us know how much it helped them stay on track and on time, so "win-win"! We also had our company premiere of our Red Carpet experience.
Writers were encouraged to strut their stuff on the red carpet and have their photo snapped (or do a selfie) and share it with the hashtag #CCWC2015. Be on the lookout for our Red Carpet experience at future SoCreate events!
Friday, day one, kicked off with five hours of boot camp sessions for both the beginner and advanced writer. Topics ranged from writing groups, building worlds, how to deal with a publisher, writing with a partner and more. Presenters consisted of great local and out of town writers that delivered engaging and relevant content for all the aspiring and hard at work writers in the audience. One of the stand out sessions was The New Writer's Journey put on by Dr. Kelly Moreno, who took us on a compelling journey through trials and tribulations in his personal life over the course of several years that elegantly revealed how he worked his story into a final draft and got it to publication.
The day was capped off by the Keynote/Idea Symposium. Winners of the 26th annual Golden Quill Awards writing contest were announced and awards were handed out on stage. Our founder and CEO Justin Couto was ushered up on stage as well and delivered a heart-felt appreciation for our opportunity to support writers and shared some insight with the crowd about how the beginning of our journey actually took place there on the Cuesta College campus many moons ago! Local author Wendelin Van Draanen was awarded the Lillian Dean award and was extremely moved by the honor. She delivered a memorable quote:
Put hope in the mail— Wendelin Van Draanen
encouraging us to continue to aspire and to never stop pushing our vision out there. Then we were treated to an outstanding panel discussion on The Crafting of a Masterpiece from Concept to Classic moderated by Wendy Thies Sell and featuring the start-studded cast of:
- Gene Perret
- Jonathan Maberry
- Tony Peckham
- Wendelin Van Draanen
- Peter Dunne
- Doug Richardson
- Rob Edwards (who rushed up here from Mexico and made it to the panel in time)
Their discussion had us on the edge of our seats and left us feeling like we finally got that chance to be "the fly on the wall" in the room with some very accomplished writers. The day concluded with Karl Iglesias giving a killer keynote on The Power of Story which revealed some fascinating insights on how we experience stories at the brain level, providing writers with a ton of "takeaways" to help them hook an audience on an emotional level.
Saturday, day two, was all about workshops. From 9:00am to 4:00pm writers cruised around (both on foot and on golf cart) to different rooms on the campus, attending talks on a wide variety of topics, gaining all kinds of knowledge and inspiration and networking with other writers. Meanwhile, back at the SoCreate office, we had a chance to share bits of our vision with a couple of screenwriting pros...and while those meetings will remain "hush-hush" for now, we can say that the excitement level of what's to come is rapidly increasing by all involved! The second day was capped off with a closing talk by Rob Edwards, who had us in stitches as he took us through the Hollywood experience of a screenwriter and left us inspired to have fun, embrace our passion, and always remain grateful!
We talked with many writers throughout the event, and while we enjoyed all the positive feedback and excitement we received about our brand and our sponsorship assistance, the most rewarding aspect of it for us was the opportunity to be a part of such an inspiring environment and supportive community for those that we champion the most...
We Love Writers!
Lead Engineer & Strategist