Since its foundation, Realm Makers has billed itself as the premier symposium for people of faith who write science fiction and fantasy. It may seem like a stretch of the truth since they had no track record, but if you look back at the landscape of Christian fiction and the conferences for those who write it, you will see that there was little to nothing available for Christians who wrote novels that take place in space, alternative universes, or different worlds or those whose protagonist are vampires, zombies, angels, or creatures purely crafted from their imagination. They truly have been the premier writers’ conference for speculative fiction.
From the beginning, the people who make Realm Makers happen, Becky and Scott Minor (along with their many minions who help behind the scenes), had nothing short of the best in mind. The first year of the conference, they brought in Jeff Gerke, the owner of Marcher Lord Press, as the keynote speaker. He and the other speakers, such as Grace Bridges of Splashdown Books and Kathy Tyres, author of several Star Wars books, shared from their wealth of knowledge. Year two brought in New York Times bestselling author, Tosca Lee, as the keynote speaker, as well as Steve Laube, a well-known and respected literary agent.
Then came year three. The first two Realm Makers Conferences were very good, with high energy and a like-mindedness in faith and craft that encouraged and pumped up the attendees. But this year, everything gelled in a way that’s difficult to describe. The energy flowed from one person to the next–not erratic jolts here and there–but a steady flow that touched everyone and increased with each person’s arrival. Even in the line to check-in, but the anticipation grew into excitement,which built until it became the air we breathed.
It was impossible to simply be there. Everyone partook and everyone gave, everyone learned and everyone encouraged. Perhaps the unity of belief and love of speculative fiction, fueled by the atmosphere of positive encouragement created some type of mind meld that joins us together.
The “high” the Realm Makers Conference created still continues days afterwards. Connections are being made, pictures are being posted, memories are being shared. Everyone is already looking forward to next year, and I don’t think any of us who attended will be surprised if the energy created this year will carry us all until the next conference, which we know will be just as awesome–if not even better.