June 1, 2015

The Wind River Outdoor Writers Conference

Amber Leberman of Wyoming Wildlife, Max Phelps of FalconGuides, Director Buck Tilton who writes wonderful outdoor books, myself, and Michael Lanza of The Big Outside.

I had the distinct pleasure and honor of presenting at the Wind River Outdoor Writers Conference this past weekend. 

You know how you never know what to expect when you go to these kinds of things?  It could be good, it could be horrible, it could be wonderful?  Well, it was beyond wonderful.  It is the yardstick against which I will measure all conferences, I have to tell you.

And I suspected as much. Buck Tilton, who organized the event with the help of his lovely wife Kathleen, is an amazing writer and the host with the most.  Anything he touches turns to writerly gold, and you just want to take him home and keep him. Our great friend David Gray helped, and I stayed with Dave and his lovely wife Chontelle (who were best man and matron of honor at our wedding years ago).

The other presenters were rock stars.  I’ll go into much more detail in the next couple of days, but I’ll introduce them here.  There is Amber Leberman, who is the editor for the pre-eminent wildlife and Wyoming magazine, Wyoming Wildlife.  There is Max Phelps, who has been in the book trenches in a number of capacities, including bookstore manager and director of marketing and sales at FalconGuides and Rowman & Littlefield.  There is Michael Lanza, who does these amazing outdoor adventures with his family and photographs and reports them on his wonderful blog The Big Outside.

Ten people attended, and I have to say I was so honored to get to know them, and I can’t wait to see how their writing flourishes in the future. Among others, there were a retired game warden, a retired banker, a retired college administrator, two wonderful PR people for NOLS (the National Outdoor Leadership School), a high school teacher, a grade school librarian, and a retired technical writer.

It took place at the Sinks Canyon Center in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains outside of Lander, Wyoming.  The blue mountains tooth up behind the center, and you think you’re in a wild animal park with all the wildlife. And the resident chickens came by to check us out.

More to come tomorrow and so on, but I have to tell you I’ll be basking in its glow for months.

Thank you, Buck, from the bottom of my heart!

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