Louisville, Kentucky is about seven hours from my cabin in the wildwood of Southwest Virginia. Luckily, my husband, Todd, loves to drive and I enjoy being an amateur DJ on long road trips! Our route to the Imaginarium convention skirted the edge of the Shenandoah Valley, wound through several mountain cities in West Virginia and, finally, cruised past the lush horse-filled pastures of Kentucky.
After the long isolation necessitated by Covid 19, we were both ready for travel, belting along with the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack and anticipating the weekend ahead.
Imaginarium is a convention that celebrates creativity--writers, filmmakers, publishers and artists come together for workshops, discussion panels, a film festival and an awards ceremony followed by a masquerade. All genres. All experience levels. This year a hybrid track was offered for people who wanted to attend virtually and I discovered that the virtual panels were just as informative and enjoyable as in-person.
I was invited to sit on panels about Point of View, Animals as Characters, The Pitch and Magical Realism. The lively discussions with fellow storytellers breathed new life into me after working in quarantine for so long! I'd like to especially thank the moderators:
Barbara Evers https://www.barbaravevers.com
Robb Hoff https://www.robbhoffauthor.com
Tommy B. Smith https://www.tommybsmith.net
Mary Ann Poll https://www.maryannpoll.com
Sallyanne Monti https://www.sallyannemonti.com
Michael Williams https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Williams_(author)
It was an absolute pleasure and an inspiration to meet everyone and talk books, cinema and all aspects of storytelling and publishing.
I'd also like to thank Holly Phillippe and Stephen Zimmer for the invitation to participate and for all their work to build such a marvelous opportunity for creatives to gather each year. This was my first Imaginarium, but I definitely hope it won't be my last! If you're craving an intimate, welcoming, inspiring convention experience, Imaginarium 2022 should be on your radar for next year.