This is an excerpt from a letter Pete Shamlian wrote after SBWC 2015 to people he had met at the conference that year. He recently shared it with SBWC and gave permission to share it will all. He will be back at SBWC 2019.
To my new friends at SBWC,
During the conference I was sleeping about five hours each night. It’s now Saturday morning and I’m at my desk after sleeping, you guessed it, five hours.
What got me up this morning is all of you.
What an amazing experience, what a great group of people. What a superb gift Barnaby Conrad has left us and how good of Monte Schulz to cherish, preserve and refresh that gift every year. I cannot think of a more enduring legacy.
The talent that’s nurtured here, through the magic of storytelling of all kinds, ultimately reaches every corner of the planet and inspires people to dream dreams and take actions that we, even as imaginers, cannot begin to fathom.
It could be something as simple as an act of kindness to a child in Calcutta. Perhaps someone is reading Ray Bradbury or Jerry Dunn, or You, and because they feel a connection and, in some small way, are released from the dogma of their day, they help that child, and that child feels the lightness of possibility.
Perhaps it’s a teachable moment and that boy or girl realizes that the lightness is within and can be revisited at will, and they practice it, spreading it the rest of their lives on a daily basis, amongst the magnificent, tragic turmoil that is India.
He or she passes it on thousands of times, and so it goes. All because Barnaby Conrad, sipping his coffee one morning, decided that a Writers Conference would be the thing to do, and because a writer attended who had no clue how to go about this business and came to understand.
To quote Steve Jobs, Wow!