I recently went to a statewide writer’s conference. My state puts one on every year, but because of COVID-19, they didn’t have one last year, and this year’s conference was very small and the details were constantly in flux as COVID rules and regulations changed almost daily leading up to the conference. Still, writers from across the state braved it and came out in person and over Zoom to meet with colleagues and industry professionals, pitch their work, and to generally hang out and possibly win prizes for their writing. I’ve known about this conference for the entire time I’ve been with my local writing group, but due to work scheduling and travel requirements, in years past I haven’t been able to go, or able to afford to go. This year’s conference was close, in the next town over, and I didn’t even need to get a hotel room. I have a steady crew at work and no need to come in on weekends, and my financial situation allowed me to save up and go for it this year. So I went.