Finally, one of the most memorable experiences at the MWG conference – an experience that I have had for several years now – is watching the legions of volunteers who make it all come together.

These volunteers are all busy, successful people: publishers and writers, for the most part, people who would benefit from attending workshops or meeting with agents and editors. Instead, they choose to work the conference, helping attendees find their meeting rooms, shepherding speakers to and from the airport and around the hotel, setting up the webpage, and all the many other necessary tasks. Why do they do it? I think it’s because they recognize the importance of what they’re doing, and they have an instinctive desire to help others. The conference volunteers are a fantastic group.

Do yourself a favor, and do them a favor, by visiting their websites or blogs and checking out their books. I bet you’ll find some to your liking. Volunteers included Lisa Miller, conference chair, from Walrus Publishing of St. Louis; mystery writer Tricia Sanders; writer Deborah Schott, who managed our treasury; award-winning YA author Brian Katcher; publishers Kristy Makansi and Winnie Sullivan, who handled the bookstore; YA author Sarah Whitney Patsaros; St. Louis Writers’ Guild president Brad Cook; writer, editor, and reviewer Jan Cannon; MWG secretary, now treasurer, Donna Essner, who also serves as president of the Southeast Missouri Writers’ Guild; and a whole bunch of people who served as shepherds. I’m sorry that I didn’t jot down the names of all who served as shepherds, but I did spot authors Peter H. Green and T. W. Fendley.

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