Las Vegas seems an unlikely site for a writer's conference. At least it does to me. As you enter the city, the buildings shimmer with reflective walls and some of them lean with peculiar tilts that make you wonder what you've been drinking. Then, later as you pull your bags through the "lobby" you wonder even more. After all there are slot machines every place you look. There's an area with TVs displaying every horse race in the country, and there are TVs with every baseball game going on at the time. That's in case you want to bet on one of these events. Within the same complex you find more than a dozen movie theaters, a bowling alley, and another theater featuring the Poynter sisters for weekend shows. Las Vegas is truly amazing.
Still, for four straight days last week, members of the Public Safety Writer's Association were able to forget all the glitz and concentrate on some wonderful talks, presentations, and panels. We learned about dialog, editing, promotion, forensic evidence, writing with a partner, changes in publishing, setting, movie writing, police psychology, and much more. And we heard it from the experts. All the while we wandered through the unique sights and sounds that make Las Vegas special.
The writers learned a lot and came away ready to tackle anew the world of often not so glamorous publishing.