I looked forward to attending my first writer’s conference for weeks—the writers, the headliners, the workshops, the pitch. The event did not disappoint. However, I was lucky enough to get something more. Something I didn’t expect.


As writers, we all understand writing can be a lonely, grinding game. BUT, with other writers offering support, the occasional tumbles are easier to bear.

Jim Cangany and I signed up for pitches at Chicago North’s Spring Fling.

We were met by unwavering support by all our chapter mates in attendance and those who sent e-mails and encouragement from afar.

Jim knew when I was scheduled for my pitch, and he waited outside the room to hear my results. Waited outside the room! When I wasn’t there, because I got to pitch earlier, he rounded up, Nan, Liz and Cathy to find me. How kind was that? He took time out of his day to say, hey let’s go check on Jill? Let’s see how she fared.

So, he’s no longer the token dude. He’s a champion. Mr. Supportive. Mr. High-five. And because he made the connection, he’ll have my support forever.

When I look back over this weekend, the only picture I’ll remember is, opening the door and finding four chapter mates, standing on the other side ready to congratulate me or comfort me, either way, they were there.

As we left, bright smiles and warm hugs were exchanged, and I’d like all who attended to know I’ll be lit from within for a very long time.







05/09/2014 8:05am

This is so nice, Jill! The "token dude" was great, wasn't he? I'm so glad to know you better!

05/09/2014 8:10am

You're way too kind, Jill. I've received so much support that it's the absolute least I could do. We're all in this together, after all. Can't wait to see your book in print!

Tia Catalina
05/09/2014 7:27pm

Can I still call Jim the token dude?

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