With a little help from our friends…

The following post was unsolicited. I saw it on the fan-made Facebook group “We are going to utopYA” page last week. I asked Willow Cross if I could re-post it here because I wondered if some of our readers felt the same way — that they aren’t sure what to make of utopYA or if it’s right for them.

utopYAcon is an exciting place. Sometimes overwhelmingly exciting. It isn’t a cult of crazy (though we love dearly the flag-waving, crazy fangirls that turn utopYA into an adventure). It is a community of passionate, welcoming and determined women (and a few dudes) who have found a tribe where they can, learn, share, swoon and grow with each other. The attendees help shape the format, the culture and the “wow” surrounding utopYA. We hope you will enjoy it as much as we do creating it with you.


Willow Cross, author

Willow Cross, author

For the record…I was not asked to post this by anyone from UtopYA. I’m just a busybody and took it upon myself to address a reoccurring theme I have noticed on Facebook recently. LOL

I’ve been hearing whispers and getting messages from people who will remain unnamed. Each time the message goes just about like this:

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“I’m scared to go to this convention. No one even knows who I am! I’m not famous or even close. I will be invisible!!!”

I want to address that right here in public for everyone. I completely understand the sentiment behind those statements. COMPLETELY. Last year was my first year, and UtopYA was my very first convention. And…I was supposed to speak on a panel. (YIKES!!!!) I was petrified. LOL. However, I wanted to go meet up with some of my Facebook friends, and I knew that attending conventions was a great way to network, so I had to set that fear aside and I attended anyway.

Guess what I discovered? Most of the authors there felt the exact same way. I was lucky enough to get to spend time with many authors I’d never heard of and we are now real life friends, not just fb friends. There were many there I didn’t get to spend any time at all with. I totally intend to remedy that situation this year!

If you are having doubts about attending, please shove them aside and show up anyway. If you end up regretting it, I will personally make it my mission to make it up to you.

This is going to be EPIC!!!

# # #

Thank you Willow for the kind and inspiring words.


9 thoughts on “With a little help from our friends…

  1. I love this post! Especially because at last year’s UtopYA I was SO nervous. I didn’t know anyone and I was sure no one would talk to me. But everyone was super friendly! šŸ™‚ I made so many new friends and I never felt isolated or left out. The peeps at UtopYA were incredibly welcoming and made me feel right at home. I can’t even TELL you how much that meant to me. I felt accepted and included by everyone I met (every single person) and I left Nashville feeling ridiculously inspired. It was incredible!

    • UtopYA was actually my first convention too, and I felt the same way. Inspired, encouraged, and bursting with new information about how to do this thing that we all love.

      Plus, we got to see really cool stuff, like the first screening of Auror Tales, Amanda Havard singing a song that she just penned and the UtopYA awards, and more.

      Writing all of this makes me even more excited for the conference this year. I can’t wait to see you all again.


  2. I’ll second that! One of the incredible things about last year’s UtopYA is the overwhelming sense of community that everyone felt. It was like everyone had this secret agenda to meet as many people as they could, connect with as many fellow fans or writers or authors as humanly possible, and make as many new friends as their address book could hold. It was less of a convention and more of celebration of this literature and the people that make it and the people that love it (wait… I may have read that from the conference literature). But it’s true! šŸ˜‰

    Believe me… I understand being intimidated by authors whose names you read in the covers of your favorite books. Trust me when I tell you they are warm, wonderful human beings and if they’re coming to this con, then they’re coming TO MEET YOU! They want to connect with fans and fellow writers and authors and talk about the business and the stories and all the things that make them awesome. It’s perfectly cool to be shy, but don’t let it keep you from experiencing this awesome event!

  3. UtopYA was my first convention too and I was equally nervous! It was a thrill to meet people I had heard of (and hadn’t heard of) on Facebook. I felt like I was meeting a bunch of old friends. I was overwhelemed and stunned everytime someone recognized my name or told me they liked my book. I can’t wait to go back again this year!

  4. I feel overwhelmed just thinking about going. I’m real quiet and whatnot when I don’t know anyone. I usually end up backing out when there is a group of people. I have been trying to change that. This is will be my 3rd convention of the year (I plan on going to WonderCon in March and BEA in May), so hopefully by the time I get there I will be good to go! If not, I will be the quiet one by myself not talking! šŸ˜€

    • Sit next to me! I promise, no one is ever too quiet around me. LOL It just isn’t allowed. šŸ˜‰

      I can’t wait to see everyone. I know we’re going to have even more fun than last year!

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