I ‘m sure I’ll be talking about the Festival and what I learned for some time, but first I’ll give an general overview. I had never been to the festival before, I’ve never been to a conference before. I had no idea what to expect.
I had wanted to go alone, and made plans to attend panels and workshops for most of both days. However, childcare for my younger two fell through and I ended up dragging them with me both mornings. The first day, most of the workshops and panels I wanted to attend were not child friendly. Things like talks about erotica and dismemberment in the desert. Instead I walked the entire fair with them. They worked hard to collect all the freebies they could get, while I got a look around, and chatted with the people at different booths.
The main fair area was much like a street fair. Booths for all kinds of things, schools, hospitals, businesses, authors, etc. While not hugely informative, the kids had fun. In the afternoons I was with out the munchkins and I was able to attend several panels, in which I learned a great deal.
I definitely plan on going back next year (March 15-16 for those interested) and if I can manage it, without kids. If I didn’t have to feed them, I could have packed snacks for me and spent all day in workshops and panels and I think I would have gotten a great deal more out of it.
For anyone interested, check out the Tucson Festival of Books website, it has a ton of information on what goes on, both the events and the authors!