It was a bit of a stretch for me as an author of a historical novel to attend, but ITW includes espionage, so I did. I heard several excellent educational panels from authors such as Steve Berry and Dennis Palumbo. Berry described tight story-telling formulas that work in any genre except linguistically experimental novels. Palumbo, who started as a screen writer, became a therapist with a creative clientele, and now is a successful thriller writer, had a fascinating message. There is only one story, he says: yours. Within yourself you have every attribute you could ever want to put into a character. It’s a matter of digging deep. In the class exercise he gave us, I felt that strongly, as I wrote a climactic dialogue for one of my characters that touched her essence clearer than I ever had before. This intriguing conference is held in NYC every year, because this is where they can be sure of getting upwards of sixty agents/editors/producers for pitch sessions. It was fun, too.