I attended Life, the Universe and Everything last weekend. It was awesome. This is my 2nd year attending and I had even more fun this time. It is the only free writers conference/symposium I've heard of and I think it's great.
You've probably seen other bloggers mention Brandon Sanderson and his keynote address. If you haven't, I'll do a brief recap.
He quoted Sturgeon's Law - "90% of everything is crud." This refers to everything in the science fiction/fantasy arena, stating that by far the majority of it, well--sucks rocks.
Then he proceeded to disprove it. Some of my favorite quotes were.
"Don't buy into the myths." <--Referring to generalizations like Sturgeon's Law. He said doing that will lead to our cynical destruction as a genre.
"Science fiction and fantasy are inherently optimistic genres." <--Totally agree with this!
Favorite quote of the conference - "As soon as you start making stuff up, you're one of us."
His point was - be proud of your genre. Don't talk it down, and if other people mention they didn't like something within it, recommend another within the genre they will like. It was like a rally, very motivating and exciting. :)
What are your thoughts on Sturgeon's Law? Do you believe 90% of everything is crud?