Freedom. Who knew I’d find it in a darkened room, surrounded by over a hundred people, most of whom I’d never met before. Not freedom from oppression, or even from a world that’s never understood, but freedom to dream. For I was one who dared not dream, though the very nature of my being demands it, fear held me. Till one day a glimmer of hope, a chance, and twenty five words set me on a path that led me to a chair in a darkened room
looking at a brightly lit stage
So many strangers, yet all of us connected on a journey that had taken us miles from our homes to meet at this place. The Ragged Edge. And what we found there changed us forever.
I penned these words to commemorate the anniversary of the first Ragged Edge writer’s conference. Since then there has been one reunion, and a second Ragged Edge in connection with the Re:Write conference. Many of my fellow attendees have gone from aspiring writers to published authors.
Still, with all the talent represented in our ranks, words fail when we try to explain the Ragged Edge and what it meant to those who were not there. Yet we must try. It is too important to simply not mention, even if we can never hope to explain.
I almost didn’t go to the Ragged Edge. When I first heard about it, I dismissed it completely. It wasn’t for me. Yes, I loved writing, but it was ridiculous to think of myself as actually being a writer. Yet the desire to go grew from complete dismissal, to a desire so fierce it brings tears to my eyes to think of it. That was when I encountered a second obstacle — money. The conference itself was $600. The hotel and flight would be another $600. I couldn’t afford that.
I can’t ignore the stories within me, and I must share them with others. I need to know how, and I hope this will help.
The event was hosted by our Warden, Ted Dekker, and his Advisers: Tosca Lee, Robert Liparulo, Kevin Kaiser, Eric Wilson, and Steven James.