Once upon a time there lived a freelance writer who really wanted to attend STORY.
In 2010, because of a generous person, this writer attended the second-annual conference. She heard amazing speakers like Charlie Todd, Andrew Klavan, Jason Fried and David McFadzean. She sat at the feet of legendary UCLA screenwriting professor Richard Walter (literally–there was no more room on the couch). She got some free stuff and met Ben Arment and heard Amena Brown share one of her newest poems at an Elements event at the city’s “premiere gay and lesbian bar” before …
[The gourmet’s] assignment had been dessert. So, at dessert time, she brought out big plastic bags of old-fashioned plump chocolate-marshmallow cookies.
“I adore these, don’t you?” she beamed, handing them around. And everyone did, thinking, moreover, How original, how posh! But if someone else had done this they’d have thought, Poor child, how naive!
The same principle applies in other areas—people already established as successes in a particular field can often do no wrong, while an …