Six months ago, I impulsively cashed in some frequent flyer miles and bought a plane ticket to New York for a first-year conference I'd heard about on Twitter. It meant missing the last few days of a major work event I'd spent months helping to organize. It meant leaving my intern in charge of a monumental to-do list. It was a hasty, rash decision that involved quickly spending a few hundred dollars and making a phone call to my Manhattanite cousin to make sure I could, in fact, sleep on her floor. Buying that plane ticket to BinderCon was also the best decision I ever made. It was a decision informed by the kind of gut instinct that comes only when your life is about to change. Today I'm sitting in sunny Los Angeles, still buzzing from another amazing BinderCon weekend.
This iteration was the first to take place on the West Coast, cementing plans for future conferences to take place each Fall (New York) and Spring (LA). BinderCon LA felt extremely polished. There was nothing to indicate the event is not even a year old, nor was there the insecurity of a sophomore effort. Instead, it felt like a natural extension of the pop up female community created at BinderCon New York. There were a few key differences this time around-- notably a greater emphasis on programing for screenwriters. There were no major fumbles from the speakers, like Jill Abramson's lackluster remarks about the unique challenges for women of color in the news room that earned grumbles in New York. Instead, poet Claudia Rankine earned gasps and murmurs, oohs and ahhs from a room full of women who felt validated and affirmed by her remarks, who were overjoyed to be in the presence of a great writer.