The Thursday keynote at the 2015 PNWA conference was from Andre Dubus III. Although he was one of the few repeat speakers in the 60-year(!) history of the conference, it so happens that the only other time I attended the conference, in 2010, was his previous appearance. Fortunately he’s an engaging speaker, so I didn’t mind. 🙂
He shared a lot of personal stories about his difficult childhood and how he learned that he wanted to be a writer. From that I took away that you should never say to your child, “Don’t bother coming home if…” just in case the child believes you.
One of the most meaningful moments to me was when he quoted Jean Rhys (author of Wide Sargasso Sea) talking about authors: “We’re all streams into the same ocean. Big or small, we’re part of the same conversation.” (I can’t find the actual quote.)