Just checking in to let you know that I haven't forgotten the thread. It's encouraging to see some interest here in the southeast!
I'm not sure what the critical mass for an event is. In Seattle, we had a small but faithful group that attended the WTD meetups while I was there. I don't need much of an audience to get up and speak. Likewise, I don't need much of a push to go to an event that looks interesting.
Also, what is on the minds of tech writers in this corner of the country? Up in Seattle and the PNW, software documentation is a popular topic.
I've been doing some work with putting together some doc sets in Jekyll and GItHub pages, so I have some first-hand war stories that I could share. My professional (pre-academic) experience was writing developer documentation about REST APIs and I have a demo REST API that I could use if there's some interest in that (Using, creating, writing about, whatever). I'm also working on a Python for Tech Writers course that I could practice on a group of interested participants (to our mutual benefit).
Anyway, just trying to keep the thread going.