romance, romance writers of america, Romance writing, surrey writers conference, writing

Emerald City Writers Conference

It has been quite a busy summer, but now it’s time to start thinking about fall writing conferences. My choices are the Surrey Writers Conference or the Emerald City Writers Conference in Seattle. I’ve been to Surrey for the past two years and I loved every minute of it. The excitement that buzzed in the air was contagious and just being with people who shared the same passion was satisfying.

But this year, I’ve decided to check out the Emerald City Writers Conference in Bellevue, Washington from October 28-30. New workshops, new editors and agents, but mostly new exposure and a chance to make new friends and contacts.

Well, whichever one I decide to go with it’ll be a weekend that will ignite the spark I need to keep writing and I can’t wait.

So go online and check both of these amazing writing conferences out and let me know what you think.

surrey writers conference

The Afterglow of SiWC

What an amazing weekend!!! It went by so quickly it’s hard to believe I’m at home again. My mind feels like it’s going to explode with all the information I absorbed over the last three days.

From the morning keynotes to wonderful lunches where you got to chat with friends and most importantly make new friends, as well as, networking with all the wonderful agents, editors and authors that surrounded us at every turn.

From Jack Whyte, Diana Gabaldon, and Anne Perry to Robert Dugoni, Ivan Coyote and Julia Quinn (oh, but to name a few) – it was a star-studded event.

Agents from New York, San Francisco and across Canada – it was an authors dream come true.

The workshops were great and loaded with invaluable information to take home and add to our writer’s toolbox.

On Saturday they put on a Mystery Guest lunch were they placed an author, editor or agent at each table and we could pick their brains, ask advice or chat about anything and everything we wanted – of course writing is always on the brain at this conference!

I had the pleasure to sit with agent Laurie McLean from Larsen Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco. She was such a warm, friendly and wonderful person, her excitement about being there and talking about the thing she loves – writing – was contagious.

I got the chance to speak with Nephele Tempest from The Knight Agency in New York and Valerie Gray from Harlequin.

A real special treat was getting the books I had purchased signed by the authors who wrote them.

We were also invited to the Romance Writers of America cocktail party on Saturday night and I met a couple of wonderful girls there who I really enjoyed talking with.

Sunday came along way too fast. The morning keynote was Author Slade and he talked about treadmill desks!! What a picture he painted for us but his message was clear. We as writers need to get off our butts from time to time and exercise-take care of ourselves and be healthy.

After two more workshops we had our final lunch and then our afternoon keynote was Robert Dugoni. His Aragon speech from LOTR Return of the King as they stand in front of the Gate of Mordor – will forever be changed for me as he interpreted it for a writers destiny. “And we WRITE!” I had goosebumps!

He inspired me, as I’m sure he did for everyone there, and when I left that banquet hall I wanted to turn right back around and go back inside so my time there could never end.

I’m already making plans for SiWC 2011!!!!

surrey writers conference, writing

Countdown to SiWC

It’s getting close! Eleven more days until the Surrey International Writers Conference gets underway. I’m very excited. My pitch is ready to go and my chapter revisions are coming together nicely.

There is a lot to do to prepare for such an event. Manuscripts to polish and print off, research on the editor/agent you plan to see, questions written down for the blue pencil. A list of things to bring such as a tape recorder, batteries, lots of pens and paper, business cards if you have any, your pitch… oh the list can go on and on but I’ll stop there.

Right now I would describe myself as excitedly nervous. Does that make sense?

I still have a lot to do to get ready so I’ll end this blog here for now and let you know how my preparations are going. 🙂

Romance writing

Merging of Words

Well, I finally finished my revisions on the first half of my book. What a nice relief! So last night, I merged my revised half with the rest of my book and now I have a complete manuscript again. My word count is just over 72000.

Now I have some more revisions to do to make sure the last half of my manuscript matches the first half. It may sound a bit daunting, but I am actually looking forward to it.

I’m on a mission to complete it before Surrey and that is what I am going to do!

Romance writing, Uncategorized

Pitch

Yesterday I received an email about Deb Werksman and the Casablanca Authors Blog. There is some amazing information on that site that every budding writer should know to get their work seen. She is also hosting a contest for today only – send your pitch – and what a nerve-wracking experience it has been for me.

I was working on my pitch, getting it ready for the SiWC, when I came across this blog so I gathered up my notes and put together a quick pitch. After my hubby took a look at it – and he is NOT into romance novels whatsoever – he gave me the thumbs down and I was back at the drawing board.

So today, I sat down in front of my computer at that particular blog site and hashed out a new one – it took me all morning but I came up with one that I liked. I feel it explains the core of my book which was something I wasn’t able to explain last year, but I also feel it is plot driven instead of just the hook.

But that’s okay, because I want feedback. I want Deb’s help which will steer me in the right direction when I pitch to an agent in Surrey this October.

I’ll let you know what happens.

Romance writing

Synopsis for a Pitch

I’ve started to write a synopsis of my novel that I plan to pitch at the SiWC. You need to get down to the heart of your story in order to answer the question “what is your story about?”

Last year at the conference I asked myself that and went into immediate panic mode. For a novel that I had been working on for years and knew the characters like I know my family, I couldn’t believe I didn’t know the answer to this obvious question. Yes, there’s emotional turmoil, a love triangle, betrayal, a broken friendship, etc, but that’s not what my story is about – that’s what happens to the characters in the story.

So, now I am writing a quick synopsis of the all the key points, making sure it flows as the first half of the book is undergoing revisions.

I’ll let you know how it turns out, what I discover about my novel, and how many pages I emerge with. 🙂

Romance writing

I did it!

Well, I did it! I am officially registered for the SiWC. What a relief! My feelings of anxiety have turned into a cloud of calm as the realization sinks in and I can sit back and get my work done.
What I found different with this registration compared to last year is that you actually got to pick the time you want to have your pitch and blue pencil sessions. Of course, that is what took the longest – because all the workshops will be excellent and I didn’t know which one to pick to leave in the middle of and miss some valuable information. That’s why handouts are great or having a friend there with you to record everything.