Just because I have a few books out there with a Big Five publisher that doesn’t make me a somebody. (Okay, maybe it at least qualifies me for Amateur Plus status.) But once in a while I do get out in the World for a chance to mingle with the famous and near-famous, and that can only up my cred. Last weekend I was at the seventh annual Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference in Iselin, here in my home state of New Jersey. It’s a fun event, with workshops and panels and editor/agent appointments, speakers like Hank Phillippi Ryan. I even got to attend a wicked Mad Libs session given by Kate McMurray, Tere Michaels and Damon Suede. And who knows, maybe I even learned something.
Hey writers! Looking for something to do on these cold winter days? How about looking into the 7th Annual Create Something Magical Conference Saturday, March 19 thru Sunday, March 20, 2016 at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin, NJ.
- Two days of workshop offerings for both Writers and Readers
- Editor/Agent Appointments
- An open to the public book signing
- Dessert and dancing at our Saturday night party
- Tons of opportunities to meet and connect with readers and authors
|New York Times &
USA Today Bestselling Author
|AND||Mary Higgins Clark
Award Winning Author
Hank Phillippi Ryan
For more info follow this link to LSFW!
I’m one of those poor academics who has to work most of the year except for a few weeks between semesters and in that venerable time called Spring Break, which for me was last week. The hind end of it was spent at the Liberty State Fiction Writers annual conference, where the Keynote speaker was bestselling author, Sylvia Day. (She actually was much closer than this when I snapped the picture at left. It sure didn’t look this far away!)This year it expanded into a two-day conference, and I got to attend some great workshops and talks, as well as hook up with several writer friends, my agent, who also sat on the Agents Panel at right, and a bunch of other publishing professionals. But mostly–and here’s the really important part–I got to spent a goodly amount of time imbibing in all things theoretically Bad For Me, the absolute BEST part of any conference.
For example, here’s my glamorous agent, Marisa Corvisiero and I lunching on the de rigueur plate of institutional chicken atop a mish-mash of rice and what I believe were vegetables scraped from the previous day’s soup pot. That’s Marisa laughing at another of my uproarious bon mots. It was probably something like, “You gonna eat that?” (Yes, I’m that funny.) The iced tea was incredible, at least.
Conferences are also prime places for getting embarrassingly shitty cell phone pix taken of you. Consider the Edvard Munch study below. Don’t ask me what the impetus was for that. I have no idea.
Juxtapose that against what I call “A Composition in Light and Dark” at the right. There’s me looking all shady and ironic (and beat-up; it’d been a rough night) against the beatific figure in the background beaming like a Botticelli. Truth be told, I never knew I possessed such a talent for artistic expression. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but I swear, these are absolutely improv-ed. I’m also that talented.
Ultimately, the conference comes down to hanging out with good friends, drinking some good wine (or at least priced accordingly), and demolishing a honkin’ big dish of Brownie Sundae. Between all of this I got to make some really good plans for the future, some of which you will be privy to shortly. If the best business is done in the off-hours, then I’ll take this office space any time. It truly is where the best people are.
- Sylvia Day! ~ Keynote speaker, #1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling Author. Breakfast speaker, #1 New York Times Bestselling author Maria V. Snyder.
- Editors and Agents! ~ Forget that messy query process – speak face-to-face with living, breathing editors and agents. Too many editors and agents to list!
- Workshops! ~ On craft, on children’s books, fantasy, mysteries, blogging – even martial arts, plus much, much more!
- Bookfair ~ Your favorite authors, signing your favorite books, courtesy of Watchung Booksellers.
- Writers and Readers Tracks! ~ Special events exclusively for either or both, with access for all to meals and parties, plus the Bookfair.
And I’ll be there! What else do you need to know? But alas, in case you do, you can always click here for more information.
See you there!
This year I have a chance to go to three assemblages of a literary nature, and they are as varied as the wounds inflicted by so many cats in a sack. If you’re a fan of these things, whether a beginning or seasoned writer or any stage in between, it always helps to crawl out of your cave and go hone your skills a bit, not to mention mingle with your peers at the hotel bar (or perhaps schmooze an agent/editor or two with a “hey! it’s on me!” Always appreciated.) At the top of my list is the Liberty States Fiction Writers “Create Something Magical” Conference, coming up March 21-22 in Iselin, NJ. It is by far a stellar collection of panels, workshops, editor/agent appointments, and all around fun. I go every year (five years running), and it’s open to anyone who writes fiction–mystery, sci-fi, horror, romance, YA, children, or just general fiction-types. I’m also a member of this fantastic group and we’ll take you whether you’re an NYT bestseller or you’ve just started scrawling dark-and-stormy-nights on Post-Its. Come on over, we’ll love you all.
Next on the agenda would be Book Expo America on May 27-29 in New York City. And since it’s a trade fair held in the publishing capital of the work, anyone who’s anyone in the book biz, from writers to publishers to editors and agents, usually show up. (Although I hear that next year it will be moving out of NYC, boo-hoo, so if you’re in the Northeast, you may want to try to make this year.) I try to get to BEA every year, too, as I can connect with the latest trend out there in publishing, see some great authors speak and sign, as well as generally soak of the milieu of being around the book industry. (Plus it feeds my thirst for $5 bottles of water.) Not all events are open to the general public, but there is a readers’ track, and a special one for librarians, so take a look at he site and see where you fit in. I get all sparkly-eyed every year when I go, as it’s pretty much Disneyland for Writers, as far as I’m concerned.
The next one is a definite biggie because of the 35th anniversary of the Romance Writers of America annual conference, also held this year in NYC July 22-25. Last year I did a book signing for RWA at their BEA booth, and they’re a wonderful and gracious group of people and very supportive of writers of all stages in romance. But since this would be my first time to a conference of this magnitude. I must say I’m a little terrified. Not of the conferenceno!-but of the prospect of spending four days buying food at NY prices. Now I know there are lots of fabulous places to eat on the cheap in New York, but to find them, I’d need to bring my sister who lived there for twenty years. But she writes sci-fi/spec fiction, so I suppose I’ll be on my own. Still, if you write romance, this is the Real Deal.
There are more conferences out there, of course, and a great source to look for them, no matter what you write, is agentquery.com, for listings all over the country. Writers, as a whole, live in their heads far too much, and need to get out there once in a while, at least to see that they’re not alone in all their weirdness. And we are weird, you know, and it’s high time you accept that, and celebrate it within the bosom of other like-minded weirdos. Come on–you know you deserve it!
The Connecticut Romance Writers Fiction Fest 2013 will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2013. The keynote speaker this year is 6-time RITA Nominee, Winner, and NY Times Bestselling Author, Roxanne St. Claire. We’ll also be welcoming Jim Azevedo from Smashwords for a double session workshop, and life coach/organizer Lisa Lelas.
The all-day conference will be held at the luxurious Hilton Hotel in Mystic, CT. Just tell them you are with the CT Romance Writers (or give them the code “CRWA”), and you will receive the discount room rate of $169.
Fiction writers of all genres, but especially romance writers, are welcome. Once again, the conference will feature workshops on craft, industry, and the writer’s life. (Follow the workshop link to see the full program.) We will have an exciting raffle, an editor/agent hot-seat luncheon (where THEY get to answer YOUR questions), and a few surprises. In addition, editors and agents will be available for pitch appointments. Stay tuned for the workshop schedule and complete list of agents and editors. This conference drew 160 participants last year, so be sure to register early to reserve your spot!
See you there! Gwen