In October, I attended my first romance writers’ conference, the EMERALD CITY WRITERS’ CONFERENCE, sponsored by the Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America chapter. It was FABULOUS! The experience far exceeded my expectations. I was blessed by my daughter-in-law, author Kira Brady, who accompanied me and was the helpful voice of conference experience.
We picked up our registration packets and tote bags FILLED with goodies–books, pens, notebooks, promotional items and motivational buttons, plus some candy. 🙂
Now, where to begin? Since this is TUESDAY TEA, I’ll start with the Cherry Adair Tea and First Timers Welcome Reception. Cherry Adair, an author from the sponsoring chapter, gives generous support to this conference and offers encouragement to writers. Her tea is a “meet and greet” time at the conference where tea sandwiches and scones were served amid lively conversation and charming autumn decorations–and there was chocolate. 🙂
Major take-away thoughts from the conference:
- Self-Publishing is a way to go
- Develop a series
- Keep writing, never give up
- Write a great book, then keep writing
- Chocolate is a writer’s friend 🙂
It was such fun to be with a welcoming group of writers who understand the language of HEA, WIP and GMC. The keynote speakers were inspiring. The food served was delicious. The workshops presentations were informative, with chocolate available to snack on. 🙂
Here are highlights from some of the presentations:
Learn to Rewrite: Finishing the manuscript is just the beginning with Anna DeStefano–Print out your completed manuscript. Use Post-it notes to flag each character’s POV passages in a different color. Then read that character’s story from beginning to end. You should see the character evolve in each scene.
Craft of the Short Story with Anthea Lawson–The market for short stories is on the rise, ranging from flash fiction of 300 to 1000 words to anthologies ranging from 5K to 7K. Short fiction needs to give an emotional payoff to the reader.
Secondary characters with Pam Binder–Secondary characters should only be in the story if they have a purpose. This purpose can be to help the main character recognize and overcome flaws by mirroring these flaws or being the complete opposite. Look at the motivation of secondary characters–why are they in the hero or heroine’s life?
Writing Active Setting with Mary Buckham–Details of setting must matter to the story to be included in your writing. Setting can be used for characterization, to reveal emotion, foreshadow conflict, tell backstory, anchor the reader or act as a character. The primary goal for setting is to capture the reader’s attention.
Navigating the Wild West of Publishing with Marie Force and Shelli Stevens–The publishing world is changing and now may be a good time to enter into self-publishing. Timing is extremely important–along with some luck. It is suggested to have many projects ready to publish in quick succession to stay engaged with the reader.
Building a Successful Series with Robin Carr–Series are in the spotlight at this time. A series needs a running theme, then begin with a place which challenges the characters, giving plenty of sensory details. Be sure there is a reader payoff in each book and a hook to entice the reader into the next book. It is best to be authentic to your own personality when writing.
Christopher Keeslar of Boroughs Publishing Group offered wise advice: Spend time outside of your writing cave, living a life full of everyday activities because your writing will be enriched by all your experiences.
Next time, I’ll write about the Book Fair featuring many authors signing books (and giving away chocolate) and the amazing raffle baskets (many of which contained chocolate). (I won one, and, yes, it had chocolate!) 😀
THANK YOU to all the volunteers! Their hard work made the Emerald City Writers’ Conference simply AWESOME!