TUESDAY TEA-The Emerald City Writers’ Conference & Cherry Adair’s tea

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.

ECWC with DIL Kira Brady
ECWC with DIL Kira Brady.


We picked up our registration packets and tote bags FILLED with goodies–books, pens, notebooks, promotional items and motivational buttons, plus some candy. 🙂

Bag of goodies from ECWC.
Bag of goodies from ECWC.

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. 🙂

Cherry Adair Tea at the ECWC.
Cherry Adair Tea at the ECWC.

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!

Thank you, Emerald City Writers' Conference!
Thank you, Emerald City Writers’ Conference!


Romance Writers of America 2012 Convention Literacy Autographing event

RWA Literacy event-Anaheim, CA-July 25, 2012
Kira Brady autographing HEARTS OF DARKNESS at the RWA Literacy event in Anaheim, California July 25, 2012

Five things to remember for attending RWA Literacy Signing event….

Anaheim, California–July 25, 2012

Having heard about the yearly Romance Writers of America’s Literacy Autographing event, I’m anticipating the fund raiser for promoting literacy during the RWA 2012 convention. I walk into the convention center, filled with famous romance writers, and feel overwhelmed–all these amazing authors gathered in one place with an atmosphere filled with cheerful enthusiam.  There are over 400 romance writers signing their books (which raises nearly $53,000 for promoting literacy).  I learn a few things for next time:

#1.  Allow plenty of time.  I arrive about an hour after the event starts so I won’t wait in line.  Basically, this works, but the number of authors to visit and navigating the room does take time.  And authors run out of available books—too soon–so standing in line might be better.

#2.  Take a “must-get-autograph” list with a map showing where the authors will be sitting–available on the RWA conference site before the conference.  I have my map in hand, ready to seek out autographs.

#3.  Plan on spending more than expected on buying books.  This always happens to me, but I justify my overspending because the dollars go to a great cause–promoting reading.

#4.  Enjoy chatting.  I enjoy talking with the authors themselves and the other buyers in the payment line.  One buyer is a friend of someone at the conference doing a Kickstarter movie about romance writing  www.lovebetweenthecovers.com.  Another gal is impressed we are buying books for other people—she says the night is all about her and her love of reading.  You go, girl!

#5.  Eat before you attend.  I am so busy that I foget to eat and get a little fuzzy.  I head out to meet others for dinner—forgetting to stop by the tables of a few authors I want to meet.  Well, I hope they will participate next year at the literacy event!  I’ll see you then!

Meanwhile, I’ll be reading all the new books in my TBR pile–so sweetly signed by amazing writers.  Love romance!