Friday, October 9, 2009

Emerald City Writer's Conference

This afternoon I’ll be leaving for the 20th Annual Emerald City Writer’s Conference sponsored by the Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America. This is my third year attending. Signing up for ECWC that first year was the best thing I could have done for myself as a “pre published” writer.

Writing conferences, especially those geared toward your chosen genre, are a great way to meet people of all experience and skill level. From NYT best selling authors to those who are just starting out and everyone in between you can learn from everyone. Conferences are also a great way to have face time with editors and agents. I’ll be doing my first ever live pitch to an editor and an agent this weekend. I should be nervous and I am but I also acknowledge the opportunity of what I’m about to embark on and the excitement of what it might bring my future.

Conferences are about networking and meeting new people (as well as connecting with old friends) but they also offer great workshops. From craft to business to technology, most writing conferences will offer a wide variety of workshops given by the best in the business. This year I’m looking forward to a session about writing a series and one on western characters which I have the privilege of moderating. There’s one hour block in particular where I want to attend all of the sessions being offered. Thankfully the planners are taping most of the sessions and making CD copies available in a couple of weeks to those who want to buy. (As an aside the RWA National conference has made the handouts from the last couple of national conferences available on the website.) We also have a book fair featuring 50 authors, most who are attending and/or presenting that is open to the public. Not to mention the basket raffle that is held on Saturday and Sunday during lunch. Last year I was one of the co-chairs of that event – it was a ton of work but a great time.

Then there are the keynote speakers. This year we are lucky to have Deborah Cook (at lunch on Saturday), Christine Warren (at dinner tonight) and Lisa Jackson (at lunch on Sunday). All of the keynotes in the past have left me truly inspired and I’d imagine these ladies will do no less. Then of course there is the Cherry Adair “Write the Damn Book” challenge which I accepted last year and completed. Getting recognized this evening by one of my favorite authors is going to be a thrill I know I’ll remember for a long time.

If you’ve never been to a writing conference I’d highly encourage you to find one in your area and attend. It will be well worth the money and I promise one of the best weekends you’ll spend – until the next conference!


Andrea said...

ECWC sounds like a lot of fun; I've enjoyed living vicariously through you and Sam when you've talked about your experiences at the conferences.

I hope your pitch goes well!