Conference Report 2012

Last weekend took a lot out of me. Fortunately, I gained so much more for the experience. Pikes Peak Writers Conference 2012 was my first official writing conference, and seems to be the start of my official career as a writer. And I couldn’t be happier with the results. No wonder its attendees and faculty speak so highly of it.

Jeffrey Deaver, one of the keynote speakers, in his finest James Bond costume.

Aaron Ritchey, author of "The Never Prayer" and an awesome guy all around. Crazy in the best and most enthusiastic way possible.

Thursday consisted of all-day workshops for topics like “So you have an idea for a book,” “Writing for young adults,” and a seminar based on Donald Maass’s “Writing the Breakout Novel” (the one I attended). Friday began the conference proper, with more workshops all day, and a costume party at night.

My friend Patty, looking positively resplendent.

Lara Croft dropped by for a visit.

Can't have Bond without a lovely Bond Girl!

Saturday had more workshops, and pitch appointments. I pitched my manuscript to an agent, and she requested the full manuscript. That is something to celebrate right there – most writers, even at those rare instances when they can pitch in person, usually get turned down, or are asked for a synopsis or the first three chapters, so a full manuscript request is a big deal. It’s a big step forward, but I’ve also got about a month before it needs to be emailed to the agent, and it still needs some good old-fashioned revising. To the revisionmobile! (Cue the Batman theme)

And Sunday had even more workshops, with reluctant farewells to the wonderful human beings I met over three days.

And I got to see my first ladybug of the year as I left the Marriott on Sunday. Honestly, can you have a better denouement than this?

Yeah, this was totally worth it. Barring the zombie apocalypse, I am absolutely going back next year. Later today, I will deliver a recap of Donald Maass’s amazing keynote address, and some of my thoughts on it. If you can get a recording of that speech, it should be required listening for every fiction writer.

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Pikes Peak Writers Conference: Coming Up Fast

Well, as I have stated before, the Pikes Peak Writers Conference is coming up fast. Slightly under two weeks until we are there. Right now, it costs about $450, but I’m passing along the word that it’s one of the top ten writers conferences in the country, and is the friendliest overall. Seriously, a Marriott with a great view of Pikes Peak, you’re surrounded by professionals – writers and agents and editors with years of experience – and quality dining and service from the hotel. What’s not to love about that idea?

There’s still time to register. If you are a writer who wants to expand their career, make connections in the business, and meet with hundreds of other writers, this is the place to be.

With people like Robert Crais, Jeffrey Deaver, Donald Maass, Susan Wiggs, Kevin J. Anderson, Bree Ervin, Ronald Cree, Angel Smits, etc., there will be hundreds of fellow writers, either going for the first time to give their professional careers a shot of adrenaline, or returning veterans who have stayed with the conference since it was formed twenty years ago. And you will be hard-pressed to find a more pleasant city to hold an event like this.

Hope to see you there!

Colorado’s Ideal Coffee Shop; An Editor for Your Manuscript; the PPWC

Well, here’s an odd little post. Two slightly-related-but-not-really subjects. Think of them as a bit of local advertising, related to two of the most essential things of life: writing and coffee.

If you’re ever in the region of Black Forest CO, and need some coffee served with a smile, look no further than R&R Coffee and Cafe.

http://www.rnrcoffeecafe.com/

One of the friendliest businesses you’ll ever know. [[I’ll post pictures of the place when I can.]] I’ve been on very good terms with the family that owns it for a couple of years, and they’re kind enough to let me write for long periods of time whenever I can visit.

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As for editing, you need look no further than Bree Ervin. I will be hiring her to look over my own novel once it is finished. With sharp wit, experience, and incredible professionalism, she has quickly established herself as a great consultant-for-hire for writers. In addition to being an editor, she also acts as a publicist, marketer, blogger, and a lover of twisted fairy tales and writer of zombie flash fiction. I recommend her blog, if you want to see her at work:

http://thinkbannedthoughts.wordpress.com/

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Either one would be terrific if you plan on attending the Pikes Peak Writers Conference 2012. Creativity and the whispers of a reinvigorated muse will find you in the friendly atmosphere of Black Forest and R&R (just half an hour’s drive away from the Marriott where the PPWC will take place), and you can experience Ervin’s humor and charm personally at the conference, where she will be teaching a workshop and offering all kinds of advice.

Hope you all have a pleasant day!

The End of Days…for a Scholarship! Info for Pikes Peak Writers Conference

Fellow writers, a chance to pitch, agents and editors to rub shoulders with, famous authors, a gorgeous hotel...and all of it in the view of a beautiful mountain. What's not to like?

Today is the last day you can sign up for the scholarship for the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, being held April 19-22 at the Marriott in Colorado Springs, CO. In honor of the conference’s 20th anniversary, there will be a plethora of excellent presenters for all of your writing needs, including agent Donald Maass, Editor Bree Ervin, and authors like Kevin J. Anderson, Robert Crais, Angel Smits,  Jeffrey Deaver, Susan Wiggs, and a whole host of others, plus hundreds of aspiring writers. You even get a chance to pitch to an editor or agent for your work, and receive feedback and critique for your manuscript. If you’re ready to get serious as a writer (and make connections in the writing world), all accounts I’ve gathered state that this is an excellent place to start.

A very favorable review of the conference from romance/mystery author Terry O’Dell can be found here:

http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/beyondherbook/?tag=pikes-peak-writers-conference

If you want to go but just don’t have $400 to spare to pay for presentations, materials, and meals, the scholarship (which closes after today) is your chance for Pikes Peak Writers to take care of that for you. (Note on the meals: the Marriott accommodates for vegetarians and food allergies!) Go ahead and sign up for it. Here’s the link where you figure out how to apply for a scholarship via email:

http://www.pikespeakwriters.com/html/scholarships.html

Here’s where you can register online, if you are okay with paying the full amount. There’s also a terrific lineup of guests, some of the available workshops, agents and editors who will listen to pitches, and which meals are paid for:

http://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=972508

And here’s where you can find out more about the conference itself:

http://www.pikespeakwriters.com/html/ppwc.html

I hope all of you will have an opportunity to go! It will be my first time, but most of my close writing friends have gotten to attend it beforehand, and they absolutely love the experience.

In any case, I will keep promoting the conference on the blog, and will try to not be annoying about it. You’ve noticed I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m excited for this opportunity to meet other storytellers from across the country, further my own craft, give and receive feedback, and get my feet wet in the world of professional novel-writing.

Keep writing, everyone. I hope to see you in Colorado!