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Day 1 — Open Post

October 19, 2012

This post is the day one conference recap, which will get updates as events warrant. Please read on, and remember, it’s never too late to come to the conference.

4:30 pm — One of the best parts of the conference each year is the food. Lunch was a great example. Sure, hot dogs and burgers might not sound like a lot, but they were high-quality dogs and burgers. And they came with a lot of other stuff, including a yummy sun-dried tomato ceasar salad, a great potato salad, and a bean and vegetable medley.

We also try to keep extra time at meals and breaks to allow people time to network with each other. In many cases, your success in moving forward in the industry is based on your ability to make connections with people who work in the industry and with each other. The conference gives attendees enough time to build those relationships that can go well beyond the end of the conference.

Another hoghlight each year is the agents and publishers panel. This year’s Friday panel includes Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour Agency, Dawn Frederick of Red Sofa Literary, Benjamin LeRoy of Tyrus Books, Amy Boggs of the Donald Maass Agency, Lynn Price of Behler Publications, Mary Sue Seymour of the Seymour Agency, and Rebecca Melvin of Double Edge Press.  This session is your ability to ask your questions of industry insiders, and get their honest feedback.

We also had a session by Patricia Charpentier, owner of Writing Your Life, about writing your life story. Anyone looking to give their loved ones (and future loved ones) the gift of their life story would find value in her session.

11:00 am — Breaks mean doorprizes, and our first set of door prizes included a free book cover from ExpertSubjects.com, one of our sponsors (thank you!). It also included a group book signing by all the people selected to be part of the FWA Collection #4, My Wheels. Each of the authors included in the signing had their work selected to be included in this year’s anthology.

This year’s collection included 10 short stories specifically selected by our 2012 person of renown, Julie Compton. Next year’s collection will also include a number of short stories, with a subset specifically selected by 2013 person of renown, Edna Buchanan.

The silent auction room is also active. Each year, the Florida Writers Foundation holds a silent auction fundraiser to benefit its efforts in fighting illiteracy.

The Silent Auction Room
A cool gift from the silent auction room. The flowers are made of book pages.

This year’s silent auction includes 102 items and 70 books donated by romantic thriller author Mary Burton. The total value of all the items included in the auction is more than $10,000, including:

  • an interview with CNN hero Zach Hudson.
  • a Sunday breakfast with publisher Ben Leroy
  • tons of gift baskets and professional services
  • tickets to great attractions like Disney, Universal, and Kennedy Space Center
  • and, of course, more.

This morning also included the following concurrent workshops:

  • Children’s Literacy by Sabrina Carpenter
  • Who are all these publishers, by Lynn Price
  • Make your manuscript shine, by Patricia Chapentier
  • It’s Crime; It’s Mystery; It’s Fiction by Bejamin LeRoy

All this, and it’s not even noon yet. It makes me tired just to type it.

9:15 am — The day started early, as the registration desk opened at 6 am for those who just couldn’t wait to get here. The registration staff under registration chair Susan Berry, has a smooth system that gets people signed in and on to their next activity. The badges we wear display what days people are here, and on the back, it shows when their appointments are.

One of the attractions each year are the genre breakfasts, when you can find a table that matches what you write and enjoy breakfast and discussion with other writers. And, of course, the food is outstanding. This year, we had eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, and pastries. The Marriott always forces us to bring pants a size or two larger than required.


After President Chrissy Jackson welcomed the attendees, the signature sessions began. This year, we have four strong sessions:

  • Backstory with Julie Compton and Jamie Morris.
  • Book Marketing Success with Rik Feeney
  • Pitch and Catch: the Writing Game, with Ronnie Hart (about how to successfully pitch your book)
  • Behind the Books (Juvenile) with Cristina Kessler

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3 Comments
  1. October 19, 2012 4:23 pm

    Unfortunately, not able to attend this year, but enjoyed the recap.

  2. Larry Kokko permalink
    October 19, 2012 9:59 pm

    I learned a lot from the backstory panels. Jamie Morris and Julie Compton provided relevant material that Ican now apply to my own WIP. Patricia Carpenter’s panel on Make your manuscript shine provided some neat programs and tricks to ensure our works are as clean as possible. Can’t wait for day two.

    • jaimiequick permalink
      October 21, 2012 6:11 pm

      Larry, thanks so much for attending our session. Speaking for myself and Julie, we are delighted that you took something away that will help you on your WIP!!

      Hope to see you next year.
      Alll the best,
      jme

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