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The Importance of the Genre Breakfast

July 7, 2013

–by Shannon Baraclough

Shannon Barablough compressedWhen you come to the annual Florida Writers Conference—“The Greatest Writers Conference on Earth”—October 18-20, you’ll want to make sure you take advantage of the genre breakfasts. If you see it on the schedule and you see the time it starts, don’t ignore it, thinking it’s just easier to get breakfast in your room. The genre breakfast has a lot to offer.

As you walk in, there will be tables everywhere. On each table, you will see a sign that lists a particular genre. Genres listed on the signs include romance, science fiction, poetry, literature, nonfiction, and a host of others. There’s also a map in your conference program that shows where each genres is located within the room. Choose a table for your genre, have a seat at that table, and wait for others to join you. Make sure you have plenty of business cards. You’ll be sitting with writers who write in your genre, and you’ll have plenty to talk about.

“What kind of books do you write?”

“Are you published?”

“Who have you sent work to?”

“Do you need a beta reader?”

These are just some of the questions you might find yourself asking or being asked. This is a great way to network with people who are writing the same kinds of stories you are. As important as it is to attend the various seminars and workshops, it is also important to attend the genre breakfast because of how many new people you can meet – and how many connections you can make.

Do you write in a few different genres? No problem. The genre breakfast takes place every morning, so if you’re a paranormal romance writer, you can sit with the romance writers on one day and science-fiction writers the next, just to cover your bases.

Conference time is definitely not the time to order breakfast in your room. Even if you don’t eat breakfast, come on down to the genre breakfast every day and make new friends. The connections can be life-changing, and you’re sure to learn about things going on within your genre. Like all meals, the genre breakfasts are included in your conference registration fee, so it’s worth setting your alarm a little early.

“The Greatest Writers Conference on Earth” will be held October 18-20, 2013, at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary. See the FWA website,, to learn more and to register. Questions? Contact

Shannon Baraclough (soon to be Shannon Bell) is a freelance writer based in Orlando. She writes about anything and everything and hopes to publish a paranormal romance within the next 18 months.


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