Big Changes Coming to the Annual Florida Writers Conference!
–by Jennie Jarvis, Faculty Chairperson
As writers, it’s important for us to stay on top of our craft and our business. What better way to do that than at the Annual Florida Writers Conference? Each year, we strive to give you the best conference we can, and this year, we’ve gone above and beyond to make sure you get exactly what you need to succeed.
The Annual Florida Writers Conference runs from October 23 to 26, and here are just a few of the exciting things we will offer this year:
1. More than DOUBLE the number of workshops
Always striving to give you the biggest “bang for your buck,” we have more than doubled* the number of workshops we are offering this year. There will be so much great information, you may wish you could clone yourself so you could attend more than one workshop at a time!
2. An evening of FREE workshops!
For anyone who registers by July 31, you get a night of free workshops on Thursday, October 23! On this bonus night, we will have more chances for you to learn from some of the best minds in our industry today. Topics on this bonus night include building a better critique group and pitching your story.
3. More opportunities for you to sell your work
This year, we have a whopping 14 executives accepting pitches, including agents, acquiring editors, and even film producers. Heck, we even have an editor accepting pitches for role-playing games. Whether you are interested in getting your unpublished manuscript traditionally published or getting your self-published book turned into a movie, we have someone for you to meet with.
4. Topic-based education tracks to make sure you get exactly what you need
Are you more interested in learning about the craft of writing than the business? What if you prefer to learn more about living a good writer’s life? Well this year, you can choose workshops based on tracks. Please note that throughout the conference, you’re free to choose workshops from any track—you don’t have to stay in any track, so choose and
a. Writer’s Life: Topics include work/life balance, nutrition, exercise opportunities, ergonomics, and managing your family and writing time.
b. Business: Topics include self-publishing, working with an agent, and contracts.
c. Genre: Topics include genre-based discussions of fantasy, histories, New Adult, and more.
d. Craft: Topics include character creation, grammar, and style.
5. More opportunities to hear from the best
This year, we have FIVE panels for you to enjoy throughout the weekend, allowing you to hear multiple experts speaking on dynamic topics. While some of these panels will feel familiar, we have two sizzling new panels: our Saturday afternoon Transmedia panel and our Friday night “Afterhours” panel on writing sex scenes.
6. A live Gong Show-style “Pitchfest”
Step right up and see if you have what it takes to escape the gong. Pitch your story to a large panel of agents, acquiring editors, and film producers. If they like what you have to say, you’ll get to finish. If not – GONG! You are cut off, and they give you feedback on what you could do to make your pitch stronger. Whether you choose to participate in the gong pitch or simply to watch the others, this is a must-attend for anyone making a formal pitch at the conference. The Pitchfest is part of the conference; no extra charge.
7. Personalized conference assistance
This year, we have workshops specifically designed to make your conference experience the best it can be, including workshops entitled “Conferencing 101” (we help you plan the best use of your time), “The Idiot’s Guide to Networking” (we help you navigate those receptions and networking opportunities), and “Reading Your Work In Public” (so you can really knock people’s socks off during Open Mic).
8. One-on-one mentoring opportunities
Would you be interested in meeting one-on-one with a New York Times or USA Today bestselling author? Or would you like a personal meeting with someone who can help you develop a two-year writing-to-publishing plan? Regardless of what guidance your career could use, we have plenty of top-notch faculty available for you to consult with over the course of the conference.
9. Awards and prizes!
The Annual Florida Writers Conference has always been a great place to celebrate the accomplishments of your fellow writers, and this year is no exception. We have our official award ceremony for our prestigious Royal Palm Literary Awards and a luncheon celebrating the winners of our annual short story Collection. But even if you didn’t enter either of these contests, you could still be a winner. All weekend, we will have great opportunities for raffle and door prizes, including a FREE registration for our 2015 Annual Conference.
10. More exposure for your books
Do you already have a book published? Then make sure you sign up to have it sold in the Conference Bookstore. This year, we have over twice the total space available to show off your book to your fellow FWA members—and to the industry leaders on our
11. Book signings, meet-and-greets, and more!
Throughout the weekend, you will have the chance to rub elbows with published authors, including New York Times and USA Today bestsellers! Between our book signings, receptions, networking breakout sessions, and more, you will have personal access to some of our industry’s most illustrious leaders.
12. Great food and great people in a great space
What more is there to say? All weekend, you will dine on award-winning cuisine while surrounded by great people with similar goals. There really isn’t any excuse to miss out. Trust me when I say, if you haven’t been to the Annual Florida Writer’s Association Conference in a few years, this is the year to go!
Discover the Limelight at the Florida Writers Annual Conference
Stars of Florida Writers:
October 23-26, 2014
Orlando Marriott Lake Mary
For more information or to register for the conference, please visit the website.