Anyone who tells you conferences and trade shows are a waste, tell them how to go climb a mountain.
I went to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference for the tenth time this past weekend and came away with such treasures as new professional contacts, good ideas for social networking, information on marketing my book and myself, new writing skills, and most important, new prospective friends. All this packed into two days! Amazing.
As a result, I plan to write all my blog post entries this week on who I met and what I learned at the conference. Hope you enjoy it.
Unfortunately, one of the pieces of advice I heard over and over was, “if you have to choose between writing your next novel and writing your next blog post, choose the former.” Also, one of my friends who does read this blog pretty regularly told me that my posts seem a bit long. I generally put down between 500 and 800 words a day here. That’s two to three pages of a novel I’m not writing when I’m chatting with you here.
As a result, after this week, I have made the tough decision to post on a weekly basis. I’m moving my posting day to Wednesday and hope that this is going to work for you. Please let me know what you think.
Okay, so on to the good stuff …
I met a ton of authors–published, unpublished, e-published and everything in between. These folks can be a bit shy and introverted (as I think of myself), but their lively minds and enthusiasm for storytelling make every conversation sparkle. Plus there were enough outgoing personalities to help make everything run smoothly–especially the notorious Hospitality Suite, that has become so loud and happy sounding that the hotel management moved it to a corner room this year. You go Mario and friends! You know how to throw a great party.
We also had the annual Rick Hanson memorial Simile Contest. I never had the opportunity to meet Rick, but apparently he was a fun, funny man whose friends remembered him slipping the word “sphincter” at least once, into every book he wrote. In his honor, there is a simile contest where winners receive such distinguished awards as faerie wings, giant scissors and more. This year, the winning simile was something about blue hair like it had just gone through a Smurf sphincter. I can’t remember exactly what it was or even the award because I was so busy laughing. Presenter Lawdon kept everyone laughing, crying and plotting for next year’s effort.
One of the huge events is the Colorado Gold Writing contest of unpublished, but very talented writers in six genres. People work for months to prepare submissions to a panel of judges, the finalists being reviewed by an agent or editor. Believe me, it’s a big deal. Really big. This year, four members of my critique group were finalists (whoo-hoo!):
- Z.J. Czupor for mainstream fiction title: The Hot Tub Club
- Mindy McIntyre for mainstream fiction title: Lost in Lunacy
- Ian Ballard for action/thriller title: Total Victim Theory
- Mary Ann Kersten for young adult title: Hole in the Thumb
Whether or not you’ll ever see these books (and I have-they’re terrific), will depend on the publishing fates, but I believe you will see these author names on your bookshelves within the next few years. Great going to this team and to all the award winners.
Okay, over my word limit at this time. And late to the dog park, as seems to be becoming a bad habit. Hmmm.
Wishing you a great writing week. Please let me know if you have questions about Colorado Gold, and I’ll try to post answers for you sometime this week.