I had a ton of fun not just learning from James Scott Bell--who is quite the character--but from Holly Payne, agents Joanna Stampfel-Volpe and Ginger Clark and editors Christine Pride and Anne Bensson. We had terrific weather so Anne was able to enjoy the mountain and sun while meeting with authors out of the Elevations Hotel deck.
There were so many terrific highlights. Let's start with the food! The food was wonderful. I was quite sad that they wouldn't let me take home the steak left-overs from the awards luncheon. Awards luncheon. We announced the winners at the beginning of the conference and then at the awards ceremony, the attending finalists sat on a panel and told us about their personal writing journey. It was wonderful to get to know them better!
Then Friday nite a bunch of us went into town to have a drink with the agents & editors and to chat about genre specific stuff at Rumors coffee house and Timberline Restaurant. Saturday was filled with more terrific workshops and agent editor appointments for those chosen by the agents and editors via the Pitch and Pages--a big hit BTW. Look at the website if you don't know about our wonderful Pitch and Pages.
Then we ended the day with a most popular workshop, the reading of first pages. Attendees volunteered their pages a-n-d, I slipped in 5 best selling authors' first pages just to see what the panel would say about current successful authors' first pages. The agent/editors only picked one as a bestselling author--Judy Blume. Ginger Clark was heartbroken that she wasn't impressed with the opening of Jennifer Weiner's July release. Attendee and Sandy Finalist, Elysia Whisler's first pages were so impressive the panel thought her pages were from a best-selling novel and editor Christine Pride of Broadway Books (Random House) asked to read the whole book! Yea, Elysia!!!
Then after a quick dinner in town, we headed back to the mountain for drinks and to be entertained by readings from Sandy Finalists and local authors & poets. It was very entertaining and much enjoyed event.
The weekend wasn't a total hit for a few people. Agent Ginger Clark got a nasty stomach bug, one attendee slipped in the shower and spent Friday morning getting a 6" gash across her nose and eyebrow stitched--poor thing. And then an attendee's husband had a mountain biking accident and broke his arm and got all scratched up. Hmmm I wonder if these conference casualties are a first. Be careful, people!
But all in all people seemed to have a wonderful time--I know I did! I made many new friends that had better keep in touch with me. It's such a small, intimate conference, as Kaki Warner put it, it's more like a family reunion. Well said, Kaki. And we like it that way.
Thanks for everybody's help. Pictures to come next week. Now to take a couple of months off before starting on '11s.