Last weekend the 28th Annual Central Coast Writer’s Conference brought a couple hundred writers to San Luis Obispo for some fabulous workshops and fantastic networking opportunities. Poet, actor, novelist, screenwriter, energy dynamo and all-around good-guy comedian Jack Grapes gave a kenote address that thrilled and inspired the entire audience.
Among the presenters was Jeff Carlson of Plague Series fame, who gave us a rundown on how to keep suspense high in our work.
The volunteers kept things running smoothly. We even garnered a lot of compliments for our smiling faces and helpful attitudes. And we all have a blast every year. Some of us have been together for years, under the able leadership of Anna Unkovich, who knows how to get things done, along with Kirk Carmichael from Communiy Services.
Conference Director Judy Salamacha (on the left, with book blogger Danielle Smith) lined up a truly stellar faculty. The energy ran high for both of the two bootcamps (Travel Writing, and Tech Toys and Tools) as well as the entire conference. I’ve been attending and/or working the conference since 2005 and I must say this year was the best ever in terms of information, energy and networking.
Best of all, SLO NightWriters again took the lion’s share of the prizes in the Lillian Dean First Page Competition. Of the 13 awards, NightWriter members grabbed 7. Congratulations to: Paul Fahey, Adrienne Harris, Rebecca Waddell (who won two prizes!), Judythe Guarnera, Anna Unkovich – and me!
Yes, that’s me, reading my winning entry. It’s a new category this year, a query letter – limited to 250 words. The judge said that my entry was “perfect.” When I heard that, I leaned over to Debra Davis Hinkle and said, “Well, it sure isn’t mine.” Then they announced my name! I couldn’t believe it. Imagine… hearing that the judge said it was a perfect query letter. My prize is I get to send the first 10 pages of my novel to the Larson-Pomada Agency. I just hope they like it as much as the judge liked the query. And I sure wish I knew who that judge was… (Read my winning query letter on the My Writing Page, Winning Entries)
The Central Coast Writers conference is definitely one not to miss. If you’re in the area next year, don’t miss it!