Tag Archives: writers’ conferences

Competition Finalist at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference

Mid July, I traveled to Seattle to the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference, as a finalist in their annual writing competition. I spent four days in the Hilton, attending workshops, meeting people, and pitching my novel to agents and editors. The last evening of the conference, Joe flew up to join me at the awards banquet. After dinner, a couple of my favorite agents invited us to a private party in one of the rooms. Fun!

Mary Flodin Pacific Northwest Writers Association Finalist

Seattle Hilton Summit Ballroom Awards Dinner

Made some friends in the pitch practice sessions, where we coached one another. Some of the writers I most enjoyed interacting with were Raegyn Perry, Chantal Quincy, Lee Ann Ward, and Lisa Montali.

Pacific Northwest Writers Association friends

Chantal Quincy, left, discusses her intriguing life and her memoir with a captivating French accent. Raegyn Perry, right, will pull you into her compelling debut novel about love and time travel.

Pacific Northwest Writer Lee Ann Perry HiltonBreakfast

Alabama beauty Lee Ann Perry, published author and former editor, enjoys the Hilton’s opulent breakfast while telling us about her newest Young Adult mystery, set in New Orleans.

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The Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference

 

The Santa Barbara Writers Conference was an outstanding experience. I took the Pacific Coast Starlight down to the conference. Salinas to Santa Barbara. Good solitary writing time in the observation car. Interesting characters on the train. Beautiful landscapes, never seen from the highway.

California Coast
California Coast from the train

One of the highlights for me was getting to work in a small group critique session with Gar Haywood and Sue Grafton. Gar is an accomplished mystery writer, an excellent critique facilitator, and a friend of Grafton. I was amazed by how just plain nice both writers are. No arrogance or games. Just real people, genuinely interested in writing and writers, and in sharing knowledge about their craft. All of the critique workshops yielded valuable insights.

The Pirates, from 9pm to after midnight every night with author and editor John Reed proved to be particularly bloody. (Kill your darlings.)

Still sifting through the fertile seeds gleaned at the conference.

 

 

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Meeting Agents

I’m at the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference. Today was Agent’s Day. I met with five agents, who each read my first five pages and heard my pitch. All of the agents were shocked and amazed by the fact that methyl bromide and chloropicrin are still being used to grow strawberries. All felt strongly that the story needs to be told.

I’m sending my manuscript to a professional thriller editor this month, for the final revision and polishing. Then it goes out to the agents.

If you’re interested in receiving a free advance copy, let me know.

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