Follow the Yellow Brick Road—to Seattle! Emerald City Writers’ Conference 2011
Billions and billions of fleeting ideas are produced day-in, day-out, by every last person on the planet. Are you really allowed a five mile an hour cushion before it’s considered speeding? Somebody needs to design the sarcasm font. Nachos! What is another word for “thesauras”? See!
As for mine? Well, mine are decidedly more romantic in nature. Not that kind of romantic. Not all the time, anyway. Who inspired Julia Quinn’s Lady Whistledown? Are vampires hotter than warewolves? Rakes! How does one write the perfect query letter? Cowboys! What do booksellers want from authors?
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, people! I was raised by a romance author. I’ve worked as a romance bookseller. And now I’m writing romance novels of my own. You can’t even imagine how much is on my mind—and now you don’t have to. Random Thoughts is the column that will answer the who, what, when, where, and whys of the romance novel world—maybe even the how-on-earth-did-that-happen ones, too! Welcome to Random Thoughts, where every road leads to romance.
You might wonder what, exactly, would bring someone to Seattle at the end of October; a time when the Emerald City has quietly slipped from a mild summer into a soggy fall and quite literally slid into dark, cold days in anticipation of the coming winter. Last weekend, most Seattleites were busily dreaming of tropical locales and drinks topped with umbrellas. Not so for over 300 romance writers, readers, editors, and agents who made their way to the 22nd Emerald City Writers’ Conference just east of the city, where they spent the entire weekend talking shop, getting their inspiration on, and honing their craft, despite the grey skies and pelting rain. Produced by the Greater Seattle chapter of the Romance Writers of America, ECWC is the largest regional romance writing conference in the west. The annual event attracts writers of romance and other genre fiction from around the world who are serious about building their careers.
With over 100 workshops, chats, and events offered, there was something for everyone. Friday alone featured a Master Class taught by renowned writing coach Bob Mayer, Diana Love’s inspirational opening address, and the ever-popular Editor Agent panel. Attendees listened to such industry experts as Ballantine editor Junessa Viloria, Knight Agency agent Melissa Jeglinksy, and Angela James of Carina Press field questions concerning everything from what they’re tired of seeing in submissions to the ideal query letter.
New York Times bestselling author Cherry Adair closed the evening in signature style by recognizing those who participated in her “Finish the Damn Book” challenge. Feather boas went to those authors who managed to complete a manuscript within a year’s time—and this year, Cherry sweetened the deal by randomly selecting eight awardees that will be given the chance to get their work in front of New York editors and agents!
Saturday and Sunday brought their A games as well, with Sherrilyn Kenyon’s heart-wrenching keynote speech, the massive bookfair which featured many local authors, and the closing talk given by Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books fame.
And those are only a few of the highlights. Yes, you read that right. Only a few. Want in on the action next year?
Be sure to check out the Greater Seattle chapter’s website for updates on what’s sure to be an awesome conference in 2012!
Stefanie, host of Random Thoughts
Stefanie Sloane’s Regency Rogues series burst onto the scene in 2011 with three captivating Regency historical romances that delighted readers and critics alike. The fourth book in the series, The Saint Who Stole My Heart, will be released April 24, 2012. Please visit her on the web at the following fabulous sites: