How can I sum up my weekend? WOW!!!! I attended the LDS Storymakers Writing Conference and then the Whitney Awards that Saturday night. I finally found a group of people where I truly fit in! Writers are a very unique group of creative and intelligent people. Not that I am calling myself creative and unique quite yet...but I felt at home.
I loved all of the classes I was able to attend. I wish that I had been able to attend ALL of them that were taught during the two days. They made us choose and I left my time turner at home so I could not go back and take all of the classes.
There were so many that were helpful for a newbie writer like me. Some of the classes I went to were:
-"Jumping in: Where/How to Start Your Story" taught by Crystal Liechty.
-"Grabbing and Keeping Kids' Attention" taught by Rebecca Shelley.
-"What Will Get You Rejected: Mistakes Not to Make" taught by Janette Rallison
-"Show, Don't Tell, for Adolescent Lit" taught by Tamra Norton and Lu Ann Staheli
-"Plot and Conflict" by Rachel Ann Nunes
-"Writing Picture Books" by Kristyn Crow and Sharlee Glenn
-"Creating and Maintaining a Character Bible" taught by Jeff Savage aka J. Scott Savage.
As I said before, there were so many other classes I wanted to attend taught by people I admire so much, but I had to toss a coin. **sigh** That was the only drawback for me, so much to learn and so little time to attend everything.
The writer's conference is such a valuable tool for writers. I could tell that even the seasoned, published authors were getting as much out of the conference as those of us hoping to some day publish. Congrats to author Jeff Savage, (who wrote Farworld, Waterkeep,) who was in charge of the conference this year. He and his committee did an outstanding job!! We could all see the incredible amount of work that was put into putting an event of this size together. I believe that there were almost 300 people in attendance at the conference. I can hardly wait until next years conference.
The Whitney Awards were outstanding again this year. The women of LDS Womens Book Review(that includes me) were very excited and nervous to present the Whitney award for Best Romance Novel of 2008. Of course it helped that we coordinated so well. I think we did Ok and we remembered all of our lines. We didn't use any notes.
It was so wonderful to see so many people there supporting the Whitney Academy. I hope that the Whitneys' continue to grow bigger and stronger every year. LDS authors deserve the recognition for the high quality of writing they do. BTW, anyone can attend the Whitney Awards Gala. If you are interested next year, let me know. It is a super opportunity to meet and chat with some of your favorite LDS Authors. The dinner and the program is also outstanding.
Here are more pictures from this fabulous evening.
Here we are with Authors Josi Kilpack, author of Lemon Tart and Julie Wright, author of My Not So Fairy Tale Life.
Jennie Hansen, author of the Bracelet Series, Shanda, Sheila, Angela Escheler, author of The Love Letters of Joseph and Emma and Jessica Day George, author of the Dragon Slippers series and my favorite, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow.
Shanda, Hillary and me with author, Brandon Sanderson, who wrote the Mistborn series. He won the Whitney Award for Best Speculative fiction.
We were excited to meet Gregg Luke, author of a great mystery/thriller called Do No Harm.
We were so happy to finally meet author H.B. (Heather)Moore, author of Abinadi . She won the Whitney Award for best Historical Fiction. She also won this award last year. What a great accomplishment.
Of course we had to have our picture taken with one of our favorite authors and friends, Rob Wells. He stepped down as the President of the Whitney Academy. It is because of him, that the Whitney Awards came about. It is his brain child. We will miss him in this capacity. He did assure us he is not going away from the writing community, but just graduated with his MBA and needs to find a real job...go figure! ;)
This beautiful lady is author, Kerry Blair, author of Counting Blessings and many super fiction novels. She was given the Life Time Achievement award. She also was named the new President of the Whitney Academy. I know that she will do an outstanding job with the Whitney Awards next year.
I will blog more and show you more pictures from the Whitney Awards later. While I have been typing, my clean family room has turned into a haven for Barbies and Transformers. Time to pay attention to the kids and their friends running through the house.