I am going to chat about the conference in three parts: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I have to say that I am continually impressed with PNWA for managing to pull together some top-notch presenters. This year I took classes from:
- Louise Marley (awesome science fiction writer from these parts).
- Alice B. Acheson (publicist)
- Scott Driscoll (writer)
- Rick Mofina (writer; he was an excellent presenter)
- Kat McKean (agent)
- Ginger Clark (agent)
- James F. David (writer)
- Kat Richardson (local writer of urban fantasy)
I put Ms. Marley at the top because I really believe that any writer would benefit from a class with her. She was teaching a class about pacing and point of view, and I was concerned that it would be too basic to be interesting. Instead, she really made a lot of things make sense to me that have been eluding me for awhile now. Ms. Marley has a lot to offer to everyone; I even saw a well-published author there taking notes.
My next favorite presenter was Rick Mofina. He is a thriller writer and a journalist. If you write thrillers, or have thriller aspects to your stories, this guy is a whiz at breaking down what elements need to be present in your story. He also has tons of interesting war stories from his years working the cops and crime beat for a major Canadian newspaper.
Alice Acheson was a surprise treat. I went to her class about marketing because I know that as my book moves past the agent stage (here’s hoping that the agency sells it soon), I want to be a big part of promoting my book. Ms. Acheson was wonderful. First, she handed out a timeline that shows the process from the acceptance of the manuscript at the publishers to the book being on the shelves. She talked a lot about when you need to push and how you can help your in-house publicist (who probably has a 100 clients) promote your book. Awesome!
They rest of the presenters were excellent. I am truly happy with what I learned at the conference.
Three cheers for more tools in the bucket!