First, thank you so much for inviting me to the Writers’ Alley! I admire all you Alley Cats, and am so pleased to be here. And what a privilege to speak about something near and dear to my heart: the North East Texas Writers' Organization’s 28th annual Writers' Round-up Conference in Mt. Pleasant, Texas on Friday and Saturday, April 25-26th, 2014. This year, we’ll return to the Mt. Pleasant Civic Center barely south off Interstate 30.
There’ll be Pitching, Mentoring, and Self-publishing appointments offered; great Writing and Marketing Workshops, and Read and Critique Sessions with published authors in attendance for those who rarely have the opportunity for live feed-back. And new this year is the First Chapter Contest open to everyone - you don not have to attend to enter and we're offering over $1250 in cash and prizes to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners including submission of a completed manuscript to a New York agent!
I’d like to share my personal conference experiences with y’all so you’ll know where I’m coming from. After I’d barely started writing seriously in the late ’80s, I attended the Ozark Writers Conference in Arkansas, thoroughly enjoyed myself, and won a First Chapter Contest on a book that was published years later.
Eighteen years passed until I attended NETWO’s 2012 Writers’ Round-up and met Mary Sue Seymour from The Seymour Agency in New York. I played as her go-for making sure there wasn’t anything she needed during the event then enjoyed driving her the two-and-a-half hours back to the DFW International Airport. I’d recently moved from the Metroplex, so the traffic didn’t bother me as it did so many of my new ‘country’ friends.
On the way, Mary Sue told me if I’d write a historical Christian romance set in the 1800s, she’d sell it. So I dropped her off on Sunday and started writing VOW UNBROKEN on Monday, sent it to her 9 weeks later in July. She signed me to a representation contract in August and true to her word, sold it to Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster in October, a little more than five months after we first met at Writers’ Round-up.
She also told me to join and try to attend the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference being held in Indianapolis in 2013. Somehow, God made a way, and I did. The thrill of it overwhelmed me, meeting so many Christian authors in one place. I made so many bonds I know will be lifelong with other attendees and met my Howard editors, Frank Peretti, and so many more authors, editors and agents in this wonderful industry of publishing. And I LOVE that there’s a Christian segment!
SO, though my experience is slight—only three conferences—it’s taught me that attending conferences is a wonderful and important part of being a writer. It’s an awesome place to Network and learn more about the industry. And I want to invite you to ours! Find out all about it and the First Chapter Contest at: http://www.netwo.org
Here’s our wonderful Faculty for 2014:
JIM HART, Literary Agent at Hartline Literary Agency - Looking for unique, engaging women’s fiction, great YA, spiritual warfare, and some sci-fi and fantasy.
MIKE FARRIS, Literary Agent at the Farris Literary Agency is looking for both fiction and non-fiction and loves Texas authors!
Theses ladies will offer their experience, expertise, and guidance to authors at all stages.
LENA NELSON DOOLEY, author and mentor OR ACFW Mentor of the Year and award winning author with more than 800K books in print.
ALLISON PITTMAN, multi-published author and mentor, writing trainer, teacher, speaker, actress and comedian.
AMY LILLARD, a 2013 Carol Award-winning multi-published author and mentor who loves reading romance novels from contemporary to Amish.
PUBLISHER APPOINTMENTS: for those wanting information on self-publishing
SHARI PARKER, Publisher and author at Shari Parker Publishing and Printing helps writers fulfill their dream of publishing through her complete and unique services. Shari wants to speak with anyone who’s considering the Indy publishing route, so bring your questions. And she’s an author herself, too. Many conference attendees can speak to Shari’s competence and integrity.
LENA NELSON DOOLEY (above), award winning author with more than 800K books in print, will expound on "Layering Pizzazz"
ALLISON PITTMAN (above), multi-published author, mentor, writing trainer, teacher, speaker, actress and comedian will bring a humorous talk on.
MIKE FARRIS (above), Literary Agent at the Farris Literary Agency will present “Eight Steps To Dynamic Storytelling”.
JAMES R. CALLAN, author, holds workshops on "Character: The Heartbeat of the Novel" and "How to Write Great Dialog
FRED CAMPOS, an effective social media marketer and networking guru will share "Thirty Tips To Use Social Media"
KATHY L. PATRICK, author and Pulpwood Queens Book Club founder, with 500+ chapters, the largest "meeting and discussing" book club in the world as seen on Good Morning America and The Oprah Winfrey Show!
SHARI PARKER (above), Publisher at Shari Parker Publishing and Printing and author , “Hit Your Target and Sell More Books!”
AMY LILLARD (above), a 2013 Carol Award-winning multi-published author, will be informing all on “Brand! Brand! Brand!”
GINNIE BIVONA, Publisher, author, TV writer, and speaker will present “To E or not to E? That is the Question!”
J. LEE BUTTS, Berkley multi published author brings “How to Get Published~Lotta Luck and a Bit of Talent”
READ & CRITIQUE SESSIONS:
With multi published authors Ginnie Bivona, Jimmy Butts, Ron and Caryl McAdoo, and more.
Caryl has always loved to write, and she's excited with her first historical Christian romance VOW UNBROKEN, debuting March 2014 from Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster. For every good blessing - including 10 children (4 by birth, 6 by marriage) and 14 grandchildren - she gives God the glory. Caryl lives a country-life with Ron, her husband of forty-five years and four grandsons, outside Clarksville, Red River County Seat, located in far Northeast Texas