Tag: conference

Balticon 44

Balticon 44. This will be my 5th Balticon. I fell in love that first time five years ago. Their guest presenter was Neil Gaiman so I had to attend. It has been a great event for me every year. Partly because of the sessions and discussions with authors and agents and publishers, but mostly because of the “vibe.” That sounds so ephemeral, but it is the truth. Every year, I return home reinvigorated and ready to write.

This year, the guest of honor is Tanya Huff. I remember falling in love with the Blood Price novel and then really enjoying the Blood Ties television series when it came out. In no small part, having the heroine be a character with a disability was to me personally interesting. You can find out more about what is going on this weekend at: http://www.balticon.org

I hope to add more updates as the weekend continues.

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Dying to Write Cancelled.

The 3rd annual Dying to Write conference has been cancelled due to lack of interest.

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) Mid-Atlantic Chapter President Laura Durham put up this notice last Friday: Dying to Write Cancelled!
For those of you that don’t know, Dying to Write is a mystery writers conference held in Maryland and put on by MWA Mid-Atlantic. It is a small but talent laden conference that was held (in its first year) in a funeral home.

It’s a sad comment on the atmosphere among today’s writers that such an amazing conference had to be cancelled. With scheduled speakers such as, the ex-CIA head of the spy museum as well as too many authors to count it’s a shame that no one will be able to enjoy it.

Then again, is it all the fault of the economy? Summer vacations? Or was it something else? Could it have been the lack of advertising (on the part of the sponsors and invited guests both) about this conference? Or is it partly the fault of the organizers for not making this conference available to those wanting to attend it?

Wouldn’t this conference be more visible by purchasing dyingtowrite.com? And why aren’t the members of the MWA’s MD chapter handing out flyers, posting blog posts, and encouraging attending authors to put up alerts to their fans? And if they are, why isn’t it reaching the audience it’s striving for???

I personally would never have found out about it if I hadn’t been on their announcements list…and having attended the first I think that is a damn shame! This conference, while small, is intense and worth your time and attention as an author or author-to-be. The people are kind AND accommodating. The location (Bethesda) is nice. The authors in attendance are approachable and available.

I know I will be pounding the drum about this conference next year, and I’m not even part of MWA! And let me encourage you to help keep Dying to Write alive as well! Take a day out of your busy schedule and sign up…I’m sure you’ll be happy you did!

In the meantime, any ideas on how to spread the word would help. Just plop them in the comments.

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Respect for Romance and RWA National

RWA Rita AwardIn the writing world, and even occasionally, the reading world you will hear people making fun of romance writers and fans of the genre. Even I’ve fallen victim to the hype and find myself buying my romance novels online where no one can see me and reading them in secret. But to honor the fact that Romance Writers of America held their National Conference here in Washington DC in July, I thought it would be good to clear the air once and for all about romance novels.

According to Simba Information, which reports U.S. book sales (net revenue from retail sources) – in 2006 romance sales accounted for $1.37 billion in revenue. Okay, now considering that the total sales of in the U.S. are around $6.31 billion. If you do the math, that means that romance novel sales account for more than 21% of the market. Pretty impressive. And if that isn’t enough romance books actually dominate bestseller lists. There were 288 titles on the lists (some represented twice because of the different formats for a total of 304 books) and 161 romance authors.

Maybe it’s time to give the romance genre the respect it is due.

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