Normally I’d devote this Quarter Days column to a topic I’ve uncovered in historical research, but preparations for the California Dreamin’ Conference have consumed my life lately, and I have to share. This is going to be a great conference!
From April 5-7, 2019, authors and aspiring authors will gather at the Embassy Suites in Brea, California for workshops on the craft and the business of writing fiction. Plus, we’ll connect up with agents, editors, and industry professionals to help grow our businesses, whether pursuing traditional or indie publishing.
And we’re not just covering Romance! Kate Carlisle will teach us how to write a Cozy Mystery, Rebecca Forster will cover Police Procedurals, and Orange County Deputy Coroner Paul Hoag will talk about dissecting a death scene (sorry–couldn’t resist that image). We’ll have workshops on Women’s Fiction, and YA, and Historical Fiction.
Authors pursuing traditional publishing will have a chance to pitch to seven editors and two agents. Those following an Indie track can meet one-on-one with representatives from Ingram Spark, Draft 2 Digital, ACX/Audible and WonderPR. And since everyone, both trad and published, has to market, we’ll find workshops on selling our stories to editors, Hollywood, and most importantly, the readers!
Conference add-ons include a fabulous all day Book Camp on April 5th presented by author and writing teacher, Janice Hardy, offered for $99. Learn how to write that story from start to finish!
Short on cash? You don’t have to attend the full conference to sign up for Book Camp!
For those who do attend the conference, our Editor/Agent critique sessions are full and closed, but we still have spots for a new conference add-on: Special Author Critique Sessions. Spend $10 for an hour of expert advice!
What’s a conference without keynote speakers, and we have two! Beloved and bestselling author of Regency romance, Tessa Dare, will speak at Saturday night’s dinner. Bestselling Contemporary Romance author Theodora Taylor, known for writing alternative heroes and smart feisty heroines, will speak at Sunday’s luncheon.
And speaking of food–the conference features an opening night reception, soup-and-salad bar lunch on Saturday, and sit-down dinners on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. For those staying on site, Embassy Suites offers a full made-to-order hot breakfast.
After noshing on appetizers at the Friday night reception, attendees can pull out their laptops and tablets and take part in the great Friday Night Write-In. Get those words flowing onto the page in the company of your fellow writing enthusiasts!
Check out all the great things in store for you at the California Dreamin’ Conference and register today!
Writing conferences rock.
Mostly. Whether you’re a writer or reader or both, I can recommend that you attend one or several each year. You can learn a lot—and have fun doing it.
This year is one of my busy ones for conferences. Since I write both romances and mysteries, I belong to a lot of writing organizations and attend conferences that specialize in both.
This year, I’ll be attending Malice Domestic, featuring mysteries, in May, in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Romance Writers of America annual national conference in New York City in July.
In addition, I’ll be at the California Dreamin’ conference held by local Southern California Romance Writers of America chapters in April, and California Crime Writers, held by local Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime chapters in June. These two conferences are both held every other year locally to me—and they’re always the same year!
So, this is one of those years that I’ll attend four conferences. I enjoy doing that, partly because it’s a wonderful way to network both with other writers in the genres I love and with readers, too, who attend.
Sometimes I participate by giving talks or being on panels. Not so much this year, although I think I’ll be on a panel at Malice.
There are a lot of other conferences, too, that I sometimes attend. Some of the mystery-oriented ones that I’ll miss this year are Left Coast Crime and Bouchercon, both excellent conferences—but I unfortunately can’t attend them all!
And yes, in between all of those conferences I need to get some writing done. Travel now and then with family. Attend local chapter meetings of some of those organizations. And, of course, take care of my dogs.
So it appears that 2019 has started out busy and will only get busier.
And you? Do you attend book-related conferences? Which do you like most?
I’m not the only one who enjoyed it. I’m not the only one to thank the four wonderful Southern California RWA Chapters. But I want to express my thanks to everyone involved in the wonderful California Dreamin’ Conference!
I knew it would be fun, since, as I said last month, I was on a wonderful panel about writing series with Judy Duarte and Janet Tronstad. I hoped our audience members enjoyed it as much as I did.
Even more, I found it great fun to get together with long time romance writer friends and make some new friends as well. The sessions and panels I attended were mostly about promotion, and I learned a lot there. I did some traveling between the time of the conference and now so I haven’t been able to try to implement what I learned, but I hope to soon.
I also had a lot of fun at the book signing–and even sold some books.
So, again, many thanks for an absolutely delightful conference. And now I’m looking forward to 2017!
I can’t believe it’s finally here! I’m talking about this weekend’s California Dreamin Writers Conference. This will be my second conference so I thought I’d share some tips to help you get the most out of this experience.
1) Keep your business cards on you at all times
You never know who will be in the elevator with you or sitting next to you at lunch. It could be a potential reader, it could be your dream agent. Or it could just be someone you liked talking to for a few minutes and want to follow them on Twitter and vice versa. So have a business card handy to pass on just in case!
2) Go to at least one workshop outside your usual genre or track
Sometimes you can’t always judge a workshop or a speaker by a title or few sentence description alone. Who knows? You could learn something or meet someone important that will have an impact on your writing.
3) Have fun…but not too much fun
You wouldn’t want to miss out on some morning workshops because you stayed out all night partying, would you? There are so many great speakers at this event that it would be a shame to miss out on learning something from them because you overslept.
Even if you don’t know him or her, talk to the person sitting next to you during a workshop or at dinner. A conference is the best way to build your network of author friends.
5) Ask questions — even if you think you already know the answer
This is the only way we learn. Not only that, but asking questions can open doors that you thought were locked. So don’t be afraid!
Feel free to add your own conference tips in the comments below.
See you this weekend, I hope!
March is a busy month for OCC and its members!
First is our regular upcoming meeting on March 14–which I intend to attend.
And that’ll be followed by the California Dreamin’ Conference from March 27-29. It’s the second California Dreamin’ Conference, and it’s hosted by all four Southern California Romance Writers of America chapters: OCC, Los Angeles Romance Authors, East Valley Authors and San Diego RWA. I’m proud to say that I’m a member of two of them: OCC and LARA. Plus, I spoke not long ago at an EVA meeting. Maybe I’ll get to attend a San Diego chapter meeting too someday.
Meantime, I’ll be on a panel at California Dreamin’: So You Want To Write A Series. My fellow panelists are Judy Duarte and Janet Tronstad. I’ve spoken before about writing series, which is a real passion of mine. I’m currently writing four of them!
I hope to see you at the chapter meeting and/or California Dreamin’. Hope you’ll be at both, too. And if you’re at the conference, be sure to attend my panel!
Linda O Johnston
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