Sunday, January 3, 2016

Writer’s Friends—Conferences and Contests

Yikes! It’s a new year and I’ve been so busy editing that I’ve neglected this wonderful blog. Never mind. I’ll bring you up-to-date. I finished off the year with a writing conference. Every writer should avail herself or himself of the chance to mingle with like-minded individuals, and published authors who offer educational insights as well as personal advice. Some conferences for 2016

Crime Bake!
Once again, the November conference put on by Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America was wonderful. Elizabeth George, the guest author, proved to be witty, friendly, and happy to share her writing knowledge and experience. All the authors made themselves available and the panels were informative and humorous. The Master Classes provided up-to-date information on a variety of subjects and made time for Q and A. It was also a great time to catch up with all those writers I haven’t seen for a while.

Conference Opportunities: One of the perks of conferences is pitching your manuscript. This year, Crime Bake held a pitch slam or the chance to pitch to multiple agents. What an opportunity. Two agents asked me to send in partials. Another perk is a manuscript critique. I had an excellent twenty-page critique with Lucy Burdette, who gave me an in-depth review and a written assessment.

Contests: For the Crime Bake Flash
Words contest, a story having to do with crime, and no more than 150 words with 10 chosen from a list of 20 (ashes, blood, body, careless, consequences, death, deception, edge, enemy, evil, hiding, memory, missing, murder, payment, pursuit, shadows, traitor, vengeance, witness).  I was a winner for the fourth year in a row. What an exciting moment, especially sweet after reading all the other excellent submissions. Here is my winner:

Sweet Thing
I was at the River’s Edge Café when he spoke to me—the same chilling words that dogged my nightmares, “Hey there, sweet thing.”
Memories flooded my mind. I was thirteen years old, hiding to spy on my sister and her date. She’d always been careless about boys, and Mom had warned her of the consequences. That night, payment came due, and I was the witness. From the shadows, I’d listened. I’d listened as she laughed. I’d listened as she died. Since her death, I’d thirsted for vengeance.
I blinked and looked at him. The fire in his eyes almost undid me. His honeyed tongue dripped evil. “I was just headed outside for a smoke. Care to join me?”
I sucked back the fear and followed him. Tonight would be different. Tonight I was the one with the gun and the badge to back it up.

I’m beginning the new year on a high note with a Submission. On the heels of Crime Bake, I sat down and began re-editing my manuscript, Trace of Evil, to send in to a Ghostwoods Books, as they were accepting submissions until the end of the year. That done, I’m working on a synopsis for the same book to send to RWA’s Golden Heart contest. Once that is out (before 1/11/16), I will work on the changes one of the agents suggested in “Watcher Clan”. Some excellent free writing contests 

This is the year! I'm going to be published. All I have to do is keep on writing.