I was fortunate to be able to attend the Royal Palm Literary Awards sponsored by Florida Writers Association on October 19. I’d not planned to attend since we were waiting on the birth of our first grandchild. But then he arrived early, and we found ourselves in Orlando just in time for the FWA conference. I bought tickets to attend. I was happy to see my friends from MWA Florida Chapter – Janet Little, Sharon Menear, Richard Conrath, Alan Pessin, Ann Meier and Victoria Landis.
First we ate dinner that had a chocolate typewriter for dessert. This treat had a blank piece of paper inserted in the form of white chocolate. We cheered each other on as the awards were announced.
I was thrilled to win the gold award for Writing the Cozy Mystery in the nonfiction – educational category. Many of my friends took home trophies as well. I wished I could have attended the entire conference, but the rest of the weekend was reserved for our kids. Such are the joys of parenthood, and now grandparenthood as well.
Are you thinking about entering a writing contest? See my article on Writing Contests for Published Authors for tips on choosing which competitions to enter.
Saturday morning at the Florida Writers Association annual conference found me starting off the workshops with a talk on “Book Promotion on a Budget.”
Next I attended Penny Sansevieri’s presentation, “Help! My Book Isn’t Selling.”
A buffet lunch followed with barbecue chicken and accompaniments. Awards were given to youth writers. After lunch, I had a booksigning and later a video interview.
Then it was time to get ready for the Royal Palm Literary Awards banquet. My family came to support me as a finalist. It was interesting to see the blurbs about each author’s book on big screens as we ate. I didn’t win, so I’ll have to try again next year. I’m still thrilled to have made the finals.
On Sunday, I attended a workshop “Bring that Action Scene to Life” by author L.E. Perez. I learned a few tips during her entertaining presentation.
Then I checked out and packed up the car to meet our family for lunch.
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This was my first time attending the Florida Writers Association annual conference. The theme was “What A Character.” I didn’t attend the Thursday all-day workshop with bestselling author David Morrell, but I did hear him speak later on. Instead, I checked into the hotel and went to faculty orientation followed by a general welcome for conference attendees.
Friday morning, things began in earnest with a breakfast buffet at 7am. Scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, bagels and pastries were on the menu. We sat at genre tables to speak to other writers in our specific categories. Here I am with true crime author Carla Norton.
First on the agenda was my talk on “Writing the Cozy Mystery.”
I put away my laptop and attended Carla’s workshop on “True Crime – Stranger than Fiction.”
Then I wandered through the bookstore organized by Murder on the Beach and the silent auction rooms. Lunch was a bountiful buffet of Italian food.
At 2pm, I was on a panel titled “Dredging Up Your Dark Side” moderated by Ken Pelham. Also on this panel were Carla Norton, Doug Dandridge, Micki Browning, and Dan Alatorre.
Later that afternoon, I attended a panel on “Effective Book Marketing with POEM” by speaker Keith Ogorek.
That evening was a welcome reception with superhero-costumed characters. The picture with a foursome has Carla Norton, Ken Pelham, Vic DiGenti, and literary agent Mark Gottlieb.
A sit-down dinner was followed by a keynote address from bestselling author Steve Berry.
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