Sunday, January 9, 2011

Conference Report - Who Was There - Part 2

See Part 1.

Okay, now that I'm done with Christmas shopping, I can get back to reporting on the NCWN Fall Writer's Conference I attended at the beginning of November.

Here are some of the people (and/or entities) I met.  In this post, I'll concentrate on people who ran the exhibition booths, which were run by publishers, authors, editors, etc.

As soon as I walked through the door into the exhibition room, I was hailed by one Daniel Hill Zafren.  I think he said something like, "Come on in - don't be shy."  He must be an expert at handling introverts.  And wouldn't you know it?  He seemed to me to be an introvert himself.  He was really easy to talk with.

We discussed the publishing company he's with: Time Treasures Books.  I picked up a couple of the books he had on display.  They were paperbacks, and well put together.  I didn't realize at the time that those were his books.  You can look inside one of his books here on Amazon.

He's also an antique collector.  Take a closer look at his picture in the link above, and you'll see some of his pieces.  He had some of them on display with him as well.

I told him that I write science fiction, and I asked if they publish sci-fi.  He answered, "I suppose we could do that."  He invited me to send in a query package, and if it's good quality, he'll consider publishing it.  Right now they're looking for some new talent to expand.  I'll keep him in mind.

I also came across John G Hartness, a self-published author who had a booth set up to sell his books.  He was excited that I write sci-fi.  He said, "Then you'd love to read my books.  Buy one."  I found myself buying two: The Chosen and Hard Day's Knight.  They're both published through CreateSpace.

Unlike most authors I've met, John is very much outgoing.  His personality grabbed my attention immediately.  During the Saturday breakfast panel discussion, when the topic was turned to self publishing, John stood up in front of everyone and said, "I totally recommend self publishing.  Buy my books."

He presented in open mic at the end of the day, and he gave a well rehearsed reading.  Most authors began their readings with a quick awkward introduction, but not John.  As soon as his name was called, his voice boomed from the back of the room as he commenced reading a short excerpt.  He walked to the front of the room as he read.  Then when he was done, he introduced himself and read a couple more things.

Did I mention that he's really big on self-publishing?  I'll have a separate blog entry just on that subject a little later.

I met a couple of people outside the exhibition room who directed me to stop by their booths.  I already mentioned sitting next to Margaret Bauer at dinner.  She's the editor of the North Carolina Literary Review.  When she heard that I do science fiction, she sold me a sci-fi edition of her review (at a discount) and suggested that I send something in.  I have yet to look over the review she gave me, but once I do, I'll have an idea what to send in.

She's also a teacher and she was very busy.  She even had to leave dinner early to attend to business.  Boy - I wish I could be that busy in my writing.  Just imagine: my agent calling me all the time to tell me about all the opportunities that keep popping up.  Wow!

I didn't get this next person's name.  (I want to say it was JC Walkup, but I can't be sure.)  I met her outside some elevators.  We talked briefly, and I gave her my card.  She saw that I do sci-fi and humor.  She said that I should consider sending in a humor piece for her magazine, and said I should stop by the booth and grab a copy of the magazine as well as a copy of the submission guidelines.

The magazine is called Fresh.  It's a universal theme publication, and seems to center around the mountainous western half of North Carolina.  The magazine contains short stories, poems, and essays.  It's a fun read.

I also did not get a name from the next booth.  I checked out the Pedestal Magazine.  This magazine is entirely online.  It's sponsored in part by the NC Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.  When I saw their logo, I instantly remembered it from some research I had conducted a few months prior.  This is one of the few magazines eligible for SWFA Membership.  That is, if I get three short stories published in this magazine, I can join the SWFA.

I was excited to learn that this was a NC publication.  Of course, I will check out their magazine shortly and see if I can send them an appropriate short story.

For this last booth, I must add that this person grabbed my attention while I was waiting to speak to someone at another booth.  He represented doe branch ink.  It's a writer's retreat in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

He gave me a card and some literature.  But to tell you the truth - I'm broke, and I don't see any opportunity in the near future for me to go on any writer's retreats.  I'm not exactly sure how they work, either.  It does sound like a fun getaway - and I love watching nature, but does a retreat really help get the writing juices flowing?  Maybe one day I'll find out.  Currently, I have the opposite problem - I have all these ideas that want to get written down, but there just isn't time.  I already have the inspiration, and I just need to get the perspiration out.

But - I'll keep them in mind.  Perhaps later when I become an established writer and I quit my day job and I'm burned out - then yes - I'll look them up.  (Alternatively - if anyone wants to pay my way, I may take you up on the offer and I'd promise to write a review on the experience.)

I think that covers all the people I met in the booths.  Stay tuned when I turn to the other writers I met.

Happy Writing!
Mel

1 comment:

Liz said...

you need to tape record all your thoughts then when you have time they are not lost