Monday, April 28, 2008

My trip to the Dogwood Conference

I just returned from the Dogwood Writing Conference and I had a wonderful. It was hosted by the KYOWA chapter of RWA and they were friendly and gracious people. I plan to attend their event again next year.

The event took place at the lodge at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park, which is in eastern Kentucky. The park is beautiful and the lodge is very nice. The dogwoods and redbuds are in bloom making for spectacular scenery. I didn’t have a lot of time to explore so next year I may go down a day early.

My husband, daughter and niece made the trip with me and hung out in the park and neighboring area while I attended the workshops. Unfortunately, we didn’t arrive in time to attend the workshop Friday night but I did have time for a little socializing. I met some very friendly people and chatted before I headed back to my room.

My daughter is thirteen and my niece is fourteen with very active imaginations enhanced by just watching Prom Night. So when the power when out at out 10pm they were convinced a stalker had cut the power lines and was about to slaughter the guests. Of course, we played along and encouraged them to a point. Needless to say, I was awake until 1am. They have managed to embellish the story and have enjoyed telling their friends about their night of horror.

I didn’t get much sleep but Saturday was still very enjoyable. After breakfast, Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency gave a workshop on query letters. It was very informative, as I hate writing query letters. Next, I attended Raelene Gorlinsky’s workshop on genre and sex. She had a great little sheet on words NOT to use to describe private parts. I don’t understand why she didn’t like–pulse-pounding swamp of love and cum or one-eyed purple-headed yogurt slinger! LOL You should see the list. If you don’t know Raelene, she is the publisher and editor of Ellora’s Cave and she is very witty and entertaining.

Authors, Pamela Cable, Cathie Shaffer and Maddie James also had workshops. I couldn’t attend them all but I especially wanted to attend Maddie’s. I spoken with Maddie online many times and I was thrilled to meet her and listen to her editing tips.

The panel of editors and agents critiqued one page from anonymous works in progress. I enjoyed this and I have to say they were right on the money as far as I could tell.

The workshops were fun but I have to say the best part was meeting new and interesting people. Hopefully, many of them will be in attendance next year.

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