Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Florida Writers Association 2010 Conference

FWA October 2010 Conference Offers Florida Writers Opportunities to Hone Craft, Make Contacts, and Get Published
— D’Este Keynote —
— Charitable Foundation —

The Florida Writers Association (FWA), a nonprofit statewide professional organization, will hold its Ninth Annual Conference on October 22-24, 2010, at the Lake Mary Marriott in north Orlando. The three-day conference will provide opportunities for attendees to hone their writing skills, make professional contacts, and learn new ways to get their work published.

“This year, we revved up our faculty by increasing the number of agents and publishers available for interviews,” said Chrissy Jackson, President of FWA. “Leading authors in a wide range of genres share their secrets for success in our workshops. Our goal is to surpass the already high amount of FWA members who are published.”

The conference, themed as, “Go for the Gold,” runs from Friday morning through noon Sunday and is expected to attract more than 300 attendees. Some 30 workshops will be offered, covering topics ranging from “You’re Never Too Old to Become a Writer” to “Unforgettable Characters: Unforgettable Stories” to “Revisions, Polishing Your Work for Publication” to “Why Did you Reject Me?” to “The One Page Synopsis.” Agents and publishers will also serve on a panel open to questions from the floor.

“We are proud of the expansive selection we offer attendees this year,” Jackson said. “During our planning process, we scrutinize applications submitted by agents, publishers, acquisition agents and authors. At the end of each conference year, we solicit suggestions and requests from FWA members and strive to provide workshops on the topics they expressed an interest in learning. In this way, FWA holds itself out from other conferences because we sincerely work according to our motto: Writers Helping Writers.”

One conference highlight will be the banquet Saturday evening, where FWA will announce the winners of the Royal Palm Literary Contest. This contest has grown in size and prestige every year since its inception, and this year offers awards for 18 categories.

Saturday’s keynote speaker will be Carlos D’Este, author of the acclaimed biographies Patton: A Genius for War and Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life, among other books on World War II. His latest biography – Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945 – is considered a definitive work, as riveting as the man it portrays. Warlord is a masterful, unsparing portrait of one of history's most fascinating and influential leaders during what was arguably the most crucial event in human history. “The Publishers Weekly stated that D’Este is the master analyst of 20th century military leadership,” Jackson said. “He provides a bare bones approach in addressing how anyone can achieve their writing goals. His workshop offers insights on researching your topic, forming your writing into art, and then how to sell your work.”

Other conference offerings will include networking sessions, professional exhibits, and the FWA bookstore, which offers many of the books written by FWA members. For a small additional charge, attendees can also book private interviews with agents, publishers, and coaches to receive one-on-one advice on getting their work published.

Door prizes have been popular in past years, and this year FWA will continue to conduct free drawings throughout all three days for unique items.

Companies interested in advertising, exhibiting, or distributing samples or premiums during the conference are welcome to contact FWA, as there are a few slots for sponsorships still open. “FWA supporters have the opportunity to promote their name on gifts, banners or even a full table display. The handouts remain with attendees for endless months, advertising our supporters well after the three day event,” Jackson said. “They donate gifts that keep giving back.”

The Florida Writers Foundation is a charitable corporation with the purpose of promoting literacy among children, youth, and adults throughout Florida. The organization has partnered with Lawyers for Literacy and the Florida Literacy Coalition to send volunteers to underprivileged schools, sponsor contests, and collect books for hurricane-damaged areas. A current partnership with Florida Department of Education, entitled “Meet the Authors” brings published children’s and young adult writers into schools for talks and readings. At the conference, FWF will raise funds through a Silent Auction. Donations to the silent auction are fully tax deductible.

Conference faculty includes agents: Rita Rosenkranz of Rita Rosenkranz Literary Agency, Gwendolyn Heasley, Roger Williams, Mary Kole of Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Kirsten Neuhaus, Mary Sue Seymour of Seymour Agency, Robert Brown and Sherene Martin-Brown of Wylie-Merrick Literary Agency, Amy Burkhardt of Kimberly Cameron & Associates; authors: Carlos D’Este, Adrian Fogelin, Donna Ballmen, Peggy Miller, Laura Parker Castoro, Debora Coty, Chuck Dowling, Dianne Ochiltree and Victor DiGenti; publishers’ representatives: Emily Ohanjanians of MIRA Books, Linda terBurg of Firestone Publications, Lindsay Harris of Aracadia Publishing, Julie Ann Howell of Peppertree Press, Chantelle Aimée Osman of A Twist of Karma Entertainment, Harley Patrick of Hellgate Press, Lynn Price of Behler Publications; craft experts: Jamie Morris, Molli Nickell, Allyson Peltier, and Penny Sansevieri.

Early Bird registration for the conference is $289 and covers all sessions and meals from Friday morning through Sunday noon.

The Florida Writers Association, 1100 members strong and growing, is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization that supports the state’s established and emerging writers. Membership is open to the public, and membership forms are posted on FWA’s website, www.floridawriters.net.

Florida Writers Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation, promotes literacy throughout Florida. All donations to the Foundation are tax deductible. For information on donating an item or service to the Silent Auction, visit www.floridawriters.net or email Larissa Hardesty at lchardesty@yahoo.com.

For additional information on FWA or the conference, visit the FWA Web site at www.floridawriters.net or contact Chrissy Jackson at chrissy@floridawriters.net

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