Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Moonlight and Magnolias!

This past weekend, I attended Georgia Romance Writers' Moonlight and Magnolias Conference, held in Atlanta. GRW is my home chapter so I'm always proud of the M&M, but this year, under Dianna Love Snell's leadership, the conference was better than ever.

Close to 300 writers participated in the three day event. We started early Friday morning with a pitch workshop. Fourteen published authors helped the unpubbed perfect their pitches. I sat at a table with some great writers who knew their stories and just needed a little tweaking to make their pitches soar. All of them went away with requests from editors and agents. Way to go, Ruth, Pat, Julie, Cheryl, Emily and Anne!

Linda Howard was our keynote speaker and entertained us with stories of her country life in Alabama where she and her hubby, two dogs and a gazillion head of cattle make their home. Linda's a wonderful, down-to-earth woman who puts everyone at ease. She also has a great sense of humor so we were laughing 'til our sides hurt as she explained how to outwit a stubborn cow.

Jennifer St. Giles and I presented a workshop with our agent Deidre Knight on Saturday and gave away copies of our books. Deidre donated a free read won by publicity guru Heidi Danis.

The highlight was the Maggie Awards ceremony. Dear friend and fellow Steeple Hill author Merrillee Whren won in the Short Contemporary category much to our delight! GRW authors Stephanie Bond and Tanya Michaels went home with a Maggie in their respective categories! Congrats to all the winners!

Many of you probably recognize Tanya's name. She ran the RWA workshops this past year and often publishes articles in the RWR. GRW recognized her contributions to both our local chapter and RWA by presenting her with the Sandra Anglain Chastain Service Award. Brigit Anderson also won for her continued service to GRW.

After two back-to-back conferences, I have to admit what Dorothy said in THE WIZARD OF OZ is true: There's no place like home!!!

Wishing you abundant blessings!


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