Tuesday, October 4, 2011

2011 Moonlight and Magnolias, Part 1

Georgia Romance Writers 2011 Moonlight and Magnolias Conference has come and gone, but the friendships made and knowledge gained will live forever.

First, meet our conference co-chairs, whose dedication and hard work made the event such a huge success.
Anna Steffl and Sally Kilpatrick, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I was up and at 'em bright and early Saturday as I was in charge of basket raffle sales from 8-9. Lots of generous folks donated beautiful baskets filled with autographed books, wine, candy and assorted other goodies - even a Kindle! Then I made my way to the pitch workshop with published author Maria Geraci. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture with her so I lifted this one from her website.

Maria Geraci
I pitched my manuscript to her and she suggested ways to improve it, including ditching the note card I was reading from. Obviously, her advice was sound because both the agent and the editor I pitched to later in the conference requested a synopsis and a partial. Thanks, Maria!

Next, I went to GRW chapter president Nicki Salcedo's workshop, Turning the Other Cheek. Nicki shared her thoughts on how to use the toughest of criticism to our advantage, and explained why we should never, ever stop writing. I had an opportunity to talk more with Nicki about this later, asking specific questions related to my recent contest experience, and her insights were very helpful. You are the best, Nicki!

Nicki Salcedo
After lunch with my fellow committee members, I attended a workshop with Gabi Stevens about theme in our novels. I didn't really understand what theme was before I took this workshop. It turns out that theme is determined AFTER plot and characterizations are in place, then can be used to strengthen one's work during the revision process as well as to help when writing the synopsis. Useful, practical information! Thanks for turning on this light bulb in my head, Gabi!

Gabi Stevens & Pam Asberry

After the workshops ended, it was time for the meet and greet cocktail hour with one of my favorite authors, GRW's own Karen White. She delivered a great address in which she shared five (actually, six) things she has learned since becoming a published author. My favorite was, "Voodoo dolls are great and can be surprisingly effective but nothing beats surrounding yourself with good people, friends and fellow writers." Amen, Karen!
Karen White
Next on the agenda was Dining in Decatur. Small groups gathered in the lobby and chose various restaurants to try. My group went to Siam Thai; you can read more about my experience HERE. Great food, great friends, great fun! 

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel for a three-hour PRO workshop with Pam Vernado, Mary Barfield, Tamara DeStefano, and Connie Gillam on how to analyze a story, whether written or on film, for goal/motivation/conflict, symbolism, tension, pacing, and dramatic turning points. Interesting and informative; well done, ladies!

What a great day it was. But wait; there's more! Come back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion!


Sally Kilpatrick said...

What a nice re-cap! Thanks, Pam!

Pam Asberry said...

Thanks for all your hard work, Sally. It really was the best conference EVER. :-)

Maria Geraci said...

It was great meeting you, Pam! Best of luck with those submissions :)

Tami Brothers said...

Great recap, Pam. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful information. It makes me feel like I was there (almost). Next year.

Tami :)

Pam Asberry said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, Maria! I will be sure to let you know how it all turns out!

Pam Asberry said...

We really missed you, Tami, and are COUNTING on you being there next year! :-)

S.M. Carrière said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S.M. Carrière said...

Oooh! Synopsis and partial! That's fabulous! Go you! I'm so excited for you! There're a lot of exclamation marks in this comment!

Pam Asberry said...

There were lots of exclamation points in my blog post too, S.M.! :-) I'm keeping my fingers AND toes crossed this time!

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