The keynote speaker, Steve Berry, presented a very inspiring and down to earth message about "hanging in there." Before he became a New York Times bestseller many times over he wrote for a few hours every morning before going to his office. He wrote and wrote. Finally, about 80 rejections, several years, and eight completed manuscripts, he received the news that "Amber Room" would be published. He has since sold all of his manuscripts. I love his work because he does so much obvious historical research and puts the reader right smack dab in the middle of a thriller. Berry and his wife, Elizabeth, are very accepting and approachable. I hear he'll be back in 2013. . .
William Bernhardt, another New York Times bestseller, offered two workshops. Wow! This guy knows how to teach and make writing our own works of any genre better. He is the author of the Ben Kincaid series. He writes primarily political thrillers. He'll be presenting a three hour intensive workshop at the 2012 conference . . .
Never did I imagine I would be in the same room at the same time with Steve Berry and William Bernhardt. Just, WOW!
OWFI offered 48 workshops to choose from. The first day began with three panels: an agents panel, a magazine editors panel, and a book editors panel. Several attendees set up appointments with the panel members. Next year I will save up some courage and make an appointment.
I can only list the workshops I chose because of space. However, if any readers wish to know more and receive the address links for any of the speakers let me know in your comments and I will get them to you.
My workshop choices:
"Breaking In: The Basics of Writing for Magazines"--Kelly James-Enger
"Fundamentals of Story"--William Bernhardt
"Flattering Your Authentic Voice"--Wendy Lyn Watson
"Build Life into Your Characters"--Charles "Chuck" Sasser
"Romance Writing Today"--Gretchen Craig
"Sin, Suffer, Cash the Checks"--Michael Bracken
"Emotional Suspense"--Lenora Worth
"Buzzing Your Book"--Elizabeth Berry
"The Hero's Journey"--Max McCoy
"The Character Driven Novel"--William Bernhardt
"How to Lose an Editor in 10 Days"--Rhonda Penders
Check out OWFI. The dues are $25/year. There are no meetings except for the conference. A glossy newsletter arrives in your own mail box at regular intervals.
Go out and write! Be productive. I love hearing from everyone.