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F. P. Dorchak

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Pikes Peak Writers Conference (PPWC) 2008
4/28/2008 9:23:21 AM

The PPWC 2008 in Colorado Springs, Colorado was quite the success for many, April 25 - 27, myself included. Some 300 attendees swarmed around the publishing world’s agents, editors, and writers. Lots “itsabout” itis: “It’s about a tough LA P.I., see...” or “It’s about a hot dead guy” (this one I did hear)....

The sixteenth annual PPWC was held at the Marriott and it was three days of no sleep, lots of talking (my voice is still raw and much more “manly sounding” than I normally sound), and lots of learning. Editors and agents continue to come and make themselves available to the writing public. There are even some invited for the very first time who had been dying to be invited for YEARS and finally were. But all of them, without any exception I can think of, make themselves accessible. What writers have to remember, and which was said many times during the conference, is that editors and agents really ARE people. And this is true. They get altitude sickness, hungry, tired, grumpy, you name it, but you handle them (hopefully politely and respectfully) like anyone else you meet in similar situations and conditions. But what I think is also sometimes missed is that so are WRITERS. Sometimes we get so caught up in our protocols and methods on both sides of the fence and need to realize that people behave differently under stress, because, believe me, this was a stressful time, especially in the sleep-depravation department (and within which I counted myself; I went IN tired, which I don’t normally do--just worked out that way this year--lotsa caffeine, baby. And adrenaline). But in any event, all I saw was a lot of smiling faces, focused faces, and scurrying about. I didn’t seem to notice much pitching in the hallways this year, but that could just be because there weren’t the 400-attendee count we’ve seen in the recent past, and they cornered them elsewhere (the bar is a popular spot). But, hey, 300 is still FINE!

This year was great for me, and was the first time I’d ever had TWO manuscripts (mss) requested at the same conference. My UFO and my supernatural murder mystery mss. And that’s what this is really all about (well, that and the LEARNING)--getting your feet in the door. Makin contacts.

We had some great speakers, and one in particular was a blast, author David Liss. I had the honor of moderating one of his panels, and did not expect the personality that well, um, assaulted me: he’s frigging funny! Sorry, David, but you just don’t get that upon seeing or meeting you for the first time! He’s clean cut and quite professional in appearance, but all that masks the tongue and wit that are spunky and sidesplitting!

And there’s only one way to describe the transplanted-for-many-years Australian/New Jersey Agent Cherry Weiner: she’s a TRIP! An absolutely entertaining personality with lots of industry stories to tell us all. And ENERGY?! She’s a locomotive on Red Bull.

It was great to see not only our returning VIPs, like Pat LoBrutto and Steve Saffel, et cetera, but also some new faces, like Liz Scheier, Toni Plummer, and the above-mentioned Cherry and David, etc. I constantly hear from staff, VIPs, and attendees how approachable, well-organized, and just plain, flat-out FUN the Pikes Peak Writers Conference is, from its very inception and founding “Father,” Jimmie Butler, and it continues to be that way, its board members and steering committee members (if it’s still called that) never content to rest on their laurels and always looking to better it every year. These are big-hearted people who take time out of their day and WRITING lives to put Herculean effort toward making this conference a consistent and resounding success.

Bravo to all involved!


Frank
All Writing Helps All Writing


Comments (2)

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Greta, Unknown Territories by Elizabeth Dunaj

With the decision made, Greta leaves the land and people she trusts to head west with her seven daughters and friend Ellie. They begin a quest no woman at that time would attempt w..  
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