San Francisco Writers Conference 2016

Just left the San Francisco Writers Conference. We’re travelling in our RV back to Arkansas, sitting in a beautiful county park site just outside Tucson, looking out at all the amazingly varied cactus. The mountains here are stunning as well. I’ve had a chance to let everything I heard at the SF Writers Conference sink in and have come to the conclusion that it was a fabulous experience. I attended the conference with my husband, Carl Rohne, also a writer who has been working on his book, “I Can Do That!”, about the 20,000-mile honeymoon we took back in 2010 in our first RV, from St. Louis, across Canada and up to the Arctic Ocean, all around Alaska and back down Route One to San Francisco.
At the SF Conference, I met many other writers working in all genres. Heard some incredible presentations by agents from NY to LA. Attended workshops given by traditional publishers as well as those who offer hybrid and self-publishing, and met a plethora of professionals in the industry who offer services such as content development and strategy, publicity and promotion, author website building and SEO, and experts on social media and author platforms. It was a lot to take in. One of the neatest things was when we arrived, the first person we saw a NY agent whom we met a couple of years ago at the St. Louis Writers Conference. At that conference, I attended every workshop she presented and learned an unbelievable amount about writing and publishing. At that conference, she asked us both to send the first few chapters of our book to her for consideration which we did but didn’t hear anything back. As soon as she saw us in SF, she told us she had taken a year or so off due to family illnesses and wanted to chat with us as she had all the info with her we had previously sent. It didn’t matter to me if she had liked my material or not — I had learned so much from her at the St. Louis Conference and she had so inspired me back then that I was simply delighted to see her again. We met with her later and she was generous with her time and extremely helpful, suggesting we both write articles for major magazines/newspapers since both of our books had neat things that would fit beautifully into articles.She said it would help build our author platforms and get us some publishing credits. When I mentioned I had taken everything out of my book about my teenaged years as the mascot to the Beat generation writers and about Ken Kesey taking me under his wing for protection, all with the blessings of my father I had him meet, she immediately broke in and said I should write that all up as an article.

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