First, big news about an author we represent: thriller Maegan Beaumont’s Carved in Darkness won the IPPY Award Gold Medal in the Suspense/Thriller category. If you haven’t read it, you owe it to yourself to read her gripping, moody novel about a homicide investigator who begins looking into a crime and finding echoes of her own past. Congratulations, Maegan!
Second, novelist Holly Lorincz took the IPPY bronze medal in the General Fiction category for Smart Mouth — quite an achievement when you consider there were more than 5000 entrants. I have said numerous times that Smart Mouth was one of the best debut novels I’ve ever represented, and I love her story of a shy first-year teacher having to deal with the contemporary problems of small town high schoolers, all while balancing her own relationships and being coerced into coaching the speech and debate team. You can find her book on Amazon, and I guarantee you’ll enjoy it. Congrats to Holly (who works here part-time, by the way).
Third, several people have asked me what I think are the best conferences and workshops available. In my view, there are too many to count these days. I just got back from a wonderful Blue Ridge writer’s conference, and I think it has morphed into the best CBA conference for writers. There are a number of smaller writing conferences going on this summer, and many will be good — Breadloaf, Willamette, MidWest Writers Workshop, Thrillerfest. I’ll be at the Willamette conference, as well as at Western Writers of America. Of course, I tend to think RWA and ACFW are simply the two best “big” conferences on the planet. A great place to meet other writers, get introduced to the industry, and learn from experienced writers, editors, and agents.
Fourth, bestselling author Janice Thompson (Weddings by Design, Weddings by Bella, Texas Weddings, etc) is now teaching some online writing courses. If you want to learn from an experienced author with a great sense of humor, check out her classes at www.freelancewritingcourses.com
Fifth, an attorney with a great writing voice has created a “legal humor site,” I’d guess you call it, and it’w well worth checking out. A lot of laughs at www.loweringthebar.net . And if you’re sitting around bored and in need of a funny look at the writing business, take a peek at http://slushpilehell.tumblr.com . A hilarious review of bad queries, created by an agent who sees too many of them.
Sixth, I STILL HAVEN’T HEARD FROM OUR BAD POETRY WINNER, TRACY ADKINS. Her copy of MOON PEOPLE is burning a hole in my desk. I assume this isn’t famous country singer Trace Adkins, so if you know the bad poet, please encourage her to be in touch so she can receive her Grand Prize!
Seventh, I have to go get ready for BEA next week… and that means a LOT of planning and preparation on what will be a beautiful weekend at the beach. You can go enjoy the sun; I’ll be inside packing and printing off lists.