My Adventures at the Naples Press Club Writers Conference

I had a grand weekend at the Naples Press Club Writers Conference as a volunteer. So many things happened there that I’m going to have to sum it up with obnoxious bullets.

  • I got to know the members of the Naples Press Club. What a generous bunch of people. They made me feel included even though I didn’t know anyone well. They even invited me to have dinner with them on Saturday night. I had to wait until my sister’s birthday party was over, but I stopped by for fifteen minutes and brought the hubby. I’m going to join the Naples Press Club as an Associate Member as soon as I can steal $50 from my food budget. (With Weston Commercial Cleaning, Inc. still a startup business, $50 is a lot.) For more information on the Naples Press Club, visit www.naplespressclub.org.
  • I got to reaquaint myself with Dr. Molly Barrow, Ph.D. Molly is a fellow ArcheBooks author. She’s a psycologist, and her first book, Matchlines, is about relationships and finding a good match. I’ve read the book, and she’s right on. If you’re in a serious relationship or thinking about getting married, I encourage you to read Matchlines. Now you wouldn’t believe it, but almost 7 years ago, I was the manager of a small coffee shop called Java Java, and Molly and her husband used to come in all the time. I can’t believe that both of us are now fellow ArcheBooks authors. Find out more about Dr. Molly at www.askdrmolly.com.
  • I got to know Robert Dean Bair. Bob is an ArcheBooks author whose book, The Cloisters of Canterbury, was published by ArcheBooks in September. Bob was part of a secret special forces Army unit back in World War II. My husband immediately liked him and wanted to know more about his experiences, so I bought him Bob’s book.
  • I got to hang out with my friend, Sandy Lender (see the Today the Dragon Wins link), and ArcheBooks authors: Linda Bilodeau
    (
    www.lindabilodeau.com), Prudy Taylor Board (www.prudytaylorboard.com), and Penny Lauer. We formed an author speaking group called the ArcheBook Divas. (Actually, they formed it. I just chimed in every now and then because I kept getting called away, but they included me anyway because they are a great bunch of women.)
  • I got to hang out with Linnea Sinclair, a RITA award winner (think Oscars for the Romance genre) and writer of a bunch of science fiction/romance books. She gave me a lot of practical advice, and even offered to help me become a better writer. I love Linnea’s personality. She’s honest and intense–my kind of woman. (I love to hang out with intense women. It’s one of my requirements.) She’s also the secretary of the South Florida Romance Writers of America–more on them later. What I love about Linnea is her desire to help other authors. I watched her give writing advice and even offer to refer other authors to her agent all days. What a generous woman. For more about Linnea Sinclair and her books, visit www.linneasinclair.com.
  • I got to watch my publisher, Robert Gelinas, solve a rubics cube in less than three minutes. I’m telling you, the guy is a genious. I’m going to have to catch him at a dull moment and get him to teach me how to do it. (He kind of gave me a start at a strategy, so I might be buying a rubics cube in the near future….)
  • I made some valuable contacts, and new things might be on the horizon…. I’ll keep you all informed.

If you’re a writer, and you want to get published, I really encourage you to go to writers conferences. I probably made three contacts this weekend that might pay big dividends in the future, and that’s just at this conference. Last conference, I had (endured might be a better term) a fifteen minute pitch session with a man named Robert Gelinas (which turned into an hour long conversation), and six weeks later, he offered me a contract for a book called A Prophecy Forgotten. Who knows where a writers conference might get you.

For more information on my debut novel, A Prophecy Forgotten, check out my website at http://www.elysianchronicles.com.

About M. B. Weston

M. B. Weston is an award-winning fantasy, pulp, young adult, steampunk, and paranormal author. Her attention to procedure and detail gives her works an authentic gritty, military feel that takes an adventure tale to the level of a true page-turner. Weston’s writing attracts both fantasy and non-fantasy readers, and her audience ranges from upper-elementary students to adults. A gifted orator, Weston has been invited as a guest speaker to numerous writing and science fiction/fantasy panels at conventions across the US, including DragonCon, BabelCon, NecronomiCon, and Alabama Phoenix Festival. She has served on panels with such authors as Sherrilyn Kenyon, J. F. Lewis, Todd McCaffrey, and Jonathan Maberry. Weston has spoken to thousands of students and adults about the craft of writing and has been invited as the keynote speaker at youth camps and at several schools throughout the US.
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4 Responses to My Adventures at the Naples Press Club Writers Conference

  1. Raven Bower says:

    Plus it looks like a lot of fun.What generally happens at them?

  2. M. B. Weston says:

    Writers conferences are generally set up with:1) Writing workshops about topics ranging from how to write better to how to get published to how to market your book once it gets published2) Author book signings, generally held by authors who are presenting the workshops3) Pitch sessions with agents and editors, giving you face time with a prospective agent and a chance to get over the “slush pile.”4) Chances to meet other authors and network.Since you’ve got a book coming out, you can probably start calling writers conferences in your area and asking them if they need workshop presenters and offering to present something. (Saying, “I’m a traditionally published author, and I was wondering if you needed any workshop presenters,” usually gets you a quick response.) In your case, you could say, “I was wondering if you needed anyone to present a workshop on horror?” Then you 1) have a captive audience that 2) likes or has an interest in horror and will 3) probably want to buy a signed copy of your book. I found that “Shaw’s Lists” (an online list of everything) has a great list of writers conferences. (I don’t have the website, but you can google it.)

  3. Raven Bower says:

    Thanks :)I couldn’t find the list of confrences but I googled writing and reading conferences – there’s a lot in Florida!

  4. Nigel says:

    Is that why Sandy was gone so long Sunday? She was hanging out with you? I knew I should have hovered at that conference to get her to leave faster…She should have been here, at home, writing…Nigel Taiman

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