Pikes Peak Writers Conference 2015 was a success! Now that it's done, I'm working on recovering. Talk about a jam-packed week:
Tuesday we had a meeting, so this was our short work day (though, as treasurer, I went home and had a lot of prep work to do before disappearing for several days.)
Wednesday we did the major prep-work for conference (stuffing registration packets, picking up supplies, setting up the bookstore, etc.), with the day starting in the afternoon and us wrapping up at about 12:30 at night.
Thursday was the add-on day, with programming from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. I attended a ghost hunt with Graves Paranormal as the PPW representative. It was fun seeing how the various instruments were used, and we had some interesting things occur, which weren't expected, as it's not a known haunted hotel.
Friday and Saturday were our full days of programming. I moderated a few sessions, read people's work in our Read & Critique 123 sessions, helped with ballroom, and did whatever else was needed. The book signing was Saturday. My minis got to come in, with my son excited to meet R.L. Stine. My daughter refused to go near him, no matter how nice he and his wife were, but she did get to meet a local author (DeAnna Knippling, who writes MG horror under the name DeKenyon) whose books she has been reading over and over, and who signed her quite worn copy of one of the books.
I had the opportunity to sit at the head table for all but one meal, meaning I got to chat with Mary Kay Andrews, Andrew Gross, and Seanan McGuire. I was seated with the winners of our Zebulon writing contest for one of the meals, which meant I didn't get to sit at R.L. Stine's table, but he was friendly and funny, as was his wife Jane, and I chatted with him at a staff/faculty mixer instead.
If you ever have the chance to meet him, I highly recommend it. Both he and his wife are friendly and funny. Both of them, plus Seanan McGuire and DeAnna Knippling, were great with my kids, which I appreciated, as there were a lot of people at the signing, so it was a bit overwhelming to my littles. DeAnna got down on the floor to talk to my daughter and sign her book. Seanan told her jokes and sweetly waved at my son (who is more bashful than my daughter). Jane Stine told people in the signing line that kids come first, and insisted she and Bob take the time to get a picture with my son and sign both books he picked up.
At the Saturday banquet, I was awarded Volunteer of the Year. Much to my relief, I'd thought we were hopping into the contest awards, which I was helping with, so had already done a face and tooth check (as in, "Is there any food on my face/in my teeth?") And I was feeling blissful from a heavenly chocolate cream pie I'd just eaten for dessert. Mmmm.
I moderated sessions I was interested in, so ended up attending a workshop on short stories presented by Rod Miller, a session on female serial killers presented by Pete Klismet, one on prologues by Laura DiSilverio, and one on rejection by Mike Befeler. I also attended one on other serial killers by Pete Klismet, but I wasn't moderating that one. I look forward to listening to all the ones I missed on the recording.
Sunday was a half day, with morning programming, then everyone heading home after lunch. For staffers, that meant clean up, closing up the bookstore, etc. I got home about 4:30 and promptly dozed on the sofa. That night, I slept 9 hours, which is amazing considering my sleep at conference consisted of 13 hours total from Wednesday night to Sunday morning. As you can imagine, I was exhausted. Given, no one sleeps well at conference. For me, I wouldn't have slept much better at home, but I'm betting I would have gotten a tad more. Happily, I had a roommate who worked hard to not disturb me in the mornings, and seemed to know not to engage me, even when I was awake when she got up. You don't talk to insomniacs in the middle of the night/early morning unless they talk to you first, people! It's an unwritten rule. Once I'm engaged in an interaction, especially verbal, all chances that I might fall asleep are gone, ffffft, out the window. A combination of a helpful roommate and spa and rain sound apps I downloaded onto my phone gained me a few hours of sleep from my first night (during which I got 1 hour of sleep). Yay!
Not only was the event a hit, but I had great fun with friends, got asked to dance spontaneously by someone in the bar line (who then went on to dance with a bunch of other random gals for the rest of the night in the bar), tried out a new restaurant one of the nights where food wasn't included in the conference (Thursday), and chatted with agents, editors, and writers galore.
As treasurer, much of my work began when conference ended, so I've spent the last couple days working on that. Note to self: arranging coins on the floor and using a dry erase board to track counting of cash is ineffective when you have a cat. I should have taken a picture of her managing to lay across both the piles of carefully arranged coins and the dry erase board. Sigh. Despite her help, I got the counting done, and she has continued to follow me around, getting into anything I'm doing, since I got home. I'm fairly certain she missed me more than my children did.
(All posted photos taken by Jared Hagan, official PPWC photographer.)
With all that said, it's time for links!
Zero One Publishing is seeking short stories for their anthology, Whispers From the Abyss. Flash fiction and short stories up to 4500 words. They want stories in the spirit of H.P. Lovecraft's mythos. Pays a penny per word and contributor copies. Deadline May 30.
Arc Poetry Magazine wants spoken word poetry. Deadline May 15. Regular poetry submissions end May 31. Can submit up to 3 poems. Pays $40 per page, plus contributor copy.
One Story is looking for literary fiction short stories. 3000-8000 words. Pays $500 and contributor copies. Submission period closes May 31.
Glimmer Train has three free submission periods per year, with one of them in May. Short fiction, open genres. Pays $700, plus contributor copies. Reading period ends May 31.
SpeckLit is looking for drabble length fiction and non-fiction. Speculative fiction. 100 words. Pays $.05/word. Deadline May 31.
The Liz McMullen Show is looking for lesbian historical romance for Through the Hourglass. 3000-5000 words. Pays $30, plus contributor copies. Deadline May 31.
Crossed Genres seeks science fiction and fantasy with the theme of the year 2065. 1000-6000 words. Pays $.06/word. Deadline May 31.
Pole to Pole Publishing is accepting stories for their Hides the Dark Tower anthology. Science fiction, fantasy, and horror involving a tower. 500-5000 words. Pays $.02/word, plus contributor copies and possible royalties. Deadline May 31.
Christina Escamilla Publishing is looking for dark fiction for the anthology The Deep Dark Woods. Flash fiction up to 500 words, short fiction up to 8000 words. Pays $.05/word, plus contributor copy. Deadline May 31.
Pulp Modern is looking for genre fiction, including crime, horror, science fiction, and westerns. 2000-5000 words. Pays 1/4 cent per word. Deadline June 1.
Any of these of interest? Anything to share? Publishing news? Who is your favorite author to have met?
May you find your Muse.
Looks like you had a great time, and congrats on the award!
What a great conference! People like you are the ones who make conferences happen.
That's what cats do!
Congratulations on Volunteer of the Year. From everything you listed, I'd say that was well earned. Glad you had a good conference.
Thanks for all your hard work on PPWC 2015, Shannon. It really paid off--such a great conference. Congrats on your well-deserved award, too!
Congratulations on the Volunteer of the Year award! I want to fall asleep every time I read all that you do! You are super awesome. Someone from PEN women saw the pix of us with R.L. Stine and said, "I didn't know you know Shannon!" Why yes, yes I do. Hope you are well on your way to recovery post-conference.
Thank you! I did have a great time. The company was good.
I helped, but it definitely takes a team!
It is what they do. She's also a big fan of keyboards. And thank you!
Thank you! April is always an exhausting, but rewarding, month. Your workshop was great. I got a ton of information, and confirmation on the way I was leaning with a prologue.
Oh, who was it? I'm curious who we both know. How are you recovering?
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