Friday, April 29, 2011

Aspiring authors convene for 19th annual conference

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 5:02 PM

This morning the annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference kicked off at the Colorado Springs Marriott.

In its 19th year, PPWC offers mainstream fiction writers opportunities to attend more than 80 workshops with published authors, pitch manuscripts to editors and agents, and connect with other writers.

This year's conference features nearly 50 faculty members and four keynote speakers: John Hart (The King of Lies), women's fiction novelist Beth Kendrick, "First Lady of the West" Linda Lael Miller, and today's lunch speaker Debra Dixon.

Deb Dixon

Dixon is president of Belle Books, a former Romance Writers of America president and an author, perhaps best known in the writing world for her non-fiction book, GMC: Goal, Motivation, Conflict.

Dixon's talk focused on her motto: "You have to be present to win."

"Imagine five birds on a wire," she said. "Three decide to fly. How many are left?" She paused. Then answered, "Five."

"Making a decision isn't action. ... Moments of decision have to be followed by action." For example, she said, you can't just say you're going to write a book, you have to sit down and "do it."

After lunch the 300-plus attendees dispersed to a series of afternoon workshops. At one of the Read and Critique sessions, author/editor/jack-of-all-trades Phil Nutman, literary agent Denise Little and editor/author Sharyn November listened to a facilitator read first pages of unpublished manuscripts from conference attendees, and then gave feedback in an American Idol-type format.

From left: Denise Little, Sharyn November and Phil Nutman
  • Kirsten Akens
  • From left: Denise Little, Sharyn November and Phil Nutman

Probably one of the best pieces of advice came from Nutman, who said, "If the first two paragraphs don't kick me in the ass, it gets put back on the shelf again."

At this point, registration for this year's conference, which runs through Sunday, is closed. However, if you'd like to attend the Saturday evening Awards Banquet with keynote John Hart, tickets are still available for $50 per person. Contact conference@pikespeakwriters.com to reserve a space.

And watch the IndyBlog on Monday for a list of this year's winners in the annual Pikes Peak Writers Fiction Writing Contest, as well as information about next year's big 20th anniversary celebration.

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