DFW Writer’s Conference ~ Memorable Moments

The Conference Center

This is where we spent our weekend. Not a bad gig, really. They totally spoiled us.

What an amazing weekend! It officially started last Friday with some shopping and sightseeing, but you’ll have to wait for that post because today is all about the conference.

The DFW Writer’s Conference is held in the quaint little town of Hurst, Texas where they talk with accents, decorate with cowboy boots, and call the ladies ‘ma’am’.

I’ll be honest, I am not a fan of the way they set up the schedule at DFWCon. Some workshops are an hour, some an hour and half. This left odd gaps in my schedule that I usually filled with hanging out with all the other awesome writers at the conference.

Of course, being social was my favorite part of the weekend, but I was there to learn, too. Of the five workshops I attended, one was a dud, two were stellar, and two were total rock stars.

David CorbettDavid Corbett started off my conference experience getting me excited about characters. Best takeaway from his workshop? Your opponent has as much will or desire to destroy or undermine what your hero wants to achieve. Wow. I’d never really thought of my villain’s motivation like that. Kind of fascinating. His lecture spurned all sorts of ideas and thoughts for my antagonists that I’m excited to put on paper.

Kelly is ridiculously gorgeous and super sweet. Love her!

Kelly is ridiculously gorgeous and super sweet. Love her! She also made me realize that I should always wear lipstick. See how her face lights up and mine, well doesn’t? Yeah, lipstick. Always.

Kelly Simmon gave us some great marketing tips, but my favorite takeaway from her? When going to book signings, she reminded us that the people who come to the signing will have made an effort. It’s important that we make an effort, too. Take a little time to look good. As one of her authors once told her, “You will be photographed when you don’t know it. If you don’t take the time, you will look like butt.” No one wants to look like butt. Take the time. Kelly is the founder and owner of InkSlinger PR, a marketing company for authors.

Roni rockin' the website workshop!

Roni rockin’ the website workshop!

My absolute favorite workshop of the weekend was Roni Loren’s. It had so much goodness in it, I was scribbling notes the entire time. The topic? Creating a website readers will love. She walked us through her website and taught us things I didn’t know I didn’t know. Now I know! Roni’s one of those genuinely sweet people that once you meet her, you feel like you’ve known her your whole life. Go on and check out her website, while you’re there, take a browse at her books. They’re a little saucy, but so good! Best take away from Roni’s class? Everything! If I had to pick one thing? Use Spotify for playlists. That way, the artist gets paid each time a reader clicks through. Brilliant.

Of course, the weekend wasn’t all about the workshops! There was much mingling going on, as well as far too much laughing. I finally had the chance to meet tons of my online friends that I’ve been chatting with for years. I also, of course, made new friends.

The wigs, alas, stayed in the hotel room. There was some debate whether they were unprofessional and I am ashamed to admit, I caved to pressure and didn’t don my confection of pinkness. Next time, I’m rocking that damn wig no matter what anyone says!

One of the other cool things about DFWCon is the access to agents. They are everywhere! Even if you don’t have a set pitch time, you can just chat with the agents or editors in the hallways, at the cocktail party, etc. On Sunday, they had a Gong Show where query letters were read aloud (they’re kept anonymous) by this guy with a movie trailer voice. When an agent would normally stop reading, they would bang the gong. It was hilarious and enlightening. Only one query made it all the way through. Even though we were all laughing at the antics and goofiness of the show, it was a great learning process to get inside the minds of several agents.

That’s how the weekend ended! With a gong.

Here are a bunch of pictures to make you feel like you were there. Also, if you want a slightly shorter and much funnier recap, read Jess Witkins’s The DFWCon Stalkathon post here. Or, you can read Syndey Aalilyah’s My #DFWCon by the Numbers post here. She gives a quick and dirty breakdown of the weekend. I’m just way too wordy. I’ll work on that, promise.

Pictures!

If you have a minute, here’s a cool video of the groovy lights they had in the banquet room. I pretty much want this in my house now. My son added the music, he’s so cool.

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46 thoughts on “DFW Writer’s Conference ~ Memorable Moments

  1. I feel like bursting out into that “Near! Far! Wherever you are!” song by Celine Dion BECAUSE WE WERE SO CLOSE, dangit! (no, I’ve never actually seen Titanic all the way through. That was from Titanic, right?)

    Those lights are awesome, and I feel you on the “dud” workshops. I’ve been to a couple in my time, though I fortunately seemed to avoid the one(s) at OWFI this year.

    I’m glad you had fun! *hugs*

    • I know! We were so close! Reading about your OWFI weekend was so cool ~ Pat! The awards! The agents! I’m so glad your weekend was a complete win for you, but darn it, being so close and yet so far away. One of these days, my friend. One of these day!

    • You should go, Faith! The conferences are just as great for editor peeps like you (um, networking?) and they are great for learning where the industry is heading. I think you’d love it and should put at least one on your calendar for this year, two for next. πŸ™‚

    • I wish I’d known that Sydney Michelle was Sydney Aaliyah, my online pal!! We totally met up in the bathroom and I’d have grabbed you for a big hug.

      On second thought, since I came home with the flu, maybe you lucked out…

      • Thanks, Sydney! I’m so glad I finally got to meet you. I’m also super excited your pitch went well and you followed your heart on that one. It’s so important to take in all that you learn, but go with your gut.

        Too funny about running into Jenny in the bathroom, but she didn’t know you were you. That’s our Jenny! Yeah, getting this wicked flu from her would’ve sucked, so maybe Sydney did dodge a huge bullet there.

        I hope I get to see both of you again super soon. Jenny ~ not until you’re completely 100% germ free. Get well, my friend.

    • Thanks! I’m super excited we got to meet in person, too! You are so funny and were great to hang out with. I absolutely love the pics I took of you. What fun and that waiter! Jess’ line from Twitter keeps cracking me up ~ Italian in the front, Irish in the back, merman below…

      Love you ladies. Miss you already and can’t wait to see you again!

  2. I’m so happy I got to hang out with you girls the last night! What a hoot you all are! I thought you were going to pack up our waiter as a carry on and write a book about him – fiction or not! LOL.

    Fabulous time with you, Tameri, and thank you thank you for the link back!

    • I know! And that story you told about running over people with your little laugh. Still cracks me up. As does the line I mentioned above in Diana’s reply. Frankie the waiter will live on in infamy for us. What a great weekend, and you ladies sent it off with a resounding bang! Love, love, love you!

  3. This was my third year at DFWcon, and I’m with you.. not a fan of the schedule AT ALL. The overlapping lecture and workshop times was just infuriating. However, I will say this: almost every single class I selected to attend was great.

    Not to mention, it was so great finally getting to meet you!!!

    And how did you score that picture of me? I thought I avoided all cameras…

    • Haha! I’m stealthy that way. You are far too gorgeous to be avoiding cameras.

      It was fabulous to finally see in person all these people I’ve been chatting with for two years or so! Everyone is so much prettier (or more handsome) in person. I totally agree with Jenny, you are rocking that exotic pretty thang. πŸ™‚

      I lost some workshop time to waiting in line for extra pitch sessions and then for the pitches themselves, so I can’t really complain too much about that since the pitches went well, but I do wish they’d rethink the overlap thing. Oh, well. They completely spoiled us for everything else (food, beverages), so I cannot complain!

  4. Aw, no wigs? Something is just wrong with that picture. I can’t imagine. Peer pressure sucks, doesn’t it Tameri? You can wear your pinkness around us anytime. We love ya! So glad you had a great time. So share some of the awesomeness of your classes with those of us who wished they could attend, but couldn’t. That would be amazing and very much appreciated. Just a thought, if you’re looking for something to blog about. Anyway, sounds like you’re doing well. Hope to see you soon! πŸ™‚

    • Aw, thanks Karen! I’m planning to do just that. I’ve been compiling my thoughts and notes into some sort of comprehensible form so I can blog about it. I need to email a few of the presenters and get permission/clarification on a few points, but you and I are thinking on the same lines! Great minds and all that. πŸ˜‰

      I hope to see you real soon. Wigs and all!

      • Okay. True confession time. Not only did a purchase a cheaper-than-drugstore-candy-of-the-day neon blue wig, I took it to my stylist to see if she could cut it so it didn’t make me look dorky. She refused to charge me, because…

        Um. No. Cheap wigs (a) do not style (b) curl in whatever direction they were in when slammed into the packaging, and (c) drop prodigious amounts of synthetic neon blue strands when fussed with overmuch.

  5. Fabulous recap! Sorry you didn’t rock that pink wig. You would have been the hit of the conference. Seriously! Michelle would have loved it. Roni’s workshop totally rocked and Kelly’s face totally shines. It makes me want her services now even though I don’t need her – yet. Honestly, I think your camera added ten pounds to each of us. Just saying. πŸ˜‰ Oh! And that video totally reinforces my desire and want for that lighting in my dining area. I don’t want for much, do I? LOL!

    • It was such a fun weekend! Michelle cracks me up and I think she would’ve been like, where’s one for me? She’s totally cool.

      I need those lights! Michael did a great job on putting music to them, when I have mine installed, I think I’ll have a music feature. πŸ˜‰

    • I absolutely agree, David. Meeting you was a high point for me. Although, I’m still mortified that I flipped you the Charlie. So sorry! I can’t believe I did that. Seriously, sometimes, I’m such an idiot.

      Anyway, I had an amazing time in Dallas. I really do hope we can get you out to California sometime. I think you’d like it. We don’t have camels, cowboys, or bison, but we have gorgeous beaches and fish tacos that will make you cry. Oh, and a sweet little cove where you can see sea lions up close. You’d love it.

    • It was! Next up, Atlanta where I get to see you! I’m super excited for that week. We’re going to have way too much fun, and guess what? I’m bringing the wigs… be ready, my friend!

    • It WAS a heap of good times! I wish you could’ve been there, too. More pix tomorrow and more info coming soon. Well, I guess more info tomorrow, but it’s on our ‘Day Out Around Dallas’. We had a blast with Trixie the rental car whore.

    • Yep. BIG lesson learned. Next time, my porn star voiced friend. Next time. Love ya and hope you’re feeling better. I’m still searching the web for that bubble, Jenny d’BouncΓ©.

  6. Great recap, Tameri! Even though you didn’t get to rock your wigs, it sounds like you had a fab time. It’s so much fun to see more and more of the WANAs getting to meet each other in person. Can’t wait for Atlanta!

    • It really was a fab time even without the wigs! How could it not be? I mean, really! With all of us crazy writers together, it was bound to be outrageous. But lookout Atlanta! It is going to be off the hook insanity! I can hardly wait. Do you know, I’ve bought 5 – FIVE dresses for the week. DRESSES! I didn”t own any dresses and now I have five to wear at Nationals! Sure, I have to lose some weight to fit into them, but I can do this. I want to look hot and rockin’ when I meet my WANA Sistas in Atlanta. SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED!

    • It was a great time, Sheri! We must meet up sometime. I bet we would get into some great fun. My son is a whiz at this kind of stuff. I get so overwhelmed, but he just zips through it. Thank goodness for him! Thanks so much.

  7. Sounds like an epic time. Love the pics, and yes, next time wear those pink wigs with pride. πŸ™‚

    The villain’s motivation – good one. I’m currently re-writing scenes with my villain to make him more formidable.

    • You got it! I will rock that pink wig with sass in my step.

      That’s what I love about these conferences. You’re just going along and BAM! A little nugget of goodness drops in your lap. Glad you liked that one. I hope to share more in the coming weeks.

    • Wasn’t that just the best? I laughed so hard, but it’s totally true! She was saying that, especially for YA authors, the fans put in a lot of time to get ready because they’re super excited to see the author, so we need to put in the time, too. One author told her that some fans actually had the characters painted on their fingernails! Wouldn’t that be so cool to go to a signing and a girl came up with YOUR book and YOUR characters on her nails? I get all giggly just thinking about it. So yeah, I’m totally going to take the time because I really don’t want to look like butt. Not if someone’s got my characters on her fingernails. πŸ™‚

  8. Late to the party, Tameri — so I took the liberty of a bit of blog-jacking while reading the comments.

    You are SO FUN! I knew you would be, put catching your act LIVE (thank goodness) and in person was extra special.

    Is it July, yet? No? Good. I have some Sassy Flamingo summer shopping to do. You rocked that outfit. So sorry TSA didn’t appreciate your pant-leg glitz.

    Hope whoever patted you down was good looking and (of course) male. πŸ˜‰

  9. Pingback: My Weekly Update – I’m Bloglovin | Sydney Aaliyah

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