Seeing my friend, Camille Eide, who is also one of my critique partners, and our mutual dear friend Kellie Gilbert. They are both fabulous writers and someday you're going to enjoy reading their novels. To give you a taste, check out what Camille had to say about the conference here. She's funny and wonderful!
(left to right: Kellie, Carla, Camille)
I LOVE the awards banquet, and this year was exceptional. My agent, Sandra Bishop, received the Agent of the Year award. Not a surprise to her clients as she is witty and smart and one of the best in the biz. Here is Sandra with Chip MacGregor and Amanda Luedeke, the rest of the savvy team at MacGregor Literary. CONGRATS SANDRA! Sandra gave her 30-second speech with style and grace, but was unable to give her longer, prepared speech. However, she shares it here. Scroll down to the September 22 entry.
Hats off to all the winners, but a shout out to Cindy Hays who was a Genesis finalist and Myra Johnson and Vickie McDonough from my local ACFW group who were Carol Award finalists. A complete list of the winners can be found here.
One of the most prestigious awards is for the Mentor of the Year, and this year's honor went to Susan May Warren. She is one of the most energetic, giving, and fun people I know. She encourages and inspires other writers through her My Book Therapy endeavors. And every year, she hosts a pizza party on the "free" night at the conference. This year she had a special surprise. At the conclusion of the party, Susie herded everyone into another room, locked the doors, and taught us all a line dance. Not your usual expectation for a writing conference, but what can I say? Publisher's Weekly dubbed it the highlight of the conference. I'm sharing the link at risk of embarrassment to myself, but we're all friends here, right? Line Dance on YouTube.
I'll conclude with some other random shots - friends, colleagues, moments that I'll hang onto until the next conference. To see my complete set of photos please visit me on FaceBook where I've posted two albums of pics.
|I shared a book signing table with the fabulous James Scott Bell and enjoyed the support of Susan Meissner and Christina Berry. The gals both endorsed Chasing Lilacs and were Carol Award finalists. Christina took home the trophy in Contemporary Fiction Book of the Year - I am so proud of this girl!|
|Courtney Walsh, Sandra Bishop, and me. I'd been dying to meet Courtney after our online friendship and sharing the same agent. She was wonderful and we hit it right off. I miss her already.|
|Sandra and her clients, celebrating at the banquet.|