Event: Liberty States Fiction Writers Create Something Magical Conference

Liberty States Fiction Writers Create Something Magical Conference
March 17, 2012

The Liberty States Fiction Writers (LSFW) held their annual Create Something Magical Conference this past Saturday (St. Patrick’s Day) in New Jersey. I had heard about it at the beginning of February at Lady Jane’s Salon, but I was thinking of it as a “next year” kind of thing. I didn’t think I was ready to go to a writers conference, it was a Saturday, and it was in New Jersey. Basically, I was full of excuses for not going.

Then I came up with a reason for why it would be a good idea to go, and it was as simple as that. I want to be a writer. If you want something, hang out with the people who have it. Surround yourself with those who are successful at what you want to be successful at, and learn from them. So I read up on the workshops, contacted the LSFW vice president, and paid immediately.

Over the past few months I’ve gone to a lot of romance readings and book talks with Erin, who also writes reviews for this blog. We’ve met a lot of wonderful people in the tri-state romance community — readers, published authors, and aspiring writers alike. I knew I would not be going into this alone, and I even had a travel buddy. Once I made the decision to attend, all I felt was excitement.

I had a fantastic time at the conference and I’m so, so glad I decided to go. I learned so much and spoke with really great people. I also got a huge bag of swag, which is always fun.

LSFW12 swag (missing 1 book)

The conference was well-run, comfortable, and never crowded. It offers a writers track and a less expensive readers track, so you can choose which registration option fits your needs. Over the course of the day, there were six 50-minute long time slots with 3-6 workshops or panels going on during each period, along with time in the morning for pitching to editors and agents. LSFW provided lunch in a very comfortable setting that was conducive to meeting new people and reconnecting with others you might recognize from past events. (The lunch had two ingredients that are not in my diet, but the staff was able to bring me a modified dish.) During lunch, paranormal romance author Larissa Ione gave a keynote speech on the theme of fear. It was a good speech, and let’s just say that I have NO EXCUSES when it comes to not writing.

Desserts!

After lunch, we all trooped into a dessert-filled room for a special edition of Lady Jane’s Salon, with readings by historical romance authors Katharine Ashe, Sarah MacLean, and Maya Rodale. The afternoon had more writer workshops and reader panels, followed by a networking cocktail hour, book signing, and after-party. (I was not staying in the hotel, so I left before the after-party. Next year I’m staying!)

Lady Jane's Salon LSWF12 edition

Lady Jane's Salon LSWF12 edition

I really wanted to make the most of the conference, so I went to 4 workshops and 2 panels:

  • Pitch Perfect with Pattie Giordani and Tina Gallagher
  • Novel Structure with Maria V. Snyder
  • Score! Game Plans, Strategies and Plays to Help Meet Your Writing Goals with Nisha Sharma (aka Tess Quinn)
  • Mining the Modern World to Write Your Historical Novel with Sarah MacLean
  • Romancing the Past with Katharine Ashe, Sarah MacLean, Hope Tarr and Maya Rodale (reader panel)
  • Agents Panel with 7 agents
Katharine Ashe, Sarah MacLean, Maya Rodale

Katharine Ashe, Sarah MacLean, Maya Rodale

In the next post, I’ll include my favorite takeaways from each workshop.

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