Writers Conference Top Ten #ANWACon15

It’s over. Once again, the ANWA Conference has come to an end. I’m always totally saturated with new knowledge and completely wiped out by Saturday afternoon and dying to get home to sleep, but by Monday morning I’m wishing I was back there again.

I’m just going to make an abridged list, a top ten list, of things I loved at this year’s exhausting extravaganza.

10. Heather B. Moore’s class on how to hit a top 100 list on Amazon. Can I say what I’ve said many times before? I think this woman is a genius.

9. Helping CJ Anaya shop for her Cat Woman shoes for the Antagonist Ball and Gala, which was delightfully fun and planned expertly by Sarah Daley.

8. Getting feedback at the critique camp on my little fluffy romance from none other than Lisa Mangum, Editorial Manager at Shadow Mountain Publishing (and then pitching another, different piece to her later.) She … just knows stuff. And her class on character motivation totally changed how I am going to write my WIP.

7. Getting to finally meet the man behind the hilarious and insightful blog that is Middle Aged Mormon Man. Read this blog post about his experience at the conference and cringe along with the truth it exposes.

6. The weather in Mesa, Arizona, in February. (Makes YOU want to sign up for next year, doesn’t it, snow-bound writers of the Northeast and Midwest.)

5. Finding out that Julie Wright bought my novella. What? And sitting with her at breakfast. And almost laughing so hard that I was afraid I’d snort milk from my cereal out my nose. That is one funny chick.

4. Receiving expert feedback on my book covers from John Wincek, an expert at book covers. And feedback. Thanks, John. You never did give me your card. Dang it. Now who is going to design the interior of my upcoming project?

3. Watching Sarah Eden quote/lip synch long stretches of dialogue from the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice when the audio on her presentation went out. Quite impressive knowledge on the subject.

2. Near the top there must always be food, so eating delicious salmon at Mimi’s Café with CJ Anaya and the ever-hilarious Stephany Robinson, and in the process getting introduced to Kelly Oram. Oh, my word. When I saw her books, I thought, “This woman? She is my people.” I can’t wait to read all those YA Contemporary books. My favorite brain candy.


What’cha gonna wear today, Steph? Blue t-shirt? Jeans? Cool. I will too.


Kelly Oram. This woman is "my people."

Kelly Oram. This woman is “my people.”

1. Meeting the keynote speaker Regina Sirois. Not only is she loveliness itself and a gifted, poetic writer and speaker, she’s grounded. She’s has climbed an amazing mountain– being an Amazon Breakout Novelist winner and published by Penguin–and yet she taught us all that we can be happy with our own mountain we choose to climb. So grateful to have made a new friend.

Regina Sirois. I love her.

Regina Sirois. I love her.

I’m already getting excited about the prospect of next year’s conference, wondering who I’ll get to reconnect with, and happy that I can be part of a great organization that’s so uplifting, nurturing and supportive. I thank Marsha Ward for being inspired to organize it, and for making it what it is today. Love all of you, ANWA friends!


Now I guess I’d better get to work implementing the stuff I learned!

What did you do this weekend, Jen? Oh, nothing. Just talked to Brandon Mull and stuff. Might've been kinda snotty to him. Probably never see him again to apologize. Sorry, Brandon. >where is my filter?<

What did you do this weekend, Jen? Oh, nothing. Just talked to Brandon Mull and stuff. Might’ve been kinda snotty to him. Probably never see him again to apologize. Sorry, Brandon. >where is my filter?<


10 Responses

  1. C.J. Anaya
    C.J. Anaya February 23, 2015 at 12:25 pm | | Reply

    I love this post more than chocolate truffles during an overly stress induced chocolate binge.

  2. Alicia Sheehy
    Alicia Sheehy February 23, 2015 at 3:23 pm | | Reply

    It is so exciting to be around people who love the same things you love! Totally enjoyed your fun recap! Glad you had such a great time!

  3. MMM
    MMM February 23, 2015 at 3:36 pm | | Reply

    While I am thrilled to even be on your list, I can’t help wonder what it would take to move up from my #7 rank next year.

  4. Stephanie Abney
    Stephanie Abney February 24, 2015 at 11:48 am | | Reply

    What a perfect recap!! Spot on! Thanks for letting me relive that fabulous weekend again!!

  5. Marsha Ward
    Marsha Ward February 24, 2015 at 12:02 pm | | Reply

    Wonderful recap, Jennifer! I’m glad you had so much fun.

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