Six months out and already so much to report. Returning to the SCWC with not just one, but two books just out is none other than that irrepressible literary illuminati Robert Ward. Of Renegades: My Wild Trip from Professor to New Journalist... (Tyrus Books) Library Journal hails, “essential reading for those interested in new journalism.” And of The Best Bad Dream (Mysterious Press), Bob’s latest novel, T. Jefferson Parker, Edgar-winning author of The Border Lords, proclaims it, “smart, startling, a little wicked. The writing is perfect pitch and the characters feel like people you’ve met and known… A terrific read.” Now guess which Academy Award-winning writer will be with us?
Michael Blake, who nabbed an Oscar for the screen adaptation of his novel Dances With Wolves, will be making his SCWC debut at LA10. Michael’s written quite a lot since that first widely rejected manuscript was initially released to little fanfare. Into the Stars, his latest historical novel, is out from ZOVA Books.
Speaking of ZOVA Books, Oppression, book one of Jessica Therrien’s “Children of the Gods” YA paranormal romance/adventure series, is the no. 5 best-selling teen Nook book at the moment, directly behind the remarkably successful Hunger Games trilogy. Jessica, of course, was discovered by ZOVA at our SD25 event and we couldn’t be more thrilled for her. Good book. Good read. Good author.
And yet another ZOVA author is making his debut. SCWC director Wes Albers’ novel, Black & White, hits the shelves today (and Nook and Kindle)! New York Times bestseller Gayle Lynds (The Book of Spies) calls it, “Gritty and rewarding… A top-notch cop novel. Watch out, Joseph Wambaugh!” Andrew Peterson (Forced to Kill) calls it, “A gutsy look at the inside life of a street cop. Thoroughly entertaining!” While Gary Phillips (The Underbelly) has this to say, “Gripping. Rugged. Authentic… Bring your diapers.”
Obviously, there’s lots of authors, agents, editors and other publishing professionals still to be announced so be sure to join our RSS feed, or subscribe to our .COMmunity newsletter to keep up to date. Follow us on the SCWC Facebook page for plenty of other information and writerly good times.
Early “Bard” Registration is now open. Register by June 1 and save $75 off Full Conference. In the meantime, for another good story well told, check out Wes speaking at last month’s SD26 event below.
Each and every SCWC has its unique take-away. For some it’s a specific scrap of information that suddenly blows open the floodgates of inspiration, for others it may be making a deep and visceral connection with another like-minded soul. An agent’s request to see your manuscript, a handful of peers responding favorably to your work during read & critique, even a silly, goober-spitting moment of hilarity while simply kicking it with other writers–the conference take-aways are varied and many and sometimes personal. For me, during our 37th conference in nearly 26 years, there were two…
LA9 Take-away 1: Writers are so hot that an L.A. firefighter ditched his friend’s wedding reception to hang with a group of us until 6:45 in the morning. See, even LAFD couldn’t put us out. LA9 Take-away 2: We often forget to recognize how far a writer’s come. Yes, Wes and I joke on Friday night that our only expectation of conferees is to leave the last day of the conference with their work sucking less than when they arrived on the first, but the thing is, stick-to-itness, the ability to listen to criticism and suggestions in effort to elevate your craft, coupled with the determination to do so, all that too warrants recognition.
Tenacity, determination, and the long slog of incremental improvements made that ultimately, hopefully, result in a good story well told is not unique to “aspiring” or emerging writers. It is the skein ALL writers share. And while some people measure a writer’s validation merely by publication, what also validates a writer is great improvement of craft, published or not. Wes and I were reminded of that Sunday when informed that one such writer, Lisa Holdren, a conferee who’s been with us for at least four conferences, demonstrated such. It’s been too many years since we rewarded such commitment. It’s been too many years since we applauded such achievement. Sunday was a good day to do so, and for that we are grateful. Now on to the awards…
From Diamond Bar, CA
From Sherman Oaks, CA
Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman (read here)
From San Diego, CA
Bob Harman (read here)
From Laguna Beach, CA
Congratulations all! We plan to be back in Newport Beach next September. Thanks to our special guest speakers, Margaret Dilloway, Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Darlene Quinn, Scott Sigler, and John Vorhaus. Special thanks to all our SCWC workshop leaders, advance submission readers and hard working volunteers. Above all else, a robust and especially beefy thanks to all the conferees who entrusted us with their work and aspirations this past weekend. It is the SCWC’s honor to be a part of your community. It is with you we wish to spoon.
San Diego 26 is only five months away. We hope to see you there. In the meantime, go forth and write well!
Awarded Outstanding Fiction way back at LA2, John Rosenberg’s Tincture of Time (previously titled Monday in the Tropics) is out later this year from Mischievous Muse Press. Many have been passionate about this book for a long time and John’s stick-to-itness should inspire all. Another tenacious writer, Janis Thomas, joined us for the first time at February’s conference. In June she was referred to an agent willing to read her manuscript. Within a week the agent reported back, loved it, asked for an exclusive, and the third week of July Berkley made an offer which she accepted. Janis writes, “(T)hank you… I was motivated to finish this novel in time for SD25, so you are indirectly responsible for my success!” Something New will be out Summer, 2012.
There’s plenty of room left to join us in Newport Beach. Online registration will remain open through Wednesday, Sept. 21. After that date only walk-in registration will be available at conference itself. And while the schedule’s getting close to complete, it’s still not exactly where we want it as at least three more sessions are being added
That’s all for now. We look forward to seeing you next week.
Eminently entrepreneurial New York Times bestselling author, freakishly fanatic digital maven, unrelenting wordslinger and co-founder of Dark Overlord Media, Scott Sigler will be in the LA9 house. Along with the boyz behind BackMyBook, Scott’s going to peel open the lid and allow you a look inside the multi-faceted machine that is his publishing reality, and that has won over a legion of self-described “junkies” that feed on his every read, bleed, podcast and weed. (“Weed” as in a short story, little and all alone on the lush, literary landscape, just waiting to be whacked. Or read. Something.) Bring a big brain to the session, you’re going to fill it up fast. We might even have the latest in his Galactic Football League series, The All-Pro, just ahead of pub. date.
From powerhouse agency N.S. Bienstock, literary rep. Paul Fedorko is aboard. Paul joined us for the first time at last year’s LA8 where he discovered longtime conferee Indy Quillen’s Outstanding Fiction Award-winning manuscript, Ceremony. He’s hungry for more good stories and obviously knows where to find them, so welcome back, Paul.
Speaking of agents, as usual about this time before a conference, advance submission readers are beginning to fill up. Agents are inevitably the first to do so–even though we all know that the majority of books that have come out of the conference tend to come from the passionate advocacy of author/readers, but that’s another story. If you haven’t selected your reader(s) and are looking to do so, do so really soon. August tends to be when a huge chunk of writers register for the conference, causing the availability of advance submission readers to quickly diminish. This is about your work. This is your time. This is your opportunity to shine. Don’t let another self-possessed, narcissist deprive you of it!
Did we mention that Marilyn Friedman’s back? Yeah, atleast one of her workshops will be the popular Rogue session, “Hanky Panky: Writing the Erotic.” Latex optional.
Just heard that our discounted hotel room bloc is nearly sold out. In fact, it might completely fill up by the end of this week. If you’re wanting a room, book it immediately. If you’re looking for a roommate to split the cost we have one female writer looking for one, albeit a female one (wimpy writer). Email Michael to get hooked up.
Finally, Drusilla Campbell’s NovelCram… Deadline for signing up for this immersion track is Sept. 1. Remember, space is limited for NovelCram and it’s half-full as of today. Or half-empty, depending on your level of cynicism.
Schedule’s getting close to complete, but is still not exactly where we want it. Be patient. Be sweet. Go write.
One of the true delights of running the SCWC is introducing great new authors who’re cutting through the distractions and doomsaying so rife in today’s ever-changing publishing world, only to make a big splash with their work in spite of it. (Spite. Yet another good reason to write.) Quality storytelling prevails. And while it’s always fun to have cherished authors whose careers span decades as special guests at the conference, the question often now debated is, “But could they get published today as a new author nobody’s never heard of?” That’s why we like talent fairly fresh to the game, who’ve overcome and continue to tackle the challenges all aspiring authors now must face. And that’s why we like Margaret Dilloway.
Author of the breakout sensation, How to Be an American Housewife (Putnam), Margaret’s debut novel was inspired in part by her Japanese mother’s experiences, and especially by a book her father had given to her mother called The American Way of Housekeeping. Publishers Weekly calls it, “Enchanting.” Author Susan Wiggs (Just Breathe) raves, “A triumphant debut novel. Margaret Dilloway gives us the most original, endearing, courageous and enduring narrator I’ve read in a long time.” And hails Margot Livesey (The House on Fortune Street), “[It] took me on two intricate journeys, from postwar Japan and the shadow of Nagasaki to contemporary California, and from motherhood to daughterhood and back again. A profound and suspenseful debut.” Replacing April Smith–who’ll be out of the country shooting her next movie–Margaret will be our Saturday evening Special Guest Speaker. We can’t wait!
The SCWC Twitter feed is now live at http://twitter.com/SCWriters. As with the SCWC Facebook group, our intent is to feed you with whatever particularly useful bits of publishing world news and views we find of interest. You can also post one tweet/one story at #TwitFiction. We’re thinking we should make a contest out of it. What do you think?