What an exceptional gathering our 33rd annual San Diego conference turned out to be. The rain abated, wind blew down, sky lit up, and the writers—as they inevitably will when given a chance—the writers shined. And while each Special Guest Speaker spoke truthfully about their individual journey, sharing quality insight on the publishing business we are navigating today, Joe Ide, perhaps more than any other, reminded us all on Saturday evening of the most important thing that sometimes gets lost in the din; he reminded us of recapturing the joy of writing.
Our workshop leaders, of course, were their usual notable, generous selves. They are the spine of the SCWC, providing the essential tools, information and feedback to those conferees who entrust us with their work, distinguishing us from all the curious babble so many events distract and disappoint with. Special shout out to the Rogue Read & Critiquers. Once again, Melanie Hooks and Laura Perkins vivaciously shouldered the heavy load, leading their scribes into the naughty wee hours. I believe that picture there to the left was taken at 3:34 a.m. one morning. Could’ve been any morning, since that’s about the time they tend to mass-selfie. Kids today. Braggarts. Thank you for your efforts, all!
Awarded a few more than usual in San Diego. Totally warranted:
SCWC*SD33 Award Recipients
David Reed of San Diego, CA
David Hwa of Dillon, CO
OUTSTANDING FICTION (Cozy Mystery)
Murder Most Foul
By Wanda McLaughlin of Vista, CA
OUTSTANDING FICTION (Horror/Supernatural)
The Hurt Book
By Greg Mollin of Huntington Beach, CA
OUTSTANDING FICTION (Historical Fiction)
The Other Round Table
By Randolph Quiroz of Colton, CA
Each SCWC we also hold a contest in which all conferees are invited to participate. The rules are simple: Write a piece in any form you wish of no more than 250 words based on the topic announced Friday night. The topic for SD33 was “Suck Less,” or alternatively “Suckless.” Here’s the winning entry…
By John Mullen of Poway, CA
An old gray bronc might buck less
His barnyard stall might be muckless
A DUI’d teamster might be truckless
A benevolent employer, struck less
A hoarse hen might be cluckless
A frozen pond duckless
A dead-broke gambler might be luckless
An exhausted hooker might F*ck less
And GMO corn might be shuckless
But for certain, SCWC alumni will suck less
Dates for our 34th annual San Diego conference will be Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 14-16, 2020. Limited to 175 writers, discounted pre-registration opens August 1. Between now and then, be sure to join us for our 17th annual fall event in Irvine. Dates are September 20-22, 2019. Discounted pre-registration opens March 1st. Limited to 150 writers, full details can be found here.
And remember that our Facebook Group is a great place to continue the conversation, luxuriate in and celebrate fellow SCWCer successes, and all around keep fully up to speed on what’s up in today’s publishing world, as well as seek needed support on how to cope with it. Till next time… Be your best. Write even better.
–Michael Steven Gregory
Executive Director, SCWC/SWS