After grinning through this photo session, I continued on to Lake Mary, just east of Orlando, for the FWA conference which lasted through Sunday afternoon. It was a busy four days, starting with a presentation of my Novel in A Day workshop on Thursday, moderating the agents and publishers' panel on Friday, and presenting another writing workshop on Saturday.
The FWA Conference was one of the best ever, and I've attended seven of the nine. This year's attracted 420 writers from multiple states. The highlight was the Royal Palm Literary Awards (RPLA) banquet Saturday night where over 350 people were treated to an inspiring talk by award-winning military historian , Carlo D'Este, author of Patton: A Genius for War and Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life among others. Carlo was good, but we all looked forward to learning the winners of the RPLA.
As a Regional Director and Board member of FWA, it's been my pleasure to participate in the growth of the organization that began just 9 years ago with only 7 members and now is approaching 1,200 members. The Northeast Florida region, which I oversee, was well represented in the awards ceremony, taking home 21 separate awards, including Book of the Year in the Unpublished category. Those of you who have followed my writing career may recall that my mystery, Matanzas Bay, took Book of the Year honors last year. I was happy to learn my short story, The Day Hemingway Died, took second place in the published category. The story first appeared in The Flagler Review, Flagler College's literary magazine. You can read the first few pages of the story by clicking on the Other Works button at the top of my web pages. Or just click here.
Let me hear from you if you've had a good week, like making the New York Times Bestseller list, for example.