Southern California Writer’s Conference Recap

Last weekend I attended the Southern California Writer's Conference in San Diego. I've been going for the past six or seven years and this is my favorite conference ever. Okay, so it's the only conference I've been to, but still…

Sheri with her bestselling children's book 'The Little Rose'

I was so happy to see my friend Sheri Fink at the conference. You might remember I spotlighted her on my blog back in November. For those who missed it, you can read the interview here.  Well, this woman is on FIRE! She started an Author's Academy where she mentors other authors and she's also got a new book coming out, The Little Gnome. There is way too much to say about Sheri in this post, so I'm going to have her over again for a long visit. You'll be amazed at her business skills and how she makes self-publishing work for her (and how it can work for you, as well).

One of the highlights of the conference was hanging out with my friend Gayle Carline. We went on a little field trip Friday night and, well, I'll have to post about that next Monday. Suffice it to say, if I ever need to hide a body, I'm calling Gayle. That woman can hook a girl up!

I love my gal pal Gayle!

She's hilarious too, which is probably why she writes humor. Being multi-talented as she is, she also writes mysteries. I'm having her over for a visit soon and we'll talk about her penchant for horses, murder, and Erma Bombeck.

Hanging out with friends is great, but I was also there to learn. And learn I did at the many workshops I attended ~ ranging in scope from, ‘Your Book as a Business' by Charmaine Hammond to query letter critiques by the amazing Marla Miller. She also had a session called ‘Pitch Witches' with Jennifer Silva Redmond where I learned my pitch sucked. Okay, to be fair I wrote it in about a minute, so yeah, it should've sucked. The great thing about this conference is that later, when Jennifer was hanging out waiting for the banquet to begin, I was able to approach her and ask what would make it stronger. She's a publisher, people! How often can you do that?

I also chatted with Lynn Gard Price, another publisher, but not in my genre. She has amazing style and we both wore our glitter Tom's (if you aren't familiar with Tom's, they are shoes that look like espadrilles and are super comfy). I don't have a picture for you, so just trust me that we were adorable. Check out her blog, she has awesome information for writers.

Other workshops I attended covered social media (for once I was ahead of the game on this one. Thank you, Kristen Lamb!), how to bring microtension to your story, how to make sex scenes sexier, oh a whole bunch! Check out the SCWC website for all the fab workshops they had and then sign up for the September conference in Newport.

Two of my friends had new books coming out soon and were able to offer them at the conference, special just for us. Of course I bought both! Jessica Theirrien has a fab YA book, Oppression and Wes Albers, one of the directors of the conference, published a thriller based on his work as a cop ~ it's called Black and White. I'm so thrilled for both of them and cannot wait to read their books.

As you can tell, the conference is one big love fest for me. I get to hang out with other writers and make new friends. They aren't just ‘networks' to me, they are a part of my writing community and therefore, they are family.

Wes is like, seven feet tall and the sweetest guy you'll ever meet. Just don't ask him about crock pot man. Trust me.

If you've never been to a conference, GO! It's an amazing thing to be surrounded by hundreds of people who think like you, live in their heads like you, and totally get what it's like to be a writer.

Because, really, that's what we all are. Maybe we don't want to call ourselves Authors yet, but we're all writers. Like it says on the SCWC website,

A writer is a writer before, as well as after, publication.

It couldn't be any plainer than that.

So in closing, I would like to thank Michael Steven Gregory, Wes Albers, Cricket Abbott, Chrissie Barnett, Rick Ochocki and all the SCWC staff for their amazing work in putting together a conference that is all about the writer. From workshops on honing our craft, to keynote speakers who have been where we all are and want to share their knowledge. Thank you.

Tell me, what conferences are your favorites? Would you stay up all night for a rogue read and critique? Is it your dream to be the keynote speaker someday?

I'll leave you with a few more shots from the conference. These are a few of the folks who I've become friends with through this conference and who have made a difference in my life just by being themselves. Which means, fabulous!

Indy Quillen and Andrew Peterson
Lind and Rick Ochocki. If I'd know it was formal, I'd have brought my tiara.
Devan Crable and Gayle Carline
Linda and Rick Ochocki. If I'd know it was formal, I'd have brought my tiara.

62 thoughts on “Southern California Writer’s Conference Recap”

  1. Natalie HartfordNatalie Hartford

    Sounds like it was ahhhmazing Tameri! Fantastic. Attending a writer’s conference is totally on my bucket list!! Woot woot! 🙂

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  2. Barbara McDowellBarbara McDowell

    Great wrap-up of events,Tameri! I’ve been to writing workshops where the focus is on critique or generating new work. Would be way fun to go to one and network then attend marketing, craft, author speeches.

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  3. Ruth Hartman BergeRuth Hartman Berge

    Some are definitely better than others! It sounds like this one was amazing!

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  4. Jessica TherrienJessica Therrien

    Thanks for posting our picture 🙂 It was a lot of fun seeing you at the conference!

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  5. EmmaEmma

    That sounds like an amazing experience. I’ve never attended a conference like that. I’ll have to look up what’s available near me.

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  6. Bridgette BoothBridgette Booth

    Aw, Tameri, you are beautiful! I loved seeing these pictures of you.

    The conference sounds amazing and so informative. Usually I get swallowed by nervousness when meeting new people that I have trouble concentrating on the real material. Isn’t that crazy? Anyway, I’m going to learn from you here. My all-time fav conferences are SCWBI because at some point, someone is going to read you a picture book. And even I can’t be nervous after listening to a rhyming book. 🙂

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  7. Devan CrableDevan Crable

    wow, you put a picture of me on your blog. I am blessed.
    It was soooo great to see you again. I hope to meet up with you
    again real soon.

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  8. Lissa ClouserLissa Clouser

    It sounds like you had an absolutely FABULOUS time! I really hope some day Rebekah and I can meet you at a conference somewhere. =) Oh the havoc we will wreak together if that ever happens!

    Right now the only conference we’ve ever been to has been Ozark Creative Writers and we’re going back this year. We both have plans to attend Nimrod this year as well. Rebekah’s hoping to attend Oklahoma Writers’ Federation this year (gonna have to hold off til next year for me) and I also hope to attend the Oklahoma SCBWI spring conference next year too. Lots of saving and planning in advance! (Why do conferences have to cost so much? lol)

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  9. Ali DentAli Dent

    Oh Tameri,
    YOu make me feel like I was at the conference. You met so many nice people and it sounds like you learn bunches but when you said one of the best things was bing with people like you who live in their head it struck a chord with me. Just now I realized that I’ve done that my whole life. I finally mustered up enough courage and made the decision to write fiction in January. I feel at home with writers but it wasn’t until this post that I understood why. Thank you and I’m so happy the conference was a success for you.

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  10. Gayle CarlineGayle Carline

    I love our picture! And I’ll definitely help you hide the body.. if you need to, that is. It was a great conference for me, as well. Each year I think, well, maybe I’ve gotten all I can out of this conference, and then it JUST GETS BETTER.

    Okay, I’m supposed to be walking the dog, but I’m reading (and blathering) instead. Talk to you soon, I hope!

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  11. Kate MacNicolKate MacNicol

    I’m so happy you had such a great experience at your very first writer’s conference! You’ll be on a writer’s high for at least a week, maybe more. Even though the pitch didn’t work out you get major kudos from me for a) admitting it so we can all learn b) approaching the editor to see what could have been better so you could learn from your experience
    In my book, this means you get to wear a tiara for the remainder of the week.

    I love writer’s conferences for the friends new and old and the inspiration. It’s so nice to hang out with people who understand my deep desire for office supplies and writing utensils. I would love to do a workshop at a conference some time as a way of giving back to all the great writers I have learned from.

    Thanks for sharing, I would have loved to have been there with you!

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  12. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    Looks like you had fun!! I went to a couple last year–there is so much opportunity! I wasn’t ready to do anything but take copious notes. I hope to go again one day when I am armed and ready 🙂

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  13. MarciaMarcia

    Sounds like so much fun! I haven’t been to one and all the conferences near me would be in New York City. They seem to all happen in the beginning of the year…so I’ll try to do one of them next year.

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  14. August McLaughlinAugust McLaughlin

    Aw… Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us, Tameri! I’ve attended SCWC and have to say—one heck of an awesome, personable bunch. It was the first time I walked into rooms FULL of writers (and not just screenwriters :)). Sounds like you had a total blast. Good for you for getting out there and rockin’ it! I’m such a fan of conferences for professional AND emotional reasons. Such a fun dose of one here.

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  15. Callene RappCallene Rapp

    Wow, it looks like you had so much fun! I’m a bit jealous! Thanks for recapping everything for us.

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  16. jennifer tannerjennifer tanner

    Looks like you had a great time. I’m looking forward to the RWA conference in Anaheim. I might finally get to meet my fellow RU bloggers and my CP…Carrie Spencer and my other cyber buddies.

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  17. Andrew PetersonAndrew Peterson

    Tameri, this is a terrific blog post. I wish we’d had a change to chat more. I’ll try to make it to SCWC Los Angeles! Cheers!

    Reply
    February 27, 2012
  18. Angela WallaceAngela Wallace

    Glad you had such a great time! I bought Oppression and can’t wait to read it!

    Reply
    February 28, 2012
  19. JulieJulie

    Aren’t writers conferences awesome? Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you. I can feel the creative vibes oozing all the way from here. 🙂

    Reply
    February 28, 2012
  20. patriciasandspatriciasands

    To be honest, Tameri, I was shocked to hear you didn’t have a tiara with you! Really … I thought you never left home without one! Never mind! You are so right about writers’ conferences – they are THE best!

    Reply
    February 28, 2012
  21. Debra KristiDebra Kristi

    That really sounds awesome Tameri! Oh, and I soo need to work on my pitch before I go to any! I should look into the L.A. one. I’m also looking into the RWA Convention in July. Are you going to that one?

    Reply
    February 29, 2012
  22. gingercalemgingercalem

    I love going to writers conferences. They are so full of motivation and creative energy. Also, because my longstanding critique group is spread out around the country, it’s a great chance for us to get together. It’s a big ol’ girls’ trip. We have a blast.

    Reply
    February 29, 2012
  23. Jenny HansenJenny Hansen

    Tameri,

    I keep thinking I’m gonna get down there for this one year. I hear the best things about this conference. And I think it every time I see you, so I might as well post what we’re all thinking:

    GOOD GOD, YOU’RE PRETTY!

    There. The thoughts has stopped flying around my head and gone into yours. (And don’t argue with me. I’m right on this. 🙂 )

    Reply
    February 29, 2012
  24. EmmaEmma

    Tameri, I am a procrastinator of the highest order! Do come on over to Ireland 🙂

    Reply
    February 29, 2012
  25. Donna NewtonDonna Newton

    This conference sounded awesome. Are you going to DFW in May?

  26. Mark KoopmansMark Koopmans

    Aloha Tameri,

    I can’t believe you “blogjacked” (love that word, gurl 🙂 Jenny’s site, but glad you did!! Finding this post brought back some wonderful memories of last week, although you’re a RockStar when it comes to hanging out with the cool peeps, (and yes, people, those shoe thingies WERE sparkly:)

    You have a new follower 🙂

  27. PatriciaPatricia

    Wow, Tameri, it looks like you had a lot of fun! Conferences are always so inspiring and energizing. I wish I had the time and resources to attend more.

    Thanks for sharing your pictures.

    And now I also know who to call if I need to get rid of a body. Thanks for that tip.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  28. mj monaghanmj monaghan

    Fantastic time for you, my friend. So glad you got to go. Someday I will attend one. Who knows, maybe I’ll be in So Cal in August. Look forward to checking out some of the writers you listed. Thanks for sharing!

  1. You Don’t Need a Tiara to Attend a Conference | Tameri Etherton

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *