I attended the DFW Writers' Conference last week and it blew me out of the water - again. I first paid a visit to DFW two years ago and wanted to return last year, but circumstances prevented that from happening. But I was able to go this year and the experience was equally amazing.
I had only been to smaller local conferences prior to DFW, but what I found so wonderful was the transition to a much larger scale was so easy and natural. The setting (Hurst Conference Center) was perfectly laid out with a combination of large and small rooms, with plenty of spots to slip off for some alone-time to recharge those introvert batteries if needed. But everyone was so friendly and approachable, that was never necessary.
This year I took advantage of a pre-conference workshop (two were offered) with Donald Maas (Writing the Breakout Novel) and I walked out of there with six pages of notes for improving my manuscript. SIX PAGES! There were so many helpful classes, it was very hard to choose. One that stood out from the others -- at least for me -- was Tex Thompson's Punching Up Your Prose. What an eye-opener! I ran into several blogging buddies, which always gives me a thrill, but I made lots of new friends as well.
Agent pitch sessions are a staple with DFW and I made sure to partake -- nervous as I might be. Something that's becoming a habit for me is devoting at least half of the time driving from Arkansas to Dallas fine-tuning my pitch with my wife. It must have worked because the agent I selected asked for my first 100 pages! Score!!
DFW is a six hour drive from where I live, so no air fair needed, and the hotel rate is very reasonable and an easy stroll to the conference center. There are some excellent restaurants nearby as well. All in all DFW is in a cozy location, very affordable, and worth every penny. If you considering a writers conference for next year, I would definitely put this one on your radar! I'll be there again.
Oh year...did I mention that DFW is considering adding WRiTE CLUB to it's agenda in 2015?
Speaking of which, this years contest is underway and the submissions are rolling in. Everyone who's submitted a 500 word sample should have received a confirmation email from my wife. However, I still need your help spreading the word. I've created the Twitter hastag of #writeclub2014 to help amp up the conversation, but that only happens if ya'll make it happen. WRiTE CLUB lives and dies on your lips, so please do what you can to help it grow and reach more writers.
Well, I've got a synopsis to write, so I'd better get moving. If anyone wants to ask me about DFW or WRiTE CLUB, just drop me a line. :)