This past weekend I attended the annual OWFI Conference and had a ball. It’s as much about reunions and connecting with like minded folks as it is attending the stellar seminars. I had a ball moderating a panel on social networking, was a judge for the contest, and attended sessions on “building brand” and perfecting your elevator pitch to using screen writing techniques to improve writing with Tom Sawyer (of Murder She Wrote fame).
Steven James the thriller writer, poet, and more was the keynote speaker and was the BEST I have ever heard at this conference or elsewhere! I laughed until I cried, was inspired, and came away with a new determination to “throw my hat over the wall.”
I love this conference also for the encouragement and inspiration that arises from the contest–for unpublished work mostly–that garners helpful comments. I even recommended a handful of editors and agents to the contest chair to see if they wanted to judge. The contest is judged “blind” so nobody knows who entered what and the judges aren’t announced publicly until after the winners are announced. I entered my thriller. It was the 4th time I entered.
The first year it was disqualified (the judge failed to find the synopsis). The second year, the mail lost the entry. Last year the judge rated the manuscript about a 15 out of a possible 100 points because “everyone knows dog viewpoint only belongs in kid books.” This year the judge awarded that same manuscript 2nd place! As it turns out, two months after entering the contest I submitted my thriller to an editor who bought the manuscript–and until this weekend I hadn’t a clue that she’d already seen it in the contest! Yes, my editor was that category judge and (perhaps?) as a result of entering the OWFI contest I had a paw-up in getting an acceptance. Wow! The book (new title, LOST AND FOUND) will be published this fall.
Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.
DIAMOND PET FOOD RECALL has been expanded due to fears of salmonella contamination and includes several brands for both dogs and cats. Check the link for further info to be sure your pets’ foods aren’t on the list. Spread the word!
A DOG’S LIFE BLOG on PET PARTNER EVALUATIONS from Patricia Tirrell, an awesome post for those interested in learning about therapy dogs
PET’S EYE VIEW CAMERAS these attach to the collar–pricy but looks like fun
CAT MAN DREW Mother’s Day Special kitty portraits, awesome!
The AKC Humane Fund, Inc. offers the John Spurling, O.B.E. Scholarship Celebrating the Human-Canine Bond. Five scholarships will be awarded annually to full-time students enrolled in courses of study that advance responsible pet ownership.
DO YOU WANT “KITTY” WITH YOUR COFFEE? a cat cafe complete with snuggles…in Vienna
CANINE SERVICE DOG FOR–ANOTHER DOG? awesome video, a must-see!
CONTEST FOR DOG WRITERS from the Universal Cavalier
DO YOU NEED A BIG SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWING? one writer’s experience and insight
THE MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE interview with true crime author Cathy Scott–you’ll be inspired how she jumped ship on a “safe” job and became a best selling author.
WRITE-WELL ACADEMY from Jennifer Crusie and Lani Diane Rich provide online workshops for beginning and advanced writers.
Now for some pure fun, check out this video and the dog’s reaction to the “wolf.”
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!