Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Southern California Writers Conference

As many of you know, this is the same conference where Thomas Riley was picked up for publication last year. It was an amazing and overwhelming experience. For those that hesitate to go to writers cons or think they are too expensive... here are some thoughts on SCWC (San Diego).

The Staff
The staff is wonderful. All of them are helpful, kind and will go out of their way to help you as a writer, friend and colleague. Really, the friends I met here on the staff are friends I will keep for the rest of my life. Michael Steven Gregory (MSG), Wes, Ed, Melanie, Cricket, Ochaki... You all are great!

The panels (workshops) are awesome. Made up of authors, editors, agents, publishers, and other industry professionals, the panels always offer something for every kind of writer. I don't care if you have 10 books published from Penguin or if you don't have a page written, you will find at least one panel that will rock your world.

One on ones
These are meetings with your agent, editor, author or publisher that for a small fee will read through and review your submission. Think it's a waste of money? Thomas Riley was sold there. And so are a seemingly record number of books lately. (Tip: go through the bios of who is doing the one on ones and pick someone that you think might be interested in your genre and style.)

Other Writers
I can't tell you how great other writers are. I didn't meet anyone that turned me off. In fact, everyone was awesome. There is no competition, very little arrogance and everyone just wants to meet writers like themselves. It doesn't matter if your writing women's lit, horror, steampunk or memoirs... Everyone gets along and everyone has a blast. I really had a blast with everyone. Really I had drinks at the bar with everyone. From people just there to get back into writing all the way to chatting with NY Times Best Seller Selden Edward about Steampunk.

I can't explain the boost of creative inspiration that comes from this conference. I'm 100% refueled and ready to start on the second installation of Thomas Riley as well as finish the second story in The Young Alchemists short series.

New Authors Panel
I was part of the New Authors Panel "What I wish I knew before I was published" with Teressa Burrell, Gayle Carline, Andrew Peterson and Kathy Porter. I had a blast. The room was packed and it was a really great panel. Make sure you check out these authors books (I linked them) they are great people and great writers!

Ummm. It's San Diego. I was sick when I left for California. Congested and miserable in every way. Within 24 hours of being in San Diego I felt great. Talk about a bonus!

So I regret to say that I don't have any good pictures from the conference but I do have this account to share with you. If you've ever wondered if a writers conference can help you, it can. Well, this one can.

I've been home for less than 24 hours and I'm already looking forward to next year. Thanks everyone!

Oh, if you can't wait until next February, the same group is putting on another writers con in September in Newport Beach CA.

This is my lone photo of the famous white board with my panel listed. Sorry for my lameness. I could have sucked less.


  1. Nick, I can't tell you how much fun it was to hang out with you at the bar Saturday night - or was it Friday? Or maybe it was all the nights, I forget. Actually, I CAN tell you how much fun it was - it SO didn't suck!


  2. Nick, I have to agree with you. This is the best writer's conference I've ever attended. (I've been to quite a few.) I ditto all your comments and add that it was such a pleasure to get to know you and spend some quality time with you.

    And, yes, San Diego ROCKS!


  3. Nick,
    You are so right! I have attended this conference four years in a row and this year, by far, was the best! Although I missed Wes'crime workshops, the new workshops were inspiring, packed full of information, and fun (Hanky Panky was my personal favorite!). Put that together with the best people, like you, the perfect weather, a great city, a tasty sushi bar resplendent with cocktails and you have the recipe for the perfect weekend. Too bad we can't spend every Saturday and Sunday like that!

  4. Actually, Nick, you're wrong about Ochaki. He sucks a great deal. I, on the other hand, am awesome.


    Anyway, gotta tell you man, it was great having you. You seem like a swell dude and my only regret is that we didn't get to hang out more. Perhaps in Newport Beach?