by Mark Stevens, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers President
As she accepted the Writer of the Year plaque at Colorado Gold, Linda Joffe Hull talked about living and writing for a decade in the “purgatory of almost” before finding a publisher for one of her books.
As she will tell you, it was a long and winding road.
But Linda credits a certain organization (its initials are Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers) for the final break-through. As she talked about the two books she has launched in the last 12 months, she talked about the relationships she developed by taking an active role in the group.
Yeah, yeah, yeah—for the last few weeks it’s been all Colorado Gold this and Colorado Gold that. (See paragraph #1 above.) It was three days of good times for us fiction nerds.
But RMFW is so much more than Colorado Gold and, I dare say, the tremendous variety of other events on the calendar offer an even better chance to develop relationships and make new friends who might have that one key introduction to an agent, an editor, a publisher. The conference can be, you know, intimidating. Fun, sure, but pressure too.
I’m not saying the conference isn’t cool, but now it’s another 12 months away (Sept. 5—7, 2014).
In the meantime, there are plenty of other chances to dive in and make friends—and develop your network—in a more casual setting. (And, in some cases, free.)
Check it out:
- Later this month, a free two-hour workshop titled “Diving In: Character and Motivation” by Courtney Koschel. Location: Arvada Public Library, downtown Arvada. Date and time: Saturday, Oct. 26 at 1p.m. Courtney is the senior acquisitions editor for Month9Books. Senior. Acquisitions. Editor. Enough said.
- Also this month, the experienced Trai Cartwight is offering a dirt-cheap online course called “Building a Better Book” that will help you demystify the process of novel building. It’s all about asking—and answering—key structural questions at the heart of every well-executed novel. Trai has roots in Hollywood, among other places. Get to know Trai and it’s one degree of separation between you and Stephen Spielberg. Or something like that.
- Next month, there’s a free two-hour workshop titled “World Building: Don’t Let the Dream Collapse.” Location and times are still being finalized, but the program will be given by Colleen Oakes, author of the best-selling Elly in Bloom.
- Also online soon, Sharon Mignerey (a true RMFW legend—she helped start our group about 30 years ago) is running a dialog workshop called “Let Your Characters Do the Talking.”
- Also next month, over at our Grand Junction home away from home, best-selling author and RMFW stalwart Jeanne Stein is leading a day-long workshop titled “A Publishing Primer.” The first 20 people who register have the chance to pitch to Angie Hoddapp with Nelson Literary Agency and/or receive a two-page critique and 10-minute meeting with Warren Hammond, author of the KOP science fiction series. (Warren also won the Colorado Book Award this year!)
Cool programs, great opportunities to improve your craft and, maybe give you a chance to get to know other writers, develop connections and work your way out of the “purgatory of almost.”
All the details are available at www.rmfw.org. You probably knew that.