Long Island Luncheon

Friday the 13th – always an ominous date, yes? Well, this year, several intrepid Valley Forge Romance Writers braved the odds and black cats and set sail (okay, we went by car, train and taxi) to the Long Island Luncheon sponsored by the Long Island Romance Writers.

Daria Yanez, Stephanie Julian, moi 

         Daria Yanez, Stephanie Julian, moi                               

 Carla Faker, Jen Blackwell-Yale

        Carla Kempert, Jen Blackwell-Yale

For those who have never been, let me just say that I make the trek every year. Some years by myself, others with friends. And I’ve never been disappointed. The Luncheon committee does a great job inviting enough industry professionals that you’re guaranteed to be seated at a table with at least two. Some years I’ve tried to pick my spot, other years I let Fate decide. Fate’s been as good, if not better, to me than my own picks. You never know if you’ll be having lunch with agent Ethan Ellenberg, or having an editor ask to taste your lunch to see if hers isn’t as good.

Ethan Ellenberg

        Ethan Ellenberg
You never know who you’ll meet and what they might be interested in that you just happen to have shoved under your bed thinking no one would ever want a futuristic shape-shifting leopard/woman head of the galactic FBI (no, sorry, I pulled that out of my hat – no one requested anything remotely like that).

And the hour long ride back into the city can be just as fabulous for getting to know the industry folk on a personal level. I’ve grown several relationships in just such a way.

Add to this great food, superb champagne punch (and non-champagne punch, but really, why bother?), and the friendly ladies of LIRW, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a great way to spend a Friday.

So get that champagne out, because I plan to be there next year!

NJ Romance Writers Conference

I just got back from the NJ conference and boy, are my arms tired. Sorry, couldn’t resist :)  Seriously, a great time was had by all. Lots of networking, meeting up with old friends (that’s friends as in “long term” not “over the hill”), learning all sorts of new stuff (hence my very own blog from a great course by Penny Sansevieri at AMarketingExpert.com) and fun speakers. Agents and editors from NY and other locales were there for us “hopefuls” and I got to meet one of my fellow ATIII finalists, Sally Stotter. Plus Janice Lynn, the first AT winner, was there.

 For those of you interested in a career in publishing, there’s nothing like a conference in or near NY – you get a great chance to put names and faces together with those people who send you rejection letters–er, suggestions on how to better your story.

 So, I’m off to update my website with pictures from the conference. Stop by and check ‘em out and if you’d like to know how to vote for Beauty and The Best in the American Title III contest, beginning next Monday, the 16th, register for my newsletter.  Have a great day! -Judi

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