I don't remember how many years I've attended the OWFI writing conference, but I believe it's been at least eleven or twelve years. During that time, I've been the BasketWars chair for eight years or more. BasketWars is the silent auction that raises money for scholarships for the next year's conference. This year's total raised broke all records, and we'll be able to give at least nine scholarships for the 2014 conference, Create, Compose, Commit.
This year, the conference had exhibitor tables, and 4RV Publishing had an excellent location for its. We had a limited number of titles available due to the lack of space, but many people were impressed with our books. Too bad more didn't buy copies. However, we did sell some, and people took cards so they could go to our bookstore site. Rita Durrett, whose book Borrowed Time will come out next year, and vehoae, whose nonfiction book Conscience: Breaching Social Amnesia is out, helped man the table. Others associated with the company did, too. Tony LoPresti and his daughter Rimanda helped vehoae, who worked the table both days. Rimanda helped all day Saturday. I didn't get photos of everyone at the 4RV booth, but Wayne Harris-Wyrick worked shifts both days. Vickey Kennedy Malone, one of the 4RV editors, worked at least two shifts, and Suzy Koch helped all afternoon Friday. Other authors who took shifts included Janet Brown and Kathleen Gibbs. Jacque Graham, as usual, aided.
Janet Brown and I posed for a picture after the Friday night banquet. Kathleen Gibbs joined Jacque Graham, her son James, Dianne Sagan, and Kimberly Black at the Pen and Keyboard Writers reserved table Friday night. Dianne writes for Love Inspired regularly, and I always watch for her books. Kim's first novel came out this past year. For me, meeting and seeing again other authors, some who are quite famous, is exciting. I may only see some of these people once a year, some times not ever every year, but they are friends.
|Kathy Gibbs and Dianne Sagan|
|Dianne Sagan and Kim Black|
|James Graham and Jacque Graham|
I was able to attend part of Jordan Dane's session, and if anyone can help writers at each stage of their career, Jordan can and does. I enjoyed seeing her again, but I didn't get to visit much. We need her back in Oklahoma, not way down in southern Texas.
One returning speaker, Jack Dalton, leaves everyone wanting more. I told him that as far as I was concerned he had an open invitation to join us every year. Other speakers attracted writers interested in their areas of expertise. We had graphic novel speakers, fantasy speakers, experts in the eBook arena and in social media.
I enjoyed seeing friends and making new ones.