by Annette Dashofy
Can it possibly be two whole years since I served as Pennwriters Conference coordinator? Where does the time go?
Yes, here it is. 2011 and the conference is once again to be held in Pittsburgh. I, however, have very little to do with it this time. Once was enough for me, thank you very much. This year, we have TWO conference coordinators, which I think is fabulous. What I wouldn’t have given for a co-coordinator. Or a clone.
Meredith Cohen started out in the job as a solo artist. But then she had the “huge misfortunate” to sign a book deal with all the required re-writes and edits that come along with these things. Rather than let her step down, Pennwriters offered her a partner in crime in the person of Julie Long.
And not wanting to simply throw them into to the deep end of the pool without a lifejacket, I took on a different role.
I sit in my cave in my swamp and help them, I will.
I like it.
They email me questions. I email back answers or suggestions. Meredith has become Skywalker. Julie is Han Solo.
The force is definitely with them. They’ve lined up New York Times Best-seller Jennifer Weiner as Friday’s keynote speaker
And they’ve rounded up a nice little group of literary agents and book editors. Janet Reid of Fine Print Literary will be back. (It remains to be seen whether the Victim of the Query Shark puts in a return appearance!) New to the conference are Denise Little (Ethan Ellenberg), Jason Pinter (The Waxman Agency), Barbara Poelle (Irene Goodman), Marci Posner (Folio Literary Management) and Victoria Skurnick (Levine Greenberg Literary Management). Headline Books’ Cathy Teets and Ginjer Buchanan, editor-in-chief of Ace/Roc Books will also be there.
Our own Ramona DeFelice Long will be there again, as will C.J. Lyons. And joining us for the first time will be Becky Levine.
I’m excited! The Pennwriters Conference has always been like a big family reunion, and it still is. The family just keeps growing!
Care to join us? The conference runs May 13-15, with day-long and half-day-long intensive workshops to be held on the Thursday (May 12) prior to the main event. Registration opens March 1st. For more information, check out the newly updated website at www.pennwriters.org.
(The pre-conference seminars on Thursday cost $125 for members and $150 for non-members for the whole day; $65/member and $95/non-member for half day. The three-day conference package cost $240/members and $290/non-members. For Friday-only attendees, registration costs $130/members and $185/non-members, and for Saturday-only attendees, the package costs $175/members and $215/non-members. Friday evening dinner with Jennifer Weiner costs $55/members and $75/non-members.)